Anne Larilahti, our newly appointed Vice President of Environmental, Social & Governance, talks about her relationship with nature, her key leadership lessons, and opportunities in the sustainability space.
As a global group of sports and outdoor brands, the wellbeing of people and our planet are close to our hearts, and in the core of our business. To steer our sustainability efforts to new heights, Anne Larilahti has joined as Vice President, Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), and a member of the Amer Sports Executive Board as of October 17, 2022.
In this new role, Anne will lead and drive the implementation of the Amer Sports ESG strategy and reporting. As an experienced leader, Anne brings in diverse expertise in sustainability, marketing and communication, and corporate strategy. Previously, she has led and developed sustainability efforts at Finnair and Telia and has experience also from the Finnish Ski Area Association, Nokia Siemens Networks, and Nokia.
But who’s the person behind the impressive track record? Let’s find out.
Anne, what are the key leadership lessons you’ve learned over your career?
It’s easy to work with people that are the same as you, but it’s much more fun and productive to work with people that are different from you. I love working in diverse teams with differing opinions. I like to challenge, and I like to be challenged. I think the best way to take things forward is to have a lively dialogue, and to have all those different points of view on the table.
“Let people be different and play on their strengths.”
When you’re fostering teams, it’s important not to force everyone into the same mold. Let people be different and play on their strengths. That’s what leads to the best outcomes.
What future opportunities are you most excited about in your new role as Vice President ESG?
On a personal level, I’m excited about this industry. It’s a huge growth opportunity that I really appreciate.
At Amer Sports, we have a great foundation to be a sustainable player, and an inspiring player in this industry. I actually think we’re much better than we say we are. Our Finnish roots are visible in the sense that we walk more than we talk. But from a sustainability perspective, talking is a responsible act, too. That’s how we raise awareness and inspire others. That’s how we bring the whole industry forward together.
Awareness also generates employee pride. And we should all be talking about sustainability and learning from each other.
“Vague talk has no place in sustainability issues.”
Obviously, talk is not enough, and vague talk has no place in sustainability issues. When you talk about sustainability, you need to be able to back up every word and every number. And you must be very transparent, share what you’re good at, what you’re not so good at, and what you’re planning to do about it.
Our foundation is so strong. I think we’re building something fantastic here.
What’s your relationship with sports and outdoors?
I’ve been a skier longer than I can remember. It’s my oldest hobby, and it’s been my work. My kids ski as well. I’m also a fairly new golfer. I’m not as good as I want to be, and probably never will be, but I’m absolutely hooked.
Outdoors is something I need in order to breathe. I want to experience the sea breeze and the forest scents. I grew up in the middle of the woods, so I guess you can take the girl out of the woods, but you can never take the woods out of the girl.
Speaking as a Finn, it’s something we’re born with—a unique relationship with nature. It’s clear in the way we do business. Nature and equality are valued in our society, so for us, it’s natural to be sustainable. It’s how we do things.