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Susan Burns

Founder, Board Member & Director, Finance for Change, Global Footprint Network

Skoll Awardee


Susan Burns is Director of Finance for Change, a project of Global Footprint Network. Over the last decade as co-founder and CEO of Global Footprint Network, she built the organization into one of the leading scientific organizations in the world addressing global ecological limits. Susan now advises credit rating agencies and financial institutions on environmental risk in fixed-income investing. She has collaborated with more than 30 financial institutions in groundbreaking research on topics ranging from food price shocks to carbon transition risk.

Prior to launching Global Footprint Network, Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting firm Natural Strategies, advising multinational companies on sustainability as a source of competitive advantage. Susan led the development of the screening methodology for Portfolio 21, the US’s first mutual fund dedicated to environmental sustainability. In 2007 Susan, along with Global Footprint Network co-founder Mathis Wackernagel, won the Skoll Award on Social Entrepreneurship. In 2012 John Elkington, a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development, identified Susan among the “Zeronaut 50” Roll of Honor, i.e., leading pioneers who are driving the world’s most significant problems to zero. Susan and Mathis are 2014 ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame Inductees.