Kristiina Härkönen

Chief Sustainability Officer

Gofore Plc

Kristiina works in Gofore as Chief Sustainability Officer and finds herself in her dream job. She has always been passionate about how to build a better future for people and the planet.

Technology and digitalization can be important factors in solving some of our time’s biggest challenges. In some respects, they are also their causes. Technology itself is neutral, us, the people must decide how to use it and what are the goals for which we use our limited brain capital. It is also imperative that companies understand their responsibility in creating a more sustainable future.

Kristiina has worked in Gofore since 2003 and during that time has seen the company grow from five people to six hundred. She has worked as a software developer, project manager, architecture and project management consultant, in sales and as a business director. She is happiest when walking in the forest with her dog.

The meaning of sustainability in IT company - Thursday 2nd of April 13:30

When talking about sustainability, technology is a double-edged sword. In the history of mankind it has caused many problems but often given us new solutions and hope. Now in era of environmental crisis it is time to decide what we are going to do with our technology, what problems we are going to solve and how.

Digitalization has great potential to help with our time’s biggest threats like the climate crisis. The major and most hope provoking megatrends like the circular economy are not possible without the help of technology. We, the people working in IT companies, could have a much bigger handprint in working towards sustainable development goals. Therefore, when talking about sustainability, if we are just focusing on things related to our environmental or societal footprint, for example our own office energy consumption and recycling or our responsibilities as an employer, we are missing the bigger picture. Of course, being responsible for our footprint is important, but one might argue it is just a drop in the ocean compared to our potential handprint through the software and services that we provide.

Speaking out loud about the opportunities and threats is our responsibility as IT specialists. Being innovative and really making a difference are great motivators to every human being. As sustainable employers we need to provide our people the opportunity to work in projects they find meaningful. It is also our societal responsibility. Our success depends on an educated workforce that society provides. Building things that are good for society and the environment is way of giving back.

Adopting a sustainability mindset is both a strength and an opportunity for a company. Our employees, customers and investors are expecting it from us. Success in the future comes to those that have solutions to the biggest challenges of our time.