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The Meet KPMG People series lets you hear from our versatile experts. In this edition, Riikka Leppänen will share her insights about her work at KPMG and bring up some of the latest themes and issues in the sustainability field.

Riikka works as an Advisory Manager in the Corporate Sustainability and Sustainable Finance team, where one of her focus areas is the circular economy. 

riikka leppänen

You work as a sustainability professional at KPMG. Could you tell a bit more about your work and your team?

Our team is made of over 30 sustainability professionals, who all bring different experiences and viewpoints to the table. We carry out projects related to, for instance, strategic sustainability/sustainable business strategies, climate change, biodiversity, circular economy, business and human rights, sustainable supply chains, and the evolving sustainability legislation. 

What drew me to KPMG in the spring of 2022 was my desire to be part of one of Finland’s strongest teams in the sustainability field and the diversity of projects. 

What motivates you in your work?

Our job is to help companies solve their sustainability challenges, whether it’s about gaining clarity on the next steps, understanding stakeholders’ perspectives, or developing their processes further. Oftentimes the projects require case-by-case analysis and problem solving, which makes the job very interesting. 

I’m happy to have such a strong team and the global KPMG network to support in the trickiest cases. For instance, the upcoming EU sustainability legislation is not always self-evident, so we have done quite a bit of work with our colleagues from across the EU to ensure aligned advisory.

What motivates me the most is the work itself: we want our projects to leave a positive mark on the world. We work with a diverse group of clients, who are often very enthusiastic and ready to roll up their sleeves and improve their sustainability performance. Secondly, we have a fun team that sticks together in a unique way. The expertise in our team is very impressive, and there is always someone who can answer even the toughest questions. 

You mentioned the circular economy earlier. What is circular economy and why should we be interested in it?

The circular economy is a new business mindset. At the center of the circular thinking is a simple idea: when we switch from a linear to the circular economy, we extend the life of natural resources, while reducing waste and returning resources into the system in a self-sustaining way. For organizations, circularity marks the next step in becoming a truly sustainable business.

We at KPMG Finland are the first implementation partner for the CTI (Circular Transition Indicators) framework in Finland. Our global team has actively developed tools and frameworks, which support companies in their sustainability work, and this framework has been co-developed by KPMG and WBCSD. CTI framework provides a common language and enables companies to measure and monitor their circular performance.

The circular economy is a hot topic right now. It is also the theme of this year’s Strategy Forum. I recommend everyone, who is interested in learning more about circular economy to join this online event.

Interested in joining KPMG and our sustainability team? Here is Riikka’s message for you: KPMG is a great place to support companies' sustainability work. It is versatile work in a fun team that will teach you a lot.