Executive Voices in Sustainability 2018:

Executive Voices in Sustainability: Liz Byrne


What brought you to Yale?

How can I channel my skills and experience toward making a positive difference on my firm, our industry, and in our communities? I love learning and wanted to better understand “the complex forces transforming global markets” for my work, and how to “contribute lasting value to society” for my life. From the moment I read the SOM mission to when I met my future classmates, I knew Yale would be the kind of place where people who ask the same questions would come together to find solutions.

How have you impacted sustainable practices in your career?

Last year I took part in a firm-sponsored “Earthwatch” trip to a research forest in Oxford, UK. We learned about climate change and conducted research on the impacts of deforestation. I came back as an advocate of reducing our carbon footprint in small, practical ways – turning things off, recycling, making less waste. Now that I cover commercial banking, global banking and markets, I want to understand how I can better promote and integrate sustainable finance in my day-to-day work.

What challenges do you see for sustainability in your industry?

Sustainable finance is a hot topic, but in the industry, it’s a challenge to translate that into a practical call to action. In an already tough environment, why should I try to sell in a new suite of products to my clients if we’re turning profits, and they’re happy with the status quo? As a client, why should I take a risk on an unknown when I have excellent known alternatives? Building understanding, potentially through PR and communications, could help break down that barrier.

Tell us one thing about yourself that might surprise your classmates.

I was on my university equestrian team and love horses. If you’re in with the equestrian team… call me!

Current Position

Firm: An international bank
Position: AVP and Press Officer 
Duration: 2 years
Responsibility: Media relations, internal communications and external affairs for the bank's commercial banking, global banking and markets business lines.

Contact Information

Email: Liz.Byrne@yale.edu
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethbyrne
Social Media: @LizzieByrne

This is part of a series of profiles featuring students in the Yale MBA for Executives program who have a focus on sustainability.