For Krista Van Tassel, sustainability is more than a career path; it’s a mindset. She started out with Hewlett-Packard “early in the sustainability conversation,” around the turn of the century. The company had a very focused social message at the time, and she was inspired. She went back to school for her MBA and has been working to instill sustainable business practices ever since. “I got bit by the bug and realized this was a place I wanted my career to be,” she says.
Later, at Wells Fargo, she worked to establish the company’s social responsibility program, launched its sustainability volunteer team, managed a philanthropic portfolio and led an executive program on corporate sustainability issues. And before establishing her consultancy in 2018, Van Tassel was the director of corporate communications for San Diego–based AMN Healthcare, which sends a volunteer medical team to Guatemala every year. “I got to help share the stories of the community work the company does,” she says.
Now an independent consultant, Van Tassel is also an instructor in UC San Diego Extension’s Sustainable Business Practices program. Strategic planning for sustainability is a highly desirable skill in today’s job market. Businesses are becoming more tuned in to sustainability and public interest issues such as climate change and environmentally-friendly practices. She notes that any job can be an environmental job, and sustainability is something we can all learn. She stresses that people, the planet and profit should be considered as all working together: “If we’re doing this work correctly, we have this mindset, and we’re going to be infusing it into our work day to day, and it’ll allow us to collectively change the world.”
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Updated May 2020