Hauser leaves ILFI, future of Natural Step in flux
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Regina Hauser's last day at the International Living Future Institute, parent organization to Natural Step Network USA, was Dec. 31.
Regina Hauser, longtime head of the U.S. arm of the Natural Step sustainability program, left the International Living Future Institute as of Dec. 31. The institute is currently evaluating the program and how best to continue it.
"(Natural Step) is still a very important part of who we are and what we do," said Jason McClennan, CEO of the ILFI."But we're going to have to do things differently now because Regina was so instrumental to the program for so many years."
Hauser, who has led the Europe-based Natural Step's U.S. programs for more than a decade, said she left the institute because she was asked to spend the bulk of her time raising money for the program, rather than working with businesses on their sustainability goals.
Hauser said one of the main reasons Natural Step agreed to last year's merger was to "take off the strain of fundraising."
Hauser said she will remain an official "ambassador" of Sweden-based Natural Step and a member of The Natural Step International board.
"But I'm going to go the self-employment route now," Hauser said.
She plans to stay in the sustainability field.
Sustainable Business Oregon recognized the Natural Step for Innovation in Sustainable Business Leadership with an award in November. The organization has worked with companies across the country — from Hotlips Pizza to Boeing — on overhauling their business practices to operate more sustainably.
McClennan said the International Living Future Institute is looking at several options for continuing with Natural Step including an all-volunteer professional network model. One staff member, April Knudsen, is trained in the Natural Step Framework methodology.
The institute is also home to the Living Building initiative and a new Net Zero building certification program announced in October.
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