Sustainability leaders look ahead to 2018

Looking ahead to the horizon.

As 2017 ends and 2018 begins, we asked members of the GreenBiz Executive Network, our member-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability professionals, to tell us what will change in terms of their organization’s efforts. This article is part 2 of a 2-part series. Read part 1 here

Here's what our members said when we asked: How will your company’s sustainability efforts be different in 2018 than in 2017?

Trisa Thompson, Senior Vice President & Chief Responsibility Officer, Corporate Social Responsibility at Dell Technologies

Trisa Thompson, Dell

Trisa Thompson, senior vice president and chief responsibility officer, corporate social responsibility, Dell Technologies

What really mattered in 2017 was that our programs and focus are agnostic politically. We do our work for the business, regardless of the surrounding circumstances. Our efforts in 2018 will be different in two ways. We will begin to set our next long-term goals for 2030 — and technology will change much more significantly in the next 10 years than it did in the past 10 years. And we will collaborate more and more, with other businesses, competitors, government and academia, to help solve the world’s big problems. Collaboration is the key to the future of sustainability.

Ted Monk, vice president, sustainability and corporate responsibility, Sodexo

Ted Monk, Sodexo

Ted Monk, vice president, sustainability and corporate responsibility, Sodexo

We launched a new comprehensive roadmap for corporate responsibility called Better Tomorrow 2025. Creating engagement and awareness of our revised goals has been a big focus and will help to embed sustainability further into our systems and processes. Every part of our business is now creating their plan to achieve these goals. This includes using our "WasteWatch by LeanPath" technology in pursuit of our goal to eliminate food waste sent to landfills and other efforts to advocate for Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to halve food waste by 2030.

In 2018, I do not see any directional changes. We will continue to embed Better Tomorrow 2025 into our business, work harder to tell our story, and use corporate responsibility to help grow our business by leveraging its differentiation.

Holly Emerson, Sr. Analyst, Product Stewardship, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand

Holly Emerson, Ingersoll Rand

Holly Emerson, senior analyst, product stewardship, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand

 We are heartened by our continued progress on company-specific climate-related actions vis-à-vis #wearestillin and our Climate Commitment. There is a growing consensus that there are major sustainability-related opportunities in our supply chain.

In 2018 we will be exploring innovative ways to collaborate with our Preferred Suppliers, including exploring new designs for components that lead to even greater energy efficiency, and optimizing our inbound packaging. With new onsite solar coming online and the potential for scalable projects (such as virtual power purchase agreements), we anticipate a rapid acceleration of our use of renewable energy in 2018 continuing through 2019.

 

Kathryn Spitznagle, Director of Global Sustainability, Caterpillar

Kathryn Spitznagle, Caterpillar

Kathryn Spitznagle, director of global sustainability, Caterpillar

An important focus for Caterpillar in 2018 will be executing on our recently updated enterprise strategy, which centers around solutions to help our customers build a better world, while allowing us to deliver profitable growth for our shareholders. Digital technologies are transforming how we deliver our traditional offerings.

The growth of services is a core focus area of our strategy and speaks to the support we can provide to customers associated with our products — from aftermarket parts to analytics to machine rentals and beyond. Through a more integrated services philosophy, we provide a more holistic customer experience and drive customer loyalty. Our digital technologies are helping us build smarter, safer and stronger... digital and sustainability go hand in hand, and we will continue to integrate that messaging in 2018. You can learn more about the sustainability benefits of our digital technologies in this video.

 

Karina Diehl and Kim Marotta, Coors

Karina Diehl, MillerCoors and Kim Marotta, Molson Coors

Karina Diehl, director community affairs, MillerCoors

Kim Marotta, global senior director corporate responsibility, Molson Coors

Our new 2025 sustainability agenda further defines our goals within three focus areas; alcohol responsibility, environmental sustainability and community empowerment. Teams across our business units have started to set forth pathways that will guide our progress and put plans into action.

Looking forward to the next year, we will continue to work across our business units and functional teams to drive the behaviors and implement the programs that will help us reach our ambitious targets. We look forward to reporting against our first year’s progress in our 2018 Our Beer Print Report, due for release next summer.

Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab

Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab

Emilio Tenuta, vice president, corporate sustainability, Ecolab

In 2017, we expanded our focus beyond water efficiency (conservation, reduction) to drive the adoption of reuse and recycle practices across industries. While we’re making great strides in helping our customers operate more efficiently, today only 2.3 percent of global wastewater is reused.

Our goal going into 2018 is to help shift mindsets and practices to significantly increase the proportion of wastewater that is reused by industry. Water no longer can be considered an inexpensive, "use and dispose" commodity. It must be valued as a reusable asset and growth enabler. The concept and practice of reusing and repurposing water is not new. Broad adoption and activation of circular water management, however, hasn’t happened yet. We aim to help bring the principles of circularity to scale by helping customers retrofit circularity into existing processes and designing circularity into solutions and processes right from the start.

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