Congratulations to Amchampion of the Year Award winner Elina Kivioja!

As the Managing Director and CEO of Vattenfall Finland, she uses extensive experience from various industries to make progressive decisions. Kivioja is leading Vattenfall’s constructive steps to achieve an environmentally sustainable Finland and provide the best possible customer experience for B2C and B2B consumers. She uses Amcham to improve national brand visibility and establish a useful professional network for collaboration.

It’s clear that sustainability is becoming a top priority for all businesses. To survive in the new global economy, companies must embrace the interdependence of people, planet and profit. As CEO of one of Finland’s largest energy providers, Kivioja believes she has an opportunity to positively impact society while growing the bottom line.

We had the pleasure of speaking with her about concrete cases of Vattenfall’s sustainability efforts and how she personally leverages the Amcham business network for success.

“The goal is to be fossil-free within one generation. Now is the time to really start doing things,” she boldly exclaims.

Vattenfall Finland has already divested itself of all coal-powered production facilities in favor of cleaner alternatives, such as hydropower. Now they’re looking to do more.

Kivioja told us that Finnish consumers are demonstrating a stronger desire to power their lives with sustainable resources and trends consistently point to companies buying renewable energy for the sake of their own reputations.

She takes advantage of a background in retail marketing and corporate management to sell Vattenfall’s sustainable services through previously untapped channels. One such example is promotion of the Energiaperhe contest which challenges six families for six months to save as much energy as possible and communicate best practices within Finland. The campaign serves as both a marketing tool and contribution to the Finnish community.

Kivioja suggested that large, leading companies like Vattenfall are also responsible for setting an international example and collaboration is the most effective method to achieve sustainability targets at the national level.

With over 300 member companies representing over 20 industries, Amcham provides an excellent platform for CEOs and executives like her to interact with peers and government officials interested in solving mutual problems together.

“Partnerships are key now. Without partners, we can only do so much. I enjoy the can-do and positive attitude that Amcham has. It’s easy to get connected and you always meet new people. Normally it’s very fun,” she says with a smile.

Recalling a specific instance of Amcham’s ability to connect her with people sharing joint interests was easy. Amcham held an event last year in which she was able to establish relationships with Finnish politicians and lobbyists for the energy sector.

Going forward, Kivioja is enthusiastic about possibilities to disrupt the energy sector with novel innovations. She believes that cyber security may play a significant role in the sector’s future. Being prepared is crucial.

The casual and open style of the Amcham network allows her to stay informed about these types of issues across different industries. Kivioja is Amchampion of the Year because she leads Vattenfall to success through active participation, engagement and enthusiasm to develop.