Sustainable Nation

By Josh Prigge: CEO of Sustridge Sustainability Consulting

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Description

The Sustainable Nation Podcast delivers interviews with global leaders in sustainability and regenerative development twice a week. Our goal is to provide sustainability professionals, business leaders, academics, government officials and anyone interested in joining the sustainability revolution, with information and insights from the world's most inspiring change-makers.

Episode Date
Dr. Michael Lizotte - Sustainability Officer at UNC Charlotte
31:11

Dr. Michael Lizotte is Sustainability Officer at UNC Charlotte since 2013.  He previously filled that role at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he was professor of ecology and helped start an environmental studies program and an online MS in Sustainable Management.  Dr. Lizotte has research administration experience with an oceanography institute and NASA. To study the ecology of algae, he made 12 trips to Antarctica and 1 to the Arctic.  Lizotte Creek in Antarctica is named in his honor.

Mike Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Incorporating light rail on campus and impacts on sustainability goals and performance
  • How sustainability affects the products of higher education
  • Raising sustainability issues that may not be popular with all stakeholders
  • Using AASHE STARS to guide sustainability improvement
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Mike's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I think the best advice I can give people is that they have to learn that they can't do all of this on their own, but that almost everything you do is going to happen via some kind of partnership with other people. I don't know of any good examples where someone is really given the reigns of the organization or enough resources to actually be able to do that. It's kind of expected right now that we're going to conduct our work through persuasion and various other sort of leadership skills.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Well, there is a tendency to get attracted by the piece that's sort of right in front of you, but I'm spending an awful lot of time looking at transportation. I think even in the decade or so that I have left before I might retire, I think things are going to change radically. They may just change because experimental systems need a place to be tested and the universities may be the places that are going to try this. So we may be the first ones that see some smaller scale autonomous vehicle use and test out what does it look like when you really do these radical changes to a community.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

That was an easy question. So the one that I'm always recommending to folks is Bob Willard's Sustainability Champion's Guidebook. It's just the nicest little book and I'm always going back and flipping through it and getting ideas. It is a series of models, so I'll admit I'm kind of drawn to it from that aspect, but I think he does a great job with summarizing a lot of ideas and creating a way that someone who is supposed to lead can configure out, "how am I going to get all these other people involved or how am I going to make these persuasive arguments."

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

One that's been wonderful for me is just the networks that were formed. Before I arrived here in North Carolina, in Charlotte, I belonged to one network of sustainability officers at universities across the southeast. Just having that monthly call is wonderful. An entirely separate network is one here in the city of Charlotte where some fairly large corporate headquarter sustainability officers are available along with other large organizations. So, I get to see things and solutions that aren't necessarily being talked about at the university. There's even a smaller effort here, which is sustainability leaders having to do with the hospitality industry.  So, wherever you are, I would just say try to find those networks. For the most part they're not Internet based, but they are primarily networks of people who are still doing things face to face or via the telephone.

And finally where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at UNC Charlotte.

We hope to be getting a lot more attention through the UNC a main page, that's you www.uncc.edu. We have a new plan coming out and we're hoping that the initiatives get more attention from the university, but they're already fairly good at covering regular events and things like that that we do on campus.

Jun 14, 2018
Nils Moe - Managing Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network
28:01

Nils Moe currently serves as the Managing Director of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). In this role, Nils oversees the day-to-day operations of this rapidly evolving North American network of over 185 member communities representing more than 84 million residents. Nils is an experienced, accomplished change agent with over 15 years of successful strategic business development, organizational leadership, and client building. Previously, he served as the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisor for the City of Berkeley, where he helped to implement Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan and worked with the city staff and the community to reduce their GHG emissions. He also has worked as a professor of Organizational Psychology at San Francisco State University, co–founded two values-driven non–profits, and worked in the private sector as a management consultant, specializing in program evaluation of non-profits and 360–degree feedback for Fortune 100 companies.

Nils Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Cities leading the way to a sustainable future
  • The power of networks and collaboration in sustainability
  • Local government leading on climate in the absence of federal leadership
  • Trends in urban climate and sustainability work
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Nils' Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I think I'm a bit biased, but going back to this notion of my parallel path between the social psychology realm and the environmental science realm, I think our field can be really technical, talking about renewable energy, land use policies, transportation analysis, which is a critical skillset, but something that can't be underestimated, I think is the power of the soft skills in our work. One of the crosscutting challenges that our cities are facing is this notion around human behavior and behavior change. At the end of the day, much of the work that we're doing is about relationships, influencing people, empowering folks to make some key and critical changes to habits that have been forming over their life. So, how can we really do a better job of leveraging some of the key social sciences out there to help us align our work, empower folks to make those key changes? So I think some of the leadership skills, learning a little more about social sciences is sort of a key piece of the puzzle.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

We're entering our 10th year now. We built this amazing, connected membership. All of these members are doing amazing work in their local municipalities, local counties. Now what does it look like to do this at scale? So our membership have charged us to look at, is there a menu list of initiatives that we can agree on as a membership of 190-plus cities that we feel have the potential to provide strong impact over the next three years? So I think, in short, it's the power of the aggregate. What does it look like to take on these initiatives at scale with large groups of cities that could really start to move the needle and move markets? What would it look like for 150 cities to commit to procuring renewable energy? How would that drive the market, the transaction costs, the energy costs? What would it look like for 50 cities to get together and go out to their auto manufacturing industry and say, "We want an electric vehicle, light duty truck with these specs." One city isn't going to get the attention of an auto manufacturer, but 50 cities will. So I think it's this power and strength in numbers that is really exciting to me.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

I don't want to sound like a homer here, but a checkout the Guide to Greening Cities. Excellent book by Julia Parzen, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, and Steven S. Nicholas. It's five years old now, but it still does an amazing job of talking about the challenges, the opportunities, the successes from the city level. S

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

Yeah, check out our USDN website. We've got some public pages around the innovation products that are coming out from our cities which are really intriguing. This aggregate high impact practice work will be on there in the fall of 2018. We've got a great series of equity training videos, Equity 101, that I think could be beneficial to folks at large. Innovation Network for Communities has some great work on their website. We have Paul Hawkins speaking at our annual meeting in San Diego last year. So I think Drawdown is a really compelling story in a way to prioritize the actions that are ahead of us. We're looking forward to Hunter Lovins', Finer Future, which is coming out in the fall. And we work with some amazing partners. The list is really long, so it's tough to choose just a few, but Eco America - Let's Talk Climate. A way to sort of find the middle ground around some of these key and politically challenging discussions around climate change. The Georgetown Adaptation Clearing House is an amazing repository of all the amazing work that's going on around resilience. Your podcast is a good one too. I'm a fan.

Finally, working on our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at USDN?

Reach out to us if you have any questions. We are at USDN.org. Our sister organization, CarbonNeutralCities.org. We're @USDN on twitter. Check us out and look forward to hearing from some of you.

Jun 12, 2018
Cindy Klein-Banai - Associate Chancellor for Sustainability at University of Illinois Chicago
30:38

Ten years ago, Dr. Cynthia Klein-Banai founded the UIC Office of Sustainability where her team promotes sustainability as part of our campus culture and enhances UIC’s mission of student success, improving public health, and serving the communities of Chicago. The Office promotes the UIC Climate Commitments of Carbon Neutral Campus, Zero Waste Campus, Net Zero Water Campus, and Biodiverse Campus. She has developed applied learning and research opportunities for students through internships, volunteer opportunities, and special projects. Dr. Klein-Banai has a Ph.D. in Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (EOHS) from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

Cindy Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Goals for water neutral, climate neutral and zero waste
  • The importance of social equity and diversity in sustainability programs
  • Engaging UIC's Center for Cultural Understanding and Social Change in sustainability programs
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders 

Cindy's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Well, when you get someplace where you start to work, don't assume you know the answers, what's good for that institution, what needs to be done. You have to get to know the organization, the people, and also the assets. What is already going on? And then really reflect the value of sustainability and build on what's already there.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm actually most excited about the students. Seeing the student engagement. Through our internship we have students that really see this as a social justice issue. For them it's not just solving an environmental problem. And so working with them gives me hope over and over again that we're going to see a shift in the global perspective and we're going to be able to work this out and survive on this planet for a good while longer.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

When thinking about social justice and sustainability, I think one book that's really good is Just Sustainability by Julian Agyeman. It's a good way to help learn about this topic, and not just the environmental perspective.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I have to give a shout out to the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It's really guided me in my work from the first day on the job. Disclaimer, I am on the board. Also Second Nature, when you're doing climate action or resilience planning, they have good resources for that. And a third thing that I've used that has informed me through training is something called Common Ground. It started in Chicago. Leith Sharp, who was the head of sustainability at Harvard originally, has developed some really interesting thinking about organizational change management, that builds on some of the literature that's out there, but is unique and crowdsourced.

And finally where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at UIC?

So sustainability.UIC.edu, or any of our social media. Our handle is sustainableuic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Jun 07, 2018
Catherine Kummer - Senior Director for Green Innovation at NASCAR
37:56

As Senior Director of Green Innovation at NASCAR, Catherine directs development, adoption, and implementation of sustainability strategies across the number one spectator sport in the United States.  She integrates ESG initiatives across the industry with a program that in just under a decade has grown into one of the most visible sustainability programs in all of sports. Working with partners from the business sector, government and non-profit organizations, she also develops and coordinates programs with NASCAR sponsors and industry that advance sustainability objectives including food donation, recycling, clean water protection and the offsetting of carbon emissions for all of NASCAR's national series racing, employee air travel and quarterly partner summits. The Green Innovation platform provides both societal and business value, but also operates as a brand enhancing business.

Catherine Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Sustainability in professional sports
  • NASCAR's commitment to GHG, energy and waste reduction
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders
Catherine's Final Five Question Responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say be bold. That's commonly said, but I think it's important in sustainability. Be passionate, but be aware. And what I mean by being aware is ensure that you know who you're speaking to when you're speaking to them. Know your audience. When you're going in to pitch these ideas, know what drives them, what's going to result in them making an operational change or a culture change or whatever that may be. Just make sure that you're aware and you're humble in that approach. That is huge. I would also say that keeping the big picture in mind, always, has proven to be really helpful for me and taking one bite at a time. Do that well. Take that one bite. Make sure that you are crushing that one bite. Own it. Do your best to not spread yourself too thin because there's so much to be done, but identify where you can make the most impact and do it.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Materials innovation, biomimicry, that all interests me a tremendously. More specifically though, how it can be advanced through sport. I'm excited to see how that rolls out. I'm excited to see how sport can be the catalyst for these new innovations, for these new technologies or these new mindsets, quite frankly. The opportunity to use sport to drive all of it. I think it's fascinating and I really feel like we're on the cusp of something so tremendous. The leagues are beginning to rally together. I worked directly with Omar Mitchell at the NHL and with Paul Hamlin at MLB, and those programs, they are doing amazing work as well. Coming together to look at how we can drive this impact, and we're so much more powerful if we all row in the same direction. I am probably most excited about how those relationships will continue to develop over time and what that will mean from an impact standpoint across the board when we look at these issues, whether it be social issues or environmental issues, economic issues, whatever that may be. That's really compelling and that's what gets me excited when I walk into this office everyday.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

I've thought about that one and actually spent probably more time than I should have looking at my bookcase. You can take it back to Silent Spring to know the foundation of why we're here. I think that is really, really important. Natural Capitalism, Hunter Lovins, and Amory's Reinventing Fire. I mean those are staples as well, but I gotta be honest. I find myself being more of a podcast person these days. So Greenbiz 350, How I Built This, not necessarily a sustainability podcast, but one that I just think from a business perspective is crazy inspiring for me. And then the Rachel Hollis podcast is one that I also listened to. As a female in the sports world, I think it's super important to continue to push yourself and inspire yourself and to surround yourself by other individuals like minded females specifically that are also doing the same thing. So yeah, this is probably the hardest question that you've asked me. I just have so many thoughts on things that folks should read and dive into.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I've been fortunate to have a network of individuals that are just crazy knowledgeable in this space. I mentioned Allen Hershkowitz who has been a mentor for me for quite some time now. Joel Makower and the Greenbiz Executive Network, we are members of that organization. The Green Sports Alliance is doing tremendous work. Sport and Sustainability International is just kind of the global version of the Green Sports Alliance. Again, the networks that you have and learning from others that are also doing and have done this work for years and years and years. I find those to be the most valuable resources out there, and just taking the opportunity to stop and to listen and to learn and to be willing to take criticism and advice and suggestions, and raising your hand when you don't know because those networks are there to lift you up. That's been just a really amazing tool for me personally.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at NASCAR?

So my LinkedIn page has a plethora of different information on the program and work that I personally am doing outside of the organization that kind of tie back to overall sustainability efforts. You could also check out a NASCAR.com\green, which is the website for all things NASCAR green. And then follow us on the Twitter at NASCAR Green or feel free to give me a follow up at Catherine Kummer. I definitely do my best and fore warn you that you'll probably get pictures of my kids too.

Jun 05, 2018
Sam Arons - Director of Sustainability at Lyft
27:03

As the Director fo Sustainability at Lyft, Sam Arons oversees the company's sustainability and climate impact efforts. Lyft was one of the first companies to join former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “We're Still In” movement to pledge their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. Shortly after, the company outlined their Climate Impact Goals to do their part to address the threat posed by global climate change. 

Sam came to Lyft after 10 years at Google where he developed the company’s sustainability efforts as Senior Lead for Energy & Infrastructure. Prior to his time with Google, Sam researched wind energy and plug-in vehicles at Williams College and UC Berkeley, respectively.

Sam Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Lyft's new carbon offset program, offsetting 100% of the GHG emissions associated with Lyft rides
  • Lyft's goals to use 100% renewably powered autonomous vehicles
  • Greening America's cities with shared, electric, autonomous vehicles
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Sam's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say that solving climate change really requires a village and no one of us can do it alone. So for me, I have really reached out to my networks and tried to get to know as many different people as I can because we're going to need to partner with all sorts of different people to realize this future that we all want to see. So I would recommend other professionals think about doing the same thing.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

One thing that I'm really excited about right now is something called the Three Transportation Revolutions and this is a kind of an initiative and a concept from a professor, Dan Sperling who is at the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies. The three revolutions in transportation are shared, autonomous and electric vehicles. Combined, those three aspects of where transportation is headed can have a potentially very positive effect on the world. I'm excited to be involved in helping to make that happen.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

You know, I always liked the classics. I would say, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. That was one of the inspirations for me to get involved in this work.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

For those folks who may be looking for a way to do corporate renewable energy purchasing, there is a great program run by the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado called the Business Renewable Center, BRC. Basically, they run a very effective bootcamp for folks to really get up to speed quickly on how this whole renewable purchase the thing work, how it fits into the electricity grid, how do you convince your CFO to do it etc. It's a great workshop. I've been privileged to be an instructor at that workshop. I'd highly recommend it to anybody who's looking to learn more about that.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Lyft?

So we have a few publications that we've put out recently. One is Lyft's Climate Impact Goals - a blog post. You can search for that online. We also have a medium post that describes our recent carbon neutrality announcement, so you can also search for that one online. And finally, my LinkedIn profile has a bit more information as well. So check it out.

 

May 31, 2018
Julien Gervreau - Director of Sustainability at Jackson Family Wines
32:02

Julien Gervreau is a Sonoma County, Calif. native whose career in the wine industry has spanned over 13 years. In his role as Director of Sustainability at Jackson Family Wines, Julien focuses on setting strategies and tactical implementation of water and energy efficiency, onsite renewable energy generation, GHG emissions reductions, and waste diversion. He also works closely in communicating JFW’s commitment to sustainability in the marketplace through sales and distribution channels, as well as activating employee engagement.

Julien is passionate about designing, developing and managing sustainable business systems that enhance the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity. He employs integrated systems thinking, financial analysis and documented sustainability frameworks to guide business strategy that fosters healthy, more resilient entities, and drives operational savings.

Julien Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Jackson Family Wine's practices to build water resiliency in their operations
  • Leading Zero Waste in a large organization
  • Supply chain sustainability and regenerative agriculture
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Julien's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I was at a conference in October of last year that was hosted by Net Impact and one of the keynote speakers was a gentleman named Derek Kayongo and he's a former refugee who has built some very exciting social benefit businesses over the years, and his advice when he was speaking to this group at Net Impact, which is essentially an organization that's focused on helping young people find purpose in their careers, was very simple and it deems repeating here. He basically says there's two components to it. The first is figure out what you're good at and the second is figuring out what you're passionate about. And from there you can find a place within any organization and make a difference because at the end of the day, there are very few people who actually have the word sustainability in their title. But everybody ultimately has the opportunity to positively influence their organization's sustainability program.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I think what I was talking about with regard to our carbon mapping exercises is just really exciting and as I explore just what one company can potentially do with the land that we own and you start to think about extrapolating that across vast swaths of this state, of this country and of this planet, it gets me excited to see that there are people thinking about these solutions. I think the challenge is figuring out how we can change our structure from a financial standpoint and really stimulate investment in things like planting trees and spreading compost. I think the big challenge of today and tomorrow is to figure out how you can make the business case for things like that.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

I would recommend two. Kind of the most recent book that I've read that really kind of blew my hair back was, was Paul Hawkins Drawdown. I really enjoyed the way in which it's presented in terms of being a solutions-oriented book and ultimately as Paul Hawkins said, he just did the math. So there's a lot of really great stuff in there. I also liked Danella Meadows Thinking In Systems, because ultimately as you go into any organization, you pull on one string and it's going to unravel another part of something somewhere else. And it's just really important as a sustainability practitioner to understand the entire system of anything that you're looking at impact.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

From a water budgeting and footprinting standpoint, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance has a really great tool that ultimately helps you kind of get to that cost of water and understand where your sources and uses of water are so you can identify and start to prioritize your conservation efforts. The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable also has a similar tool that is not wine industry specific, but it's beverage industry specific. So for those those colleagues kind of working in beer, wine and spirits, I highly recommend checking out either one of those tools.

And finally working on our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Jackson Family Wines.

Our corporate website is www.Jacksonfamilywines.com, and that the bottom of the homepage there's a CR sustainability progress button and you can actually click on that. What we're doing throughout the course of 2018 is releasing progress updates on our 2016 sustainability report. So the goal is by the end of this year, we will have a monthly progress reports on each of the 11 goals that we've established from a sustainability standpoint and that will then inform kind of our next iteration in our next update on our sustainability progress for 2018. 

 

May 29, 2018
Caroline Savage - Campus as Lab Manager at Princeton University
28:20

As Campus as Lab Manager, Caroline works at the campus-based intersection of operational, educational and research activities that result in the advancement of sustainability problem-solving. She designs and implements the Campus as Lab program to encourage and support the Princeton campus community in testing sustainable solutions, engaging all disciplines. Caroline previously served as the Director of the Institute for Community Sustainability at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN, where she laid the groundwork for an ecovillage in the community adjacent to the university that is currently in development; hosted regional symposia on infill development and urban food issues in the Midwest; and developed several sustainability and social justice programs.

Caroline Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Using the university as a lab for sustainability
  • Benefits of formalizing the Campus as Lab program in the university
  • Engaging students in sustainability programs and research
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability professionals

Caroline's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Get outside of your bubble. I think it's really tempting to want to surround ourselves with people who think like us and sometimes that space is totally appropriate, but try to put yourself in uncomfortable spaces or in front of people who don't think like you do whatever that happens to look like for your individual situation. I think that's the only way we grow.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Some of the gaps and the end of the Obama era has left, both nationally and internationally, present some really interesting opportunities. So internationally we're seeing leadership from countries that maybe hadn't been on the global stage so much for sustainability. Now they are having the opportunity to step in and fill that gap. And nationally I think we kind of have the imperative to stop using the same language around sustainability that we have, to stop assuming that sustainability is just a good thing and everybody's going to like it to engage. As well as the increased energy and call to action that so many people are hearing to act on these issues.

What is the one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I would recommend, and this is getting a little bit outside of the realm of sustainability, but there's a great book called Doing Good Better by William Macaskill. He talks about this concept of effective altruism and the idea that just because we want to do something, or you want to do some good, we might not automatically come up with the most effective way to do that. So he takes a really hard look at how to do good in an effective way.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I totally rely on AASHE, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. They're kind of where I got my start in the academic world. I found a job through one of their newsletters. They're an incredibly supportive community, that I found as a great resource all throughout my career and I've been in sustainability in higher ed for about 10 years now. Even if you're not in higher ed, I really recommend following them for some of the best practices and job opportunities and other events that come out of that community. In a closely related is green schools listserv, that's run through Brown University. I also recommend finding good project management systems in general and being well organized in general. I can't recommend one specific one. I've kind of learned a lot from different styles, but especially for this very project based work, I'm finding something like that that works for you, whether it's lists, post-its check in meetings or taking a course. Having strong systems in place to track progress makes all the difference. And then of course, this podcast as well.

And finally where our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you are leading at Princeton.

Sure, they can go to https://sustain.princeton.edu/lab. That will take them to the Campus as a Lab page. If they're interested in that community of practice I mentioned earlier you can go to tinyurl.com/campusaslabresources. That is a great compilation of best practices going on all across North America. And then finally, you're always welcome to email me cs35@Princeton.edu. I'm always happy to spread the word about Campus as Lab.

 

 

May 24, 2018
Luke Cartin - Environmental Sustainability Manager at Park City, Utah
30:28

Luke Cartin is the Environmental Sustainability Manager for Park City, Utah.  He oversees Park City’s goals of achieving net-zero carbon and 100% renewable electricity for city operations by 2022, and community-wide 2032. These goals are the most ambitious in North America for any municipality, and one of the most aspiring world-wide. There are many programs underway, including; electrification of city fleet and buses, bringing on large scale renewables, quantifying open space as carbon sinks, and pursuing net-zero energy buildings.  Previous to coming to the city, he worked in ski resort sustainability for 15 years. His work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, Outside Magazine, Newsweek, and other international outlets. He lives with his wife, two kids, and many animals just outside Park City. 

Luke Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Setting ambitious renewable energy and carbon neutral goals
  • Climate change impacts on the ski industry and tourism
  • Engaging local farmers in regenerative agriculture
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say there's two ways to view the climate crisis, and then also sustainability overall. View as like you're learning a chest match, meaning the only way you're going to get better is by playing and doing. Failure will be an asset to you because you will quickly understand what does not work. And I know folks are scared to fail, but we need to act and you have the silent majority. So the goal is to really focus on trying and doing. Don't put up barriers to say, "well our community can't do that because of this or that." Set these ambitious goals and that'll force you to create the pathway forward.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

I think it's how quickly things can change once the pathway forward is shown. When we set our 100 percent renewable electricity goal, people thought we were nuts. I mean other communities were like, "what are you guys doing? You're in a state with a regulated utility that's owned by Berkshire Hathaway." But the great thing is the pathway forwards have been created and it seems daunting to get a community that's mostly coal fired to carbon neutrality and hundred percent renewable in 14 years. But the great thing is we've identified major pathways to get there and it's really exciting to be a player in that.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I'll throw two at you here. So one of them is called The One Straw Revolution. It's a great book because the concept is that there's limits to the human knowledge, but it's using natural systems aligned with your goal. It's the exact same concept we're going with some of the regenerative agriculture pieces in that we just want to help kind of steer in the right direction and make sure we're not doing harm, and it's impressive how the natural environment can help increase that. The other interesting book that I really suggest is 10 Percent happier by Dan Harris. You can get very depressed by seeing all of the horrible things going on and you need to balance yourself out. So 10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris is a great book because it talks about meditation. Just kind of keeping your head on your shoulders. It gives you some really easy techniques to keep yourself balanced. Because I think in this role you're under constant attack.

I think we'd all be okay with being 10 percent happier. That sounds great. What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

One of the tools, and you mentioned it for other communities that are interested in this world, even if you don't have a fully dedicated sustainability person, which I would heavily push any community to have because like I said, they can problem solve for your folks. They can help find savings. There something called the Urban Sustainability Directors Network and it's open to sustainability professionals in municipalities and it is a great resource. I know you've interviewed like Gil and a couple of their folks too. It's an awesome community to say, "Hey, who's tried a community composting program?" And you can dive in. "Who's written an RFP for solar on a library?" It's an awesome resource. The other part for my end that's interesting read, there's a great website out there called Utility Dive. It wraps up what's going on in the utility sphere, because there are some pro-coal pieces going on and there's nuclear subsidies or something like that. This gets a little bit more technical and it's great for me to help understand the broad swaths of what's going on in the regulatory market and also what's happening with the energy sphere overall in North America.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Park City?

So we have the city website, parkcity.org. We're actually underway right now to launch another website that'll sum up all of these pieces. So stay tuned for that. Easy way to track me down, just find me through the parkcity.org website or through LinkedIn.

May 22, 2018
Zoe Le Grand - Senior Strategist for the Net Positive Project at Forum for the Future
31:56

Zoe Le Grand is Principal Sustainability Strategist at Forum for the Future. Zoe specializes in providing high quality and stretching strategic sustainability advice to businesses and non-profits.  She is responsible for providing critical advice and delivering work programs for sustainable business leaders including The Crown Estate and Sig Global. 

In addition, Zoe leads The Net Positive Project which brings together big corporations such as AT&T, Levi Strauss and Co and Dell, to help set and implement Net Positive strategies and to build the movement of companies who take this ambitious approach. 

Zoe Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • The Net Positive Movement in Business
  • The principals of a Net Positive company
  • The work being led with the Net Positive Project
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders
May 17, 2018
Tod Christenson - Executive Director of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable
33:06

As a consultant to private industry for more than 30 years, Tod partners with clients to develop and implement fit-for-purpose and innovative solutions to drive sustainability across the entire value chain. His skills and expertise in the areas of strategic thinking and planning, facilitation, organizational diagnosis, and global process implementation provide clients with strategies to evolve their corporate environmental and social responsibility programs.

Since its founding in 2006, Tod has served as the Director of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER), a technical coalition of 19 global beverage companies working together to advance environmental stewardship across the beverage sector (http://www.bieroundtable.com).  

May 15, 2018
Chris Castro - Director of Sustainability for the City of Orlando
29:13

Chris is currently the Director of Sustainability and Co-chair of the Smart Cities initiative for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and the City of Orlando. In his role at the City, he works to develop cross-sector partnerships, policies, and programs that support the sustainability, energy, and climate-related goals of the “Green Works Orlando” initiative.


Over the last 10 years, Chris has consulted for governments, academia, business chambers, companies, nonprofits and communities to implement sustainability projects that include a wide variety of topics, specifically smart cities, solar energy development, building efficiency, electric vehicles, local food systems, water quality, ecological restorations and more.

Chris Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Sustainable food systems
  • PACE Financing and its success in Orlando
  • Meeting GHG reductions through energy management
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Chris Castro's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

First and foremost, I'd say build a network and be a part of the growing network of sustainability professionals. So specifically for local governments, there's a group called the Urban Sustainability Directors Network or USDN for short. And this has been an invaluable resource for me as a director of sustainability in the city to better learn and share best practices among some of the largest cities, including Las Vegas, Boston, Austin, Boulder, Chicago, DC, New York, you name it. Each one of these major cities are collaborating together through the USDN or sharing policy and program resources. We're at the end of the day making not only our cities, our regions, but the entire country and the world, a more sustainable place. So I'd say get connected with these networks. It's going to be extremely valuable. As you look to implement your solutions.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

It's hard not to be excited about a lot of things that are going on. I think that there's a growing interest in the private sector and in governments around the world that are really prioritizing these issues and they're advancing sustainability because they realize that it's directly tied to quality of life, to public health and to long-term sustainable economic growth. And the more that we see that type of momentum, you see corporations that are moving to a hundred percent renewables for their operations, Google and Apple and Microsoft, large banks like JP Morgan Chase that are making commitments to move their entire operations to carbon neutrality and to renewable energy. This is an amazing time to be alive and to be in this field. And no matter what focus area you're in, whether it's food systems, whether it's livability, water, energy, transportation, each one of them has essentially come to an interesting point where technology has become economically feasible. And at the same time, it's making significant impacts. So it's probably the most exciting time to be in the field of sustainability than ever before.

What is the one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

Wow. There's a number of them that I use as guidance. And I'll tell you, the most recent one that's been impactful for me is Paul Hawkins Drawdown, the recent study that he pulled together with over a hundred different scientists and researchers around the world to truly identify the top 100 strategies to address the climate crisis and to advance sustainability. It's phenomenal because it's not only economically sound, but it's scientifically sound. It's very much founded in hard science and facts. And it really is a fantastic guidebook and roadmap for cities and corporations and communities to follow, to lower their environmental footprint and to create a more regenerative future for all of us. So Drawdown, I'll have to say, is one of the top ones in my book right now.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

Yeah, that's an interesting question. I go back to use USDN. That's one of my favorite resources out there. It's again a kind of an intranet repository of different policies and programs that other cities have implemented. It has a forum that allows for sustainability professionals to share these resources and to answer each other's questions and so that resource is valuable, I highly recommend it, especially for people working in cities. And then, depending on the actual initiative you're working on, there's a series of different tools for those working on energy, water and waste within buildings, one of my favorite tools is the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool. This is a free web based tool that's offered to specifically track and monitor energy and water consumption as well as waste consumption within buildings. And it helps to quantify what the economic, social and environmental impacts are from that consumption. So it's using real world data. It's normalizing that data to your facility and it's helping you get a better understanding of how you compare to other facilities, the same size, of the same year that was built and the same climate region. And so Energy Star does a fantastic job of providing that kind of portfolio manager tool for buildings. Buildings, in my opinion, are one of the most important and greatest opportunities we have to improve. In Orlando, they are 72 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions. In most cities buildings contribute to the greatest environmental impact. So if we can start to drive energy efficiency within our buildings, if we can drive a better operations and even onsite renewable energy generation, we can significantly impact the environment in a positive way. We can drive jobs, we can lower costs. At the end of the day we can be a more efficient and resilient city.

And finally working our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading with the city of Orlando.

I'm quite active on social media, so find me on Linkedin, find me on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Those are the main outlets that I use and really encourage you to also look up the city of Orlando's website. It's just greenworksOrlando.com, that will route you directly to the webpage on the city's website and you can dive into each one of the focused areas I've been talking about. You can look at our goals or targets. You can download our action plans. I really encourage you, if you do have any questions or comments, to reach out to me directly and share what your thoughts are and how we can continue to really make Orlando a showcase leader in the movement towards a better, more healthier, sustainable future.

 

May 10, 2018
Bruno Sarda - VP Sustainability at NRG Energy
33:31

Bruno Sarda is head of sustainability at NRG, one of the country’s leading power companies, where he leads the development and execution of company-wide sustainability strategy and initiatives. Named one of the ‘most influential sustainability voices in America’ by The Guardian, Sarda actively participates in a variety of cross-industry efforts bridging public and private entities. Sarda joined NRG from Dell, Inc. where he was director of sustainability and social responsibility.

Bruno Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Sustainability initiatives of a large power company
  • Renewable energy and carbon capture technology
  • SASB's role in corporate sustainability
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Bruno's Final Five Question Responses:

We're going to end with our final five questions. What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

You have to quickly get comfortable with the fact that sustainability is not the goal .Sustainability is the way. Tie is to the mission. Understand what is the organization trying to do. How does it define success? Show them that sustainability is an unavoidable or better path to go achieve that. Don't make sustainability its own objective. As long as you do that, you start getting a lot more support internally.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

We touched on that all these ESG movement in the capital markets and the money flows where you look at where all the new money that's going, whether it's from a equity investors or debt lenders, it's all being invested in the right things. Everything else is noise or public money going into the wrong things. I find it very exciting to see that the capital markets are pointed in the right direction.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

A book that I assigned to my students at Arizona State is The Big Pivot by Andrew Winston. Andrew is a great guy. It's a well structured book that touches on the what's, the why's and the how's. Through the lens from a corporate sustainability view more than anything. It's very useful to anybody who wants to be successful in this space.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do?

There's a handful. There's such an information overload. I find the Corporate Eco Forum puts out a weekly, very well curated digest. It's a Monday morning religiously at about 8:00 AM Eastern. It's free even to non members. If you subscribed to that, you get a weekly dose of very well curated sustainability news if that's all you get to read, you read that. For years now have also worked with BSR Business for Social Responsibility in terms of access to expertise. I find that they're a great partner and they put out also a lot of new knowledge and content and reports for a non members as well, but anybody can consume peer to peer learning. Mentoring is a important part of sustainability since often there's only a handful of us in any one company doing this job.

We're members of the GreenBiz Executive Network. That's a good resource for peer to peer connections and collaboration. The last one I'll mention that's newer for us, but very exciting. We're using a tool called Beta Moran, which is an AI-powered platform to help us streamline our sustainability work. We're about to do a big refresh of our materiality for NRG. For the first time, we're going to use it using this platform instead of using a people power.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at NRG?


It's www.NRG.com/sustainability. You'll find everything you need to know about what we're doing here. If you're also interested in what I'm doing on the ASU, you can go to www.sustainability.ASU.edu. I'm on LinkedIn. It's www.linkedin.com/in/brunosarda. I'm Twitter @bruno68.

May 08, 2018
Bob Langert - Former VP Sustainability at McDonalds and Editor at Large at GreenBizz
31:40

Bob led the development of McDonald’s 2020 Sustainability Vision and Framework, including McDonald’s commitment to the environment, supply chain sustainability, and balanced menu choices.  He retired from McDonald’s, March, 2015 and joined the GreenBiz Group, writing a regular column, The Inside View; and helping with the Green Biz Executive Network. He is President of Mainstream Sustainability, advising companies on sustainability strategies, and a nationally recognized speaker. He is writing a book entitled “The Battle to Do Good; Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey,” scheduled for publication in January 2018.  

Bob Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Lessons learned from decades of experience in corporate sustainability
  • Supply chain sustainability in large corporations
  • Working with NGO's - The good, the bad and the ugly
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Bob Langert Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I noticed a lot of great leadership traits in my years of working with suppliers, working with great McDonalds leaders that made changes and with NGO leaders. You have to have courage because when making change you may have to face a lot of pain and grief. Having conviction. I look at Paul Polman from Unilever. It just kind of comes through in a very magical sense, positive sense of cleverness. And you have to be innovative. Never look at the situation in a standard way of being contrary. Being a sustainability leader, I found myself always in a position where everything I was trying to advocate was against the status quo. 

And this often means, oh, you're against. No, that's not what I mean. You need to know how to be contrary in a positive way. Have to be collaborative, and that means listening and really being open to change and adaptation. And the last one is charisma. You don't have to have this magnetic, you know, slapping the back personality. But I think the ability to attract attention and gain trust is what I think is charismatic. You can write those down and then try to figure out how you could develop the plan for yourself to advance all of those in your leadership.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I love the big goals that are being set by so many companies. Big goals on climate change and deforestation. When I left McDonald's, that's what's thrilled me the most. We set a goal at McDonald's that we're going to start buying sustainable beef by the year 2016. We didn't even know the definition of sustainable beef when we set that goal. That excites me to see a company's taking a big bold goal and leadership. It's not coming through government so companies are doing a great job and on a great track.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

The book I'm going to recommend reminds me of when I talked to Jim Cantalupo. He turned the company around as CEO from the early nineties. I asked him after a year or two on the job, I said "Jim, what's the biggest aha in your leadership as CEO of McDonald's?" He said, " I can't believe 99% of my job is communication." Once you develop a strategy, it's how you communicate. My answer is this great book on communication called Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath published about 10 years ago. It was my bible. He's got a formula for success in communicating. Sustainability professionals all need to look at this book or the principles of it. 

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do?

I'm a big fan of the GreenBiz community. The GreenBiz daily feeds and their website are the best daily news you can get. They have a group called the GreenBiz Executive Network. I found that to be the greatest tool around. Three times a year I get to be with 25 leaders from other companies who's going through the same struggles that I'm going through. Commiserating with them and understanding what they're going through and how they're solving problems was the best tool that I ever had.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work or follow you online?

The best place is go www.greenbiz.com. Look for Bob Langert. Look for my articles there. In the future, I'll be having a website within a month or two. Look me up for the Battle to Do Good that I talked about earlier and people that are interested in getting on the list to learn more about that book.

May 03, 2018
Ian Tierney - Sustainability Lead at KYA Design Group
30:24

As Sustainability Lead at KYA Design Group, Ian Tierney is working to change the way Hawaii develops by incorporating sustainability principles into projects and actively volunteering on the USGBC Hawaii Market Leadership Advisory Board. Ian has worked on numerous sustainability projects across Hawaii including the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport Sustainable Management Plan, the University of Hawaii West Oahu Admin and Allied Health Facility, and the Kamehameha Schools Sustainability Benchmarking Initiative.

Ian Tierney Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Energy benchmarking in buildings
  • Managing and selling LEED certification projects
  • Sustainability initiatives throughout Hawaii
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Ian's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say look into Mark Jewel. He is a best selling author and his classes on selling energy efficiency really taught me a lot about why people buy specifically into ideas and energy efficiency projects. And he provided me with the tools to do financial analysis and business acumen to communicate to business people in the c-suite. And then he also provides support and blog posts daily to keep my saw sharpen.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm probably most excited to be living in Hawaii in this time with all the sustainability goals that the government has set and also seeing it carry over into the big industries here, tourism, construction, military. The goal for 100 percent clean energy by 2045, it's bringing a lot of investment to the state infrastructure and then the Rockefeller Foundation funded the Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency and it's really off to a great start in it's first year, and I just went to a presentation by them the other day and they're collecting so much good information to really inform decision makers about what the public thinks should be the number one and number two and number three priorities to address climate change, sustainability and resiliency. And I don't think anyone's really done that in the way that they have. So that's what I'm super stoked on right now.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I think Abundance by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. I recently read it and it kind of flipped the way that I think. It's very easy to think that it's all doom and gloom and sea-level rise and blah blah, blah and the negative thoughts are very easy to creep in when you're working in sustainability. But Abundance is all about the technologies that are on the way and poised for exponential growth, and for the costs to come down. I'd really appreciate it if everyone read that book because I think it would change the outlook that people have on the future of the world.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

For me it's been networking. So I believe that your network is your net worth. I don't know where I heard that from, but to joining associations like the US Green Building Council Hawaii, the AIA Boma, the University of Hawaii Alumni Network has really allowed me to make connections with people inside and outside of my industry, and that's really helped elevate me to achieve what I previously thought I couldn't achieve.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you are leading at KYA?

We're pretty humble. We don't really like to talk too much about what we do. We kind of just like to do and then people can obviously find out on our website if they want to. You can check me out on Linkedin. Just check out what the US Green Building Council Hawaii chapter is doing. I am on the board of directors for that. I think that's probably more exciting for me is the kind of movement that I'm a part of, not necessarily my own individual or company achievements.

May 01, 2018
Jillian Buckholz - Director of Sustainability at Cal State East Bay
26:14
Jillian Buckholz is the first Director of Sustainability on the California State University, East Bay campus where she is responsible for managing campus sustainability efforts including: an annual greenhouse gas inventory; 5-year climate action plan; comprehensive campus sustainability assessment and plan; project-based student internship program; campus sustainability committee and associated task forces; and educational programming. Prior to coming to The Bay, Jillian was the Senior Programs Coordinator at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). 
 
Jillian Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:
  • Leading sustainability as a team of one
  • Involving students in sustainability through internship programs
  • Sustainability reporting and climate action planning
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Jillian's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that help them in their careers?

Take time to build relationships. It's easy to be excited, especially in a new position and want to do a lot of great work, but making sure that you know where other people are coming from and what their interests and assets are very important. If you're going to be at an institution for quite some time and make some valuable change.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm excited how the social aspects of sustainability are becoming more and more a part of the movement. It's not about recycling and energy efficiency. You're starting to see campuses looking more at the people aspect of sustainability and social justice. I'm excited to see more of that .

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

Anything by David Orr and This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein is a good one.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that you use that help you in the work that you do?

The AASHE website resource center, their Hub STARS, their bulletin. I'm always defaulting to AASHE whenever I need something. Also, the Green Schools Listserv at Brown University is a great resource.

When I was in higher Ed managing sustainability, that was my number one and most visited website was  AASHE. They have absolutely everything you need. I submitted a Sustainable Nation podcast as a tool there, so hopefully that'll be up soon.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Cal State East Bay?

Just go to www.csueastbay.edu and scroll down on the main page, you'll see a big box where students are holding up solar suitcase light bulbs. You can click right there to get to the webpage. I'm on LinkedIn as well. We have @SustainEastBay as a hashtag or a handle for all of our social media, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Apr 25, 2018
Dave Stangis - Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell Soup Company
31:45

Dave Stangis is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company. Dave created and now leads Campbell's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies. As such he oversees the company's execution of CSR and sustainability goals,policies, programs, engagement, and reporting, from responsible sourcing and sustainable agriculture to social impact metrics in the community. Dave co-authored 21st Century Corporate Citizenship and The Executive's Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship.

Dave Stangis Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Leading sustainability in large organizations
  • Linking sustainability to business strategy
  • Sustainability programs supporting an organization's purpose, vision and strategy
  • How Campbell's is using technology to advance sustainability
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I'll try to keep it to one. The one that I haven't mentioned is to really reach out and don't be afraid to network and ask questions of other leaders. You may not get a positive response from everybody, but we take care of our own in sustainability. It's still a fairly small circle. Look for some advice and learning outside of your sector. Don't just think you have to join food or automotive or travel or hospitality or in a government agency. I would try to reach out to somebody that's across the wall in terms of another sector and see what they can help with. 

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm a fan of the life sciences as well as the technology. I grew up in Detroit, so I'm an automotive guy as well, but I think what is happening in the way we're able to deal with some of the systems out there, what is happening in terms of designing plans, people, whether it's good or bad, the ethics around some of these ethical lives, some of these technical choices and how we communicate them, help our companies understand them, and either bring consumers along or educate them enough so they can make an informed choice. I think this is really a big opportunity.

That's where you're going to see kind of the old school sustainability people focused on energy and water and waste, which we always have to focus on, but some of these new sustainability people are bringing another layer of expertise to their companies or their agencies.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I would recommend reading lots of books. I read a great book called the Inevitable by Kevin Kelly around technology coming to bear. I read A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing, a book that Jennifer Doudna wrote about gene editing and how it comes into play out with people and in plants. I'm reading a couple of books now on artificial intelligence and algorithms. I think there's a lot of stuff to just keep reading. Force yourself and pick up something that you're interested in and study a little bit. There's a lot of great books out there. Some of the books that I read early on were some of the work by John Elkington from sustainability. Some of those were ones that sent me on my path.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really helped you in the work that you do?

I set up a lot of feeds that come to my computer and email every day. I follow a lot of different key topics and people on Twitter or Linkedin. It's really the feeds that I follow in their online newsletters. I sign up for a lot of things that compile news on topics I'm interested in. So I'll get hundreds of these newsletters every day. You just need to scan them for headlines and find stories that are interesting.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work they were leading at Campbell's?

There's a few places I would suggest. The Campbell CSR websites just launched. Its www.campbellcsr.com. We also have a Campbell CSR Twitter account. There's a lot of good news stories and what we're doing on there. The team is also pretty active on Twitter and Linkedin as well. Just searching around for Campbell and Campbell Soup, Campbell CSR on Linkedin and Twitter. You'd be able to track down some of the teams that are working on sustainable agriculture and working on our core team and follow us there.

Apr 23, 2018
Hunter Lovins - President of Natural Capitalism Solutions and Co-author of Natural Capitalism
36:37

L. Hunter Lovins is an author and the President and Founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS), a  non-profit formed in 2002 in Longmont, CO. A renowned author and  champion of sustainable development for over 35 years, Hunter has  consulted on sustainable agriculture, energy, water, security, and climate policies for scores of governments, communities, and companies worldwide. Within the United States, she has consulted for the Presidential Cabinet, Department of Defense, EPA, Department of Energy and numerous state and local agencies.

Hunter Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • What has changed since writing Natural Capitalism in 2000
  • Sustainability as a competitive advantage
  • Regenerative economies
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability professionals

Hunter's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

This comes from my friend Kate Wolf, the folk singer who said, "Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it." There is so much important work that needs to be done. Whether in early childhood education or cleaning fossil fuels and carbon emissions out of our economy or getting plastic single use plastics out of our lives. Whatever it is that you're passionate about, commit to it and commit to adopt. Do one thing. Every day, what's your dot? At the end of the day look back and say, "Did I do my dot?" If every day you do a dot, you will move the world.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

With a group from around the world, we created a new organization called We-All( Wellbeing Economy Alliance). There's so many groups around the world. What we did was take a number of them and combine them. There are now about dozens of new economy groups literally from all over the world who are committing to work together to spread this concept of an economy that works in service to life. An economy that works for a 100% of humanity. Watch this space. We've just launched the website at the moment it's just a landing page, but in the coming days we're going to be flushing it out. I'm also pretty thrilled about my new book, A Finer Future. We're going to be launching a website for that, where I will be having an ongoing discussion, posting all the cool new things that keep happening. I put the book to bed the end of January, and since then, so much stuff has happened and continues to happen. That is good news. Things that individuals can do that we can all make a difference with. We're going to make it a living website for the book. It'll be www.ourfinerfuture.org.

Then the work of Natural Capitalism Solutions. My little NGO, which is part of We-All, part of Fullerton's Regenerative hubs. We're working with groups like the Savory Institute on Regenerative Agriculture. We're resurrecting work. We did a few years back for small businesses to teach students how to go out into their community with a set of tools we develop that enable small businesses to cut their carbon footprint profitably. We're just going to give it away. Watch this space. Watch the Natural Capitalism website. Watch for my book A Finer Future: Creating an Economy in Service to Life.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I believe it's called A Finer Future coming out in September. If you don't want to wait for that one, Kate Raworth's Doughnut Economics and Freya Williams' Green Giant's. Freya lays out a whole set of principles that the next billion dollar companies are following to build their profitability.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

SASB - Sustainability Accounting Standards Board should hit the streets this year. This is a effort by Bob Eccles at Harvard to transform accounting so that sustainability practices that are material, which is to say a reasonable investor would want to know about them, will now have to be accounted for as part of financial accounting. When this hits the streets, it's going to transform everything. The Savory Institute's ecological outcome verification. How do you know if a product is regenerative? Savory Ins. is developing this with scientists to enable ranchers, farmers to be able to demonstrate year on year that what they're doing is increasing the carbon in the soil, is increasing biodiversity, increasing a whole range of ecosystem indicators, and then certifying it so that when you go to a grocery store, when you buy a fashion brand, there'll be a little label on it. This is regenerative. If you as a consumer preferentially buy products that are certified regenerative, you'll be part of the solution.

Where can our listeners go to follow you and learn more about the work that you do and learn about all these exciting things you're working on?

Keep listening to your podcast. Our website is www.napcapsolutions.org Natural Capitalism. The Finer Future website is www.finerfuture.org. Also, www.wellbeingeconomy.org. I'm on Twitter @hlovins. I'm on Facebook and come September, I'll have a new book out.

Apr 20, 2018
Susan Hunt Stevens - Employee Engagement and Sustainability
35:59

Susan Hunt Stevens is the Founder/CEO of WeSpire, the leading employee engagement technology platform that forward-thinking global companies use to design, run and measure positive impact and sustainability initiatives. She is a recognized expert in the use of social and game mechanics to drive positive behavior change and was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015. 

Susan Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Importance of employee engagement in advancing sustainability
  • Increasing employee organization at your organization
  • Using the WeSpire platform to engage employees around sustainability
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Susan's Final Five Question Responses:

What does one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers? 

Network, lead through influence, borrow from others. Networking so you know what others are doing and can learn from this community. It's an amazing community.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

The materials innovation that is occurring in sustainability is going to open up huge opportunities for monumental shifts in carbon use and ideally carbon reduction. Materials innovation is something I'm really fascinated by in general in sustainability.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I love everything that Andrew Winston has written. He writes it in a way that's accessible for people who are new to sustainability. If you haven't seen Green to Gold is probably a great place to start.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

These aren't necessarily a sustainability specific tools on. I am a huge proponent of Slack which we use as a front end communication platform for chat internally. It reduces email which I appreciate immensely. I love video conferencing. We just switched over to Zoom and being able to video conferences, see people who are clients or prospective clients around the world makes them feel like you're sitting there, but without getting on the plane, which is really good for reducing carbon emissions. I am a big fan of the old fashioned notebook. If I were recommending a non-sustainability book to everyone, productivity wise, there's a book called The ONE Thing that has great approach to creating a sustainable life for yourself and being able to really execute well against goals in personal, spiritual business, things like that. That old fashioned notebook, that's where you set your goals and what you're going to do each day to hit them is underrated.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at WeSpire?

It is easy, www.WeSpire.com.

Reach Susan Hunt Stevens at: http://www.wespire.com/

Reach Josh Prigge at: https://www.sustridge.com/

Apr 18, 2018
Jamie Moore - Director of Sustainability and Sourcing at Eat'n Park
35:30

Jamie Moore is the Director of Sourcing and Sustainability at Eat'n Park Hospitality Group. Jamie quickly noticed a need to develop and maintain an innovative program that would separate Eat’n Park from their competitors. With this in mind, Jamie developed a local purchasing program called FarmSource. This program ensures that 20% of all site’s food supply is purchased in and around their communities. The FarmSource program has received national recognition in 2009 by the Glynwood Center for Connecting Communities, Farmers and Food. 

Jamie Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Implementing local and sustainable food programs in restaurants
  • Developing relationships to advance sustainability initiatives
  • Sustainability opportunities in the food service industry
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Jamie's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Build upon things that you and always be someone that can educate versus again, I guess it's not educate, listen, and then hopefully return with something that you can educate someone on that made sense, but I think education is a big thing and listening is another.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm excited about the local incubators that are starting to pop and new makers that are starting to enter the marketplace.

What is one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals read?

I loved Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma. That was a great book and I'll call it a textbook to some extent because I feel that it was written very similar to a textbook. He did a good job on about our food system. I felt that Omnivore's Dilemma was a great book for it.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do? It could be anything from websites, associations, technology, software programs, any type of resources?

A new organization that I just joined is the IFT Institute of Food Technologists. It is an international organization that focuses on food scientists. I went to a local group here in Pittsburgh and I was blown away and these were people that are in the same space. Food safety is a big part of that equation. One of the things that I noticed of the people that were in attendance to this meeting or some of the same little small makers that I've run into the I've certified or inspected over the course of my time here doing what I do. I was very taken back that they were in that room. They were active. They were trying to understand science behind food, which was really cool. The IFT is what I would recommend.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Eat'n Park?

We have a website. I wish I could give you a Facebook page, but I don't have a personal Facebook page, but our website is http://www.enphospitality.com/.

Contact:

Jamie Moore: http://www.enphospitality.com/

Josh Prigge: https://www.sustridge.com/ 

Apr 16, 2018
Shannon Pinc - Environment and Sustainability Coordinator at St. Louis Park, MN
29:58

Shannon Pinc is the Environment and Sustainability Coordinator for the City of St. Louis Park.  Her interest in protecting natural resources led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in biology from St. Catherine’s University and a master’s degree in environmental management systems from the University of Minnesota.  Her goal of educating others on the importance of protecting natural resources and maintaining them for future generations is a lifelong passion. 

Shannon Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • History of sustainability leadership at St. Louis Park
  • Climate Action Planning at the city level
  • Involving the youth in the sustainability movement
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Shannon's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I get questions along this line quite a bit. I have a lot of people who contact me wondering how I got my job and what should I do to get there? The question I get most frequently is, "Should I get a degree in sustainability?" or  "Should I go back and get my master's degree in sustainability?" What I say to that question is, "If you are already working on that kind of degree, great!" But if you have not already pursued that, maybe to consider what they already have expertise in. It could be communications. It could be design. It could be chemistry. It could be supply chain and a million other jobs where you can impact sustainability, and what you already do by adding that lens into how you operate to do your job. Sometimes I think education's the answer, other times it's to find how you can make change within what you're already doing or what you already have expertise.

For those who may be wanting to focus more in sustainability or maybe even do a career change, then I do recommend that if they're not interested in going back for a degree but are struggling to get kind of in that first job that perhaps they might want to look at some certification programs that would give them a little bit more credibility on the resume to show that they've got strong understanding and ability to implement sustainable principles.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Even though I don't focus much anymore on waste, it has always been a passion of mine to avoid this problem of all the waste we create. The circular economy is kind of like my fun little topic that I look into and read about because I just love seeing the different businesses and partnerships with universities and researchers that are going on to stop the take, make dispose type of mentality and try to engineer that waste out of that system. That's always been a real interest of mine because I started out in heavy manufacturing as a consultant and working on a manufacturing events and things like that and trying to engineer out these risks and these costly on processes that produce a lot of waste. I get very excited looking at the circular economy topics.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

That's a tricky question. Right now, I have not been reading a lot of books about sustainability specifically. I have been reading more on how to stay positive because there's a lot of anxiety and stress for people in our field right now with so many rollbacks of environmental protections, continued climate change denial and unknown future legislations and things like renewables. I've been reading Declutter your Mind by S.J Scott and Barrie Davenport. To be able to keep me positive and focused on the job at hand and not get mired down in how frustrating it can be in the larger federal level where things are not happening. If I were to recommend any other book that was focused on sustainability, I would want to know more about what level of expertise that person is at or what kind of challenge they're having with their job, before I would want to respond with any particular book.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

You asked about the green step cities program and that's actually definitely one of them. I also get some great information from the International Society of Sustainability professionals and their webinars. I'm looking at their credentialing program as well for sustainability professionals and considering studying for that exam myself. I'd like to promote that going forward. I also work a lot with USGBC, so the Green Building Council LEED principles and ideas, I'm very involved with the local chapter even though I don't do LEED buildings. We do principles and we have a green building policy that allows any kind of project that's going to be having some sort of funding attached to it to adhere to that green building policy. Therefore, US Green Building Council LEED program or other green programs are to be used as part of that assessment and following in line with our policy. Those are some of the resources that I use. The resources I have from my peers in the metro area. We share pretty much everything that we feel we can and try to help tailor that to the different challenges and barriers we may have because not all our cities are all the same.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about the work that you are leading at St. Louis Park?

They can go to our regular St Louis Park website, www.stlouispark.org .Then, you can go and look at either our climate action plan page. Our environment and sustainability page. You can search for me on there, but I don't have my own page on that site. I'm also on twitter @pinc_pinc and on LinkedIn.

 

Apr 13, 2018
Michael Kobori - Vice President of Sustainability Levi Strauss & Co.
28:25

Michael Kobori has led sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. since 2001. He developed and leads the company’s sustainability strategy, which includes integrating sustainability into all global functions and regional businesses and open sourcing the company’s sustainability innovations to the rest of the industry.

Under Michael’s tenure, Levi Strauss & Co. has been an industry pioneer on initiatives such as the Better Cotton Initiative, Water

Michael Kobori Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • History of sustainability leadership at Levi's
  • Sustainability through a company's entire value chain
  • Key qualities of a strong sustainability leader
  • Competition versus collaboration in the apparel industry
  • Advice and Recommendations for sustainability leaders

Michael's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability leaders that might help them in their careers?

Know the business and understand your business.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm excited about this emerging idea of regenerative, development, and restorative. Some people call it net positive. The idea that as an entity, a corporation can do more good than harm. That they're positive impacts in the world can outweigh the negative impacts of their footprint. That's really interesting. 

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

There is a wonderful book that was written a couple of years ago by one of the real leaders in our field and has been a mentor to me. Jonathon Porritt, who founded Forum for the Future in the UK and founded the Green Party in Britain. Jonathon's written many books. His latest book is called, The World We Made. It is written from the perspective of a school teacher in the year 2050. He is writing this book as a memoir reflecting on all of the things that happen to get the world to this place in 2050, where it is in balance and sustainable. Brilliant work.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do?

I used Twitter a lot. I get a lot of good information and insight from Twitter. It's partly because of following people like Jonathon Porritt and John Elkington and other leaders in the field. I see what they are thinking, what are they talking about, what is top of mind for them. That gives me a lot of insight. I find it to be a useful tool.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at Levi's and follow you on Twitter?

My handle is @KoboriGrillsCSR. I have the handle because I don't like the term CSR much prefer, I think it's outdated. I much preferred sustainability. I like to grill. I love to cook. That kind of combined them, Kobori Grills CSR, that's the handle.

Apr 11, 2018
Allison Jordan - Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance
29:03

Allison Jordan is Vice President, Environmental Affairs for Wine Institute, a public policy association of nearly 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses. She also serves as Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a non-governmental organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers to promote environmental and social responsibility in California – the fourth largest wine region in the world – through the Sustainable Winegrowing Program and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. 

Allison Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • The state of sustainability in the California wine industry
  • Benefits of sustainability for wineries and vineyards
  • New sustainability certification logo on wine bottles
  • Adopting the California Certified Sustainable Winegrowing framework for other industries
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say my best advice is to partner. Sustainability is so broad. It's challenging to be an expert in all of the areas, so building those alliances is important. In our case we have a joint committee, 50 growers and vintners and a board of directors that are actually made up of the vineyards and wineries. So we really rely on those partnerships for what we're doing and making sure that it's going to be valuable to the industry. We also rely on scientists from academic institutions, from NGOs with their expertise in certain areas, and other experts. That was important when we put the code together, when we develop certification, when we evolved certification to become a product logo out for the wine label in all areas. We relied on getting input from all of those key partners. Sustainability professionals are really bridge builders. We advanced that multi-sector approach when we're looking at both private and public problems.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

It's the mainstreaming of it. It's amazing to me that just how much we're able to move the mark as an industry where we have 4,700 wineries and were able to get this information out so it has a really big impact. The other part is, I'm a mom, and so I just am so excited about the work that my kids do to understand climate change and to be able to explain it so simply, and to go out and pull out invasive species and riparian habitat, and they're just incredible and give me a lot of inspiration.

What is the one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals?

I was thinking back to graduate school and all that I’ve read since. One of the most exciting ones I remember reading is the Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I'm so looped in with the wine industry, so I'm not sure how much of it would be for your broader listeners. I feel like there's so many great conferences and Sustainable Brands is one that just came to mind that I went to a couple of years ago when I hope to be able to go to again in Vancouver. It's really exciting to see what big brands are doing, but also what little ones are doing with the creativity that exists in the space. I would check out Sustainable Brands.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading?

You can go to several different websites. We have www.sustainablewinegrowing.org .Which is the California sustainable wine growing alliance's website. It's detailed and it's full of resources for growers and vintners. You can also download the code and our regular sustainability reports as well as our new certification, our certification annual report. There's also www.discovercaliforniawines.com.  That one is more about our consumer facing trade, facing website, about California wines in general. We have a great interactive, sustainable winegrowing section on that. If you're really interested, you can actually take a one hour free online course. Then if you pass a test at the end of it, you can actually download a customizable, little certificate that says, "You're a California Sustainable Wine Growing Ambassador. "  It's a great way to learn a little bit more about us. Also, info@sustainablewinegrowing.org is our general information website or email address. Also, in Facebook, you can just search for a California Sustainable Wine Growing Alliance, CSWA.

Apr 09, 2018
Dawn Rittenhouse - Director of Sustainability for DuPont
28:11

As the Director of Sustainability for DuPont, Dawn Rittenhouse is an industry leader on the intersection between business and the environment.  As a key advisor and ambassador for DuPont, she guides its C-suite, businesses and customers on policy and fosters relationships with NGOs and organizations around the world.

Dawn Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Sustainable innovation and R & D at DuPont
  • The evolution of corporate sustainability
  • Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals for your corporate strategy
  • Cross-sector collaboration
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders  

Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I'd like patience and perseverance. I found like when I would go to overall business council for sustainable development meeting, there were people who were all in the same space as I was and we were all kind of support each other and you could leave regenerated again. Find whatever it is that can help regenerate too because it can be a challenging space to work in full time.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

The sustainable development goals. They're going to help us particularly as countries start to say this is what we're trying to drive through our policies, through our programs, through what they are investing in terms of how government does their investing. It is going to help set a much better stage for companies to bring their innovations to the market.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

This was a tough one. I stared at my bookcase for about 10 minutes the other night, trying to figure out which one of the books I would recommend. I came up with Profits with Principles which was written by Ira Jackson and Jane Nelson. It was published in 2004. They've still captured a lot of the essence of what you need to do to be able to accomplish sustainability.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

The work of World Resources Institute is really good. They've got a lot of tools. They got the aqueduct so you can go in and look for water scarce and stressed areas. We were able to map all of our sites globally to see what our risks are from water. They've got forest watch for deforestation issues. WRI has created a lot of fabulous tools to help companies really get the science behind it.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at DuPont?

You can go to http://www.dupont.com/and our sustainability pages there is probably the best place to see what DuPont is doing.

Apr 06, 2018
Chris Laszlo - Author of Embedded Sustainability and Flourishing Enterprise
33:14

Chris Laszlo, PhD is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where he leads the Quantum Leadership initiative, which conducts research and practice into elevating consciousness as the highest point of leverage in transforming leaders into agents of world benefit. He is the author of Flourishing Enterprise (2014), Embedded Sustainability (2011), and Sustainable Value (2008)

Chris Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Embedding sustainability into a company's core strategy
  • Moving from sustainable to flourishing 
  • Transforming consciousness for sustainable change
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Get a solid grounding in business operations as well as whatever knowledge you might have about environmental sciences or sustainability communications. All of those are important. If you can get a couple of years of experience in a more of a line management position early on in your career, you will never regret it because you will always be able to speak to people who are running a business or a division or our heads of a functional heads such as head of marketing or head of sales and business with a kind of equal footing that you won't have if you are only in a sustainability background.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

Direct intuitive learning is a catch phrase that speaks to moving beyond the typical kind of cognitive analytic, cognitive learning that we have, whether it's in business school or in training programs in the workplace.

I think business leaders need to engage in practices. Practices of connectedness or narrow sense or mindfulness practices. Whether it's mindfulness meditation or nature immersion. Yoga is popular, but art and aesthetics, appreciative inquiry. There are range of different kinds of practices of this kind. It's even beyond these sort of more esoteric eastern type practices. It's a high quality relationships with friends. It's having a glass of wine with a friend. It's for some people it might be a fishing or going horseback riding. I was speaking to a colleague of mine who said that that's really where they feel, able to feel whole and connected to themselves and to nature and others. The point is that we live in a multitasking world where we're jumping from one electronic screen to another and heavily dependent on analytic cognitive, way of being all the time. To change this consciousness that we spoke about earlier. We need to introduce in the workplace practices that heal people, make people feel whole, that's the next frontier for sustainability professionals will be to emphasize and encourage a lifestyle for all organizational leaders at every level so that before they can focus on flourishing organizations in service of a flourishing world, they themselves as individuals are also able to flourish. 

How about a book recommendation? What's the one or two books that you would recommend every sustainability professional read?

I really liked Frederic Laloux Reinventing Organizations. It's quite popular. I'll point out that the subtitle of that book is a guide to creating organizations inspired by the next stage of human consciousness. It has had a very big impact on certainly on to their PHD students and executives that I've worked with in the last couple of years since it came out.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you out in your work? It could be anything, websites, software, technologies, guidebooks, any type of resources.

I would like to recommend a website called AIM2Flourish.com. There you will find thousands stories were more businesses that are doing well by doing good. These are sort of the untold stories from around the world of businesses that are agents of world benefit.

With all the negative news that we have in the world, for those of us that are looking at the role of business, it's encouraging to see just how many businesses, the variety of businesses that have found ways to succeed, financially and economically, by doing good in terms of environmental restoration or social community well-being and personal well-being. 

I also have a number of tools in embedded sustainability. I have a new book. I have a co-author, Fred Tsao in China. He's the chairman of a multi-billion dollar shipping and real estate company in Asia based in Shanghai and Singapore. And he and I have coauthored based on his experience as a leader at this company. A new book called Quantum Leadership: New Consciousness in Business. It will be coming out probably later to see from Stanford University press and we will have many of the points we've covered in this podcast in-depth book. Look for it will be Tsao and Lazlo, Quantum Leadership, a new consciousness in business.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about your work? Follow you, a website or any type of information where they can follow what you do.

I would welcome being connected to this community of like-minded professionals. You can read, I met the Weatherhead school of business at Case Western Reserve University. The link there is a https://weatherhead.case.edu You can find me on LinkedIn. My twitter handle is @embedsustain.

Apr 04, 2018
Matt St. Clair - Sustainability Leadership at the University of California
30:30

Matthew St.Clair is the first Director of Sustainability for the University of California Office of the President, leading sustainability efforts across the 10-campus UC system since 2004.

Matt St. Clair joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Leading sustainability for the third largest employer in California
  • Using best practices from campuses to implement change across the entire system
  • University of California's ambitious climate, energy and waste goals
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Be a good listener. As a sustainability professional, you have to change what people do, what organizations do. And so in order to get people to work with you to make that change, you need to be a good listener to understand the pathways that are easiest to make that change and to gain the trust of the people you need to work with to change things.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I would say one of the technological developments I'm most excited about is that electric vehicles seem to finally be taking off. And transportation is one of the hardest nuts to crack in terms of a global greenhouse gas emissions reductions. So the fact that we have campuses that are telling me that every year at least they're doubling the number of parking permits to electric vehicles, that's really promising that that EV market is finally taking off. Especially coupled with what I said about renewable electricity now becoming available to power those cars.

Now, if only all states could be moving as quickly as California and Hawaii on electric vehicles, that would be great. What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

That is so hard? This is a going back to a classic, but John Mcphee is a great natural history writer and has written a couple books, one of which I'm blanking on the name actually, but it tells three stories of what happens when men feel like they can control nature. The Control of Nature. I knew I'd come to me. I think it provides some common understanding of a systems perspective and the interaction between human and natural systems, that we have to try to bring a greater awareness and understanding with everyone we work with on on sustainability topics.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do?

Well, working at a university, AASHE the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. It's a great resource. Their weekly bulletin is great. Similarly, the National Green Schools listserv is this great hive or group brain, that all of us in the community access when it's helpful. It helps the whole movement move forward through venues like that to connect and learn from each other.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading at the University of California?

https://www.ucop.edu/sustainability/is our main sustainability website. There's contact information for myself and others in our system wide sustainability team on that website.

Apr 02, 2018
Aly Khalifa - Circular Economy Design Expert
37:34

Aly Khalifa joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Cradle to Cradle and the circular economy'
  • Engineering and designing for a sustainable future
  • Ocean plastic and designing with recycled materials
  • Recommendations and advice for sustainability professionals

Final Five Questions:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals or those working in the circular economy that might help them in their careers?

I think there's a principle that I like to use called boundary conditions, and that's something I learned from engineering school. If I'm looking at like the structure of a building and you say "calculate that structure," it's like an impossible task. You need a computer to sort of figure out what happens and the wind load. But what you can do is isolate a single beam and just draw your boundary conditions around one beam, and calculate for that. And as you get more sophisticated in your modeling, your boundary conditions might grow. You might draw around a bigger boundary. You also might say, "I'm going to announce think about temperature also," or I'm going to think about what if there's a rocking party on top of that beam and there's a lot of vibration? So the boundary conditions define for you the problem that you're going to address.

And I think in many cases we draw that circle very tightly and we say, "well, I'm just going to deal with this," or in many cases those boundary conditions are never firmly addressed at the beginning because. And we do the same thing in life cycle analysis, right? We have to consider my carbon footprint from here to here, but I'm not going to go outside of that picture. But sometimes it's when you actually list what you're going to define and the things that you can address, and here's the things you are not going to address. Sometimes it's a wake-up call because reflexively, we will attack problems like we've always attacked them and think, "I'm not going to deal with fair labor. I'm not going to talk about realization or I'm not going to talk about these things," without really having acknowledged to yourself that you're not going to do that. Or vice versa. When you do take something on, maybe it's not appropriate to address that. So I think there needs to be some real rigor as a professional about what's inside the boundary conditions for each project, especially on the sustainability side. What are you willing to take on and address, and what do you not want to be distracted by? Because this product has to get done. Frequently, I think there's one stretch that you can take. You can add maybe one set of criteria to it from a sustainability perspective, without having to like eat the whole elephant in one bite. You can say, "I'm just going to take one bite here. I'm really going to reach for this one particular thing without having to address all of it."

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability or the circular economy?

One thing it's been great for us on the Ocean Work side is blockchain technology. The whole notion that we can have communities that help us develop a transparency to the way information is shared is very exciting. I have limited knowledge on the topic, so please don't ask me any more about block chain. There's much more qualified people about that. But I do think it's really exciting thing because it's a technology that's not necessarily just for technology's sake. It seems like the heart of the technology is transparency and community building. And I think that's fantastic. I think there must be other technologies we haven't developed, whether it's open source engineering systems, I think there's many different ways that we could develop technologies that are inherently community building and inherently transparent. I'm just wondering what the next one is, but I think this is one of the cases where I feel like I can just build off the work someone else has done and instead of building the tool, get to use the tool. That's really refreshing for me as a sustainability professional. I think in many cases we have to develop the tools more than we get to use them. And in this case I feel like there's a lot to learn about this tool.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

Well, probably the one that first really got me fired up was Entropy by Jeremy Rifkin. I think that was the one, as someone coming into it, just sort of having my head taken off and my brain shaken it up a little bit, and my head put back on. I just felt like I wasn't the same after reading that. I think that's good because I think sometimes we do just need the rational, logical kind of approach to sustainability, but we need the energizing aspect to it. So I felt like Entropy was one that was really great, but there's so many other inspirations for me. I've already mentioned Cradle to Cradle, but I think for me also just the writings of Buckminster Fuller and his call for design science revolution really pushed me on my way.

He has a really fun book called I Seem to be a Verb, which isn't really anything to do with sustainability. It's about how to start a design science revolution and what kind of happens in the mind of Buckminster Fuller. And I think that would be another one I just think is a good one to kickstart some emotions on this topic.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

Yeah, it just seems like it changes by the day. I think one of the tools that I'm really enjoying in the past few months is the platform called Slack. It's allowing teams to collaborate on a variety of threads all at once, like the simultaneous nature of being able to look at what's developing across similar but slightly different threads. It's fantastic for me. I feel like that's a tool that allows me to just very quickly share and get feedback amongst a multitasking type of research projects. And then there's a lot of different systems that are going on in terms of tracking materials and signals. The idea of materials having intelligence the equivalent of a DNA, being able to understand what the material is very quickly. There is so much happening on that right now as well. I think that's also fantastic. That's exactly what's needed. We need to attach information to our products to understand them 

And finally where can our listeners go to learn more about what you do, learn more about Ocean Works, follow you, whatever you'd like to give out for websites or any way to follow your work.

Well, I think my social media presence is pretty frenetic and its fits and starts. Usually has to do with when am I in research phase and when am I in publishing phase, or different things that I'm doing. But certainly on twitter it's AlygKhalifa and that's probably the quickest, easiest way to get to me. But certainly on LinkedIn, I'm pretty active on that. And then Oceanworks.co is where a lot of the Ocean Work stuff is happening. My firm Design Box is partnered up with that, so designbox.us.  You can also see a lot of the other projects that were kind of preceding all this big investment into Ocean Works.

Contact Aly Khalifa: https://twitter.com/alygkhalifa

Contact Josh Prigge: josh@sustridge.com

Sustridge: https://www.sustridge.com/

 

Mar 30, 2018
Matt Lynch - System Sustainability Coordinator at University of Hawaii
37:15

Matt Lynch joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Sustainability programs and initiatives at the University of Hawaii
  • Hawaii's ambitious renewable energy future and UH's contributions
  • Reimagining organizational design for sustainability
  • The Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit
  • Recommendations and advice for sustainability leaders

Matt's Final Five responses:

 

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I'll give the same advice that my grandma gave me: you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. I would say cultivate and practice the skill-set of active listening, and then related to that is go seek out a mentor that can help you with dynamic group process and the skill-set of developing a group design, processes that can facilitate productive meetings. I think if I was to boil down the job description of sustainability professionals, one of the, the minimum qualifications would be something along the lines of the ability to design an agenda that does not result in death by meeting.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

I really think that this emergent, I don't know what to call it, I don't know if it's a practice or a lexicon, but there's this sense that we're getting from the field - the leading edge of practitioners are all talking about the need to look at, reimagine our sort of organizational design and the ways that we navigate these organizations. So I've heard different language for it. I think Leith Sharp and her group are using the term "Flow State Organizations;" they've connected with Janine Benyus who is focused on the biomimicry world, and are now coming up with additional terms. Locally, I've heard it referred to as a "network based organization," and I think that this tinkering with our human operating systems is by far the most exciting thing, another exciting piece in the field of sustainability right now.

What is one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals read?

Hard to go with one. I'm going to say Social Physics, a book by Sandy Pentland who is a mathematician using big data to study behavioral science at MIT. It's really transformed my understanding of how we make decisions individually and as a group.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really helped you in the work that you do?

This is specific to higher ed, but there's a great green schools list that has been in existence for over 10 years, you know when emails lists were a thing, and this has survived because of its utility - and outside of Higher Ed, I've actually have been a long time subscriber to a newsletter called Thoughts from the Frontline and it's published by a hardcore republican hedge fund analyst. I find his financial and geopolitical analysis to be fascinating. He called the mortgage market meltdown. It is not that norm of what a sustainability professional might be paying attention to. So it gives me this completely alternative viewpoint that I can bring back into this practice and I continue to find that a really valuable resource.

Finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're doing at UH?

In our sustainability website is http://www.hawaii.edu/sustainability/and we're starting to focus on developing a larger social media presence as well so you can find us there well.

Mar 28, 2018
Richard Heinberg - Author of The Party's Over and Post Carbon Institute Senior Fellow
32:12

Richard Heinberg is the author of thirteen award-winning books including The Party’s Over; Powerdown; Peak Everything; The End of Growthand Our Renewable Futureas well as hundreds of articles and essays. He is a Senior Fellow of the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost advocates for a shift away from fossil fuels. He has delivered hundreds of lectures to audiences around the world and has been published in Nature, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, and Reuters.

Richard Heinberg joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • The current state of energy and its contributions to the climate crisis
  • The shale gas and tight oil bubble
  • Community resiliency
  • The transition to a fossil fuel free future
  • Recommendations and advice for sustainability leaders

Richard Heinberg's Final Five:

What is one piece of advice you'd give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I don't know if it's a piece of advice, but I'd just say, hey you're doing the most important work anybody is doing right now, so even if it's tough, keep at it.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

One of the things I'm excited about is carbon farming. I think there's a huge opportunity for us to take CO2 out of the atmosphere and put it back in soil, and as a result of that, we could change our whole food system for the better.

And we could reverse climate change if everybody switched over to regenerative agriculture practices. Northern California is definitely doing a lot of great work in that area. What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

Sustainability professionals are sort of keeping up with the latest literature on climate and renewable energy and so on. But I would really recommend that sustainable professionals also read some of the classics in the field going back all the way to the seventies and before. Things like Limits to Growth. If you haven't read that book, you really owe it to yourself to study it closely.

How are we tracking those predictions from that book?

We're very much on track. Not just the team of scientists who produced that book, but also independent groups have gone back and looked at the scenarios and the trajectories that were discussed in Limits to Growth. It's some of the most accurate modeling that's been done on world systems.

That's pretty incredible. Especially, all the controversy surrounding that book when it came out. And here we are 40 years later, 50 years almost, and where we're right on track with most of it. It's kind of scary. What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

You know, there's a great website for modeling energy and climate. It's called Climate Interactive. And you can go there and tweak the dials yourself. There's a tool called C Roads that's for carbon emissions, and one called EN Roads that's for working with an energy sources. And again, you can tweak the dials with energy and public policy and so on, and see what actually happens in terms of carbon emissions. If you do that, I think one of the things you learn is that there are no easy answers. There are a lot of tradeoffs and there's no silver bullet.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work?

There are a couple of websites I've mentioned for my work, Richard Heiberg.com is a good place to go. I have lots and lots of archived essays there. And then for Post Carbon Institute I would recommend our public website resilience.org. And that's just a fantastic website to look at every morning to see news about resilience work and sustainability. Not just in the US, but also elsewhere in the world. So those are the best.

Mar 26, 2018
Cheri Chastain - Sustainability Manager at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
29:15

Cheri Chastain has been the Sustainability Manager for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. since 2006 where she is responsible for educating employees on environmental issues and programs, maintaining and developing sustainability policies and projects, and representing Sierra Nevada in industry and policy conversations.  Cheri currently co-chairs the Brewers Association Sustainability Committee, is vice chair of the City of Chico’s Sustainability Task Force, and is a board member of the US Zero Waste Business Council. 

Cheri Joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • What's new in sustainability at Sierra Nevada
  • Sustainability in the beer industry
  • Innovations in renewable energy
  • Being a Zero Waste leader
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

More on Cheri and sustainability at Sierra Nevada: https://sierranevada.com/brewery/about-us/sustainability

More on Sustridge and the Sustainable Nation Podcast: https://www.sustridge.com/

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers? 

Make friends.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

I'm most excited about the momentum that's building. For so long, it was Al Gore and his inconvenient truth and that just rubbed people the wrong way and it ruffled a lot of feathers and it did some of the necessary way. I think we needed that, but all of a sudden, the effects of climate change are becoming so apparent to people all over this country, all over the globe in the momentum that's building the innovative solutions that are coming out of, plays little corners all over the globe. I find that very exciting. I feel like we're kind of at a tipping point and it's hopefully going to tip in a really positive way.

What is the one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Book that was written over almost 40 years ago. Still so relevant today and it's such a simple, clear, beautiful message that we should all remind ourselves of.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that you use to really help you in the work that you do?

Our friends at series are an incredible resource for helping to guide policy and engaging businesses on policy, work and efforts. My friends and colleagues within beer that are addressing sustainability and craft brewing. They are an incredible resource and we're able to bounce off of each other and feed off of each other.

Finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about your work and what you do?

Our website, www.SierraNevada.com. There's a sustainability section in there. I'm actually in the process right now of updating our sustainability report and that should go live April first is our target date. So for the most up to date information, check back after April first.

Mar 23, 2018
Jackie Kozak Thiel - Chief Sustainability Officer at Fort Collins, CO
30:02

Jackie is the Chief Sustainability Officer for city of Fort Collins where she oversees the departments of environmental services, economic health, and social sustainability. Fort Collins has some of the most ambitious climate action goals in the world, including carbon neutrality by 2050. Formerly, Jackie worked as the Governor’s State Sustainability Coordinator for Hawaii, where she led the launch of the Aloha+ Challenge with the public-private partnership Hawaii Green Growth.

Jackie joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Leading sustainability programs in local government.
  • Lessons learned from managing sustainability efforts on an island community.
  • Developing and implementing Climate Action Plans.
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability professionals.

Jackie's Final Five Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Besides kind of the being both data driven and value based, the other one I would give is being authentic, because so much of what we need to do to be successful is in forging strong partnerships because we are looking at transforming systems. And so I think bringing authentic servant leadership is going to be critical for us to be successful at that. I think that's what I would really recommend to folks. And also, to just recognize we can't know it all, right? And so we're looking at transforming systems to recognize the assets and strength of being a generalist who can help to connect dots and engage experts or sectors that will help you to accomplish things and not necessarily thinking that you need to be an expert in everything. So that's not possible. And also we miss a lot because we don't engage others expertise.

Jackie, what are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

I think what is exciting for me, Josh, I think about Paul Hawkins Blessed Unrest and he talked about if you brought the indigenous peoples movement and the environmental sustainability movement and the social justice movements together, just the power of that. And I think what I'm excited about is just that there's so much more conversation about equity and affordability in sustainability than there ever was before. And I think just about the new sector allies. I mean, I just was meeting someone from the health sector today, and not only how excited I am about those partnerships, but the lenses and the expertise and the community engagements that the social sector will bring to sustainability is really exciting to me.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I know that's a super geeky, but I my did my master's thesis on implementing sustainability plans and policies. Because my question was, why did bad things happen to good plans? And how do we actually honor the planning process by making it happen. And so I've found so much great literature actually from the public administration field actually for local governments for sustainability that are really great. It's not a book, it's more of like a handbook, but I think for sustainability professionals it just is so helpful because it has case studies and also talks to you about what you need to have in place in terms of metrics and goals and partnerships to really execute on the goals you've set. think it’s something like Implementing Sustainability Plans.  But it's been a great tool for me.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do? This could be websites, technologies, software programs, guide books, any type of resources or tools that help you out that you'd recommend.

I worked at a state level for the governor of Hawaii and now I'm in a local level and I'm so excited to be part of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. Being part of that network if you're working at a local level with cities is there's a treasure trove of resources that we share as peers. I can't say enough about that and the whole team here at Fort Collins also, we just joined the government alliance on racial equity. So again, for local governments that are looking at building capacity in terms of supporting equity and inclusion in their communities, the government alliance on racial equity is an incredible resource. So those, you know, in terms of public sector have been just so helpful to me.

Finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're doing to Fort Collins?

https://www.fcgov.com/ There's lots to explore there in terms of the sustainability work, the climate work that we're doing on that page and all the related pages.

Mar 21, 2018
Bob Willard - The Business Case for Sustainability
32:48

Bob Willard is a leading expert on quantifying the business value of sustainability strategies. He has given over a thousand presentations, has authored six books, and provides extensive resources for sustainability champions. He serves on the boards of Forum for the Future U.S. and the Future-Fit Foundation. 

Bob joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Selling the business case for sustainability
  • Communicating sustainability benefits
  • The B Corp movement
  • Learning from decades of experience in corporate sustainability
  • Tips and advice for sustainability professionals

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Find an issue that you really care about and find an organization that you can partner with to have a lot of leverage on doing something about that issue but start with something that you really care about. It could be a social issue, it could be an environmental issue. You've got to have some energy around that at a personal level or you'll just get worn down and you need to be able to recharge your batteries by recommitting to something that you really care about for whatever reason. And then don't try to do it yourself. Partner with other people and increase your ability to make things happen.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

The point that gives me hope is amazingly simple. It's the dramatic plummet in the cost of renewable energy where it's in many jurisdictions on a par with fossil fuels. So that's fantastic. It makes this transition off fossil fuels much more attractive than it was five or 10 years ago. And combined with that is the requirement for companies to be more transparent about their carbon footprint, led by investors and bankers who say that they need to know that in order to make a more informed decision about whether they want to put their money into a company, and it's not only the companies footprint, but it's supply chain or value chain footprint as well. So it's those two things, the drop in renewable energy and the demand for more transparency from investors and bankers, and they have a lot of influence on the mindset of businesses.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I need to pick one that's not mine. Andrew Winston is an incredible author on the subject of the business relevance of sustainability. His original book, Green to Gold that he coauthored. I'd put at the top of my list. There are a couple that are a bit older, the Ecology of Commerce, that Paul Hawken wrote many years ago. His prose is as close to poetry as you can imagine. And he's just so good at expressing the obvious in terms of trying to get your attention. So those two books, Natural Capitalism is a bible for me. The one that Amory Lovins and Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken wrote there. I've got a library surrounding me right now that are just phenomenal books. So, I'll stop there, but there's no lack of really, really good stuff in it there.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

I subscribed to a bunch of news clip services, Triple Pundit and Green Bizz, whole bunch of those. And that to me is a daily window into what's moving and shaking out there on the sustainability and business front. So, I use them as a lens as to what reports I want to drill down into what a book I want to take another look at what websites I want to track down. So, to me it's that window that's the most important resource. It's the news clips that gives you a nice little soundbite as to what's going on and then you can decide which of those are most relevant to the projects that you're working on at the time,

Sustainable Brands, Environmental Leader, all excellent resources that give daily emails and all that great information on what's happening.

I think there were about a dozen, I should probably check this out before this call, but there's a better, doesn't that I subscribed to and it doesn't take long. Just take a quick look at them, see which ones are of interest to you and it's a great reminder of how much is going on out there. It's very energizing. Yeah.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work?

That's pretty straight forward the website to help people do that. So sustainabilityadvantage.com is my website. That gives a brief overview of the six books that I've written gives you a sense of some of the other resources that are available, some of the spreadsheets, some of the dashboards, some of the videos, most of which are free, uh, cause I really do think we need to be able to make it easier for people to access tools that are going to hopefully be useful to them. and, um, uh, yeah, that's a, that's a pretty good window into who I am, what I do, um, and resources that may be useful to people in, uh, in the work that they're doing.

 

Mar 19, 2018
Nurit Katz - Chief Sustainability Officer at UCLA
31:42

Nurit Katz joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Leading sustainability change in a large organization
  • Updates on sustainability programs and research initiatives at UCLA
  • Information on the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Nurit Katz Final Five responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

One piece of advice,  it's interesting, this wasn't what I planned to say, but recently a colleague, one of our alumni who I regard very highly, um, Jamie Knack, shared a book that she had read called The Power of a Positive No. And I've now gotten it and shared it with my team. And I think in these roles you're pulled in so many different directions, that actually learning how to kind of prioritize how to say no. So many of us are such yes-people that we get really excited to help everyone at all times. And sometimes that in of itself is not sustainable.

So as I say to many of my colleagues, you can't sustain the university or the world if you don't sustain yourself. So, I think, you know, learning how to share, redirect and make sure that you take care of yourself is actually really critical to be a successful professional in this field. And then in terms of more traditional career advice, this field changes so quickly that I would really recommend people get out there and attend events and talk to people. So much of what I learned was that way, going to panels, getting out there, networking and it's not as set of a field where you can just read one book or guide on how to be a lawyer. It's just changing so rapidly. And so I didn't even know, for example, that the title of director of a regenerative development existed until I heard you speak on a panel a while back and the role chief sustainability officer didn't exist until some years ago. So I think if people want to stay up to date, they got to get out there, meet people, hear what programs are going on and stay current.

Great advice. What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

That's tough. You know, part of why I ended up with a job like chief sustainability officer is that I have always been sort of a jack of all master of none generalist type person. I get so excited about all of it. Water to energy, transportation, food, environmental justice and social equity issues. But I think one of the things that's really exciting right now is people are starting to recognize the importance of separation technologies and we've spent so much of human innovation combining materials and putting things together and there's such great potential in figuring out how to break them back apart again until they're useful parts. And I think there's a lot of untapped potential in that area, which really relates to kind of taking what would be a waste product and being able to upcycle it and use it in new and exciting ways

What is one book you'd recommend to other sustainability professionals. 

You know, it's kind of an oldie but goody, but I happened to love Ray Anderson's, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist. I think his journey on the sustainable business side is really worth a read, but there's really so many that I recommend to my students and it's really hard to choose. So I guess for today that's the one I'll, I'll throw out there.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?

Well, again, a lot of great resources. I am fond of collaborations and sharing best practices among professionals. So we have a group we get together of higher education professionals here in southern California and then more broadly, through the California higher education sustainability conference or through AASHE. So getting together with colleagues both in our sector and across sectors I think is really valuable. You know, lots of good resources through some of those organizations in terms of tools and guides that people can use. We definitely work with a lot of kind of cloud based tools now and collaborative work sharing tools. So those can be handy as well.

And where can our listeners go to learn more about the work you are leading at UCLA?

So ucla sustainability's website is sustain.ucla.edu. You can reach me and my team at sustainability@ucla.edu. That email address will come direct to our central office. Twitter handle is @sustainucla and it's really an enormous team working on these issues. I'm just a nexus and connector here of just an incredible group of professionals across our operational and academic and research areas. And so I'm happy to be that connector. If anyone is interested in any of the fabulous work being done here, I can help point you to the folks who are working on those programs and we'd love to hear from you.

 

Mar 16, 2018
Gil Friend - Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Palo Alto
29:23

Gil Friend, Chief Sustainability Officer at the City of Palo Alt, joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Leading sustainability in silicon valley
  • The role of a Chief Sustainability Officer in government
  • Addressing the complex issue of transportation in cities
  • Advice for other sustainability professionals

Gil Friend's Final Five responses:

What is one piece of advice you'd like to give sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

For sustainability professional, I would say diversify your education and background. We need to be thinking about biology and ecology. We need to be thinking about business and finance. We need to be thinking about physics and engineering. Need to be thinking about a politics and persuasion and fundamentally how to have engaged powerful conversations, even with people who don't see things the same way we do.

What are you most excited about today in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

Let me answer both of those separately. In the world sustainability, I'm most excited about the growing attention to getting the prices right, to exposing the subsidies that support the fossil fuel industry, and to putting a price on carbon so the marketplace can actually help us make intelligent decisions about where we invest and where we buy. With regard to regenerative development, I think just the fact that that word is on the landscape is a very hopeful sign. You know, sustainability in itself not a terribly exciting concept. It speaks to kind of keeping things the way they have been in the way that they've been isn't good enough. So more and more people are talking about how do we build regenerative economies that actually grow the creative and productive capacity of our communities. And I'm pleased to be participating in a first conference on building a regenerative economy scheduling San Francisco for early May. So we'll see more about that.

And what was the name of that conference?

Regenerative Economies

What is one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals read?

Drawdown. Recently released the edited by Paul Hawken with a team of a couple of hundred, a brilliant researchers who've looked in detail, how do you slow climate change, but how do you reverse it? How do you slow the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, but actually draw them down, reduced carbon in the atmosphere. A hundred analytically vetted, detailed supported strategies that can actually do that. Full of detail, full of inspiration, a really critical handbook for us all right now.

What are some tools or resources that really help you in the work that you do?

Great question. I would say the general class of visual visualization tools, I find really powerful. Tools that help people see the trends and the patterns in the data. Not Looking through reviews of spreadsheets or pages and pages of text, but simple pictures and graphs that show the change of trends over time. The ratios of things we care about. So not just energy use, but energy use per dollar of revenue per capita population. And the comparative benchmarks that show my city, my company, my department in my household is doing compared to others, because that's one of the most powerful ways of unlocking, not just the competitive spirit, but the sense of possibility. If someone is doing the same thing that I'm doing and doing it better than me, in theory, I could do it better. There's something to learn there. So that's been very powerful tool for us.

Finally, where can our listeners follow you and the work that you are leading at Palo Alto?

Thank you for asking. They can follow me on twitter at Gfriend, and on linkedin. They can follow on my website at natlogic.com. You'll see my writing there and I've just started doing a monthly column at Green Biz. First one just published last week was about how businesses can learn to navigate the anthropocene. And I think we don't have time for the definition, but you will find it right at the top of the article there.

Mar 14, 2018
William McDonough - Father of the Circular Economy and Cradle-to-Cradle Design
31:16

William McDonough is one of the most influential sustainability thought-leaders and practitioners in the world. McDonough joins the Sustainable Nation Podcast to discuss:

  • Cradle-to-Cradle design principles and examples of the Cradle-to-Cradle work he is leading.
  • Cradle-to-Cradle in the apparel industry and Fashion for Good.
  • Moving beyond sustainability to a regenerative and restorative future.
  • A new language for carbon.
  • Advice for sustainability professionals.

McDonough's Final Five Questions:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I would say one would be to pull back on the of resources and pull into the notion of relationships. So if we're talking about is economic resources or economic capital, we forget society and we forgot the environment. For sustainability people, we think about economic and social and environmental things, but as long as we keep calling it "resources" or "natural capital" or "social capital" or "human resources", we end up seeing everything as a fungible asset that we can apply statistical significance. And if we do that, we find ourselves with a kind of artificial intelligence based on statistical significance. Not a bad thing per se, but I wonder if we can bring back the whole notion of natural intelligence and do the things we know are right. Not just the things we know are less or more.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability and regenerative development?

All the building's I'm designing and the products I'm designing, the systems we're designing and whatever I'm working on at the moment. We're just real busy and excited about it. That's my favorite part of it. Just doing the work, building the buildings, making the products and designing the package. It's fun.

Absolutely. I agree. What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

Cradle to Cradle

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do? Could be anything from websites or associations, technology, software, programs, guidebooks, any type of tools.

Well, again, if a tool is something that we can use to everyone's benefit, then in a kind of a strange way, the things that I rely on the most, to make it possible for me to do what I do, are actually other people. And I don't see them as tools, as much as relationships. I don't see them as much as being resources as being people who I can rely on in a sense to be transparent, to be truthful and to be full of good ideas. I think that's the key thing, is the sharing of ideas, and that is hard to do. So I think being connected to people is the privilege that I've had for so long that I have a lot of people, and when I have an idea, I can go see another person and idea to go with it.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work?

I think hopefully McDonough.com will evolve into something useful for people. It is showing the sort of diversity of the things we do. If it is possible, therefore it exists. That's the world I live in, cause I guess I'm a professional visionary in a certain way. And so my job is to look out into the future, and then speak of the future perfect in the present tense. So I try to make examples that are hopefully helpful to people as they try to imagine it themselves and try to make it exist. So therefore it is possible for other people. So I'd say look at the work, read the books.

 

Mar 12, 2018
Aurora Winslade - Director of Sustainability at Swarthmore College
33:26

Aurora Winslade, the Director of Sustainability at Swarthmore College, joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Sustainability in higher education
  • Swarthmore College's internal carbon pricing program
  • Advice on implementing an internal carbon pricing program
  • Advice and insights for other sustainability professionals

Aurora's Final Five Questions (transcribed):

What is one piece of advice you'd give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Learn how to design systems that engage others to be the problem solvers and the implementers of the solutions.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm excited about the way that those of us in sustainability are starting to embrace the idea of being change-facilitators and leading change, and integrating the work that we'd been doing on a more technical level, creating metrics and and implementing solutions with creating healthy organizations. Because that is fundamental to solving our challenges, is to be able to work together and collaborate across our organizations and adapt to the pace of change, and scale it up at a rapid rate. I'm starting to see a lot more of that sort of systems thinking being integrated into our work.

What is one book you'd Recommend Sustainability Professionals read?

I have to give you two. I couldn't narrow it down to one. They're very different. The first one is Crucial Conversations. It's a tool for talking when stakes are high. It's written by New York Times best-selling authors and it walks you through how to build your skills in having the difficult conversations that all of us have to have throughout our lives and are particularly important in this kind of role, not only being able to have in yourself but helping others be able to have them because conflict will arise and it can be a source of strength, and one can get better at it. So that's one thing that I found really transformational in my life is learning how to get better and it continually getting better. The second book I think I'm really excited about right now is I recently saw Paul Hawkin,  share his work with project drawdown, the other side of it is what are the actual solutions to climate change. His book is called Drawdown.

And they've analyzed using data and creating a model with the best research that out that's out there. The top 100 solutions to climate change. And I was really struck by how number six is educating girls. And number seven is family planning and taken together. Those two solutions could represent the biggest, the single biggest solution to climate change, understanding balancing the interpersonal and change management skills are crucial conversations offers with sort of looking at what the data tells us and using that to drive our strategies. Which project drawdown is trying to give us some really concrete information about those two books.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

I do recommend the Facilitators Guide to Participatory Decision Making, sort of sneaking in a third book there, but it's really a set of tools for how to facilitate group process. 

And finally, where can people go to learn more about you and the work that you're doing at Swarthmore?

You're welcome to visit the Swarthmore college sustainability website.  I also organize each summer retreat for sustainability professionals. It's primarily for higher education now every year we have some cross-sector participation which really lends a rich perspective. And this year it will be June 24th through the 27th here at Swarthmore college through the Association for the advancement of Sustainability in higher education act, which is a wonderful organization that itself has a lot of great resources. And also, I don't think I mentioned, but you may have earlier, that I teach leading change in organizations through the Bard College Sustainable MBA program. And that's a really terrific program that offers a great way for working professionals to earn an MBA where sustainability is really big. And I would welcome the contact from anyone who would like to continue the conversation. 

Mar 03, 2018
Katie Wallace - CSR Program Manager at New Belgium Brewing Company
31:09

Katie Wallace, CSR Program Manager at New Belgium Brewing Company, joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • The history of sustainability leadership at New Belgium Brewing
  • The importance of life cycle assessment and materiality assessments
  • The benefits of being a 100% employee-owned company
  • Advice and insights to other sustainability leaders. 

Katie's Final Five Question responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Stay informed and be bold. This is not a time to be shy about taking actions. Follow the passion because we need a lot of focused action right now and I would say ask for help. So many of us are kind of making it up as we're going along, and being vulnerable and opening up and asking for help is not a bad thing.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

Just to pick one that's tough. I think emerging feminine leadership, and I don't mean that just for women, but I mean feminine attributes and collective inclusive practices for both men and women. It's really exciting and I think that's changing the way that businesses run. Also, a lot of cool carbon capture technologies and other great innovations happening in this space.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I would say Jonathan Haidt's book The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion, because sustainability unfortunately has become politicized and can still be divisive, and I really think that's one of the failures of the movement thus far. And so I think that Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind provides a lot of insight into why we think differently and how we can come together, because unifying around this issue is really the one thing that will help us be successful.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that help you in the work that you do? Could be websites, associations, technologies, software programs, any type of tools that help you in your work.

Well, looking forward, I'm going to say the Sustainable Nation Podcast, but for us, I think the B Corp assessment is just a really nice way to organize it. And it's free for anyone to use, you don't have to go through the formal certification to start, although we've seen a lot of market benefits and recruitment benefits to that certification. But it's a free tool out there, measures the impact you're having on coworkers, community and the environment. And I think it provides an excellent roadmap for moving in the right direction. And then of course, like sticking with the science and contextually based schools, I think science-based targets. It's an interesting model that's emerging right now that a lot of businesses like ours are starting to follow those protocols.

And finally, where can our listeners, go to learn more about you and your work?

Well, crack open a beer, go get yourself a Fat Tire, Voodoo Ranger, or Sour Saison is my favorite right now. I also missed the most important part that if it's not fun, it's not sustainable. And so, we have to remember to take time to enjoy all these things we're working hard to protect. So, www.newbelgium.com, has a lot of information and it will continue to have more around our social and environmental efforts. Personally, my profile on LinkedIn has some interesting information about rituals and belonging in the workplace and how we unify around this movement from the ground up.

Mar 03, 2018
Jay Coen Gilbert - Co-Founder of B Lab and the B Corp Movement
39:55

Jay Coen Gilbert joins Sustainable Nation to discuss:

  • Creating and growing the B Corp movement
  • Updates on the state of B Corp worldwide
  • The importance of an inclusive economy
  • Advice and insights for sustainability leaders

Jay Coen Gilbert Final Five responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Reach out, reach out, reach out. There's power in community that doesn't exist inside your company and seek out or build for yourself a robust community of practice that can help you accelerate your learning and the progress that your company will make. You'll move much faster when you're working with people than if you're working on your own.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainable business?

Actually, I would say what I'm most excited about is the work around building an inclusive economy. I think that the work in sustainability is beginning to orient itself more directly and clearly and explicitly with the here and now needs of everyday people who are feeling left behind. I think that's one of the most exciting things that I see happening right now. And I see that leadership coming not just from sort of social first B Corps, but even from folks who are considered to be a sort of an environmental first B Corp are beginning to do work to build an inclusive economy in their businesses and their supply chains in a way that I hadn't seen two, three, five years ago.

What does one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

What is one book that I would recommend sustainability professionals read? You know what, it's a great question. I don't think it's a book about sustainability. And I think that the most important things that I've read have been things that reminded me about the "why" we're doing this and not the "how." So I think one of the most important texts that I think that has been read is Martin Luther King's Letter From Birmingham Jail. I think it's one of the most important pieces of writing in the twentieth century. And I think it speaks to this particular moment in history and not just to one from 55 years ago. It really issues a clear call to action, and asks us to really question whether we are being to moderate in our demands of ourselves or companies, or the companies that we are doing business with. And so for me, that's not a book, but since most people don't have time to read whole books anyway, I would say, get yourself a copy. Google "letter from Birmingham jail." Read that. And think about how it's calling us to move from a place of moderation to a place of being drum majors for justice and sustainability and what that means in our current environment.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really helped you in the work that you do?

I'd say the most important resources or the people that I work with every day. I learned a ton from the folks at B Lab, not just in our North American organization but through all of our global partners. And so the most important tool I have is the phone and the computer, so that I can be in touch with leaders around the country and around the world who can tell me all the cool things that they're doing, and then I can benefit from their wisdom and their innovation.

And finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading?

Bcorporation.net

Mar 03, 2018