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Biography

Susan Burns is Co-founder of Global Footprint Network. Over the last decade she has built Global Footprint Network into one of the leading and most respected scientific organizations in the world addressing global ecological limits. Global Footprint Network is an international think tank that drives informed policy decisions in a resource-constrained world. Susan now advises governments and financial institutions on incorporating ecological risk into financial risk analysis and government policy.

Prior to launching Global Footprint Network, Susan founded the pioneering sustainability consulting firm Natural Strategies, advising such companies as Mitsubishi Electric, Genencor, and Lowes. She has over decades of experience working with scores of corporations and other organizations on sustainability-related issues from forest policy to business strategy. Susan led the development of the screening methodology for Portfolio 21, the US’s first mutual fund dedicated to environmental sustainability. She has spoken widely on the subject of sustainability, human development, and corporate responsibility, having delivered keynote and other lectures at over 100 national and international events.

In 2007 Susan, along with Mathis Wackernagel, won the Skoll Award on Social Entrepreneurship. She was selected as honorable mention on the en(rich) list identifying the top inspirational individuals whose contributions enrich paths to sustainable futures (www.enrichlist.org). John Elkington identified Susan in 2012 among the “Zeronaut 50” Roll of Honor, i.e., leading pioneers who are driving the world’s most significant problems to zero. Both Susan Burns and Mathis Wackernagel are 2014 ISSP Sustainability Hall of Fame Inductees. Susan holds a B.S. in Environmental Engineering.