If the definition of superhero is ‘one who saves the world,’ Elena Christopoulos could be called a superhero. She has devoted her working life to renewable energy, striving to help reduce humanity’s carbon footprint.
This interest in environment started early: Elena spent time in Greece as a child, and their way of life formed her identity.
“My relatives always had a huge appreciation of the environment. That upbringing has left an everlasting mark on me.”
Ahead of her time, Elena started in the industry before the modern environmental movement really caught hold.
“Many have recently entered the ‘green’ space and unlike many of my competitors, I have worked in this industry since the ‘90s, which is not only rare, but has given me credibility in the industry.”
As the movement gained momentum, Elena pushed to integrate more environmental projects into the everyday world. In 2000, Elena worked as part of a team to bring the first urban wind turbine in North America to Toronto.
“I wanted to make my hometown city of Toronto the greenest city in the world. This was a very successful project because it integrated diverse political and environmental spheres.”
Elena is president of the Board of Directors for the Green Chamber of Commerce, a technical and consular advisor for E3NYC and a speaker/member of Women of Wind Energy (WoWE). But her skills in the field are not just recognized by those working for environmental causes. While flying into Toronto once, Elena met with pilots who were routinely flying the route and were familiar with her turbine. She says, “They told me that they brought their kids to look at the turbine and that all pilots flying into Pearson see the turbine, a beacon of renewable energy, a beacon of hope for the future of this world. It was at that moment that I realized the impact I had made and the footprint I already left behind.”
Elena, as a woman and an environmentalist, has to wage a steady battle against the lingering mindsets of previous generations. But as she sees it, ““Making a difference in this world, whether it is an environmental or political change, is not only a job for me, it is my passion.”
Now all she needs is a superhero name.