You wouldn't travel into the Brazilian Amazon to talk conservation without someone who spoke the language and knew the culture. Going into corporate boardrooms is no different. Suzanne relies on her considerable experience in corporate America, which includes serving as vice president for community affairs and environmental programs at The Home Depot, to relate to business executives and get things done. Since joining WWF she's helped advance some of the biggest agreements between environmentalists and corporations, encouraging corporations to rethink their priorities and giving consumers vastly more choices in sustainably produced goods.
Working with corporations may not be the first thing many people think of when they think of conservation, but it is a critical front in the effort to protect habitats and conserve resources. The average American, for example, may use 25,000 gallons of water a year. The Coca-Cola Company, by comparison, uses 76 billion gallons. No wonder Suzanne considers one of her most important accomplishments to be a five-year agreement with Coca-Cola to conserve and reuse water in its plants around the world, to increase water stewardship activities around the plants, to improve water use in its supply chain and to become water neutral. "Until recently, many companies saw the environment as something separate from their business," Suzanne says. "They are beginning to see the bigger picture and now understand that responsible environmental practices are good for business."