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Joanna Yarrow

Joanna is one of Britain’s leading experts in green living, and specialises in helping people understand environmental principles and put them into practice. Having read Human Sciences at Oxford University Joanna began working with Friends of the Earth Europe on international environmental campaigns before completing a Master’s degree in Leadership for Sustainable Development with Forum for the Future.

As a freelance sustainability consultant specialising in communications, Joanna worked for a host of private and public sector clients including BT, Tesco, the Post Office and the Earth Centre, running a range of strategic and applied sustainability projects.

In 2002 Joanna became a Founding Director of sustainability consultancy Beyond Green, which runs practical sustainability projects - from designing state of the art sustainable neighbourhoods and running community consultations for major infrastructure projects including the Olympic Games to developing sustainability strategies for companies and other organisations. In 2015, Joanna stepped down from Beyond Green.

Author of 1001 Ways You Can Save the Planet and How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint, Joanna has fronted a number of mainstream behaviour change campaigns, including Ariel’s Turn to 30, Virgin’s Plane Relief initiative and the national Future Friendly Awards.

“Growing up in a Sussex wood, I experienced nature first-hand from a young age, so looking after it seemed a pretty obvious priority to me,” explained Joanna. “But not everyone has that hands-on contact, so in my work I’ve tried to find ways to make environmental issues relevant and interesting to broad audiences, and sustainable living attractive and accessible.”

Joanna presented BBC3’s  Outrageous Wasters, and was GMTV’s ecological expert, with appearances on a range of news and current affairs programmes including This Morning, Tonight with Trevor McDonald and Five News.

A member of the government’s Eco Town Challenge Panel, Joanna was one of five women to be shortlisted for Triodos Bank’s Women in Ethical Business Award 2007.

From March 2013 to 2017, Joanna became Head of Sustainability at IKEA UK & IE. The same year Joanna moved to Sweden to become Head of Sustainability and Healthy Living at Ingka Group (IKEA). 

Photo of Joanna Yarrow

Joanna Yarrow was bestowed the award in 2008

It’s not always easy explaining my work to people. Until recently, mentioning the environment or sustainability tended to elicit a groan or a confused look at best. So I’m delighted that awareness about environmental issues is growing, and am very flattered that my work in making sustainable living attractive and accessible has been recognised by the University through this award.

Joanna Yarrow