Sustainability SmartPod

SmartBrief

Learn about innovative technologies and strategies leading organizations are leveraging to create a more sustainable world. There are a lot of people talking the talk when it comes to sustainability. This podcast focuses on organizations that are walking the walk. read less
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Episodes

Net Zero Buildings-as-a-Service, with Mark Reinbold from Johnson Controls
Jan 30 2024
Net Zero Buildings-as-a-Service, with Mark Reinbold from Johnson Controls
Buildings are responsible for about 40% of energy related carbon emissions around the world. That means any conversation about reducing emissions and achieving net-zero goals will have to feature insights about the efficient construction and – perhaps more importantly – operation of buildings. Mark Reinbold, vice president of Global Sustainable Infrastructure at Johnson Controls, joins the show to discuss what he gleaned from attending COP28 in Dubai about how business executives and other experts are factoring infrastructure into their sustainability strategies. Mark shares some of the key findings from research Johnson Controls conducted with Forrester Consulting about smart building trends and outlines the role technologies like artificial intelligence are playing amid the expansion of the concept of net zero buildings-as-a-service.Highlights from Mark ReinboldConversations about sustainability with global leaders - (1:52)Common roadblocks to more sustainable infrastructure - (6:28)Have global gatherings like COP and Davos 'jumped the shark'? - (8:08)Any deal follow-up from COP28 - (10:15)Expanding Net Zero-as-a-Service - (12:59)Key takeaways from Forrester Research on smart building trends - (16:09)Examples of artificial intelligence delivering for smart buildings - (19:05)Showcase project: University of North Dakota - (23:30)How renewable energy is factoring into projects - (26:05)Mark's bold predictions about sustainable infrastructure - (29:25)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Mars' Autumn Fox Shares Real-World Strategies for Reaching Net Zero
Nov 14 2023
Mars' Autumn Fox Shares Real-World Strategies for Reaching Net Zero
Mars, Inc., is a giant in the snack industry and also has a huge footprint in the petcare and food & nutrition sectors. Diverse lines of business usually present complex sustainability challenges. Autumn Fox, Climate and Sustainability Senior Manager at Mars, joins the show to discuss the details of Mars' Net Zero Roadmap. The roadmap outlines what Mars views as the 5 Fundamental Elements of Net Zero and offers details about how Mars is addressing major issues, like deforestation, water scarcity, and decarbonizing supply chains. Our conversation, which also features SmartBrief Food & Beverage Content Editor Janet Kendall, delves into some unexpected areas ... like Mars' climate Boot Camp and what Autumn and her team do to solve the sustainability challenges related to pet anesthesia. Yes, pet anesthesia. This was a fun and informative episode. Enjoy!More resources from MarsMars Launches New Coalition to Mobilize Suppliers & Accelerate Climate ActionMars hails expansion of global coalition to mobilize suppliers on climate actionHighlights from Autumn FoxBackground info about the origin of Mars' Net Zero Roadmap - (2:36)Getting buy-in from stakeholders across the company - (3:19)Science-based targets and other aspects of Mars' Net Zero Roadmap - (4:14)The 5 Fundamental Elements of Net Zero - (5:00)Sustainable packaging - (6:20)The impact net-zero goals have on Mars' recipes - (7:55)Decarbonizing a complex global supply chain - (9:18)Agriculture and regenerative farming -(12:52) Communications best practices with farmers - (14:41)Tackling deforestation - (16:10)Addressing water scarcity - (18:59)Net zero when it comes to pet supply businesses and veterinary clinics - (20:51)The energy Mars uses to power its operations - (22:30)What Mars learned from looking in the mirror - (24:14)Autumn's bold predictions about Mars' sustainable future - (25:39)Climate Boot Camp - (26:55)What other companies can take away from Mars' Net Zero Roadmap - (28:36)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Colgate-Palmolive's Vance Merolla on Squeezing the Most Out of Sustainability Efforts
Oct 17 2023
Colgate-Palmolive's Vance Merolla on Squeezing the Most Out of Sustainability Efforts
Few companies produce as many household products as Colgate-Palmolive. Vance Merolla is the Senior Vice President of Global Sustainability at Colgate-Palmolive and he joins the show to discuss how the company tackles sustainability across all its products and brands. And make no mistake, we're talking about a ton of brands. Obviously, there's Colgate and Palmolive. But there's also Ajax, Speed Stick, Murphy Oil Soap, Fabuloso, Tom's of Maine and Irish Spring. They also have an entire line of pet products. Colgate-Palmolive has big sustainability challenges. Vance is here to talk about how they solve them, including advancements in recyclable toothpaste tubes, what the company learned from getting certain aspects of its Sustainability and Social Impact Strategy approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative and how Vance and the team recently went about signing a virtual power purchase agreement to help Colgate-Palmolive power its operations. Vance has a wealth of sustainability knowledge, so enjoy the show.Highlights from Vance MerollaColgate's 2025 sustainability and social impact strategy - (1:59)Setting science-based targets for net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 - (4:39)Reducing emissions and achieving net-zero goals - (7:38)Sustainability data management - (11:22)Renewable energy purchasing strategy for Colgate Palmolive - (14:43)Oral health initiatives and sustainability efforts - (21:55)Making toothpaste tubes recyclable - (24:41)Reducing plastic waste in Colgate's manufacturing facilities - (29:58)Sustainability initiatives and consumer insights - (32:52)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Patagonia's Vincent Stanley on The Future of the Responsible Company
Sep 12 2023
Patagonia's Vincent Stanley on The Future of the Responsible Company
Sponsored by: ImpactAISummit“The Future of the Responsible Company - What We've Learned From Patagonia’s First 50 Years” is a book being released today that was co-written by Patagonia Director of Philosophy Vincent Stanley and founder Yvon Chouinard. Stanley joins the podcast to talk about why the book, which is an update to a similar title that the duo released a decade ago, is even more important amid today's corporate, environmental and political landscape. The book is full of sage advice for people who want to conduct business with an eye on more than just profits and it also reveals some surprising details about the origin of Patagonia. Stanley also spendd a few minutes sharing his advice for startups and other companies that might want to follow in the footsteps of Patagonia's amazing corporate evolution.More resourcesPatagonia's Our FootprintHighlight from Vincent StanleyThe Future of the Responsible Company - 3:31How Patagonia got into the clothing business - 7:10From startup to business travel conversations - 9:00Shareholder primacy - 13:19Measuring GDP vs TBL (triple bottom line) - 14:44The B corp movement is expanding - 17:50The fascinating business model of the Henokiens - 20:20The process of finding responsible suppliers and farmers - 25:53'Living in a world of fewer, better things' - 28:06Expanding 'healthful' decision-making beyond food purchases - 31:04'Strategy starts with the real story' - 31:40Collaborating with outside organizations like Samsung - 37:11Advice for startups who want to follow in Patagonia's footsteps - 40:19The power of word choice in communication - 43:40The history of "Our Footprint" - 46:09Sustainability and the role of agency - 50:10Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
How Hotels Stay Ahead On Sustainability - with Denise Naguib from Marriott
Jul 25 2023
How Hotels Stay Ahead On Sustainability - with Denise Naguib from Marriott
Denise Naguib, Vice President of Sustainability & Supplier Diversity at Marriott International, joins the show to outline what the hotel industry is doing to make travel more sustainable. Across its 31 hotel brands, Marriott International’s portfolio includes more than 8,500 properties spanning 138 countries and territories. This huge, global footprint presents an array of sustainability challenges because Marriott’s hotels are not cookie cutter. Operating a massive hotel and convention center in a metropolis like New York, London, Tokyo, Sydney or Cape Town is very different from operating a small, boutique resort in some exotic location. The variety of sustainability challenges those different kinds of properties present is seemingly endless ... and Denise and the team at Marriott work to tackle them all. More resourcesServe 360: Doing Good in Every DirectionMarriott International's 2023 Serve 360 ReportHighlights from Denise NaguibAn outline of Marriott's Serve 360 platform - (3:16)Marriott's specific sustainability goals - (5:07)Tackling global goals at local properties around the world - (7:16)Golf as an example of sharing best practices on a global scale - (8:56)Sustainability as a way to attract travelers - (11:07)How Marriott communicates sustainability throughout its supply chain - (13:39)Collaboration within the hospitality industry - (15:53)How the pandemic changed business travelers' preferences - (22:39)How Marriott is doing on achieving its sustainability goals - (26:02)Marriott's renewable energy portfolio - (30:37)Innovative ways to conserve water - (31:47)Advice on preparing to eastablish Science-Based Targets - (33:16)The one challenge Denise spends the most time pondering - (37:20)Denise's bold prediction for hotel sustainability in 5-10 years - (38:55)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Mike Hower on Best Practices for Communicating About Sustainability
Jul 12 2023
Mike Hower on Best Practices for Communicating About Sustainability
This episode is a little bit different. There are no segments from the Sustainability SmartPod gang. No debating what's sustainable or suspicious. No recap of the latest headlines. No roundup of cool sustainability initiatives from around the world. Instead, we're going to talk about one of the things that we like to hammer on every episode: the importance of communicating sustainability effectively. Mike Hower, one of the premier thought leaders on ESG and sustainability communications, joins the show to outline best practices when it comes to sustainability communications. Mike has an extensive background as a journalist, and now his firm, Hower Impact, helps companies shape their sustainability messages. As we've said many times on this show, it's really important for companies to understand that the messaging behind what they do when it comes to sustainability initiatives is almost as important as the initiative itself. Mike has got some great insights, so we think you'll appreciate what he has to say.Highlights from Mike HowerConsumer trust and ESG data - (1:33)Tailoring communication for different audiences - (4:01)Should sustainability communication be boring? - (7:23)How companies in hard-to-abate industries can talk about sustainability - (11:28)Are there times when companies should just stay quiet on sustainability? - (16:17)Which companies are getting it right when it comes to sustainability communications? - (21:22)The difference between accountability and transparency in communications - (26:49)Advice for aspiring corporate sustainability professionals - (29:51)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
What's The Deal With E-Liability?
Jun 22 2023
What's The Deal With E-Liability?
During one of the first episodes of this show, we mentioned the carbon accounting concept of environmental liability (E-liability). E-liability introduces a simple, accurate, and verifiable calculation for the total cradle-to-gate emissions of any product or service. On that earlier episode, we voiced a bit of skepticism about the concept … and guess what … the people at the E-liability Institute were listening. They got in touch and offered to have one of their co-founders join us on the show to do a deep dive on a concept that stands to revolutionize the carbon accounting landscape. Karthik Ramanna is the Co-founder and Principal Investigator at the E-liability Institute. He's also the Professor of Business & Public Policy and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Karthik explains the basics of E-liability and makes the case for why companies, standards setters and regulators all around the world should be familiarizing themselves with the concept of E-liability.More resourcesInaugural E-liability ConferenceHarvard Business Review: Accounting for Climate ChangeHarvard Business Review: Getting a Clearer View of Your Company’s Carbon FootprintShow SegmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (2:39) Paris skyscraper banTop Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability  - (13:05)The kids have had enough -- climate lawsuit comes to trialFungi play a major role in combating climate changeYork, Pa., works to eliminate plastic wasteHere and There - (24:56)European soccer and sustainabilityHighlights from Karthik RamannaWhat is E-liability? - (31:51)Smartphone supply chain as an example for E-Liability - (33:57)Pilot project with Giti Tire Group (40:03)E-liability vs. Other carbon measurement approaches - (43:00)Plugging supply chain carbon accounting gaps - (43:48)If Karthik was king for a day - (46:02)E-liability's compatability with existing standards - (48:40)What is preventing wider adoption of E-liability? - (50:22)Engaging with regulators - Upcoming conference - (53:46)Karthik's bold predicitons - (58:10)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
How AT&T Stays Connected For Sustainability, featuring Shannon Thomas Carroll
Jun 13 2023
How AT&T Stays Connected For Sustainability, featuring Shannon Thomas Carroll
Shannon Thomas Carroll, AVP of Global Environmental Sustainability at AT&T, joins the show to outline some of the numerous sustainability initiatives underway at the telecommunications giant.  Obviously, AT&T has a massive infrastructure footprint and a huge fleet of vehicles, but as Shannon explains, the company's efforts to enhance sustainability and resiliency stretch far beyond its own operations. For example, AT&T is partnering with FEMA and Argonne National Laboratory to help communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Through its Connected Climate Initiative, AT&T is collaborating with other organizations on a mission to eliminate a gigaton of CO2 emissions by 2035. Just like AT&T's expansive network. Shannon covers a lot of ground in this interview. Get ready to learn a lot about how AT&T is tackling sustainability.Key highlightsOverview of AT&T's climate and sustainability goals - (2:54)What is the biggiest piece of AT&T's carbon footprint? - (5:27)Key steps to making early progress on Scope 1-3 goals -  (7:02)Examples of AT&T helping large organizations increase their sustainability - (10:51)How AT&T manages its infrastructure with an eye on sustainability - (12:24)AT&T's role in disaster preparedness and resiliency - (16:01)Progess report on AT&T's own sustainability goals - (18:28)Data-driven partnership on reducing landfill waste - (20:32)Lessons learend that can be shared across industries - (23:42)The biggest sustainability challenge on Shannon's mind - (28:41)More resourcesLearn more about AT&T's sustainability effortsAT&T's Connected Climate InitiativeAT&T, FEMA and Argonne National Laboratory collaborate on ClimRRSign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Deloitte's John Mennel on Tackling the Complexity of Sustainability Data
Jun 6 2023
Deloitte's John Mennel on Tackling the Complexity of Sustainability Data
As Evan notes in this episode, data is the linchpin of corporate sustainability. So we are gonna spend a lot of time talking about data; including how companies like Amazon and FedEx gather and disseminate sustainability data. And to help us sort out the complexitiy of all that data, John Mennel,  Managing Director in Deloitte’s Sustainability, Climate & Equity practice, joins the show (18:44) to share his insights on current corporate sustainability trends. John also details some of the technology- and analytics-enabled tools Deloitte has developed -- including GreenLight Solution, GreenSpace Tech and ClearCarbon -- to help companies and investors design and implement decarbonization plans, commercialize abatements and better understand climate-related risks.Show segmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (1:58)Amazon's HQ2 make some bold sustainability claimsTop Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (12:05)FedEx offers emissions tracking toolClimate change reducing omega-3 content of ocean fishDutch city tackles litter with fleet of mini EVsHighlights from John Mennel - (18:44)Deloitte's centralized position in the sustainability landscape - (18:58)Things organization need to remember when establishing net-zero goals - (20:21)Do we live in a world with too much data? Or not enough? - (22:04)Which data needs to be prioritized: Compliance vs Business improvement vs Business transformation - (23:50)The challenges of Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 reporting standards - (27:04)Using data to navigate the intersection of stakeholders and regulators - (29:39)Talent as a key stakeholder - Deloitte's Gen Z and Millenial Survey (32:07)The basics of GreenLight Solution - (34:55)How GreenSpace Tech propels innovation - (37:46)The ClearCarbon tool for the food sector - (41:10)How the field of sustainability has evolved over the years - (42:38)John's bold predictions about the future of sustainability - (44:51)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Plastics, Recycling and the Circular Economy
May 30 2023
Plastics, Recycling and the Circular Economy
This episode is sponsored by the Circulen family of sustainable solutions from LyondellBasell. Visit LyondellBasell.com/Circulen to learn more.The Sustainabilty SmartPod gang is doing something different and bringing you a themed episode. Today we're going to focus on plastics, recycling, and the circular economy. From wind turbines and solar panels to 3D printing and executive education, all of today's segments will touch on at least one of those topics, if not all three. And after the four of us do our usual roundtable discussion, we will also be welcoming in two different guests.Roman Smith, Director of Global Environmental Sustainability and Social Innovation from AT&T, joins the show (25:07) to talk about an AI-powered recycling tool AT&T has deployed at its headquarters in Dallas.  Dan Coughlin, Senior Staff and Leader of Industrial Collaborations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will also join the show (31:32) to delve into how the government is working hand in hand with industry and leveraging technologies like 3D printing to create more sustainable manufacturing materials for industries like aviation, wind energy, housing and more.Show Segments Sustainable or Suspicious - (1:54)The recycling/repurposing conundrum surrounding wind turbines and solar panelsTop Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (8:29)Smart bin will automatically track food wasteInvestors urge CPG firms to speed plastic reductionExecs seek courses to fill sustainability knowledge gapsHere and There - (18:30)How The Philippines is using AI to monitor its plastics trashSign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
A Conversation with Liliana Esposito, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Wendy's
May 9 2023
A Conversation with Liliana Esposito, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer at Wendy's
In the quickservice restaurant industry, Wendy's is known as the 'Queen of QSR.' But as Wendy's continues to serve up tasty burgers and yummy Frostys, the company is also working to be the Queen of ESG. Guiding the company's efforts on that front is Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer Liliana Esposito. Esposito joins the show (21:41) to outline the details of 'Good Done Right' - which is the name Wendy's has given to its ESG strategy. Esposito also offers insights from Wendy's 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report, shares her experience establishing the company's Science-Based Target goals and details numerous other sustainability efforts Wendy's has embraced.Show SegmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (1:45)Should whales be monetized as carbon offsets?Top Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (8:11)The 'Cardboard washing'  of consumer productsCreating bioplastic pellets from seaweedIs 'Sustainable Fashion' just a trend?Here and There  - (15:28)Copenhagen leads the way on sustainable fashion showsHighlights from Liliana EspositoThe origins of 'Good Done Right' - (22:10)Highlights from 2022 Corporate Responsibility report - (23:20)Responsible food sourcing - (27:47)Sustainability as a factor in food safety - (29:10)How sustainability shapes menu innovation - (30:44)Responsible packaging - (31:52)Science-Based Targets - (34:55)Wendy's environmental footprint - (38:43)New 'Global Next Gen' restaurant design - (40:12)Partnering with Duke Energy Florida on community solar power - (42:09)Tying executive compensation to ESG performance - (43:22)Liliana's bold predictions - (47:27)Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
Chemistry's Key Role in Advancing Sustainability
Apr 30 2023
Chemistry's Key Role in Advancing Sustainability
Countless items we use and consume in our everyday lives have a foundation in chemistry. Charles Franklin, the Senior Director for Energy, Climate and the Environment at the American Chemistry Council, joins the show (21:19) to discuss the role the business of chemistry plays not just in sustainability, but also the overall economy.  Franklin also shares insights from a paper the ACC recently released that highights the many ways natural gas can -- and already is -- playing a crucial role in the energy transition, including in areas like wind and solar energy and electric vehicles. Franklin also explains how natural gas will play a big part in the expansion of hydrogen as an energy source. Attend Engage’23, May 9-11 in New Orleans!https://tinyurl.com/3e-engage2325% Discount code: ACC23ACC Paper: Natural Gas Supports US Competitiveness and Lower GHGs Show SegmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (2:23)What to make of Weyerhaeuser's claims about being an environmental do-gooderTop Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (10:45)Starbucks expands its sustainability program to more storesDoes a carbon take-back obligation make sense?Nuclear impacts environment less than other clean energyHere and There - (17:20)Global Citizen Award Winner Ineza Umuhoza Grace from RwandaHighlights from Charles FranklinThe work of the American Chemistry Council - (21:19)The role natrual gas plays in the economy - (23:54)How natural gas helps lower emissions - (25:27)The role of natural gas in a hydrogen future - (29:07)The key theme's of ACC's recent paper - (32:07)The promise and potential of hydrogen hubs - (34:30) 3E Join us at our Engage'23 user conference in New Orleans, May 9-11, 2023Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
A Conversation with American Airlines Vice President of Sustainability Jill Blickstein
Apr 11 2023
A Conversation with American Airlines Vice President of Sustainability Jill Blickstein
If you've flown on American Airlines recently, there's a chance your plane was fueled by a small amount of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Jill Blickstein, Vice President of Sustainability at American Airlines, joins the show (18:27) to talk about the latest advancements in SAF, fleet upgrades the airline has made to enhance its sustainability and an AI-enabled system called 'Smart Gating' that conserves fuel and saves time for travelers.  American Airlines is undertaking numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint. As Jill explains, many of those efforts come in places passengers might not notice, but certainly lead to more sustainable air travel.Highlights from Jill BlicksteinUpdate on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) - (20:10)American Airlines' goals for SAF usage - (23:56)Using SAF to attract business travelers - (26:36)Creating a SAF certificate for all travelers - (30:22)The potential for zero-emission hydrogen-electric aircraft - (30:47)Partnering with the Bill Gates-backed Breakthrough Energy Catalyst - (33:24)Other sustainability initiatives at American Airlines - (35:10)'Smart Gating' - (39:47)Powering operations with renewable energy - (42:20)Validation from the Science-Based Targets initiative - (43:02)Other Show SegmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (1:54) E-liabilityTop Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (6:53)Sustainable precast concrete products made with locally sourced recycled materialsComcast boosts its energy efficiencyElectrifying roads to cure electric vehicle 'range anxiety'Here and There - (13:04)3 ways to make data centers more sustainableSign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter
How To Prioritize Sustainability Solutions For Your Home
Mar 28 2023
How To Prioritize Sustainability Solutions For Your Home
Matt Ferrell joins the show to outline various ways everyday people can embrace cost-saving strategies that also make their homes more resilient and more sustainable.Matt is the creator of Undecided with Matt Ferrell, where he has amassed more than one million subscribers on YouTube by applying his technology-focused eye to all things sustainability. Matt is also the co-host of the Still To Be Determined podcast. He tests smart and sustainable technology solutions and often offers advice to viewers and listeners who seek advice on making decisions about which solutions are best for their home.Matt touches on batteries, solar panels, weatherization and the future of home sustainability tech, so we think you’ll appreciate hearing what he has to say.SegmentsSustainable or Suspicious - (1:58) The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)Top Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability - (13:44)Corporate Sustainability Becomes a Team SportGreen Product Claims Face Growing Consumer ScrutinyBeavers to return to London as part of urban rewildingHere and There - (17:05)Efforts underway to make Ramadan more sustainableKey highlights from Matt Ferrell(22:08) - The most common questions from consumers(23:12) - The Do's and Don'ts when it comes to installing solar(27:48) - The Do's and Don'ts when it comes to installing batteries(31:45) - How to prioritize energy efficiency needs(34:37) - The low-hanging fruit when it comes to energy efficiency solutions(37:12) - How the Inflation Reduction Act impacts consumers(39:58) - The role of Community Solar(41:14) - Exciting tech of the future: Flow batteries for homes(43:11) - Matt's bold predictions(44:29) - Matt's take on the future of EV chargingSign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter