People

Gaia’s highly qualified multidisciplinary staff is dedicated to the highest level of client satisfaction. Our team of experts combines creative problem solving with innovative and pragmatic thinking to provide a wide range of sustainability solutions.

Our professionals have experience of working with business leaders and government officials world wide and running operations in demanding circumstances such as conflict areas and disaster zones.

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  • Board
  • Senior advisors
  • Managing director
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Professionals

Pasi Rinne

Juha Vanhanen

Ulla Heinonen

Mari Hjelt

Ylva Gilbert

Mikko Halonen

Pekka Pokela

Tuomas Raivio

Mari Saario

Anna Heino

Laura Ylimäki

Jatta Aho

Jussi Airaksinen

Suvi Häkämies

Päivi Luoma

Julia Illman

Ulla Värre

Heli Sihvonen

Susanna Sepponen

Lauri Larvus

Laura Descombes

Jonas Alam

Markus Klimscheffskij

Tea Miller

Piia Pessala

Tommi Lampikoski

Olli Jalonen

Sami Lankiniemi

Annu Markkula

Tuukka Rautiainen

Anna Kortesoja

Håkan Jonsson

Minna Kuusisto

Katri Leino

Antti Pitkämäki

Solveig Roschier

Venla Kontiokari

Elina Heikinheimo

Marika Bröckl

Anu Vaahtera

Anna Laine

Markku Hagström

Yanxiao Ren

Juan Gollan

Board

Pasi Rinne

Juha Vanhanen

Erkki Izarra

Mari Hjelt

Pekka Samuelsson

Katarina Juntunen

Laura Ylimäki

Senior advisors

Alain Schilli

Antti Isokangas

Henrik Sjöblom

Iivo Vehviläinen

Mika Turpeinen

Mikko Niini

Patrick Halford

Paula Tommila

Scott Harder

Managing director

Ulla Heinonen

Office

Hannele Kiuru

Heidi Valtari

Juuli Laine

Pasi Rinne

Chairman of Gaia Group, Partner

Areas of Expertise

Environment, corporate responsibility, climate, disaster management

+358 400 464 127

LinkedIn

“During 20 years, in the developed and developing world, I have worked with corporations, governments, international organisations and NGOs for a cleaner, healthier and prosperous world. At Gaia, every day is a priviledged opportunity to work on innovative and concrete solutions for sustainability.

Humbled by the challenges, empowered by knowledgeable colleagues and re-energized by real results, I continue to be driven by innovativeness and motivated by happy customers.

Success at Gaia comes through teamwork, where I contribute with my experience in policy and business development and environmental diplomacy combined with my experience in post-conflict and disaster management areas. I simply have a very meaningful job.”

Juha Vanhanen

Managing Director, Partner, Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

energy, climate, environment, risk management, sustainable business, bioeconomy

+358 50 5641889

“Creating new business opportunities and developing efficient solutions for our customers really motivates me. I have extensive experience with Cleantech business, renewable energy sources and environmental-friendly energy technologies – all essential to make the world safer and cleaner.

Before my career in Gaia, I was a researcher in advanced energy systems in Helsinki University of Technology (currently Aalto University). During my research career of 8 years, I cooperated with many companies and noted that I enjoyed developing new business and improving existing ways of making business more than doing technical research.

In my opinion, the years in Gaia have proven that I made the right choice. I like to work with customers and participate in various projects. I also enjoy working with our talented staff. With them and our customers, I learn something new every day.”

Ulla Heinonen

Managing Director, Partner

Areas of Expertise

strategies and business concepts, business development, innovation process, corporate responsibility, climate, water resources management, digitalization

+358 40 550 6982

LinkedIn

"In the last 15 years, I have been working in research, continuing education, consultancy and business development. I have experience from working in and with universities, international organizations and companies from multiple industries. My career path has been extremely interesting and I have been able to participate in amazing projects from grassroots to corporate level in both developed and developing countries.

One thing that is common in most of the projects that I have been taking part, is sustainability - aiming towards environmentally and socially sound as well as financially sustainable results. I have carried these values since my childhood when I realized that human activities have an impact on nature and ecosystems.

I believe that we can reach sustainable development by integrating sustainability and innovation thinking in business development. We also need to use the possibilities that the digitalization has to offer. In Gaia, we innovate concrete solutions for sustainability and develop new business opportunities for our clients. How do we succeed in this? Working closely with our clients and bringing various experts on the team – sustainability, industry knowledge, service design and communications."

Mari Hjelt

Managing Director, Partner, Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

energy, climate, environment, risk management, sustainable business, bioeconomy

+358 40 8236991

"Mari has twenty years of experience of strategic consulting both for the public and private sector in all of Gaia’s business areas. Throughout her working history, she has been involved in international activities, focusing on policy analysis, business development and strategic consulting. Her areas of expertise include technology and innovation, science, cleantech, energy, safety, natural resources and environment. Mari has previously worked as a researcher and she has profound expertise with a variety of methodologies used in foresight, decision-making, policy analysis and evaluation combined with complex stakeholder consultation."

Mari works at Gaia, is one of the main shareholders of Gaia Group, and not independent from the company.

Ylva Gilbert

Business Director, Partner

Areas of Expertise

innovation, cleantech, foresight, evaluation, facilitation, strategy

+358 400 756 6358

"Mari has twenty years of experience of strategic consulting both for the public and private sector in all of Gaia’s business areas. Throughout her working history, she has been involved in international activities, focusing on policy analysis, business development and strategic consulting. Her areas of expertise include technology and innovation, science, cleantech, energy, safety, natural resources and environment. Mari has previously worked as a researcher and she has profound expertise with a variety of methodologies used in foresight, decision-making, policy analysis and evaluation combined with complex stakeholder consultation."

Mari works at Gaia, is one of the main shareholders of Gaia Group, and not independent from the company.

Mikko Halonen

Leading Consultant, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

climate change, sustainable business development, development cooperation

+358 40 700 2190

“Following sustainability work within non-governmental organisations and a career in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), I joined the international Gaia team in the early 2000 by coincidence. Thereafter nothing has been left to chance. Working on various environmental challenges, management of natural resources and of climate risks, promoting environmental security and pushing development co-operation to strengthen poverty reduction is slowly producing results.

If you want to play the game of sustainability, it is difficult to imagine a better team than the Gaia team. The work environment is inspiring, support from colleagues never-ending and joint learning such fun – and you get paid for it!”

Pekka Pokela

Business Director, Partner, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

business development, strategic sales and internationalization, strategic partnerships, sustainability strategies and business concepts, strategy processes, strategic R&D, innovation process, technology and digitalization

+358 40 544 1582

“I have always worked on inspiring and challenging technology and business development issues – from a research and a business point of view. Gaia provides the platform to energize the development chasing new differentiation strategies, new business segments, new growth and new concepts, all at the same time.

Business development is a combination of elements that are not contradictory: business and sustainability. Sustainable business is a combination of economical, environmental and social aspects.

Gaia’s business ethics and values are very much alike my own ones – as I noticed before I joined Gaia. I am happy to be part of the team that fosters this change and crucial development: building a stronger basis for success of businesses, wellbeing of communities and individuals as well as sustainable market positions. The world, market and people’s attitudes are changing!”

Tuomas Raivio

Business Director, Partner, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

mathematics, risk analysis, problem analysis and solution seeking

+358 40 509 3545

“After having my dissertation on applied mathematics in Helsinki University of Technology, now Aalto University, I spent a couple of years developing multiphysics simulation tools in a small company. Boy that was cool.

However, I wanted to try something completely different and hopped into Gaia in 2002 – and have stayed here ever since doing risk management and evaluation, the lesser-known side of Gaia.

I keep on learning new things. Sometimes it is difficult but it really keeps me going. Also coaching our young talented staff and helping them succeed makes my day.”

Mari Saario

Business Director, Partner, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

environmental, safety and quality management, corporate social responsibility, green economy, public sector and municipalities, strategic planning, innovation

+358 50 421 9999

“Some projects just make sense – with hard work you may find the best win-win solution both for the environment and the enterprise. I am an idealist and an optimist with a keen interest in science and technology.

Instead of becoming a vet, my childhood dream, I ended up as an environmental and risk management professional. My background ranges from managing international projects for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to the ground-floor development of Finnish Cleantech business with small and medium-sized enterprises.

In Gaia, I found a possibility to combine all the fun parts of my past jobs with my other interests from writing, social interaction, networking, and serving as the head of a board for several organisations.

Challenge. Fun. Possibility to have an impact. Possibility to make sense. They all keep me going in my work at Gaia.”

Anna Heino

Business Manager, Partner

Areas of Expertise

corporate responsibility, sustainability metrics, environmental management accounting, carbon footprint, life-cycle assessment, risk assessment

+358 41 545 8859

“What gets measured, gets managed! My key responsibility at Gaia is our corporate responsibility development services including indicator development and reporting – I love working with Excel and other calculation tools. I also love working with my brilliant, funny colleagues at Gaia, as well as our clients who are eager to make their business and their stakeholders’ life safer and cleaner.

Even as a child I was the one pushing my family to recycle waste, as a milk carton recycling bin popped up in my home village, and minimise our environmental impact. This same motivation remains: there are still so many possibilities yet to be explored.”

Laura Ylimäki

Senior Consultant, Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

renewable energy, bioeconomy, energy markets, energy economy, organisational and leadership development

+358 50 460 0351

"Laura has several years’ work experience as senior consultant, with competence areas in energy, climate and sustainable use of natural resources. She enjoys working as a project manager, both with private companies and public clients. As a member of the board, she is especially enthusiastic about work wellbeing, professional development as well as personnel motivation and engagement as a factor of successful business.

Laura has a Master’s degree on energy science, focusing on renewable energy and future energy systems and a minor on work psychology and organizational development."

Laura works at Gaia Consulting Oy, is not a shareholder, and is not intendent from the company.

Jatta Aho

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

chemistry, environmental chemistry, sustainable chemical management, health and safety management, risk management, transport of dangerous goods, carbon footprint and LCA, REACH and other chemical legislation, resource efficiency

+358 50 540 9848

“During my PhD studies at the Helsinki University of Technology, I studied the total synthesis of a toxic macrocycle, which could potentially be used in cancer treatment. Daily work in a laboratory handling variety of chemicals sparked my interest towards risk management and health, safety and environment (HSE) in general.

Chemicals are all around us, and while chemistry makes our lives easier and better, chemicals may also present severe risks to human health and the environment.

One of the most motivating aspects of my work is the possibility to work together with clients in finding new solutions for managing these risks and making our planet safer and cleaner. From my perspective, a rewarding and pleasant work gives you opportunities to exercise creativity and ingenuity. At Gaia, you really get to be creative on a daily basis and have some fun while you are at it.”

Jussi Airaksinen

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Law, Permitting, Environmental Impact Assessments, Environmental Liability

+358 50 542 6540

LinkedInTwitter

"My experience in the field of environmental law has given me versatile understanding of collaborative work in environments with large number of stakeholders and diverse objectives. I have gained a vast understanding of environmental regulation of Finland and European Union in my previous work not only as publishing researcher but also by working as a law-drafting official."

Learning new things, managing to deal with challenging situations and finding new solutions is what keeps me motivated. With the Gaia, I feel happy to be able to create more sustainable business and cooperative society by focusing on themes that I’m captivated about.

Suvi Häkämies

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

Sustainable business, Sustainable innovation development & commercialization, Energy and resource efficiency, Renewable energy, Circular economy, Network management, PP-partnerships, European and other public funding instruments.

+358503311495

LinkedIn

"I have over 10 years’ experience in developing smart and low-carbon cities together with municipalities, companies and R&D organizations. My background is in network organization where I gained versatile know-how in how public and private sector operate and how public-private partnerships are created. I have worked in numerous European development projects and had the privilege to work together with different European organisations resolving common climate issues and building smart cities. Common theme for my work career is sustainable and smart built environment and new business opportunities related to it. I am passionate about seeing how even bold ideas become new operational normal.

I am an innovation enthusiastic always willing to learn new things. In Gaia every day is different and an opportunity to work with things I am passionate about. And the best part is that I am surrounded by people who share the passion the make the world a better place."

Päivi Luoma

Leading Consultant

Areas of Expertise

innovations, bioeconomy, business development, public affairs, forest industry

+358 50 4308866

“Gaia was my first employer after I graduated, I volunteered for an interesting seminar organised by Gaia, and ended up working for Gaia. After working with the forest industry for almost 10 years I returned to Gaia in 2010. Since my early years in Gaia, the company had grown remarkably.

Gaia has taken a significant position as a creator of new ideas and provider of innovative and sustainable solutions in Finland and internationally. Gaia still has a forward-looking attitude and lots of great, competent colleagues.

My strength is future orientation. In Gaia, I look to the future in projects concerning the bioeconomy and innovations. The possibilities and solutions we provide to our customers are from the changes in the world around us. Often we are dealing with areas that are new and unknown. I am as well motivated by the opportunity to work for Finnish society and well-being.”

Julia Illman

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

corporate responsibility, carbon footprint and life cycle analyses, bio-based economy, responsible investment, safety and risk management

+358 44 533 5723

“Already as a student I knew that sustainable business was something I wanted to be involved in. I finally found what I was looking for at Gaia: a small, more personal company, where I could continue to develop my expertise in sustainability and work with brilliant and witty people.

While researching environmentally sound technologies for my thesis, I decided to give up my position as a Manager of share-based incentive schemes at an investment bank. I was fortunate to be able to do an internship at the United Nations in Nairobi focusing on climate change. This paved the way to my entry into sustainability and risk consulting.

One of the most intriguing things about working for Gaia is finding myself in strange and wonderful situations I would most likely not be in otherwise and meeting people I would not encounter in other circumstances. The projects that we get to work on deal with exciting new topics, and sometimes I feel like I have made a small difference somewhere. Having fun with colleagues at work is one of the most powerful motivators, making all the difference even on those days that feel overwhelming.”

Ulla Värre

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Environmental Management & Policy, Sustainability Science, Value Research, Environmental Ecology, Environmental impact assessment

+358 50 472 5474

LinkedIn

"As a kid I kept asking my parents questions about natural phenomena such as thermodynamics and animal behavior. Growing up I grew more and more interested in human behavior and well-being of people around the globe. Then I remember a high school course in risk geography bringing it all together in the most inspiring way: I learned about the climate and biospheric and social systems on earth and started to understand how everything I do affects at least something somewhere. That’s how I became an environmental scientist.

In my work at Gaia I get to use my expertise in both natural and social sciences and solve sustainability problems together with the other enthusiastic experts. Working together in inspiring projects keep me going!"

Heli Sihvonen

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Food chain and food development, food safety and law, supply chain management, biosciences and biomedicine, consumer studies

+358 44 360 6664

LinkedIn

"My passion for uniting people’s welfare and the future welfare of the Earth led me to study biosciences and major in food science. My interest then inspired me to intern at an academic human rights program and finally paved my way to Gaia through work experience in the grocery industry.

Both as a consumer and a professional, I am endlessly curious about ways to make our way of living increasingly responsible and sustainable. Working as a planning and process development specialist in the food industry sparked my interest in utilizing digitalization and big data to deal with future food chain challenges.

The world is full of fascinating things that I would love to explore if only there were more hours in the day. That is why I feel lucky to work at Gaia and to have the opportunity to learn and challenge myself intellectually in projects whose goals are in harmony with my personal values. My work constantly shows my clients and I that everyone wins through sustainable business."

Susanna Sepponen

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

research and innovation policy and funding, Nordic and European cooperation, project management

+358401380067

"Originally educated as an expert in Russian language, I have devoted my working career to international cooperation in the spheres of education, research and innovation. Before joining Gaia, I coordinated a large-scale Nordic initiative on research and innovation within climate, energy and environment, in cooperation with a multitude of Nordic and international R&D organisations.

At Gaia I appreciate the company values, my knowledgeable and inspiring colleagues and working in a learning environment. I enjoy my daily tasks with developing and implementing significant international projects as well as supporting the decision making of our clients with analyses and evaluations. In this way, I have the opportunity to participate in improving the well-being of our societies and our earth."

Lauri Larvus

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

Bioeconomy, circular economy, cleantech, co-creation, communications, digitalization, evaluations, impact assessment, innovation

+358 50 389 2703

“Being a part of the international Gaia family and surrounded by individuals with multidimensional expertise gives me motivation and courage to seek new solutions to increase the common welfare in many fields of society. I am a bit of a perfectionist, always trying to pursue socially, environmentally and economically sustainable solutions whatever I do.”

Environment has always been my passion. Already as a young man, I used to wander in the forest enjoying silence and purity of nature. Every day globally increasing exploitation of natural resources is rather lamentable. Therefore, it is a privilege to work in a company like Gaia combating climate change, contamination and other environmental drawbacks by means of business, research and development. I know that better days are ahead and they do not come overnight, but, like some wise man (or woman) once said, “good things are worth waiting for”.

Working with and learning from senior experts and business leaders as a team is extremely rewarding. I like the idea of Gaia being a vantage point of international sustainability business and innovativeness. Knowing that Gaia’s clients really make the world safer and cleaner place to live gives me confident and, at the same time, peaceful feeling."

Laura Descombes

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

carbon footprint and management, cleantech, corporate responsibility, energy efficiency

+358 50 520 8818

“I am working for Gaia as a consultant mainly in the fields of energy efficiency, climate change and environmental management. My ambition is to use my economical expertise in developing useful solutions for current sustainability problems.

Before I found my way to Gaia, I was consulting small and medium-sized companies to launch an environmental management system. In my studies, I focused on tools for environmentally sustainable service design. While working, studying and travelling abroad, I have experienced the limited resources of our globe, learned to know various cultures and gained some precious international working experience.

At Gaia, I have been able to follow my passion to enhance corporate responsibility, improve energy efficiency as well as solve sustainability issues in developing countries. Every day is different and full of new challenges, as well as opportunities. In my free time, my dearest hobby is snowboarding on untouched powder covered mountains, which strives me to keep our winters cool.”

Jonas Alam

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

financial and economic analysis, financial modeling, development of business scenarios, design of sustainable business strategies, strategic analysis and planning, business process development, benchmarking

+358 50 326 8227

"I am an analytical person who has been keen to understand how the world works since my childhood. When I went to high school, I was surprised to discover how we treat the environment and human rights. Since then, I have shared the universal humane desire to make the world a better place for us and our children. I believe that business decision making is an important part of the solution. Thus, I’ve worked as a management consultant for a couple of years, and have got a broad view about business management across industries. I feel really good about using those skills at Gaia for contributing to the common welfare.

Sharing Gaia’s values has a profound meaning for me. As I am keen to understand how people and societies work, it is really refreshing to work with such multi-dimensional experts in an international setup. Gaia’s fact based approach also makes me excited as I love numerical modeling and analysis."

Markus Klimscheffskij

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Energy, Electricity market, Climate, Policy, Sustainable business, Financial and Economic modelling, Supply-Chains and logistics, Carbon accounting

+358 44 587 7788

LinkedIn

"Before coming to Gaia, I had been working with renewable energy and electricity markets for 6 years. The environment is where I want to put my work effort in and being at Gaia lets me do that big time. My study background is in industrial engineering, energy and economics, which gives me tools to see the financial realities while using analytical and computational tools in solving sustainability issues.

We owe everything to the environment. It’s a pity that we don’t often realize that our biggest debt comes from the nature and not from creditors. I believe in sustainable business in every aspect and that the financial, social and environmental sides are often mutually enforcing in the long run. Working with clients, solving problems and seeing the big picture is what I most enjoy!"

Tea Miller

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

resource efficiency, bioeconomy, water footprint and LCA, biorefineries

+358 50 4630373

“I strive for a better future and grasp every opportunity for improvement whether they appear at work or elsewhere in life. At Gaia, I develop sustainable business practices which create economic, environmental and social value. Succeeding in these high-impact projects requires encouraging atmosphere and a great team – and I have them both.

Putting it simply, I am interested in the world. I aim to understand how this planet works and how human activities contribute to its functioning. Global population growth and increasing demand for natural resources force to re-think the relationship between resources, growth and responsibility. My ambition is to tackle these challenges and help Gaia’s clients to adapt to the resource efficiency related changes in business.

Prior to joining Gaia’s team, I worked awhile in South America with water and environmental management. I have been surprised about the similarities of resource efficiency projects I have been involved in the both continents. I consider this inspiring – willingness to make the world safer and cleaner is global."

Piia Pessala

Leading Consultant, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

ecotoxicology, microbiology, biochemistry, evaluation, HSEQ, risk analysis and management

+358 400 982 042

“I have always wanted to do something concrete to help the environment cope with us humans. As a researcher, I found my way into the field of ecotoxicology, and my PhD focused on finding methods to identify and characterise toxicity causing components in treated waste waters that are directed into the environment.

Earlier on, my master’s thesis dealt with biological removal of wood extractives with the aim of reducing the amount of chemicals used in pulping and the amount of toxic extractives in the effluents.

As a Senior Consultant at Gaia, working especially with the risk management and chemical issues, I have the possibility to continue developing concrete means for environmental protection. The measures vary, depending on the client’s needs, for example, from developing methods for the oil & gas industry to help them choose more benign process chemicals, to supporting the evaluation and update of the Finnish National Programme of Dangerous Chemicals.”

Tommi Lampikoski

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

Business models, Business innovation, Sustainable innovation development & commercialization, Sustainable business, Environmental leadership, Cleantech innovations, Open innovation, Innovation leadership

+358 40 353 8311

"Tommi works as a leading consultant and specializes in sustainable business models, innovations and sustainable business. He has consulted both private and public organizations, has created technology and business strategies, created roadmaps towards carbon neutrality, as well as coached dozens of teams to develop breakthrough innovations. Tommi has also helped start-ups to create added value by developing the sustainability aspects of their business. Tommi has over 20 years of experience in developing new business & innovations, and has succeeded in commercializing dozens of innovations in Finland, Germany, Sweden and the USA. Before coming to Gaia, he worked as an entrepreneur, a management consultant and in ICT business. He graduated from Aalto University School of Business, majoring in marketing. In his Doctoral Dissertation ’Green Innovation Games’ he created value creation models for environmental innovation at UC Berkeley University in between 2008-2013. Tommi has written a book of sustainable business innovators called ”Vihreä Aalto” (”The Green Wave”) as well as the best seller book ”Kehitä Ideasi Innovaatioksi” (”Develop Your Idea to an Innovation”)."

Olli Jalonen

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Supply chain management and analytics, Logistics strategy and networks, Business process design, Product life cycle management, Energy efficiency and markets, Risk assessment, Emission analyses

+358 45 267 9313

As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by the natural world around us. Perhaps as a consequence, my background combines studies in both engineering and environmental sciences, and thus on a personal level an engineer’s interest in getting systems to work together as a coherent whole with a biologist’s fascination ranging from habitats to individual organisms.

Prior I’ve worked in research and management consulting, mostly with topics in supply chain management, procurement, energy efficiency and product life cycle management. Working at Gaia enables focusing even more intensely on how various economic actors can work more efficiently to reduce the negative impacts, towards a cleaner world and healthier ecosystems. Every day brings possibilities to combine knowledge from different scientific fields and develop myself as a versatile expert.

Sami Lankiniemi

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Sustainability Communications, Stakeholder Analysis and Management, Stakeholder Communication, Co-creation, Collaborative policy-making processes, Digital Marketing, Green building practices and sustainability development, PropTech

+358 40 7662263

LinkedIn

A more sustainable, cleaner and all-around better world. My whole career has been built around this goal and it motivates me every single day. Whether thinking about the built environment, consumer goods and services or brands and communications, responsibility brings added value that needs to be utilized thoroughly, at all organizational levels and along the supply and value chains.

Working with Gaia inspires constantly, as I'm surrounded by top sustainability experts from various fields. This motivated team provides me with the best possible background for my own strengths, as all business, product and service development, communications as well as marketing must be based on a sustainable foundation. Only this allows us to solve the most important challenges in the world.

Annu Markkula

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Strategic Marketing, Market Studies, Customer Insight, Business Development, Forestry, Fashion & Clothing, Consumer Goods and Services

+358 50 476 7456

Being passionate about continuously improving performance, I believe Gaia is the place to be for a sustainability and strategic marketing professional like myself. Here, together with our clients, we can create sustainable value by developing new solutions in a resource-constrained world.

Tuukka Rautiainen

Business Manager

Areas of Expertise

energy markets, utility ICT systems, business development, project management, public RDI funding, facilitation

+358 50 529 4184

LinkedIn

"The ongoing transition of the energy markets is a remarkable opportunity to challenge old assumptions by embracing technology and innovation. At Gaia, I feel that I can be at the forefront of this change by helping our customers to achieve a brighter, cleaner and safer future.

For me every change is a chance to improve. Maybe that’s why all my previous positions have been filled with development and innovation activities. I love to create new concepts, experiment new things and go the extra mile to achieve something novel.

I have a strong background with utilities and I’ve seen the companies’ struggle and pressure to transform their business logics and mindsets. With a proactive attitude my goal is to encourage and guide the industry into a more sustainable and competitive future."

Anna Kortesoja

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

food chemistry, food chain and food development process, innovation, corporate social responsibility and communication, public procurement

+358 50 504 2440

"As a young bioscience student I chose food chemistry as my major because I believed it could lead to finding a solution to the imbalance of food in the world – how ones have too much while others go hungry. Food seems a very simple thing yet it is about the most complex matrix for different chemical substances that you can find. That is why food remains a very intriguing subject for me. Food production also offers a broad view into the situation of the world and responsible practices applied in it.

Before I found my way to Gaia I managed development projects for food industry. The Centre of Expertise Programme (OSKE) was my school in innovation and management of complex multi-stakeholder projects that connected SME’s, large companies, universities, developers, municipalities, and authorities. The most rewarding situation I can think of is to see the group achieve results that have been labelled “impossible” in the beginning of the project. Even though the actual subject may have been communications or public procurement it has been my ambition to include a strong sustainable view in the projects that I plan and manage.

At Gaia I work in the fields of responsibility, environmental management and chemical risks. By doing this I hope I can leave the world a little better than I found it."

Håkan Jonsson

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Business development, International development, Real estate, Construction and the urban environment, Public-private partnerships, Aquatic environments and soil science, Visualization

+358 50 413 2271

"The external environment has always intrigued me, especially water and aquatic environments. This basic substance has a cunning quality of always funding its way – there are definitely some learning points here. I started my working life on a very molecular level doing basic research at a soil genesis laboratory at my alma mater. Moving on, I have since throughout my career been working with business development and consulting, spanning construction, facilities/property management and FMCG, including M&A-projects. Environmental matters in all of these areas have remained a red throughout.

I am very much an idea and concept person. But what I realize and appreciate is that, in the end, it is all about people and the way we relate and perceive. People – not the ideas or engineering solutions – end up making the difference.

At Gaia, I am intrigued and motivated to find new ways of doing things, both on the large and small scale. It is a pleasure to be part of a team who wants to leave this world a little better than it was before."

Minna Kuusisto

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Economics and financial markets, Development finance, Blended finance, Climate finance, Responsible investments, Impact investing, Green bonds, Risk management, Monetary policy and central banks, Systemic risks

+358 44 260 9979

LinkedInTwitter

I think the year was 2001. The school auditorium was full, and the UN millennium development goals were presented to us. Each of us received a white wristband saying “no poverty”. The band was on my wrist for maybe a year or so, but the thought was there to stay.

I have a passion for sustainable development. The millennium development goals have been replaced by the sustainable development goals which are even more ambitious. Because of my background in the financial sector, I am especially interested in how to finance the SDGs. It is a major challenge, but at the same time, it is also a great opportunity!

Working at Gaia is a constant process of learning, innovating and creating. Although building a better world is serious business, the work does not have to be. At Gaia, challenges are met with positive spirit.

Katri Leino

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

life cycle assessment, carbon footprint, climate change impact assessment of land use plans, sustainable urban planning, waste management and recycling

+35850 3270 386

LinkedIn

"I am interested in environmental effects of our actions and how to reduce them. As a consumer I would like to be more and more conscious. My professional interests are especially in LCA and carbon footprint calculations, because I like that with them we can calculate the effects we have on the environment and climate. Before joining Gaia I have worked with climate change impact evaluations for land use planning, carbon footprint calculations for buildings and life cycle analysis of waste management and recycling. I have also worked with environmental issues of industrial sector and energy production.

The work atmosphere in Gaia is extremely positive and encouraging, maybe it’s because we all feel that our work has a meaning. It is really motivating to be able to work with interesting projects and helping our clients make the world more sustainable. I am really happy to be working here in Gaia where I have the change to constantly grow my expertise with my inspiring and talented colleagues."

Antti Pitkämäki

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

environmental management, waste management, environmental biology (soil ecology & biogeochemistry), environmental data analysis

+358 44 973 8086

"When I was a kid, I was very much interested in nature and saving the planet. I have also been very interested in science from very early on, so when the time came to decide what to study, Environmental Sciences was a natural choice for me. My studies took me to quite an adventure - all the way to a Russian tundra near the Urals, where I studied greenhouse gas fluxes for my Master's thesis.

The expertise I gained from Environmental Sciences has been very useful later in my life, for example when I worked as an environmental specialist for a large multinational company. I have managed environmental programs, developed recycling and waste management and carried out environmental training. I have seen how sustainable working methods result in cost savings through energy and material savings, and how properly arranged waste recycling greatly reduces waste management costs.

Now as a consultant in Gaia, I am working with projects related to bioeconomy, resource efficiency and environmental responsibility - so this is truly a dream job for me. I am enthusiastic about finding new ways to increase environmental performance and seeing the resulting benefits to a business, its stakeholders, and the environment.

Here at Gaia I still remember one thing that was important to me when I was a kid and when I was a young guy in a tundra bitten by millions of mosquitos - it's all about saving the planet."

Solveig Roschier

Leading Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Sustainable business and business development, Innovation funding and policy, Foresight and strategy development, Research commercialization, startups, entrepreneurship, Human perspective in digital solutions, Industrial R&D, (Renewable) Energy technologies and the environment

+358 40 514 7875

"Solveig has extensive knowledge on innovation strategies and processes, including innovation funding, commercialization of research, industrial research and in general on the public-private interface. In her previous positions, Solveig has lead major research and development projects and funding programs in various technology development areas. She in an expert in creating business from research and more generally in the area of research impact.

Solveig has always worked in an international context. Besides assignments in various international committees and organizations, she has been doing research in Italy for the European Commission, and worked with science, technology and innovation foresight and strategy development in the USA at the Embassy of Finland in Washington DC.

Solveig has a doctorate in Physics Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology, present Aalto University, and made her dissertation on solar photovoltaic technologies. She is an expert on renewable energies and materials technologies."

Venla Kontiokari

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Environmental chemistry, Ecotoxicology, Environmental impact of chemicals, Risk assessment & management

+358407475881

"As a child I learned that nature is amazing, complex and diverse. Later on, I became interested in chemistry. Thus, I found myself studying environmental changes caused by humans – from the minor scale of soil pollution caused by a wood impregnation facility to the global scale of climate change. I did my Master’s Thesis in the field of ecotoxicology, which then led me to work with environmental risk assessment concerning plant protection products in Finnish governmental administration.

At Gaia I can combine my expertise in environmental risks and chemistry with the company’s aim to generate sustainable choices in business. Gaia has an innovative working atmosphere, which motivates to look for the best solutions to achieve sustainable development. At Gaia I can make a difference, aiming for a cleaner world and a safer society. I am glad to be able to work for making the environmental footprint of humanity gradually smaller, and its handprint gradually bigger."

Elina Heikinheimo

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

Nordic HSE Compliance, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Auditing, Environmental Due Diligence, Process Industry, Water Engineering

+358 50 384 7328

LinkedIn

"For twenty years, I was an active scout and later a leader of our local group. At scouts, I learned the power of teamwork and the importance of conserving our environment. When camping with children in heavy rain, you’ve got to concentrate in solutions and get everybody involved to keep the spirit high. The same mentality now applies in my everyday work at Gaia – I believe in team work and a solution-oriented mindset. Outside work, I still like to charge my batteries by going camping or hiking in the nature.

My work feels meaningful and that motivates me to do my best every day. All days are different, and I really enjoy the possibility to constantly learn new things. My particular interest is process industry. I want to help industrial clients minimize their environmental and social impacts, reduce their health and safety risks and make profit by efficient use of resources."

Marika Bröckl

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

energy markets, renewable energy and efficiency, innovation, evaluation, business development, e-services, retail market, sustainability, business concepts

+358 40 5224644

“My experience includes working with market related research, business development, and management, especially within the energy sector. Working with diverse questions, from trading and risk management to partnership development, branding, and sales and product development is extremely interesting. Having had the possibility to participate in starting up a new business has also given me insight to what is required for innovation and entrepreneurship.

At Gaia, I get to work with many interesting issues and great clients. I can contribute to a more sustainable future through the work we do with our clients. Our collaboration with our customers often deals with sustainability issues or using resources more efficiently, often in indirect ways. Gaia’s values are very much like my own, which means that the work gives me positive energy, which I feel is important and makes working feel especially worthwhile.”

Anu Vaahtera

Leading Consultant, Management Team

Areas of Expertise

environmental, safety and risk management, corporate social responsibility, foresight, facilitation

+358 50 563 0326

“Since I was a child, I have cherished the idea of saving the world in one-way or another: I have either been trying to save the whales or nature or to improve the lives of the poorest people. As a consequence of my endless interests I have ended up studying both social sciences and environmental management, hoping to be able to impact on things that are important to me. In Gaia I am especially fond of the ethical and ecological way of working as well as the flexibility and agility of a smaller company.

I joined Gaia in 2006 after a long period abroad. I had been studying environmental management in Amsterdam and worked amongst other things in the sustainability unit of a multi-national company, where I was responsible for the health and safety. I also participated in “Bottom of Pyramid” projects where the intention was to develop sustainable and user-oriented innovations for developing countries.

At Gaia I mainly work on projects dealing with societal issues. These projects often include foresight and scenario work. Cooperating with authorities and companies is highly interesting and challenging to me and I enjoy finding the best solutions that satisfy all parties. I also work with projects dealing with chemical and environmental risks of industry and transport as well as with questions of sustainable development.

The best things about Gaia are enthusiastic colleagues and good working spirit. We can be proud of the quality we deliver.”

Anna Laine

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

climate policy, green finance and climate finance, renewable energy, carbon markets, energy policy, environmental and resource economics, sustainable development and sustainable business, development cooperation

+358505131260

LinkedInTwitter

"As an environmental economist I am interested in market-based solutions to environmental issues, especially climate change. Clever environmental and energy policies are needed to incentivize creating a low-carbon and more environmentally friendly planet. I have worked on climate policy and green finance issues for a decade in both the public and private sector, doing a wide range of work from hands-on work on renewable energy projects to high-level policy assignments. This journey has brought me to Gaia, which is a prominent player in the environmental field.

I enjoy finding and analyzing new and effective technical solutions, policies and financial instruments for creating a cleaner and safer world. Here at Gaia I can expand my expertise on these issues, and learn from my enthusiastic colleagues. I am passionate about climate change issues in developing countries, Nordic pioneering work on climate and environment, climate policy and sustainable business and finance solutions. Here at Gaia I can work on all these fields and more, so I am happy to be a part of this multi-disciplinary team of experts."

Markku Hagström

Senior Consultant

Areas of Expertise

renewable energy, feasibility studies, modeling and simulation, calculation tool and algorithm development, energy storage

+358 40 527 9768

“Gaia was a very small and a very dynamic group of people aiming at concrete sustainable results when I joined. After many years in academia, Gaia offered just the kind of pragmatic grip I needed.

For a researcher of energy physics and solar energy technology, the business world offered many new and unfamiliar challenges. Particularly the opportunity to develop new kinds of calculation tools and optimization algorithms for various energy systems hooked me into Gaia.

To me, it is crucial to spread the use of renewable energy, but not at any cost. The solutions that we at Gaia are seeking for must be ecologically, economically and socially acceptable. Open-minded and independent thinking for the good of the client and the world are the driving forces to me. With a physicist background, I enjoy my work most when I have a demanding physical or mathematical problem to solve.”

Yanxiao Ren

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

distributed renewable energy solutions, Finn-Sino business development

+86 186 1131 1849, +358 50 540 3183

“Devoted to contribute to the Finn-Sino co-operation, I joined the Gaia team in 2008 as a Consultant. I have been dedicated to work in the field of business development between Finland and China, specialising in distributed renewable energy solutions and sustainable development. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects, green technology transfer, and business resource integration are the major content of my work in Beijing.

Gaia’s mission to connect Finland and China will provide benefits to both nations. Our sustainable solutions have brought small but constant advantages for more than 210,000 rural people in China. As an important step to save the world, we started from China.”

Juan Gollan

Consultant

Areas of Expertise

renewable and energy efficiency, waste management, carbon footprint assessment and mitigation strategies

+54 911 155 317 2517

“While working with the United Nations Development Programme in Maldives in 2007, I had the pleasure of implementing a post-Tsunami soil pollution cleanup and capacity building project together with Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia. This opportunity got me close to Gaia and, after completing a post-graduate degree in Australia, I started working at Gaia in 2009.

In the past 10 years I have been living in five different countries, both developed and developing, and studying and working on technical aspects related to the environment – particularly sustainable energy and waste management. After working for international organisations, I had the opportunity to move to the private sector in the hands of Gaia where I work as a sustainable energy and carbon management expert providing technical support to climate change and energy efficiency projects, as well as business development in Latin America and internationally.

My commitment to building a more sustainable world goes beyond my professional activity. It is a way of living, adopting some Vedic practices into my daily life, I dedicate part of my free time to share these sorts of practices and knowledge as an Art of Living Foundation volunteer. I very much enjoy hiking in nature, sailing and travelling around the world.

Working with a motivated team like Gaia is definitely something that keeps me going. Furthermore, the challenging nature of assignments at Gaia makes my daily work a dynamic experience.”

Erkki Izarra

Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

"Erkki has made an exceptional international career in marketing, advertising and product development. He brings in 18 years of experience that he has gained as Copywriter, Creative Director, entrepreneur and Director of Product Marketing of a global tech giant. He has worded in top international advertising agencies in Finland, USA and The Netherlands. In 2008 he co-founded 358, a multi-disciplinary creative agency, that reached #14 in a global ranking. Erkki’s work has been recognized in the most important international creative forums and he is a frequent lecturer in universities and seminars.

Erkki brings in in-depth understanding of marketing and advertising, and constantly helps Gaia to take advantage of creativeness, better utilize communication as means to improve impact and customer experience."

Erkki does not work at Gaia, is not a shareholder at Gaia, and is independent from the company.

Pekka Samuelsson

Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

"Pekka is Investment Director at Taaleri Investments Plc. His career in finance spans 25 years. He has held various positions in brokerage, corporate finance and fund management companies. Currently, he mainly works with investments of Taaleri Group.

Pekka brings in significant and very relevant understanding of finance and private equity sectors. He has an interest in impact investing and is a member of the Finnish national impact investing steering group."

Pekka does not work at Gaia, is not a shareholder at Gaia, and is independent from the company.

Katarina Juntunen

Member of the Board

Areas of Expertise

LinkedInTwitter

"Katriina is the CEO of Kasvuryhmä (Growth Collective Finland). Previously Katriina worked as a change consultant for 10 years. Katriina was responsible for the change methods, change management platform and its internationalization at the management team of Trainers’ House Plc. Katriina brings in strong experience of strategic business development, change management and sales. Katriina is interested in sustainable growth and Gaia’s opportunities to help companies make the world cleaner and safer."

Katriina does not work at Gaia, is not a shareholder at Gaia, and is independent from the company.

Alain Schilli

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

"Alain Schilli is an expert in energy, climate change and environmental issues, combining a scientific and economic approach to business development, innovation and responsibility."

Antti Isokangas

Communications advisor

Areas of Expertise

strategic communications, thought leadership, crisis communications, corporate responsibility communications, content in different channels

LinkedIn

"Antti Isokangas is an experienced communications professional, consultant, and writer. His particular areas of expertise include strategic communications, crisis management, and thought leadership."

Henrik Sjöblom

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

Henrik is an expert in strategic risk management, risk assessment, sustainable business, integrated reporting and corporate governance. He has hand on line management experience in risk management and he has acted as Chief Risk Officer for one of Finland’s leading financial institutions for over a decade. Before joining the financial industry was responsible for sustainability consulting and risk management business at the major consultancy companies for plus 10 years. He has helped several major organizations and public companies in development of corporate responsibility and reporting frameworks, risk management strategies, and risk issues in merger and acquisitions. He has also a plus 10 years’ experience in cleantech and energy efficiency solutions.

Iivo Vehviläinen

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

energy, climate, strategy, policy, sustainable business, financial and economic modelling

+358 50 345 3705

"Advising the energy and climate solutions consultancy at Gaia feels just right for me. We have the honour of working with some of the world’s leading organizations, helping them to become more sustainable in their operations.

Sometimes a project can become so complex and intense that it is hard to meet our high quality standards. But more often than not, it is great to see the end result – thAdvisingat our work has changed the world, even a little bit.

I used to work for a major Finnish utility, Fortum, where I gained valuable understanding of the real world sustainability challenges. For my analytical side, I have a PhD in in applied financial mathematics from Aalto University.

Innovative solutions for sustainability are what get me going each day. I get my kicks from creating customer impact and solving our clients’ problems."

Mika Turpeinen

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

"Mika has wide range of expertise from energy and environmental sectors as well from climate change adaptation and mitigation. He has been living in developing countries, mostly in Ethiopia, nearly 10 years."

Mikko Niini

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

"Mikko is an expert in international shipbuilding and shipping related issues as well as in arctic strategies and technologies. He has hand on line management experience in heavy industrial production, engineering and design, naval architecture and R&D management. Mikko Niini has acted as CEO in Aker Arctic Technology Inc. for ten years. Before joining this position he was responsible for international sales and line management at major international companies for 20 years. He has on-hand expertise and work experience on board of directors level from various shipping companies. He has also extensive experience in operations in Russia and Russian clients and he understands Russian language."

Patrick Halford

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

LinkedIn

"Patrick is a global conference moderator and international business advisor on
exponential technologies such as robotics, drone and AR/VR.
He is experienced in building Nordic/European technology divisions and alliances and aquisition integration and he is a Faculty member of Singularity University for Mobility & Drones, and guest lecturer at multiple Nordic business schools on Executive MBA courses.

In addition to this he is a board member on healthcare and drone technology startups and board of advisors for Danish & Finnish industrial drone programmes and a mentor at startup accelerators in Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Basque Region."

Paula Tommila

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

bio-economy, climate change, energy solutions in developing countries, business development in developing markets, development cooperation, project management

+358 40 538 4813

“The world around us has always been a great interest to me, and I have tried my best to see and understand the story behind everyday matters. First, I learnt to appreciate the richness of different people, places and their activities by travelling all over the world. Then it was the places I visited that kept me interested in the reasons why things are the way they are. Today, I try my best to understand the global picture: why things are actually quite similar in the furthest and closest places, and how we could use the lessons learned around the world to help us make our planet a better place for all, today and tomorrow.

New challenges and possibilities to learn new things keep me going. Bio-based economy is a framework where opportunities and solutions can be re-thought from a sustainable perspective. I enjoy in the opportunity to be involved in the renewing of the current way of thinking in economic, environmental and social aspects of life. I enjoy the people I have chance to work with, the occasional bad joke and making a fool of yourself. They keep me motivated day after day.”

Scott Harder

Senior Advisor

Areas of Expertise

"Scott Harder is an expert in water resources and infrastructure, financial and economic analysis, and risk assessment. A professional engineer, financial analyst, and former investment banker, he routinely advises cities, technology companies, and utilities on matters related to project finance, business planning, financial management, sustainable development, and risk."

Hannele Kiuru

Office Manager

Areas of Expertise

general administration, financial control, HR service

+358 9 6866 6214

“Working in an international company with specialty chemicals business for over twenty years gave me versatile experience of demanding customer service projects and setting up cooperation with multinational operators. With Gaia I have had the chance to participate in the administration of a whole range of processes with a growing number of personnel and global operations.

My role with Gaia is to take care of office management and financial control. I also assist in tasks related to general administration and human resources. To me the positive thrill in every day work arises from an extensive variety of the local and global assignments we have and of our exquisite customers worldwide. My motivation is also inspired by our professionals – real dynamos from day to day, I need to say.”

Heidi Valtari

Analyst

Areas of Expertise

project administration, international projects, financial reporting, organizing events and meetings, communications

+358 50 433 5328

Business and languages – two of my interests that I have studied and, especially, I want to combine at my daily work! Having lived and worked abroad, I have developed the skills needed for working with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I am excited to be part of Gaia’s international projects and contribute my administrative skills for them.

My previous working experience includes various assistant’s positions, in customer service and in recruiting both at private and public sectors. At my work in Geneva, I also had a unique opportunity to see the work of United Nations and other international organisations at daily basis.

I am people-oriented, positive and organized person who enjoys working in busy and constantly changing work environments. For me it is also important to work in a company, to which values I feel committed. Gaia’s work towards better and cleaner future is admirable, and it motivates me to reach for better results.

Juuli Laine

Administrative Coordinator

Areas of Expertise

project work, HR duties, holistic wellbeing, job introduction, communication, organizing events

+358503211456

LinkedIn

"Since I was a child I knew I wanted to work in an international environment and speak different languages. Learning languages and new cultures have opened me many doors, including living in New Zealand and working in Sweden. Highlights of my career so far have been working in the Embassy of Finland and at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. They taught me a great deal about the public sector. I am passionate about holistic wellbeing and self-development. My personal values and desire to be part of an organization that will make the world a cleaner and safer place led me to Gaia.

Motivated colleagues and passion to thrive forward creates an inspiring atmosphere. Constant development of my expertise and chance to learn something new every day is very motivating. In addition, internationality, multicultural environment and genuine caring for others feels very cozy to me and keeps me going every single day."