As usual, the folks at GreenBiz hit the nail on the head! Amazing event because it’s got a unique format (no PowerPoints!), a great group of people and a savvy convener … Joel Makower. There are a few “plenary” sessions, but mostly panels, short pitches and workshops. Think if it as TED for sustainability. Where else can you share a beer with the head of the GSA’s sustainability program, WalMart’s sustainability head and a Brazilian sustainability practitioner all at the same table? So what stood out?
- Erika Karp of UBS and Matt Arnold of JPMorgan Chase talking with GreenBiz’s Marc Gunther about the relationship between Wall Street and the investment community and sustainability. Why? Because for many companies the disconnect between financial and environmental/social attributes of corporate performance have meant that the latter play second fiddle. If we can all get on the same page …
- Summer Rayne Oakes’s “One Great Idea” about the fact that there are “soon” to be 9 billion persons on our plant … what are the implications of this for sustainability work TODAY?? Why? Because ir always makes me wonder why NO ONE ever talks population control these days, especially odd at meetings about constrained resources. Is it because we are anxious to have all these new customers??
- Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of CSR, discussing the impressive efficiency and sustainability initiatives they are undertaking – and the fact that they spend US$800 million per year on energy!! Why? Because I love what McDonald’s is doing, but they (like all other companies) want to grow (and are rewarded only if they do so) and that means MORE fish sandwiches, more hamburgers, more fries and more buildings. Isn’t the net still MORE environmental and social impacts? Well, maybe less than there would have been without these efforts.
- Participating in the Sustainable Purchasing Council’s launch workshop … trying to figure out a process to develop principles, guidelines and tools for the procurement community. Why? Because these folks at the frontlines of sustainability are really struggling to cut through the complexity of sustainability and buy the “right” things from the “right” suppliers. Some guidance would sure help!
So now it’s back in the office and trying to get a handle on this …. and pay it forward!