Sustainable voices

Hanne-Lene Dahlgren

Hanne-Lene Dahlegren

Who, What, Where?

Hanne-Lene Dahlgren, except running after my two kids, I work as a vegetarian enthusiast, TV-host, writer and public speaker. Located in Lier.

What was your a-ha moment that made you become engaged in sustainability?

Since I work with food, it must have been the first time I got served a perfect vegan lunch by a friend of mine, and I understood that I could eat great food while still doing the right thing for our climate and environment.

What is your single best tip for someone who wants to do more for the environment on a personal level?

As my husband says: Reducing your meat intake is the easiest thing you will ever do for the climate, as it has no downsides. It will taste equally good if you learn how to combine flavors, you will probably save money, your health should benefit from more vegetables, so there are just positives all the way.

What do you think will be the legacy of your generation?

I think that this generation will be remembered as the most "adult-young-generation" ever known. Today the grown-ups have focused too long on gathering more of everything, and the kids are saying it has gone too far. By wanting everything, we might be losing it all.

What is the most critical technological breakthrough that needs to happen for the world to reach the 1,5 degree goal?

If we could solve carbon capture at scale, then that would solve a lot, but that will probably not happen by the time to reach the 1,5 degree goal. That is why we need to find the carbon breaks now, so that we can buy time while we wait for carbon capture solutions.

What will this breakthrough demand from us as a society?

We need to invest heavily in innovative tech to make this happen, and as a society, we will need to start living of way fewer resources to reduce our emissions.

What is your company’s most impactful contribution to fight climate change?

As a previous analyst for Google, I used to help companies to gain market in the consumer goods industry. I used that knowledge to develop a vegetarian cookbook for non-vegetarians in Norway by gathering data on Norwegians food habits and testing all the recipes on meat-loving families. The book has changed so many families weekly menus, and I am so proud of all the emissions that have been saved by this.

In your industry, what do you think will be the most groundbreaking change over the next 10 years?

Plant-based proteins who resemble the texture of the meat will definitely break even more grounds in the next decade.

Which brand (in general) do you think is at the forefront when it comes to sustainability?

I am very impressed by Fjong and Too good to go, which has both built great services with sustainability as the basis of their business.

What makes you climate positive about the future?

As humans, I think we are highly adaptable under the right circumstances, and the right circumstances are just around the corner. We will poll together when we have no choice, and luckily we all like to be "normal" and the new normal will be sustainable.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

You don´t have to be perfect to be more sustainable, but you need to be mindful of what you do that has a large effect on your impact, and adjust accordingly. Focus on the big things, like what’s in your shopping bag, not what your shopping bag is made of, and the number of garments you purchase, not if they are all made of organic cotton. And: Invite people over for a plant-based meal :)

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