In late spring 2015 I called Jouni Keronen and asked if he could find something for me to do at CLC. I had set up my own consultancy in late 2014 and was looking for climate and cleantech related assignments.

It turned out that Jouni had just been thinking of contacting me, because he indeed had things that needed doing. In mid-June I attended my first CLC meeting and off we went.

CLC was set up in the autumn of 2014 with seven founding members. I have had the privilege of seeing the network grow almost from the beginning.

When I began working for CLC, there were 21 members. Since then the amount has more than doubled. Overall climate awareness in society has increased significantly. Climate issues have become a normal topic in boardrooms and business news. And, perhaps most notably, business interest groups have become ardent climate advocates.

This shift has not happened on its own. It has taken countless hours of tireless work from us at CLC and many organisations like us. We have attended conferences, given speeches and lectures, organised events and workshops, met with all decision makers who have been willing to meet, written op-eds and policy statements, digested international reports and research results, given advice, collaborated on projects and much more.

It is hard and often frustrating work, because changing a common mindset is not simple and there are always many who prefer not to disturb the status quo. But on the other hand, there is perhaps nothing more rewarding than seeing that change does take place. More and more decision-makers do understand the state of emergency we are in and are willing to engage. Seeing that an increasing number of the most powerful business leaders are fully committed to climate work is indeed a great source of hope.

Today, CLC is a recognised and respected actor in Finland, but also in the Nordics and beyond. We have influenced government agenda. Together with our Nordic counterparts we have signed on almost 100 Nordic businesses and other organisations to demand more effective climate policy from the EU. We are one of five Finnish NGOs that have observer status in the UNFCCC conference of parties.

I was asked to write this blog post, because this is my last work week at CLC. Come August, I shall move on to new adventures, although still very much within the arena of promoting climate-friendly business. CLC is currently recruiting a new development director, so if you are interested, take a look at the job ad.

During these four years I have learned so much, especially about the intricacies of climate policy. But I think the most valuable lesson has been that if you really care about something and really put your mind to it, you can make a difference. It is not possible to do it alone, however – you will always need a network of allies, champions and collaborators.

This lesson has most of all been taught to me by Jouni Keronen, whose dedication, uncanny ability to digest new information, fantastic networking skills and dogged determination I admire.

I want to thank you Jouni, all my CLC colleagues and all amazing people in the wide CLC network for a super interesting four years. Keep on saving the climate. I hope we will stay in touch!

Kaisa Hernberg

CLC Development Director