Anneli Tostar – Business Growth Associate, Longevity Partners
Anneli is a half-Swedish Oregonian, passionate about shaping sustainable built environments for all. As the first US employee, Anneli is part responsible for building out business operations for Longevity Partners, a global real estate sustainability consultancy, in North America. Anneli has an MSc in Sustainable Urban Planning & Design from KTH in Stockholm, and a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Science & Public Policy from Harvard University. She has previously worked at The Better Buildings Partnership, where she oversaw stakeholder engagement for a collaboration of
UK real estate firms, focused on sustainability. She has also worked at an ESG consultancy and a social impact consultancy. In her “spare” time Anneli runs a sustainable fashion blog called MILJO and is a professional artist. After living in Oregon, Boston, New York, Stockholm, and London, among other places, Anneli now calls San Francisco home.
How did you become interested in environmental work? / What is the educational and career path that led to your current career?
There was never really a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in environmental issues. Growing up in Oregon, there are stunning natural resources at your doorstep, which led to a deep connection to the natural world at a young age. However, it took me a while to find my place in the movement (and I’m still figuring it out). I knew that I wanted to work with people so in college I pursued environmental journalism, but then I stumbled into urban planning through research on transportation policy. That’s when I really fell in love with the built environment space more broadly and realized the impact that it has on both equity and environmental sustainability.
Discuss any mentors that have helped or inspired you to reach your aspirations.
I’ve had a lot of amazing mentors in my life that have helped to shape my thinking, mostly in academic realms. Early on I had some stellar elementary school teachers who fostered a love for the natural world. I had a fantastic science advisor in high school (Amy Schauer) who encouraged me to pursue my wildest intellectual curiosities, as well as a mentor in college (Daniel Schrag) who gave me a deeper understanding of the pragmatic side of environmental policy. My research advisors in college (Diane Davis) and grad school (Jennifer Mack) both pushed me to consider the historical precedent for urban policies but also led me to understand the intersectionality of this field. And professionally I’ve been lucky to work for a number of companies that have allowed me to be fairly autonomous, including Longevity, which I think is crucial for us to understand what we’re capable of in a work context.
What are your suggestions on how WEN members can become more involved in your sector of the environmental movement?
The sustainability of buildings is often given less attention than the environmental impact of the oil and gas sectors. However, when accounting for construction materials as well as operational emissions, buildings make up approximately 40% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s huge!
There are many ways for us to think more sustainably around the built environment, but perhaps the most impactful thing you can do is to encourage your employer to measure the emissions that come from your company’s spaces (and then do something about it). There are a lot of “quick wins” on the energy efficiency front that any company can implement. When you, your company, or your family are looking to replace appliances (including water heaters), opt for low-energy and/or electric versions. And of course, pay attention to public hearings and encourage strong environmental standards for buildings!
Connect with Anneli on LinkedIn
Longevity Partners website: https://longevity-partners.com/
MILJO website: https://www.miljostyle.com/