Meet Kathrin Dellantonio – Managing Director of myclimate Switzerland

Kathrin Dellantonio has been the head of myclimate Switzerland since September 2022. The South Tyrolean has been with myclimate almost since the beginning and has fulfilled her dream of a "purpose-driven job" here. In this interview, she talks about her visions for the future of climate protection and how we can all do our part.

You’ve been a part of myclimate for 19 years and you’re almost part of the furniture now. Why myclimate?  

With myclimate, I found my absolute dream job. I got to do what they call a “purpose-driven job” from more or less the beginning of my professional career, and work on one of the most important issues of our time – plus I get to work with great colleagues and ambitious companies which are committed to climate protection. And it has also been great to watch myclimate grow from a small student initiative into a large, successful foundation that operates throughout the world. 


You personify climate protection at every level. Where does the motivation for your deep commitment come from? 

To be honest, I simply can’t picture myself doing anything but committing myself to this all-important issue while also showing what a climate-friendly, resource-efficient existence can look like in day-to-day life. I see it as a great privilege that I have also been able to work on climate protection for many years of my professional life as well. My two girls, who are now seven and nine, motivate me too. Because they and the generations to come have a right to an intact ecosystem. 


What do you think are the greatest challenges facing myclimate in the near future?  

Currently there is a lot happening in climate protection, on many different levels and with many different actors. The challenge for us at myclimate is to stay on the ball day in, day out, and to evaluate the concepts, projects, methods and so on that will have the greatest impact in reaching the Paris Agreement targets. Through these dynamics we have grown a lot in the last three years – our task here is to keep striking the optimal balance between quantity and quality, every time. 


What are your personal goals as Managing Director of myclimate Switzerland, and how do you plan to achieve them?  

In addition to the things I just mentioned – maximum climate protection impact at a high level of quality – our employees are also very important to me. We depend on well-educated and motivated candidates who want to dedicate their working hours to climate protection. Here, I really try to maintain and develop an environment in which everyone can realise their full potential, one that encourages long-term commitment. 


With the new label “Engaged for Impact”, myclimate facilitates effective climate protection in line with the Paris Agreement. What specific role do companies play in climate protection?  

The private sector has a very important role in climate protection. Companies can react much more quickly than the political and administrative sphere, and they can implement ambitious climate protection goals. The fact that more and more companies are realising this gives me a great deal of confidence. For many of them, climate protection has gone from nice-to-have to must-have. 


What new technologies or methods give you the greatest hope – carbon capture, soil fertility, forest conservation, etc.?   

There is no one technology or one solution that will beat climate change. We need multiple concepts on many different levels. There are a lot of exciting, promising things happening in this regard currently, and at myclimate, we are also trying out new things to keep ahead of these developments – when new types of climate protection project arise, for example.  
But as well as trusting in new technologies, you need ambitious regulatory framework conditions. Personally, I hope that here in Switzerland we will finally set the right coordinates for climate protection on the third attempt in June. 
And last but not least, I believe we have come to a point where we need to be completely honest about the need to adapt our lifestyles as well, in the sense of sufficiency. That might sound restrictive, but as I see it, limiting our consumption and behavioural patterns to what we actually need can open up a lot of exciting new opportunities. 


You advocate for women in management and in public forums. How would you describe the allocation of roles at myclimate?  

In that respect we are doing well. Almost half of all management positions are held by women. But we also have room for improvement here and there – the Management Committee is only 25% women. It’s a different story at the executive level of myclimate Switzerland, where there are four women and one man.  
In general, I encourage women – both professionally and personally – to seize every opportunity to take on managerial responsibility. Every time I succeed in doing that, it makes me happy.


And to finish off, some good old “either/or” questions. 

Gladly, I’m all ears! 

  • Mountains or sea? Oof, difficult question. I am a child of the mountains and I love them, but I couldn’t do without regular seaside holidays – ideally in southern Italy. Both in the mountains and by the sea, what I love is the wide vistas and the sense of endlessness. 
  • Second-hand or new? What else – second-hand. Or even better: shared! 
  • Wine or beer? Wine, ideally one from my home village in South Tyrol, St. Michael-Eppan. 
  • Early bird or night owl? Early bird – my favourite time is when everything is still quiet and dim, and then the world slowly wakes up and it gets brighter. 
  • E-bike or racing bike? Neither. Gravel bike, mountain bike or my hipster bike – depending on the situation, mood and style.  
  • Tent or hotel? I love beautiful little original hotels. But as a former Girl Scout, I am also completely comfortable in a tent, wrapped up in my cosy down sleeping bag. 

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