ON LEADING PODCAST • Episode #17 • February 28, 2024

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Episode #17

Mark Boot

On Leading with Passion for Food Sustainability

By Lori Brewer Collins

“It starts with a leader, a company that has a clear vision. What do I want to achieve? If they can envision it and feel connected to it, they can move mountains.” — Mark Boot

A Visionary Leader

As the Head of Arla in the Netherlands, Mark Boot has dedicated himself to reshaping the way dairy production impacts the environment, communities, and the future of agriculture. His journey to the forefront of sustainable dairy production is characterized by a deep-rooted passion for environmental conservation and a commitment to ethical business practices. With a background in agricultural economics and years of experience in the dairy industry, Mark brings a unique blend of expertise and empathy to his role at Arla Netherlands.
Under his leadership, Arla has embarked on a transformative journey towards sustainability, guided by a clear vision of creating a positive impact on the planet while meeting the growing demand for dairy products.

“Having empathy, even for your biggest enemy, you can change a lot. And that has shaped me as a leader.”

Sustainability as a Core Value

One of Mark’s key initiatives is to reduce Arla’s greenhouse gas emissions throughout the dairy industry supply chain. Mark says that by investing in innovative technologies, optimizing farming practices, and fostering collaboration with farmers, Arla aims to significantly lower its carbon footprint, setting a new standard for sustainable dairy production in the region.

“It’s always a balance. You need to keep pushing the door and at the end of the day, hope they listen.”

A Path Towards a Sustainable Future

By fostering collaboration, embracing innovation, and prioritizing the well-being of people and the planet, Mark is setting a powerful example for businesses worldwide. His commitment to sustainability serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to join the movement towards a more resilient, regenerative, and equitable future for all. Through his leadership, Arla is not only reimagining the possibilities of dairy production but also shaping a world where sustainability is not just a choice but a way of life.

Key Moments

  • Own your purpose. Having a clear vision and bringing your natural passion, energy and heart to a project sets a firm foundation.
  • A little empathy goes a long way. Considering how the events of somebody’s life may have contributed to their current state expands our humanity. Having compassion for whatever has brought them to this moment helps redirect the energy.
  • Learn to let go. It can be frustrating, as it’s natural to want to jump in and do it yourself, but trust others with responsibility. Give them freedom — you’ll be surprised by what they accomplish.
  • Just breathe. Be still. Quiet the mind. You don’t always have to be sprinting.
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