Team

Our Management

We are an international and interdisciplinary team with diverse professional and scientific backgrounds.

Prof. Volkmar Liebig was full professor at the Ulm University of Applied Sciences with focus on Business Administration for Engineers and Entrepreneurship from 1979 to 2000 and 2005 to 2012. For eight years he led the Transfer Centres for Technical Advice and for Microelectronics Ulm of the Steinbeis Foundation for Economic Support, Stuttgart. During this period Professor Liebig developed simulation software and business games for team communication and decisions, a self-testing software for entrepreneurs, a secure communication concept at workplaces in a high-risk environments and a system for environmental report assessments. He was a member of the steering committee of the study commission for didactics at universities of applied sciences in Baden-Württemberg. From 2000 to 2005 he was granted a sabbatical to act as Managing Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. After retirement as professor he became a board member of avesco Financial Services AG. After the development of the E²SE© method to measure the holistic sustainability he became Managing Partner and Chief Scientific Officer of Sustainability Intelligence in 2013.

Professor Liebig was chairman of the research advisory board of the Institute for Middle-class Research (Institut für Mittelstandsforschung) (IfM) in Bonn, is a member of the selection committee "Challenge Entrepreneurship" of the Foundation of the German Economy (Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft) (sdw), Berlin, and a member of the selection committee of the business plan competitions "StartUp" and Nordbayern.

Mag. Patrick Lehnert has accumulated more than 20 years experiences in investment banking and asset management with, among others, Deutsche Bank, Sal. Oppenheim Gruppe and Erste Group. He holds an MBA from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, where he specialized in accounting. Throughout his career, he has published several articles in academic journals and in the press about topics as varied as risk management, capital investment and alternative investments.

Jan-Oliver Suer studied European Studies and Public Policy in Maastricht and Aix-en-Provence. After consultancy missions for UNICEF, ILO, European Anti-Fraud Office and others, he was in charge of the management at Karsparov Chess Foundation Europe. Since May 2015 Jan Suer has been working as the Operational Manager of Sustainability Intelligence, where he is responsible for HR, financial planning and procurement. As a part of the management team Jan Suer supports the directors in questions of strategic planning, investor relations and product development. Jan Suer speaks German and English at an excellent level and has a comprehensive understanding of French, Dutch and Italian.

Erik van Buuren studied Materials Science and Technology at Delft University of Technology and Business Administration at Henley Management College. Erik is an acknowledged expert for the Circular Economy, as endorsed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and the Cradle to Cradle design principles. As Senior Analyst, Erik provides ethical, governance and sustainability insight from many industries due to his vast consulting experience for many leading brands and innovators. Erik is lecturer and examiner of sustainable design and management at various European universities. From 2012 – 2014 Erik was appointed jury member of the official German Design Prize and is currently jury member of the Green Product Award. Before solely focussing on sustainability in 2007, Erik worked as Senior Management Consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and IBM and as equities analyst for international sustainable investment funds in London and Switzerland. In these functions he obtained extensive strategy development and change management experience.

Isabella Gras has a B.A. in International Relations from Trinity College (USA) and a L.L.M in International Law from the Brussels School of International Studies (Belgium). After working abroad for non-profit and public organizations, she joined First Climate a carbon asset management company advising small and medium size companies within the voluntary carbon market to develop greenhouse gas emissions inventories. Isabella was one of the first team members to join Sustainability Intelligence in 2014 and her responsibility as Senior Project Manager is mainly to coordinate the work between the analysts and the Sales Team. Isabella works as a part-time manager to maintain a work-life balance.

Paulo Reiss Fernandes studied Business Management in Brazil, his home country. Since 2008 he lead Business Intelligence teams in renowned advertising agencies and built an expertise in data technology and strategic planning. He moved to in 2015 Germany searching for opportunities to apply his skills to strengthen sustainable businesses. In mid-2016 he took the position of Head of Digital Innovation and is leading the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies to accelerate internal processes and to improve quality management. On his free time he supports non-profit organizations focused on nutrition and community building. He is a native speaker of Portuguese and English and speaks Spanish and German well.

Our Analysts

Laura Ardila is from Colombia, she graduated in 2013 as a Master of Arts in Sustainability and Quality Management at the Berlin School for Economics and Law (HWR). Between 2013 and 2014, she worked at the Institute for Information Management (IMBC GmbH) as a project member in the project "Environmental Management Information Systems for the Sub-Saharan Region" (work locations: Berlin, Maputo, Arusha and Dar Es Salaam). Since May 2015 she has been working at Sustainability Intelligence as Junior Analyst. She speaks Spanish as her native language, is fluent in German and good at English.

Franziska Ihle (birth name Fischer) holds a Master’s Degree in Sustainability Economics and Management from the University of Oldenburg and a B.A. from HWR Berlin. Having worked at BIOTRONIK’s corporate group accounting, the consultancy ecco ecology + communication as well as a transdisciplinary research project on global sustainable phosphorus management, she joined Sustainability Intelligence in April 2015. Franziska is responsible for rating companies on sustainability as well as our internal sustainability management. She is fluent in German and English and has a basic knowledge of French. Her passion for green and social entrepreneurship further lead to co-founding the initiative NachDenkstatt.

Mareike Schuh studied Business Administration at the University of Applied Science in Munich. After serving internships in NGO´s she finished her Master´s Degree in Business Ethics and CSR Management at the Technical University of Dresden. Having worked for the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses and on projects for sustainability reporting, she joined Sustainability Intelligence as Junior Analyst in October 2015. She is fluent in German and English and has basic knowledge of Spanish. As a TÜV certified environmental officer, she is specialized in environmental management systems for companies.

Katharina Staab studied Environmental Sciences and Ecological Engineering at the University of Bayreuth and the Technical University of Munich holding a scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes). To improve her knowledge in the field of practical nature conservation she worked in different NGOs and the Bavarian Forest National Park with a focus on biodiversity and sustainable water management. Since April 2015 Katharina Staab has been working as Junior Analyst for Sustainability Intelligence. She is fluent in German and English.

Nadia Trabelsi studied biology at the University of Goettingen with a focus in ecology and forensic anthropology. In addition, she completed her MA in Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University with a specialization in ‘science based policy’. As part of her previous activities at Volkswagen in the group’s research and development department, she worked in the areas of climate protection and resource efficiency at the product level. She later worked with the automotive supplier Johnson Controls, where she gained further knowledge in the field of environmental protection in the production process, until she joined Sustainability Intelligence in January 2016 as an analyst.

Michelle van Weeren holds a B.A. in Cultural Management from the University of Amsterdam, a M.A. in Cultural Management and European Studies from Paris 8 University and a M.A. in Sustainable Development and Management from Paris Dauphine University. During her studies, she served internships in NGO´s and consultancy agencies for sustainability. Furthermore, she was an active board member of a student´s association for sustainability and co-founded another one with the aim of raising awareness about sustainability issues with cultural projects. She joined the Sustainability Intelligence Junior Analyst´s team in October 2015. She speaks fluent Dutch, German, French and English.