Lani Aviado, Engie Impact

Apr 28, 2024 | Community, Muses, Sustainability

GET TO KNOW: Lani Aviado

CC Muses: In Greek mythology, the muses were Zeus’ daughters and the goddesses of the arts, sciences, and literature. Today, in fashion and beyond, a muse is a source of inspiration. Next up in our Muse series we are pleased to introduce Lani Aviado, a Director of Sustainability Waste Advisory Services for Engie Impact. 

We’re excited to talk to Lani for this series, not only because she is an expert in the field of sustainable waste management, but because she is a dedicated secondhand shopper with an eye for a treasure! (Other things she has in common with Team CC? A love of travel and a healthy appreciation for a good croissant). Lani joined the Consign Couture community in 2020: Though she doesn’t live in Portland, she met Tamara in a Seattle hotel lobby during an impromptu home-pickup consignment event! We see this as further evidence of her adventurous spirit and are so pleased to have her on the blog this week.


What’s your name and what do you do in life? Tell us about yourself!

I’m Lani Aviado, I’m a Director of Sustainability Waste Advisory Services for Engie Impact, a global energy and sustainability consulting firm. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I manage a team of passionate and incredibly talented waste advisors that help our clients reduce waste to landfill, especially regulated (hazardous) waste.


What inspired you to get into your field of work, or what is meaningful to you about it? 

I’ve always been passionate about the environment and reducing waste. I’ve worked for Engie since 2010, and started out on the Utility side, working with large energy providers to help them incentivize consumers to use less energy and water, then moved to Europe and lived there for a couple years before coming back to Engie and joining the Waste team.

What is something that you do differently from others in the field?

I think the two biggest differences between my team and many others that work in waste is that we have been an all female team since 2017 (although this will be changing as we are growing this year), and that we are very operationally focused vs. strategy focused. This means that for companies that want to achieve zero waste goals over a very short period of time (i.e. 6-12 months) we help them achieve those goals through aggressive operational strategies and then help them implement these programs in a meaningful way. Most consulting firms can help you develop a strategy to reduce waste, but we actually implement those strategies and then measure the progress over time to ensure these strategies are working. 

Tell us about a milestone in your work or something that you’re especially proud of.

Probably the most significant work we have accomplished was just done [in February 2024]; we helped the NFL divert over 2 million pounds of waste generated by the Superbowl! Most of it was staging equipment, turf, carpet and other event-related items and we organized donations to local organizarions like homeless and pet shelters, farms and youth activity centers. It’s amazing how much our program has grown over these past 7 years, and I credit my incredible team and their skills and desire to change the world in their own way.

What inspires you? Where do you look for inspiration?

As I mentioned before, I work with an incredible team of smart, passionate, driven and really fun and funny women that keep me focused on our goals and make what we do more than work. I’m inspired by them and other women in my field and at our organization that are the minority in their fields yet believe they can make a path for themselves. Female engineers rock!

Tell us your favorite secondhand shopping story. Any great finds or cool places you’ve shopped or meaningful/interesting experiences? 

I love consignment – it speak to both my thrifty side as well as my love for fashion. My favorite consigment store in Seattle is called Katybird – it used to be Driftwood, and the women who owned it had the most incredible sense of style. Under the new ownership, it’s a place you can go to look at great clothes, and enjoy a happy hour on Fridays (they have prosecco!) and hang out with other incredible women and chill out. They have great jewelry and accessories and it’s really nicely curated. My best find was a Jamie Joseph ring, a beautiful faceted topaz that I got for 30% off and it is a dream to wear. I’m sucker for great jewelry.

Do you think about how to incorporate environmental sustainability into your job? What challenges have you encountered, or successes have you had?

I’m so lucky that it is my job, and that I am paid to do something I am passionate about, every day! In addition, my team makes personal commitments to the environment every year; mine are that I try to take mass transit at least 2-3x times a month, eat vegan 30% of the time and purchase 85% of my durable goods used (makes it easy to justify consignment store shopping!).

Tell us about your favorite outfit. What makes you feel your best, or the most “you”?

I wear black 90% of the time, and my favorite outfit is a black blazer, black skinny pants and a silk shell. It fits 99% of the situations I will encounter for work and keeps me cool and doesn’t show stains. I love coats and jackets as well – I have a beautiful black alpaca coat that I wear to the opera or for fancy dinners in Winter, and a lightweight full length wool blazer coat from Allsaints that I wear during the Spring or Fall.

What do you do in your free time?

I’m an avid runner, I love to eat great food and I travel a ton. I really enjoy going to museums and shopping at antique shops and consignment shops, I like hiking and being outdoors.

Three things: The best thing you’ve read, the best thing you’ve watched or listened to, and the best thing you’ve eaten lately?

Two books I can always read and re-read are Memoirs of a Geisha, and Maia by Richard Adams. I’m a die-hard Beatles fan. And I love the croissants at Arsicault in San Francisco – the chocolate almond ones are insanely good and rival anything you’d get in Paris.

This one’s a bonus question – what are some small businesses you love?

I love Revive Athletics! T55 Patisserie in Bothell has beautiful pastries (and crazy waiting lines to boot, get there early). Lovely Hula Hands [Now Lovely’s 50/50] has my heart for best ice cream in Portland, but the pizza isn’t too shabby there either.