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Young leaders. Great impact

Learn how our OYW ambassadors feel about climate change and sustainability.

At Deloitte, we’re committed to helping find solutions to some of the greatest challenges that impact our planet and society through our WorldImpact initiatives—including WorldClass and WorldClimate. We believe it’s the responsibility of each of us to make positive change and to keep our planet healthy for generations to come. One of the ways we’re doing this is by supporting and elevating the inspiring voices of our young leaders.

Our partnership with One Young World (OYW) develops young professionals into future leaders who can solve the world's toughest challenges. Bringing together over 2,000 young leaders from 190+ countries, the annual summit focuses on empowering young leaders to build a sustainable future. The 2022 OYW Summit, held in Manchester, UK, was one of the most exciting yet. We delegated 71 young leaders from 40 countries to partake in four days of impactful speeches, panels, networking, and workshops.

We proudly introduce three OYW ambassadors from around the globe: Kei Saito, Julia Ivehammar, and Hope Davidson. These bright minds share their thoughts on OYW learnings, climate change and sustainability, and how we can transform our lifestyles to create better futures for all.

Kei is a Consultant at Deloitte (Tokyo office), specializing in Strategy consulting. He has assisted in both Global and Japanese projects ranging in various industries. Before joining Deloitte, while earning his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts in Japan, he had studied abroad as an exchange in Singapore and the US.

I joined Deloitte UK on the graduate scheme in 2018 and quickly realized that I wanted to ensure that every piece of work I did had a positive impact on not only clients but also society and the planet. I subsequently found myself in the Net Zero Transformation team in Monitor Deloitte where I now support clients to transform their businesses to thrive in a net zero economy. 

Being curious and always eager to learn new things have got me into several different journeys. From a young age I have been fascinated by technology and how things work, which led me to work with digital transformations and business processes automation in my daily work at Deloitte. 

Kei: As a sustainability strategy consultant for leading Japanese companies with a specific focus on the airline industry, climate change impacts me most at work. With immense  pressure for airlines to decarbonise, I’m often present when C-suites and executives have challenging discussions about decarbonising their businesses for the very first time. These are difficult conversations and require a huge change to the way airlines operate, unlock value, and prioritise decisions, but I’m grateful to have such a valuable opportunity to contribute to this transformation and to help them move towards more sustainable business models.

Julia: The most concrete and visible effects of climate change that affect me are the many extreme and unreliable weather events we’re seeing around the globe on a seemingly weekly basis. Other countries are experiencing this worse than in Sweden where I live, but we are all affected. For example, the intense heat waves and flooding we’ve had across Europe this year. And, sadly, it looks like this will be more common in the future.

With that in mind, climate change impacts my daily choices, actions, and priorities. I always try to keep in mind how I can live a more sustainable life and be kinder to our planet.

While climate change can cause anxiety about our shared future, I try to keep a positive mindset about it, focusing on what I can control. I truly believe that if we all make small changes and do our part, we can change the narrative and limit the effects of the climate catastrophe.

Hope: From a personal perspective, climate change causes a great deal of anxiety for me as a young person looking towards the future. However, attending One Young World earlier this year filled me with optimism—hearing inspiring young leaders from around the world talk about the actions they are taking to combat climate change at a local and global level. I truly believe that the resilience of young people around the world, combined with the passion for driving positive change will enable us to find creative solutions to the climate challenges we face.

Professionally, I work for Deloitte’s Net Zero Transformation team. This team focuses on helping clients develop robust strategies that enable them to thrive in a net-zero future. In this role, I work with clients as they navigate the complexities and uncertainties of climate change whilst balancing the wider economic and social challenges. It is by no means an easy task, but despite this, I remain optimistic that creativity and innovation will help us build a better future for all.

Kei: Young leaders need to be at the forefront of challenging norms, behaviours, and strategies. They need to take charge in collaborating with peers inside—and outside—their companies to ensure decarbonisation is a key conversation topic. At OYW, we were lucky enough to hear from many social entrepreneurs who took to the stage to pitch their ideas or share the conversations, collaborations, and initiatives that they’ve led.

But something that struck me is that for those of us working in large corporations—it can be hard to turn ideas on climate change into action. It’s easy to feel that individual actions have limited impact, which can quickly be demotivating.

I feel lucky that my team at Deloitte encourages us to spend 10% of working hours on initiatives of our interest, and also hosts internal collaborative sessions to share sustainability trends and cutting-edge initiatives. In addition, Deloitte encourages young leaders, like myself and my OYW peers, to share our initiatives with colleagues in other departments or overseas offices to enhance collaboration. We need more companies to make space for young leaders’ voices to be heard and to facilitate their efforts to drive decarbonisation initiatives. It’s imperative that the young leaders of today help build and grow the future of tomorrow.

Julia: One single person can’t do everything, but everyone can do something. Remember that every action has an impact, and every conscious choice can make a difference. To start, stay informed and educate yourself on how your daily life and actions impact the climate. Learn the effects of your different choices around food, travel, investments, and purchases.

Secondly, turn your intentions into tangible actions. This is something that we discussed a lot during the OYW Summit: how important it is to not only talk the talk about global issues, but to walk the walk. We do not have to change everything overnight, but everyone can change their habits and expectations.

For example, avoid food waste, buy local and in-season food, and eat more of a plant-based diet. Make recycling, reusing, and reducing a daily habit; and review your investments. Could you move your pension to a green backed one instead?

Finally, think about how you can influence your peers or your company’s policies and actions related to sustainability. In Deloitte Sweden, I’m leading an internal climate champion initiative where we aspire towards  a more sustainable life, home, and workplace. If your workplace does not have one already—start one! You can influence your colleagues, your clients, your friends, and family—the impact is bigger than just you.

Hope: Honestly, it might sound a little strange, but I hope that I’m out of a job… or at least my team (which is focused on helping clients navigate the strategic challenges posed by climate change) is no longer required. Ultimately, I hope that sustainability becomes so embedded in everything we do that it doesn’t require separate specialist teams—that it becomes second nature to everyone. Thus, my vision for the future of my work is one where social and environmental impact is discussed hand-in-hand with economic growth. In this world, ‘value’ is considered in broader terms beyond profit, to cover people and the planet too.

Secondly, I hope that young and diverse voices are more consistently at the table making strategic decisions. At the moment, future generations remain on the fringes of key decision making in both corporations and governments. Youth climate activists are starting to change this, but I hope by 2030, young people are always at the table when making decisions that affect our future.

What’s next?

Stay tuned for more insights from our OYW ambassadors on our WorldClass initiatives, as well as the power of businesses to drive impact.