LSE Alumni Working in Sustainability

Our biggest impact is in the legacy of our teachings and research...

Introducing some of our alumni and their work in the wider world.

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Charlotte Noltenius

Charlotte Noltenius

MSc Economic History (2012)

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Planet Now GmbH

I have co-founded the sustainability and climate change consultancy Planet Now in 2020. On the one hand, I am responsible for managing and implementing consulting projects for clients from the private and public sector. On the other hand, I am responsible for business development via e.g. communication activities such as hosting/attending webinars, producing content for social media etc. 

Building a company from scratch amidst a global pandemic is not always easy as all conferences and events are only virtual, and no personal meetings are happening. But we have definitely grown with these challenges.  

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How is your role linked to sustainability? 

I have a professional background as a sustainability and strategy consultant. In the past, I have worked with clients on how to measure and increase their social and environmental impact.

At Planet Now, we specialize our consulting services on the challenges of climate change, this includes e.g. climate change risk and scenario analysis, development of climate strategies and reduction roadmaps as well as climate financing.

Our aim is to help organizations to navigate their transition towards a thriving economy that respects the planetary boundaries. In addition, I am guest lecturer for Business and Climate Change at a Berlin based University of Applied Science.

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability? 

The importance of sustainability for businesses will continue to increase in the forthcoming years, also because of regulations that are growing stronger. However, the corporate reality is (in many places, not all), that sustainability is often neglected in terms of budget and resource allocation.

Be prepared to become a strong advocate for change. Prepare the business case and always be ready to convince others about the strategic and financial importance of sustainability for the company.

Do not stop learning about the subject. Take online courses, read books, and learn about the science behind sustainability and climate change.

 How did LSE help you get to where you are today?

Doing my MSc at LSE helped me a lot in gaining the confidence of being able to have a positive impact in this world. I am still in close touch with many of my former LSE companions. We act as sparring partners and support each other also in our professional careers wherever we can.

Studying Economic History was great. To explore how the world economy was transforming and evolving over the past centuriers, makes me confident that every crisis has its blessing. Especially now. I am sure that we are currently only at the beginning of the next transformation - one that is driven by sustainability and a growing respect for our planetary boundaries.




Diana Szpotowicz

MSc Anthropology and Development Management (2015)

Communications Strategist, Institute of Development Studies / Freelance Consultant

I help organisations in the international development sector develop their communications strategies.

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 How is your role linked to sustainability?

I always make sure to put sustainability at the forefront of my work. With my current work at IDS, I am helping to create a new thematic research focus on environmental taxation in sub-Saharan Africa. For a recent contract with Save the Children International, I built the first dedicated page to climate change for their website. I also help other smaller NGOs develop strategies and communications products in the field of youth, agriculture and plastic pollution – always keeping sustainability at the top of their agenda.

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

Sustainability is a fast-changing, ever evolving field that can be applied to nearly every industry today. If I were a student, I would pick a theme in sustainability that I was the most passionate about (renewable energies, agricultural policies, carbon capture projects, etc.) and marry it with my strongest skillset, whether that’s marketing, strategic consulting, project management, accounting & finance, etc.

How did LSE help you get to where you are today? 

One of my most memorable classes during my postgraduate studies was ‘Global Environmental Governance,’ which was taught by Professor Tim Forsyth. It provided me with a very thorough understanding of the modern landscape of climate change and sustainability and the policies, organisations and leaders in that space. I took that knowledge with confidence into future jobs, strategically ensuring my team attended the COP conferences, for example. 

I met the LSE Sustainability team while I volunteered as my residence hall’s Environmental Officer. They supported the growth of my zero waste online shop a few years later by sharing news of my business with their wider networks, which was great.



Estefania Tello Reinoso

Estefanía Tello

MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy (2014)

Former Climate Change Officer at the Minstry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador, current Consul of Ecuador in Valencia

As climate change officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador I was part of the team in charge of coordinating the participation of Ecuador on international forums related to climate change and climate finance. I also helped to build bridges among national institutions related to climate change and international actors on the topic.

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How was your role linked to sustainability? 

Working with the climate change policy of Ecuador, my role was directly linked to sustainability. Fighting against climate change is a fundamental aspect to build sustainability.   

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

It is always possible to build cooperation to work against climate change. Be vocal on what you do and the needs and interests you have within your role and the possibilities will appear. Open doors and keep them open to continue learning, to keep inspired and to act.

How did LSE help you get to where you are today?

LSE IDEAS and the MSc on International Strategy and Diplomacy allowed me to have a broader view on the possibilities available and to grasp the key contents and positions more clearly in order to achieve better results on the issues being negotiated.



Jessica Long

Jessica Long

MSc Social Policy & Development (2011)

Head of Sustainability, Ipsos MORI

As the Head of Sustainability at Ipsos MORI, I oversee all the work we do in sustainability, environment, ESG and climate change.  I have helped to create and launch our sustainability practice, known as the Ipsos Green Economy group, which seeks to leverage expertise across sectors and industries.

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How is your role linked to sustainability?


I work across all three sectors to help clients develop, refine, execute and optimize their sustainability strategies.  My work also involves ensuring the voice of the public remains at the heart of the climate change fight.  I regularly speak at conferences, events and publish white papers on various sustainability-themed topics.

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

It’s a vast space that is ever-changing – and fundamentally requires consistent exploration and learning.  I would suggest that you learn as much as you can from the topic – but also be open to working with all types of clients and all types of industries.  It’s often the very businesses we ‘don’t want to work with’ that have the potential to make the biggest impact.

How did LSE help you get to where you are today?


The connections I made at LSE are lifelong and span the globe, many of my former classmates work in parallel or similar industries.  I have collaborated with them on various projects and even interviewed them for a recent climate documentary.  I have also been speaking to different LSE departmental bodies on how they can collaborate with Ipsos on a few different sustainability initiatives we are developing.



Martin Knowles

Martin Knowles

BSc Economics (1984)

Co-founder of Sales: Untangled® and B Corp Ambassador

We’re a small sales consultancy, so the day job is helping business owners simplify sales growth and build a lasting sales capability.

As a B Corp Ambassador my role is raise the profile of B Corps, purpose and sustainability, and to help make these concepts more accessible and real for business leaders.

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How is your role linked to sustainability?

Our business is a certified B Corp, one of just 500 in the UK, and we’re running carbon neutral – 29 years ahead of the government’s 2050 target! 

We take a broad view of sustainable business, believing it’s as much about people, teams and the communities we serve as it is about emissions and CO2 targets. 

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

If it’s a passion, go for it! There will be no shortage of opportunity in coming years and so much more still to be done to understand the balances and trade-offs we need to make as a global community.

How did LSE help you get to where you are today?

Being armed with a degree from the LSE opened up options that helped to kickstart my career.

These days the quality and breadth of research from the LSE is a constant reminder that our society needs to be more equitable – which is a big factor in our decision to become a B Corp.



Raymond Dhirani

Ray Dhirani

MSc Environment and Development (2011)

Head of Sustainable Finance, WWF UK

I lead our talented sustainable finance team across our programmatic and policy work. We work with the finance sector to help drive conservation and climate impact in the UK and across the world.

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How is your role linked to sustainability? 

I lead our talented sustainable finance team across our programmatic and policy work. We work with the finance sector to help drive conservation and climate impact in the UK and across the world.

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

This is a great time to get into the sustainability area as this conversation has entered boardrooms and the attention on the key sustainability challenges has never been greater. 

The main thing now is to advocate for solutions and approaches that are bold and in line with the science. It is also a great learning oportunity and there are such motivated, knowledgeable, and passionate people working in sustainability right now.

If you are interested in this field, reach out through your networks [including LSE!] and look at specific sustainability job sites and resources.

How did LSE help you get to where you are today?

The programme I studied was one of the few around the world that combined the environment with development and this interplay and balance is key for sustainability, particularly in developing countries. LSE opened my eyes to the field of sustainability through classes, engagement with students and faculty, as well as the great public lectures and readings available.



Sarah Nicholas

Sarah Nicholas

MSc Environment and Development (2018)

Carbon Projects Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland (UK Civil Service)

I am establishing a partnership programme of woodland creation and peatland restoration on nationally owned land across Scotland, funded via the voluntary carbon market. 

I enjoy the blend of policy and operational delivery in my role and variety of people of I deal with day to day. I’m working with policy colleagues to scale up the UK’s nascent carbon markets, strategizing for a new business stream within a ‘public corporation’, talking to global corporates one minute, and hiking through a site with a forester in a Scottish glen the next. 

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How is your role linked to sustainability?

My programme will play an important part in helping the UK meet science-based targets for emissions reduction.  

Offsetting emissions through ‘nature-based solutions’ is not an alternative to the de-carbonisation which all industries need to aim for, but it is an essential part of our path to net zero. The UK’s Climate Change Committee advised 30,000 hectares of new woodland per year and almost 50% of peatland restored by 2030 – most of which will be in Scotland.  

But it’s also important we don’t become blinkered by carbon targets – land based carbon capture also needs to protect unique habitats and enhance other vital ecosystem services, from biodiversity to cultural value and a lot else besides!

What advice would you give to students wanting to work in sustainability?

All experience is good experience – even if it’s not directly related to sustainability. Skills from different sectors and roles outside the ‘green bubble’ can be really valuable. 

I definitely had a ‘zig zag’ journey to get to my role, from starting out in private sector communications, working with social enterprises and start-ups to the UK civil service. I spent a year working on Brexit (which I HATED) because I hoped it would be a valuable stepping stone to a more rewarding career in environmental policy, with the flexibility to work outside London. Luckily for me, that hunch was right. 

Acknowledging that career paths are hardly ever straight and narrow, and taking the time to figure out what you value most from a role is probably the best advice I can give. 

How did LSE help you get to where you are today? 

Without a doubt my MSc in Environment and Development helped me get the role I’m in today. The content of the course was directly applicable to my work, and the foundations of economics and critical thinking help me navigate a complex policy area.  

I also attended a session for ‘career changers’ through the LSE Careers Service which really helped clarify what I wanted and what gaps I needed to fill to get there. Plus a practice ‘civil service’ interview helped prep me for the recruitment process.