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GreenBiz 350 Podcast

Episode 199: Home Depot's circular blueprint, IBM CEO lines up behind carbon 'dividend'

Plus, an update on corporate adoption for the ESG reporting framework developed by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

Week in Review

Commentary of some of this week's stories begins at 5:30.

  1. 4 key tasks for countries at COP25 in Madrid
  2. The promise of sustainable agriculture: A report from a townie
  3. How actor Michelle Pfeiffer championed the world’s first circular fragrance line


Share your voice (21:29)

In the last GreenBiz 350 podcast of December (Dec. 20) and the first podcast of January (Jan. 10), we will feature the voices of the GreenBiz community, responding to the following two questions: What was the most important lesson you learned professionally in 2019? and/or What’s your biggest professional ambition for 2020? If you'd like to submit your thoughts for either, please alert us at [email protected], and we'll send you the recording and submission guidelines. The deadlines are Dec. 13 and Jan. 3, respectively.

Home Depot constructs circularity options for DIYers (22:54)

The retailer's Eco Options program, in place since 2007, has generated more than $10 billion of sales in products that aspire to stricter environmental standards for materials, water consumption, energy usage and more. The company's chief sustainability officer, Ron Jarvis, chats about a new initiative to add circular economy principles to the design criteria. 

Adoption of SASB reporting guidelines grows appreciably (29:14)

More than 100 companies, from retailers Etsy and Gap to food company General Mills to tech firms Adobe and Intel, use guidelines from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) to disclose the potential risks associated with "nonfinancial" issues related to environmental, social and governance concerns. The organization's new CEO, Janine Guillot, chats about adoption and the deeper role that data analytics and artificial intelligence will play in corporate reporting. 

IBM's CEO wants a carbon tax (38:42)

Ginni Rometty was one of 75 chief executives, along with the largest U.S. labor union, the AFL-CIO, to sign a letter of "united" support for the Paris Agreement. IBM also endorsed a plan by the Climate Leadership Council that would put a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, with the proceeds of that "dividend" going back to citizens. Wayne Balta, vice president of environmental affairs for IBM, discusses this latest display of corporate leadership amid U.S. federal inaction on climate change.

*Music in this episode by Lee Rosevere: "Try Anything Once," "4th Ave Walkup," "And So Then," "Late Night Tales" and "I'm Going For a Coffee"

What's new at GreenBiz?

How does ESG measure up? Mainstream investors are asking for more data on corporate climate risks and opportunities — and they're being forced to wade through the sea of metrics and standards used for reporting. Join this interactive webcast at 1 p.m. EST Dec. 17, about how to harmonize disclosure in a way that will speak to the investment community.

Do we have a newsletter for you! We produce five weekly newsletters: GreenBuzz by Executive Editor Joel Makower (Monday), Transport Weekly by Senior Writer and Analyst Katie Fehrenbacher (Tuesday), VERGE Weekly by Executive Director Shana Rappaport and Editorial Director Heather Clancy (Wednesday), Energy Weekly by Senior Energy Analyst Sarah Golden (Thursday) and Circular Weekly by Director and Senior Analyst Lauren Phipps (Friday). You must subscribe to each newsletter in order to receive it. Please visit this page to choose the newsletters you want to receive.

Check out our Center Stage podcast, which features the best of live interviews on sustainable business and clean technology, conducted on stage at GreenBiz and VERGE conferences.

The GreenBiz Intelligence Panel is the survey body we poll regularly throughout the year on key trends and developments in sustainability. To become part of the panel, click here. Enrolling is free and should take two minutes.

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