Environmental and Social Impact Professional Visit, Lara Birkes

October 1, 2019


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MISSOULA - Join Lara Birkes, Co-Founder of Eqogo and U.S. Senior Advisor at Brodie, as she shares thoughts on the intersection of business and sustainability, and what the government and businesses are doing to protect the environment. Birkes, a 2001 University of Montana College of Business graduate, will be visiting the UM campus from Wednesday, Oct. 2 - Thursday, Oct. 3. All events are free and open to the public.

About the Speaker:

Lara Birkes is sustainability strategist & policy professional and consultant with over fifteen years experience in the field. She currently serves as Co-Founder of California benefit corporation tech start-up Eqogo, working to develop a robust transparency tool that assigns products a simple score based on their environmental and social impact. She is also the U.S. Senior Advisor at Brodie, a sustainability strategy and communications programming consulting company. 

Prior to these positions, Lara led the Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) global sustainability team, working to capture the power of technology to solve some of the world’s toughest social and environmental challenges. As Chief Sustainability Officer & VP Lara guided the development and management of strategic Living Progress programs, oversaw the operation of the HPE Foundation, and collaborated with senior leaders across the organization to ensure the full integration of corporate responsibility into the company’s business strategy.

Lara went to HPE after working at the Virgin Unite Foundation in London as Acting Director of Strategic Partnerships & Initiatives. Previously she was based in Geneva and led the Global Policy Affairs team for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), driving engagement with international organizations, governments and multilateral institutions. Lara also served as the Head of Strategic Initiatives with the World Economic Forum, managing the Organization’s G20 initiative, their community of U.S. Government officials and the Working Group on Trade and Climate Change.

Bringing a diverse background of public and private sector policy experience, Lara was a fellow in the development division of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Center for Trade & Sustainable Development (ICTSD), served as a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, worked as an International Economic Specialist with a Washington D.C. law firm, and held positions on Capitol Hill with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and in the office of Senator Tom Daschle.

Lara holds a B.S. degree in International Business & Management from the University of Montana, a M.A. degree in International Trade Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California and is a World Economic Forum Global Leadership Fellow.

Lara’s passion for sustainability is driven by her love of nature. As an outdoor enthusiast, avid skier and mountaineer, away from work you can usually find Lara in the mountains with her Golden Retriever. She calls Paradise Valley, Montana home.

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, Oct. 2 from 6-7 p.m. | Marketing & Sustainability: Making an Impact | Gallagher Business Building L14

Thursday, Oct. 3 from 9-10 a.m. | Open Question & Answer | Davidson Honors College Lounge

Thursday, Oct. 3 from 11 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. | Balancing Profit and Purpose | Gallagher Business Building L14

Thursday, Oct. 3 from 2-3:20 p.m. | Sustainability as a Driver of Innovation | Gallagher Business Building L11


The University of Montana is the flagship university of the state. The College of Business at UM is nationally renowned and has been named the top business school in the Big Sky Conference by U.S. News and World Report for four consecutive years.