Meet the changemakers: Fairphone Ambassador Heidi Andersson
We’re on a journey to change the electronics industry – and we’re not alone. While the Fairphone is a physical expression of the possibility of change, it also happens to be a great storytelling device that connects us with inspiring changemakers from all over.
In this series, we want to shine a light on our ambassadors: A group of bright individuals that share our vision of a fairer future and contribute to sustainable change in their own meaningful way. Next up is Heidi Andersson, a blogger and arm wrestling champion working to go fossil-fuel free by 2025.
Hi there Heidi. To kick this off, tell us a bit about yourself.
Born in 1981, I’m an eleven-time world champion in arm wrestling. When I was a child I dreamed about becoming a world-class arm wrestler and a world-class planetary caretaker! Together with my husband Björn Ferry (Olympic Champion in biathlon), I have the goal to become fossil-fuel-free by the year 2025. We want to strive for a sustainable lifestyle. We live in Storuman, Lapland, in the northern part of Sweden with our son Dante and our cat Kurt Spurt. In the last 5 years, we managed to reduce our fossil-fuel emissions by 80%.
That’s an incredible achievement – and how do we fit into your sustainability journey?
A friend of mine told me about the world’s most sustainable smartphone – the Fairphone – and I just loved the concept and ideas around the phone. “We believe that care for the environment and people should be a natural part of doing business” – Sounds about right to me.
You’re fully committed to a greener, fairer future. So tell us – was there a specific moment in your life that prompted this?
I’m the sixth generation that grew up in the small village of Ensamheten – which can loosely be translated to “solitude” or “loneliness” by the way – alongside my relatives. Our little community has had 18 inhabitants most of the time, so I’d say the name fits. Anyways, in this village, my strong values for life and sustainability were born. My biggest hero was my grandfather, Tore Andersson. He taught me that everything in life is built up in circles and cycles; that we are all a part of this awesome world and that responsibility is something big, strong, and beautiful. I’m very thankful for the time I had with him and that he and Björn met before he passed away.
Thank you for sharing this; your grandfather’s wise words are valuable for all of us. Let’s chat about how you’ve applied them to your own life; what are some of your driving passions?
I can’t live without my son. I love my freedom and being with my husband. Besides this, I’m passionate about arm wrestling and sustainability! I wanted to see how strong I could be and I wanted to be ready for the future. I love to train. I mostly train together with the students in the arm wrestling school in Storuman, just for fun and health. I also train children. I’m an Honorary Doctor of Forest Sciences at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. My husband and I are the owners of a 1,000-hectare forest. We work in the forest together and do some of the smaller jobs ourselves. Some of the forest is biotope protected and no forestry is conducted. Everything you can do with fossil fuels, you can also do with forest: fuel, cloth, buildings, etc.
That sounds pretty wonderful! How does your Fairphone 3 help with what you do?
I can run my business from the train, or sometimes from our electric car in the forest (when the connection is ok). I can always take great photos that I use for social media and presentations. My Fairphone is an important part of my freedom. But my son Dante knows more about the phone than me! He loves Fairphone and hopes to do an internship there one day.
You take lots of photos on your Fairphone 3 – what are some of your favorites?
Family portrait, together with my son Dante and my husband Björn in our ecological house.
The view from our home. My dream as a child was to be a world-class arm wrestler and to become a world-class planetary caretaker living in an ecological house.
Before we part ways, what advice do you have for people who want to live more sustainably?
Start by doing a fossil fuel weigh in. In Sweden, we have some free fossil-fuel inventory tools you can use like www.klimatkontot.se. Then focus on the parts that have the biggest impact – for us it was transportation.
Thank you so much for your time, Heidi. We’re excited to be a part of your journey to a fairer, freer, forested future!
For more on Heidi, and our other Fairphone Ambassadors, stay tuned to this blog or head on over to our community page.