The June 2012 edition of Inc. magazine contains an interview with author Jim Collins about how to grow a great company. In the piece, Collins highlights how a few of the great leaders, like Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, have turned their company into a movement. Chouinard developed rock climbing equipment to reduce the impact that he and fellow climbers have on the environment. His company helped start a movement that motivated the climbing community.
“A movement springs up around a cause,” says Collins in the Inc. article. Product stewardship is such a movement, and its cause is to help our society live within our material means by holding companies responsible for reducing the environmental and social impact from the products they make and sell. The Product Stewardship Institute is part of this wider movement.
But movements are comprised of people, and PSI has been blessed with some truly amazing individuals who have chosen to apply their skills and passion to serve the greater public good while working with our team. This month, Sierra Fletcher, PSI’s Director of Policy and Programs, and Kate Hagemann, an Associate, will be moving on. After five years at PSI, Sierra will be moving back to her home state of Maine, where she will work for the Environmental Health Advocacy Center as a legislative advocate at the state and federal level on toxics policy. Kate has enrolled at Yale University for a Masters Degree in environmental policy where she will take up her interest in lifecycle assessment that was cultivated at PSI. Both have been critical to the success of PSI, and they will be sorely missed.
While PSI has been on the front lines of reducing the health and environmental impacts from consumer products, we have also been conscious of our role as a place for young and talented individuals to find a home for their passions. We have created jobs that did not exist 20 or 30 years ago.
But as an organization that is part of a movement, we understand that movements do not stand still, but are dynamic. People come and go. While we will miss Sierra and Kate, we know that they will carry their experience from PSI on to their next gig, leaving a space for the next passionate, smart person who is ready to contribute to the product stewardship movement.
Change can truly be an opportunity for growth. PSI’s staff changes have given us the chance to reflect on our successes, challenges, and the road ahead. There is much more for us to do together, and we are ready to craft the new team, and know that you are all there by our side.