Stephanie Kersten-Johnston, Vice President of Innovation

Steph is an experienced professional in sustainability, with an international perspective: originally from the United Kingdom, and having joined The Recycling Partnership while living for five years in the United States, she is now based in Amsterdam. Before joining the Partnership, Steph was Director of Sustainable Business at Heineken USA, where she supported the company’s implementation of the global “Brewing a Better World” framework for U.S. operations. Until recently she also taught a graduate class focused on circular economy at Columbia University in New York. As the Director of Circular Ventures at The Partnership, Steph works on innovative initiatives to advance a circular economy, including the U.S. Plastics Pact.

Why I Care About a Circular Economy

“I’ve always known we needed to do a much better job of looking after our planet, our home. Since discovering the circular economy as a framework for better managing our resources, that goal has felt more logical, more connected with reality. We need to build a system that is inherently better: it will never be enough to just do a little bit less ‘bad stuff’ year over year, using the same fundamentally broken economic system.”

Personal Passions and Interests

Steph is a keen cyclist, so when she isn’t making circles at work, you’ll often find her and her family traveling in circles on two wheels somewhere in the world!


  • Master’s Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University
  • Adjunct Professor (Circular Economy): Columbia University, 2017-2020
  • Lead Author: The Recycling Partnership’s 2019 Bridge to Circularity Report


If you want to debate the ins and outs of circularity, Steph is your go-to team member. You can reach her at skerstenjohnston @