Interview: Theresa McKenney, Sustainability Director at NEMO

Theresa McKenney is the Director of Sustainability at NEMO, the 21-year old, founder-owned equipment company based out of Dover, New Hampshire. Theresa is in charge of championing the sustainability strategy and projects there, which she acknowledges is a pretty broad role, but then again, that’s exactly what sustainability is - broad, complex, and not always easy to pin down. In our talk, we discussed a bunch of things, including her pathway to the enviable role, the value and importance of partnerships and collaborations, and the complexities of designing, developing, producing and selling products for the circular economy. We dive in and out of the weeds on things like tackling scope 3 emissions, being a good networker, and the role that leadership plays in sustainable development.

There are Good Things Happening at NEMO and they appear to be tackling sustainability from all angles, and at every level, and Theresa is right in the middle of it - seemingly loving every minute of it too.

I had a great time chatting with Theresa, and there are so many great insights here for those are working in the outdoor industry (or aspire to), and who want to make sustainability a central part of their role; buckle up because there’s lots to do.

Here are some of the Key Takeaways you’ll appreciate:

- The power of getting your foot in the door and then figuring it out - One job leads to another (keep moving forward) - Having experience in other parts of the business (i.e. value chain) can be - VERY valuable to your career in sustainability

- Align with your passion and interests - It pays off

- The power of positive influence individuals have on us (and that we have on others) - Relationships are the key to sustainability success

- Prioritize partnerships; none of us can do this work alone

- Learn to love the data: Tackling Scope 3 emissions is tough, but must be done (even if you’re estimating); and advice on how to do it (PS get the expert help)

- Senior leadership drives real progress -

Theresa’s epic networking tip

- All the details that come along with making a truly recyclable (at end of life) product

- The reality of working in a values driven, impact-focused role

SDG Alignment: #8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, #10 Reduced Inequalities, #12 Responsible Consumption and Production, #13 Climate Action, #17 Partnerships for the Goals


Sustainability at NEMO -

NEMO OSMO™ Tent Fabric -

NEMO Forte Endless Promise Sleeping Bag -

Climate Neutral, independent non-profit -

OIA, Outdoor Industry Association -

Quantis, environmental sustainability consulting -

Trove, recommerce solution -

Unifi, recycled materials -

Allied Feather & Down -

Ambercycle, the circular materials company -

Also: Last week’s show - Be sure to check it out:

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#sustainability #outdoorindustry #triplebottomline #climate #camping #careers #purpose #keeplearning #sustainabilitymanager #hiking #nemo #gear #equipment #climateaction

Intro/Outro music by QubeSounds from Pixabay.

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