Oakland, CA — [Editor's Note: This article was updated January 6, 2010, to correct the title for Michelle Mann of Adobe Systems Inc.]
"Thinking about your company’s green initiatives for 2010, what are you most excited about?"
As the sun began to set on 2009, we asked that question to some of our friends and partners, who were nice enough to share their innovations, commitments, and passions for the coming year. Much like their answers to our earlier question about their greatest green achievements of 2009, this one offered a chance for sustainability leaders to boast a little — or, in some cases, a lot.
That's a good thing. These individuals — and many of you — have a lot to be proud of. It's a shame to relegate those achievements to a corporate report or the occasional press release. So, in anticipation of another year of innovation and forward-thinking, we're pleased to share the tricks some of your colleagues have up their sleeves.
What are you most excited about for 2010? We'd love to know.
Michelle Mann, Executive Director, Corporate Social Responsibility, Adobe Systems Inc.
In 2010, one way Adobe will expand its commitment to environmental sustainability is by investing in alternative energy sources. Adobe will install 20 Windspire vertical axis wind turbines at its downtown San Jose headquarters. The energy produced will be used to help power the buildings. Adobe is also exploring the use of natural gas-fired fuel cells. The fuel cells would generate electricity on site from natural gas. Adobe would purchase an equal amount of methane from dairy farms in the Central Valley of Calif. Capturing that methane would keep it from going into the atmosphere and it would then be put it back into the Pacific, Gas & Electric pipeline in the Central Valley, effectively making the energy generated by the fuel cells carbon neutral.
Lynelle Cameron, Director of Sustainability, Autodesk
Autodesk will be expanding the Clean Tech Partner Program beyond North America to Greater China and potentially parts of Europe in 2010. In North America, the program has granted $150,000 of software to almost 100 early-stage clean-technology companies that are solving some of the earth’s most pressing environmental challenges. The question is whether clean-technology companies will effectively learn from past sustainable design blunders of other industries. Our goal in 2010: to accelerate smart design for “sustainable clean tech.”
Leo Raudys, Senior Director, Environmental Affairs, Best Buy
I'm eager to see our ambitious consumer electronics recycling program
grow, and grow, and grow. We kicked off the program in February of 2009 and feel great about the progress we've made so far. By the end of 2009, we collected over 50 million pounds of electronics for recycling. And, it's been a hit with our customers. 2010 will be even better: more recycling, more innovation, and most importantly, happier customers.
Michael Meehan, President & CEO, Carbonetworks
Because Carbonetworks provides sustainability management software, all of our initiatives are green — but we are most excited about the market itself in 2010. We have seen an inflection point in the way companies are dealing with carbon and energy reductions, and we are excited to see demand grow very rapidly in our space. For 2010, we have a number of product releases planned that will help our companies achieve their sustainability goals more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever.
Bill Morrissey, VP - Environmental Sustainability, The Clorox Company
1. LEED certification of our general office building — hope to get this by summer 2010
2. Setting public goals for water and waste reductions — targeting February 2010
3. Issuing our first formal Sustainability report — slated for September 2010
Fred Roselli, Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Enterprises
We’re most excited about continuing the engagement with our stakeholders, but expanding it up our supply chain. Like most companies, we’re looking to see how we can work better with all of our business partners to green our business, not just the end-users.
Jeff Rehm, Sustainability Manager, Grainger
As a leading supplier of Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) products and services, Grainger is excited about plans to provide even more sustainable solutions to our customers in 2010. Since the start of 2009, we've more than doubled the number of green products we offer and acquired Alliance Energy Solutions (an energy services company) to help us better meet our customer’s sustainability service needs. In addition, we continue to train our sales force on the topic of sustainability as they deliver solutions to those who keep workplaces safe, efficient, and functioning.
Mac Agan, Director of Marketing Corporate Affairs Group, Intel Corp.
There is so much to be excited about! We will see continued Intel investment in energy efficient performance products, measured sustainability gains in operations and innovation in Clean Tech. Our new environment site has rolled out on Intel.com (www.intel.com/intel/environment) – check it out and come back often to find out about the cool things going on at Intel!
Kathy Gerwig, Environmental Stewardship Officer, Kaiser Permanente
I'm excited about the opportunities with both climate change and safer chemicals. Related to climate change, we will use 2010 to craft a long-term strategy to achieve carbon neutrality in our buildings through both demand (energy efficiency) and supply (renewables) actions. To promote the use of safer chemicals in the products we purchase, we will more broadly apply a robust supplier disclosure mechanism that will help us embed environmental considerations in our product selection.
Marcus Chung, Director, Corporate Citizenship, McKesson Corp.
McKesson will be introducing a companywide paper-reduction campaign to help all our employees connect their daily work with sustainability. With 32,000 employees worldwide, even small changes in behavior can have a huge impact and we’re using this campaign to engage employees at every level of the company. This is a particularly exciting initiative because so many employees want to get involved in our corporate citizenship work, and it’s not always possible for them to play a role. By using a creative, humorous campaign, I hope that we can start to shift all our employees’ mindset to realize that no action is too small and we each play a part in preserving our planet.
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method
Our revolutionary new laundry product, which launches on January 11th. The product is the purest expression, not just of method's greenness, but of our ability to delight people with truly amazing product experiences. I can’t share the details quite yet, but this product is going to shake up the laundry category in a big way. It is the most innovative and green product we have developed to date.
Kim Marotta, Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility, MillerCoors
We’re looking forward to building on the environmental priorities we established in 2009, particularly in regards to water. We’ll focus our efforts on making more beer while using less water and will work with our local communities to protect our water resources through investments and volunteerism. We’ll be sharing our environmental story on our new corporate responsibility Web site: GreatBeerGreatResponsibility.com.
Dennis Salazar, President, Salazar Packaging
In our Globe Guard product line we have accomplished much in the past with 100% recycled content corrugated board, but in 2010 our focus will turn to “reuse” as the forgotten “R” in sustainability. As recycling programs are stalled, underused and undervalued, we believe extending the usable life of some packaging products may be the best way we can contribute to an environmental solution.
Brandi McManus, Vice President of Energy Solutions, Schneider Electric
I continue to be excited about Schneider Electric’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions, both for our customers and for our own business. Schneider Electric has made the commitment to reduce our annual CO2 emissions by 30,000 tons per year by reducing waste, energy consumption and international freight. That is the equivalent to planting 5 million trees!
Angela Nahikian, Director, Global Environmental Sustainability, Steelcase
Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist, but I’m most excited about the innovation potential around sustainability within the company — and in general. History has shown that meaningful innovation often follows constrained, sub-optimal conditions. Conditions could not have been much more constrained or sub-optimal for business than during the past couple of years. I see glimpses of things to come and get very excited.
Albe Zakes, Vice President of Media Relations, TerraCycle
I am most excited about our international expansion. After great success with our Upcycling programs here in the U.S., we are excited to bring our concept to Mexico, Canada, Brazil, the U.K. and soon Europe. It will be exciting to see if we can turn TerraCycle into a worldwide phenomenon. Also, our newly refined ability to turn wrappers into plastic and pouches into cement really mean the sky is the limit.
Stephen H. Wenc, President & Managing Director, UL Environment
I am most excited about the development of UL Environment's standards for sustainable products and the companies that make them — the first sustainability standards in Underwriters Laboratories' 115-year history. We expect to publish standards for products like wallboard, ceiling materials and systems, insulation, roofing materials, doors and windows. I am looking forward to working with industry, retailers, consumers, regulators and other key stakeholders like the U.S. Green Building Council to create standards that will help define what makes a product green, reduce confusion and greenwashing in the marketplace, and encourage innovation.