Kati Ihamäki

Vice president, Sustainable development, Finnair

Tell us something about your current job? What are your duties and assignments?

In my position as a Vice president for Sustainable development I act as the spokesperson for environmental affairs at Finnair Group. My responsibilities include ensuring that Finnair's environmental and sustainability goals in Group business activities are realised in such a way that Finnair can be among the leading airlines in environmental activities.

I am also responsible for the coordination of sustainability strategy and emissions trade projects as well as for integrating environmental issues into Finnair's competitive strategy. 

How did you find your job (what sources did you use, how did you approach your current employer)?

I had been working for Finnair already during my studies and had various positions within the company before asked to this one. I am the first VP for Sustainable development in the company.

What skills gained during your CEM studies proved to be the most useful in your job?

Overall understanding of environmental management and strategies and their relation to business activities.

What was the most unexpected CEM-related thing, new concept or skill,discovered in your new job?

Actual technical knowledge of emissions! I guess it surprised people who expected me to only have "business background". 

What would be your message for the current and prospective CEM students?

Try to familiarize yourself with real business cases and try to relate the studies to "real life" - that helps when applying to a position and also if change management is needed. Do not hold too "academic views" of environmental issues, that might create resistance...