Martina Hellestveit was determined to become a doctor like her father. Backpacking through Nepal, however, she realized environmental work was her true calling. Today she is the temporary Head of Sustainability at Implenia Norway.
Medicine, chemistry, geology. Martina has done them all. Although she thought she would become a doctor like a father, she realized soon it a commitment she was not ready to take on as a young student. She wanted to see the world, search for her true purpose. The answer came to her as she was backpacking through Nepal.
“I met a geologist on a hike and found her perspectives inspiring. In Nepal, people are more in tune with nature, and it broadened my mind on the origins of Earth and how we best can take care of our planet”, Martina says.
Dedicated to making a difference
After gaining a master’s degree in hydrogeology, Martina began working for Implenia. She originally thought she would work as a consultant, and considered working for a non-profit organization, but while working at the project Follobanen, she realized the real difference she could make for the environment working hands on with infrastructure projects.
Sustainability at Implenia
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“I love being where the action is and where sustainability is carried out in real life. There’s a pulse and faster pace on the projects, and it’s such a privilege to be part of that,” says Martina.
Taking on responsibility
Today, Martina is the constituted Head of Sustainability at Implenia Norway. Considering Norwegian builders’ strict sustainability requirements on projects and Implenia Norway’s position as a frontrunner in sustainability, this is a position where Martina can make a difference throughout the entire organization.
“It’s a fun time to work with sustainability since there is such a strong focus both within and outside the organization.”
“It’s a fun time to work with sustainability since there is such a strong focus both within and outside the organization. It seems like all of Europe is waking up. Having spent so much time on projects, however, I am especially aware that the employees working there may feel estranged from what is happening centrally in the organization. That’s why I always try to keep in mind to include everyone and make sure measures are integrated into the projects as well,” says Martina.
Love for the projects
Martina recently returned to work after a year of maternity leave, and says she is happy to be back and testing her abilities in her new temporary role. “What I have learned from my years of commuting to projects every week is how magical everyday life and steady routines can be. So right now, I’m really enjoying having an office job and leading Implenia Norway’s sustainability work.”
And what does the future hold for Martina? “The projects are where my heart truly lies,” Martina admits. “The dream would be to work with sustainability on of our Oslo-based projects. It’s a nice conclusion to land in after years of jumping between study programs and commuting between countries. It all works out in the end.”