Sarah O’Brien is an expert leader on sustainable purchasing and multi-stakeholder convening for impact. As CEO of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council (SPLC), she works to build, expand and leverage the organization’s core competencies of strategic leadership, peer learning and collaborative innovation, to develop and disseminate effective, cutting edge sustainable procurement guidance that drives meaningful change at scale.
Prior to joining SPLC Ms O’Brien was Director of the multi-stakeholder Clean Electronics Production Network (CEPN), a multi-stakeholder group including leading electronics brands, labor and environmental advocates, electronics suppliers and large purchasers, focused on the elimination of worker exposure to toxic chemicals in the electronics supply chain. For more than a decade previously, Ms O’Brien led global stakeholder engagement with the EPEAT electronic product sustainability rating tool for the Green Electronics Council, driving uptake EPEAT by procurement professionals across 41 countries, and working with brands on communication of the EPEAT value proposition..
Earlier, Ms. O’Brien developed and managed the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program of the nonprofit Hospitals for a Healthy Environment (now Practice Greenhealth) and served as a Senior Outreach Associate for INFORM’s PBT-free purchasing program, working with states across the country to reduce procurement of products containing mercury and other persistent toxics. Prior to entering the field of sustainable procurement, she worked as a state and regional legislative advocate and community organizer for the National Wildlife Federation and Vermont Public Interest Research Group, with a focus on mercury elimination and other environmental health issues.
Ms O’Brien has a BA from Yale University and a Masters degree in anthropology from Temple University.