Celebrating some of our amazing women that are fighting Climate Change
A Company Where Every Day Is Earth Day
At Neste, every day is earth day. We’re in the business of fighting climate change and ensuring that we’re doing everything in our power to help create a healthier, more prosperous planet for generations to come.
It has always been our belief that real, lasting change starts with a few small meaningful actions or decisions. Fifteen years ago, we made a decision that ultimately changed the shape of the company forever - we transitioned our business model from fossil fuels to renewable products.Talk about an ‘aha!’ moment.
In fact, Neste’s renewable fuels have prevented nearly 40 million tons of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere over the past five years. That’s a LOT of emissions, and we couldn’t do it without the tireless efforts of our more than 5,000 team members.
In honor of Women’s History Month this March, we’re spotlighting four industry leaders that are making strides each day to create a brighter (and greener!) future for all - meet Charlotte Tovar, Paula Whitten-Doolin, Lana Van Marter and Jessica LeRoy.
Meet Charlotte Tovar
Strategy Development Manager for Neste in North America
What advice do you have for women who are afraid to break the glass ceiling or challenge the status quo?
I urge women to remove all "as a woman" or "for a woman" type statements from their vocabulary. When we frame our accomplishments as impressive because we are women, we ultimately dilute our value as an individual. The best way to break the status quo is to kick ass and demonstrate proven results over and over again.
In what ways are you able to make a lasting impact in your position?
My role as strategy development manager is effectively to break the status quo. Finding new ways to sell our renewable fuel, or identifying untapped markets for us to explore. We were the first company to brand a renewable diesel, and the first to make it accessible at the pump. I led a lot of that work. Now, our competitors are following suit, proving the model I helped create is working.
Meet Paula Whitten-Doolin
Head of Legal for Neste in North America
You took a big leap, moving from a big company to a renewable energy company. What scared you the most about this change?
I think what scared me the most was moving from the perceived security of a huge, well-known US company to a company that I wasn't as familiar with. Once I realized that Neste is full of people who care about each other and our planet and that there are a lot of customers and partners excited about our products, I stopped being nervous.
For all the new lawyers out there, what advice do you have for becoming both an amazing legal counsel and a driving force for fighting climate change?
I think my best advice - for someone who wants to end up in my position - would be that sometimes it's best to take the unexpected path. I didn't go straight into law and when I did, I did a variety of different things and didn't really specialize in anything for long periods of time. That goes against the grain today; people are expected to specialize so quickly, move in a straight line up the ladder, and then they end up doing the same thing for the rest of their career. The zig-zag route has been much more useful for me since my current role (and I think many General Counsel-type roles) require me to cover a huge range of issues, often daily. ]
For climate change, my advice would be to follow your heart, even if it may seem scary.
Meet Lana Van Marter
Commercial Development Manager, Renewable Aviation for Neste
You’ve been in the aviation industry for years, having held positions at both George Bush International Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport. What do you want people to know about sustainable travel?
Above all, people should know that there is indeed a way to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from travel. Sustainable Aviation Fuel is now being distributed globally - across the U.S Europe and Canada. It’s a tangible product that airlines, airports and travelers alike should be taking advantage of.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to do their part in fighting climate change?
There are countless things that women can do each and every day to make a difference and contribute. Teaching the next generation to be aware of our environmental responsibilities is hugely important. Whether we realize it or not, everything that we touch can be something that makes the planet greener, whether it’s recycling, planting trees, segregating wastes or participating in clean ups. The one thing you shouldn’t do is NOT act; it’s all about awareness and participation.
Meet Jessica LeRoy
You have an incredible background in environmental engineering, what was it that sparked your interest?
Ever since highschool, I’ve been extremely passionate about environmental issues and sustainable solutions. I was a member of my school’s Environmental Concerns team, and was constantly looking to learn more about the critical issues that our planet was facing. As I began learning about biofuels and anaerobic digestion, I thought ‘why not do something beneficial with this waste and create renewable gas?’ From there, I found Mahoney, and I knew my path would be incredibly fulfilling. My career allows me to have flexibility in what I do, what I learn, and how I grow progressively.
What is something that you wish you could go back and tell your younger self?
A few years ago, I attended an “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day,” and the most common question I got asked was “how did you know what you wanted to do?” As girls, we want to have everything figured out from day one - but you don’t have to! My biggest piece of advice would be to find something that you’re interested in and pursue it. If your interests change, so can your career...just go for it. You don’t have to succeed at every little thing to do amazing things and live a fulfilling life.