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60+ Innovators and Experts Driving the Clean, Inclusive Economy:

The Responsible Business Summit West 2019 will bring together 250+ CEOs, business leaders, investors, Government representatives and NGOs to address core industry challenges and understand the latest technologies that are shaping the future of responsible business.

Satya Tripathi
UN Environment

Satya Tripathi

Assistant Secretary-General

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Satya S. Tripathi is UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of New York Office at UN Environment.

A development economist and lawyer with over 35 years of varied experience, Mr. Tripathi has served with the UN since 1998 in key positions in Europe, Asia and Africa in the areas of Climate Change, Human Rights, Democratic Governance and Legal Affairs.

He was Chair of the Committees on Laws, Treaties and Administrative matters for the UN-mediated Cyprus unification talks in 2004; UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias where he facilitated international cooperation and funding of over US$ 7 billion for post-tsunami and post-conflict recovery efforts in support of the Indonesian government and affected populations; and Executive Head of UNORCID, a UN System Office of 10 UN Agencies established by the UN Secretary General in 2011 to facilitate the implementation of a US$ 1 Billion REDD+ partnership between Indonesia, Norway and other stakeholders on climate change mitigation and adaptation through the conservation of forests and preservation of peat-land and bio-diversity.

Mr. Tripathi was instrumental in establishing the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF) in Indonesia in 2016 and the Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF) in 2017 to leverage ‘private finance for public good’ at mega-scale to achieve transformative social and environmental impact in developing countries. He continues to serve on the boards of these institutions.

Mr. Tripathi is a Senior Distinguished Fellow on Natural Resources Governance at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and serves on the Advisory Council of the Natural Capital Declaration (NCD). He previously served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Forests; and in India as a member of its national civil service.

Abby Maxman
Oxfam America

Abby Maxman

President & CEO

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Abby Maxman joined Oxfam America as president and CEO in 2017. With more than 30 years of experience in international humanitarian relief and development, she brings a strategic focus on addressing the policies and systems that perpetuate global poverty. Maxman has particular experience in gender and power in social change; humanitarian preparedness and response; and organizational development, behavior and culture. Throughout her career she has also focused on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse within the aid sector, and currently plays an important role within the Oxfam Confederation and among US-based NGOs to improve safeguarding practices.

Prior to joining Oxfam, Maxman served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International in Geneva, providing leadership across the CARE confederation. She previously served as Vice President of International Programs and Operations for CAREUSA, and in other country and regional leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Before CARE, Maxman had assignments with the U.S. Peace Corps, German Agency for Technical Cooperation, UN World Food Programme, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Colorado College and a Masters of International Administration from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

It is vitally important that organizations like Oxfam meet businesses in the spaces where they gather to share knowledge and look to the future together. The private sector is a crucial actor in our society- entrusted with delivering the goods and services that allow human lives to unfold with dignity and prosperity. Companies have the power to impact lives, not only of their employees through workplace practices, but in their broader shaping of the world and culture we live in. This is a power that can have positive or negative outcomes. Events like RBS West bring together a diverse and talented cross-section of corporate America, including some of the most innovative and forward-looking leaders building solutions to our shared challenges. I am honored and excited for the opportunity to share our work and our vision with such leaders.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

  1. A key priority for Oxfam is addressing the complex and destabilizing challenges of widespread inequality in our society. How can engaging with companies help solve this issue? It entails moving away from short-term goals to a long-term view of true sustainability and long-term value. Workers should have the dignity they deserve in operations and supply chains, which means they should be paid living wages, work in decent and safe conditions, and have a voice in their workplace. It means making sure we have workplaces with diversity in leadership positions, giving stakeholders beyond investors a say in how companies operate, and encouraging companies to view paying their fair share of taxes not as a penalty but as an investment in their businesses and the broader infrastructure that sustains their markets. In short, we need to build a kind of enlightened capitalism that is accountable and truly sustainable - and companies need to be in the lead in demanding and creating it.
  2. One concrete priority we are working on to advance this goal is creating a new market institution to help incentivize companies to raise the wages of their U.S. employees and on-site subcontractors to a recognized living standard and celebrating those who do so. In doing so, we will create clarity on this issue for employers, investors and consumers alike. This year and next, my team is working to finalize a robust and transparent standard-setting process for this U.S. Living Wage Initiative.
  3. Another key priority is our ongoing engagement with Mars Inc. Back in 2013, we challenged Mars to address gender inequality in their cocoa supply chain and now it is a core issue that they are tackling throughout their global supply chain. Not only are they fulfilling their gender commitments under our Behind the Brands campaign, with several gender assessments underway in key cocoa sourcing countries, but they are also putting women’s empowerment at the heart of their Farmer Income Lab, on which Oxfam is an advisor.
  4. We are eager to engage with leading companies across all the many issues that Oxfam works on, all in service of our global anti-poverty mission.

How are businesses going to have to transform their operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Customers are increasingly demanding sustainable business practices from the companies they give their hard-earned money to – and this means sustainability on more than one dimension. While we have seen positive signs of movement in the environmental space that we applaud and that must continue, too many companies are still lagging behind on issues like dignified, safe working conditions and wages sufficient to offer workers a decent livelihood; gender equality and freedom from harassment, and the right to stand up for rights without retaliation. In tomorrow’s ever more connected world, conscious and engaged consumers that are coming of age today will have little patience for excuses and exploitation – they will demand that the goods and services they pay for are delivered in ethical and sustainable ways – companies that fail to recognize this will cede their share of the marketplace to those who do.

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

One of the greatest challenges to the spread of sustainable business practices is the age-old collective action problem. Who will step forward and lead, facing the headwinds, scouting obstacles, and breaking through them to allow others to follow more easily? Collaboration between companies and civil society represents the best avenue to tackle this challenge. Concretely, my team is developing a credible standard for recognizing living wage employers in the U.S. The group of companies that is stepping forward to lead with us on this initiative will share the burden of those headwinds, and share also the gains in retention and recruitment, not to mention the recognition of consumers, investors and advocates who know that workers deserve a decent livelihood for their hard day’s work. This kind of cross-industry collaboration is vital to paving the way for a brighter, better future for workers and employers alike.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

I am excited to see the energy and momentum that is gathering behind the core concepts of sustainability in the private sector. Companies are increasingly recognizing the need for sustainable practices, and the sustainability industry has grown to meet that need. I am especially excited to see the blossoming of a new generation of mature sustainable practices, shepherded by the diverse professionals and institutions of the sustainability industry, including the trend towards integration of sustainability and human rights into core operations, the growing understanding of the value of gender diversity and equality, and the growing certainty in c-suites that ethics and sharp business sense are by no means mutually exclusive concepts. 

Lucas Joppa
Microsoft

Lucas Joppa

Chief Environment Officer

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Dr. Lucas Joppa leads sustainability at Microsoft, as the company’s first Chief Environmental Officer. In this role, he works to advance Microsoft’s core commitment to sustainability through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a combined background in both environmental science and data science, Lucas is committed to using the power of advanced technology to help transform how society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth’s natural resources. He founded Microsoft’s AI for Earth program in 2017—a five-year, $50 million cross-company effort dedicated to delivering technology-enabled solutions to global environmental challenges.

With a PhD in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publication in leading academic journals, such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas is an Associate Editor for the Ecological Society of America’s EcoSphere journal and serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations, such as NatureServe and the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC).

Prior to his current role, Lucas was Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Scientist and led research programs at the intersection of environmental and computer sciences in Microsoft Research, the company’s blue-sky research division. He remains an active scientist and one of Microsoft’s foremost AI thought leaders, speaking frequently on issues related to Artificial Intelligence, environmental science, and sustainability. Along with his PhD, Lucas holds a BS in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin and is a former Peace Corps volunteer to Malawi.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

I’m excited to discover different perspectives at the Responsible Business Summit, from fellow sustainability managers to government leaders and those in the non-profit sector, and learn how they are all finding new ways to drive change for a healthier planet. None of these sectors can bring forth change alone, and we need to learn from each other every step of the way.

Mitch Jackson
Fedex

Mitch Jackson

Vice President of Environmental Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer

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As Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer for FedEx Corporation, Mitch Jackson leads the strategic direction and provides vision for all aspects of the company’s sustainability initiatives and environmental innovations and technologies. 

Jackson helped envision and pioneer the implementation of hybrid and electric vehicles in the FedEx fleet, and ultimately in commercial vehicles. He was also instrumental in successfully securing first-ever national fuel economy standards and greenhouse gas requirements for commercial vehicles, He championed the first FedEx solar energy system in 2005, with it being California’s then largest corporate rooftop array. He was also the key driver for the establishment of the first FedEx sustainability goals and has responsibility for current and future goals.

In 2012 the British newspaper The Guardian named him as one of the top 15 sustainable business executives on Twitter. He was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders by Trust Across America for four consecutive years. In 2014 Green Fleet Magazine named Jackson a Sustainability All Star for his contributions to environmental sustainability. And, in 2009 Ethisphere Institute named Jackson as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics.

Jackson currently sits on the Keystone Policy Center’s Board of Trustees and Energy Board, and both the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy’s and the American Trucking Associations’ board of directors. He has also served as environmental juror for the Heinz Awards.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

Dialogue in how to effectively manage a sustainability program is a valuable commodity. As you say on the website, Lead the clean, inclusive future. Collaborate, Innovate, Invest. I think you are working to bring together sustainability professionals to dialogue on these important topics.

Where does sustainability sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver a sustainable future?

The FedEx Enterprise Sustainability Council (FESC) is responsible for setting and implementing our company-wide sustainability strategy and administering our CSR materiality assessments. I chair the FESC. Additionally, enterprise-wide Sustainability Impact Teams (SITs) for global vehicles, facilities, air operations, customer solutions, data/reporting, and sourcing allow our operating companies to share synergies, ideas, and innovations. The SITs and operating companies’ senior sustainability leaders report to me, as well.

To what extent are you driving sustainable innovation across the business?

At FedEx, we connect people and possibilities around the world, responsibly and resourcefully. Building on a philosophy we call Practical Sustainability, we work to multiply efficiencies, minimize impacts and apply innovative solutions to enable opportunities for our business and customers. Central to our Practical Sustainability philosophy are four interconnected building blocks — performance, transparency, innovation, and leadership — that drive strategic, transformational stewardship to strengthen our operations, grow our business, and add value to society.

How are you decoupling business growth and GHG emissions?

Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize is the global strategy that informs our approach to Practical Sustainability.

Reduce: Minimize or eliminate impacts from activities and operations. Replace: Apply the right solutions in the right applications. Revolutionize: Discover and utilize cutting-edge technologies and solutions.

Throughout the organization, our Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy guides environmental efforts to drive efficient use of resources and cost savings in four key areas:

  • Aircraft efficiency
  • Vehicle efficiency
  • Sustainable facilities
  • Sustainable materials and recycling

In each of these areas, our Practical Sustainability philosophy helps us determine the right sustainability initiatives, which are then guided by input from the experts on our Sustainability Impact Teams (SITs). Collectively, these efforts have contributed to an approximately 37 percent reduction in CO2 emissions intensity (on a revenue basis) across the enterprise from FY09 to FY18, a period in which revenue grew by 84.5 percent.

How is your company leading on sustainability?

Using our Practical Sustainability building blocks of performance, transparency, innovation and leadership, along with our Reduce, Replace, Revolutionize strategy, we have focused on the following:

  • Setting ambitious fuel efficiency and emission reduction targets.
  • Modernizing our aircraft and vehicle fleet.
  • Incorporating alternative fuels into our fleet.
  • Using more purchased transportation, including interline commercial air carrier and intermodal rail transport.
  • Engaging team members and customers in energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Advocating for regulatory and policy changes that support emissions reduction, efficiency improvements, and cleaner technology.

You can find much more in this regard at csr.fedex.com.

Christopher Wellise
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Christopher Wellise

Chief Sustainability Officer

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Christopher directs a global team at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) that is focused on solving social and environmental challenges in collaboration with non-profit organizations, governments, customers and partners. In this role, Christopher guides the development and management of strategic programs and collaborates with senior leaders across the organization to ensure the full integration of corporate responsibility into the company’s business strategy.

Prior to HPE and HP Co., Christopher worked at Green Environment Inc. as a Vice President where he led environmental due diligence efforts for leading Bay Area corporate and private equity clients involved in M&A activity. 

Christopher is passionate about drawing upon his experience in business and science/ engineering to analyze how organizations innovate, develop and market products; consume energy and natural resources; and produce waste streams, to find ways to bring businesses closer to economic, social and environmental sustainability. 

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

The challenges we face as a planet and the opportunities we can tackle as businesses require us to use the knowledge, strength and influence of our organizations working together to drive positive impacts. RBS brings together a collective seeking to learn more and to take action on circular economy, clean tech, inclusion and diversity and more and in order for us to drive sustainable outcomes we need to take action, together.

Where does sustainability sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver a sustainable future?

This is actually an interesting question for my team. With all the changes at HPE, from the split from HPQ to our spinoffs and reorganizations, our sustainability team has undergone a lot of changes. We recently moved from our Marketing department to the Legal department, a move that made a lot of my team nervous, as there was a perception that we could be reduced to a compliance function. Our team is made up of leaders and innovators who strive to push the boundaries and don’t want to settle for anything. Yet this move into the Legal organization has positioned us with more support, visibility and authority than I’ve ever seen in my tenure here, with everyone from our CEO and C-suite to partnerships across our organization and even an engaged workforce who value corporate responsibility, ensuring sustainability spans our entire organization.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as sustainability becomes more of a priority for the business? What’s driving the change?

Sustainability has been a part of how we do business for decades, yet how well it’s integrated across our organization continues to evolve as more and more of our customers demonstrate how sustainability is a business priority. As billions of connected devices and people come online, our customers are struggling to adapt to a world where everything computes with increasingly less energy, materials and space for their IT solutions. Our stakeholders are emphasizing the inherent risks and the promise of technology in driving positive change in the digital age. We’re seeing an increase in sustainability-related request for proposals, driving emphasis from our investors and shareholders. Understanding this, we’ve been integrating our sustainability objectives across our entire value chain, into our overall strategy, into how we innovate as technology leaders and how we drive business outcomes.

Our CEO recognizes this and is not only pushing our organization and my team’s initiatives, but he’s publicly addressing this priority through engagements like the Tech for Good Summit in France with corporate, government and organizational leaders around the globe. Our executives are leading the charge by upholding our high ethical standards across the business, building a more inclusive culture of an increasingly diverse and empowered workforce, and imbedding our corporate sustainability goals across the business and our entire value chain. Even our employees are teaming together from around the world to phase out single-use plastics at their sites, positively challenging my team to keep up and advance more ambitious initiatives.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

Our top three priorities are: driving the circular economy, investing in people, and operating responsibly. These priorities emphasize how technological advancement has the power to advance the way we live and work through a renewed focus on sustainable innovation.

At HPE, we’re building a world where factories monitor themselves in real-time; where healthcare is personalized and genetic diseases are a thing of the past; where clean energy technologies power the economy; where women earn equal pay for equal work; where technology is secure and trusted, basic services are available to all, and everything computes. Achieving a sustainable future will require disruptive transformation across every industry. In an era of infinite connectivity coupled with finite resources, we’re partnering with our customers and stakeholders to catalyze sustainable innovation in our industry and beyond. Only together can we solve the world’s most complex challenges.

How is your company leading on sustainability?

We understand our unique position to drive sustainable innovation across the sectors, from manufacturing to utilities, healthcare to smart cities. Over this year we’ve had so much success in leveraging our sustainability leadership as a differentiator to customers that we’ve expanded our customer engagement program by 200%. This is a unique program that specifically engages customers on how they can solve their business and sustainability goals simultaneously through our efficient IT solutions, creating partnerships beyond our walls. Last year, our sustainability-focused customer engagements represented $5B USD of total revenue and contributed to over $312M USD in revenue, and I know these numbers will only increase as more of our customers seek to improve their ROI through the low carbon economy. To date, 596 companies are taking science-based climate action, 55% of company executives have gained competitive advantage from science-based targets, and HPE is ready to help our customers lead across sectors through sustainable IT solutions.

Taking a look at our sustainability commitments operationally, I think we’re leading on several fronts worth noting. Our focus areas span our entire value chain, with goals and initiatives aligned to 6 of the key United Nation’s Sustainability Development Goals. We’ve chosen 6 key areas that best position us to make the biggest impact and apply our capacity as a global technology leader. I’m proud to say that we were the first IT company to set climate-science based emissions targets across our value chain, as our greatest environmental footprint comes from outside our direct operations. These goals enable us to engage our suppliers, helping them set their own greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enable our customers to drive more efficient IT solutions across industries. This year, we reassessed the biggest opportunities we have and identified two new SDGs to prioritize—Gender Equality and Responsible Consumption and Production, helping us grow our business responsibly while addressing gender inequality.

How are you and your team moving from a linear to a circular economy?

Transitioning to the circular economy is undoubtedly vital for businesses, yet not all businesses are doing this successfully. If you’re not fully transforming your company and where your material impact is to a more circular, regenerative model, you’re not transitioning, you’re stalling. At HPE, we recognize that rapid technological innovation can lead to new efficiencies while also leading to the rapid obsolesce of legacy IT hardware and the overconsumption of precious rare Earth metals. 

That’s why we’ve positioned our circular economy efforts around how we can keep Earth metals within the circle, designing for environment and circularity through extended product life, resource efficiencies, material recyclability, and reducing IT consumption overall through IT service offerings. We offer multiple programs across our global markets to encourage participation in the circular economy including asset trade-in, remanufactured and refurbished offerings, and recycling solutions. Over the past year, we took in 4 million units at our Technology Renewal Centers. 89% were returned into the circle and given new life, and the remaining 11% were recycled. We’ve also increased the recyclability of our products, with many of our key product across compute and networking at more than 99% recyclability.

Disclosing ESG risk to investors is a hot topic for 2019 – how are you tackling the increased pressure and workload for you and your team?

I’m fortunate to have a team of driven, passionate employees with diverse skillsets that help us recognize the intersectionality of our climate crisis and how we as a tech company are uniquely positioned to drive positive change in the digital age. One project I’m particularly excited about is helping us anticipate and disclose ESG risks. This past year, we conducted a forward-looking analysis assuming two climate scenarios to better understand the environmental and financial opportunities of enhancing our current climate strategies and how resilient these strategies are over both the short (0-3 years) and long-term (5-15 years). This analysis adopts the recommendations set forth by the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which links climate-related risks and opportunities with the financial stability of our organization.

Our modeling confirms that the physical risks of climate change present potential negative financial impacts to our company, which are most pronounced in the limited mitigation scenario. However, the 1.5°C scenario revealed that the opportunities from developing technology solutions to facilitate a low-carbon transition will outweigh the risks, reiterating the value of our work. We predict numerous business opportunities for HPE and our customers if we continue to advocate for a low-carbon economy, apply innovative technologies to reduce operational energy use, and create aggressive proof-of-concept solutions that help our customers thrive in a carbon‑constrained market. Read our latest Living Progress Report to see the details of this study.

Annukka Dickens
HP

Annukka Dickens

Director Human Rights and Supply Chain

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Annukka Dickens is director of the HP Americas Environmental Leadership Team. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic development of HP’s environmental programs in the Americas, including compliance, market access, and sales and marketing support. She oversees the tracking, assessment and influence of environmental regulations while assisting with management planning and environmental strategy development.

Previously, Dickens was head of environmental management for HP Asia-Pacific and Japan. She helped to develop regional environmental programs, coordinate a number of take-back program developments and served as a member of HP’s Global Social and Environmental Responsibility Council.

Since joining HP, Dickens has held a variety of environmental strategy management positions in the Americas region; the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA); and the Asia Pacific and Japan Region (APJ).

Dickens holds a Master of Science in Environmental Strategy from the University of Surrey in Guildford, England.

Betty Yee
State of California

Betty Yee

State Controller

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State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Reelected for a second term as Controller in 2018, Ms. Yee is only the tenth woman in California history to be elected to statewide office.

As the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of more than $570 billion. Ms. Yee also serves on the Ceres Board of Directors, a nonprofit organization working to mobilize many of the world’s largest investors to advance global sustainability and take stronger action on climate change.

Ms. Yee serves on dozens of boards and commissions with authority ranging from land management to crime victim compensation. As a member of the State Lands Commission (and chairperson in even-numbered years), she helps provide stewardship of public-trust lands, waterways, industrial wharves, marine terminals, pipelines, and resources through economic development, protection, preservation, and restoration consistent with the state’s environmental needs. Through other financing authorities, Ms. Yee is dedicated to creating incentives to increase the number of affordable housing units, spur economic development, support pollution-control innovations, and strengthen health and educational facilities.

Ms. Yee has more than 35 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature. She also cofounded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas.

A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration.

Hugh Welsh
DSM North America

Hugh Welsh

President & General Counsel

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Samir Goswami
Partnership On AI

Samir Goswami

Chief Operating Officer

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Samir is Chief Operating Officer of the Partnership on AI, where he leads an operations team that helps to support the Partnership’s programming, including the Partnership’s annual operating plan, budget, and staffing operations. Samir also spearheads work on the Partnership’s strategic orientation, in support of its position within the AI ecosystem, and assists in efforts that promote AI’s applications around social good.

Prior to joining PAI, Samir was a consultant on business, human rights, and technology issues for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the International Labour Organization, United Way Worldwide, Humanity United, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and others. Prior to that he was a Sales Director at LexisNexis, where he directed a team that managed a portfolio of U.S. Government contracts with the Agency for International Development, State Department, Department of Defense and Intelligence Communities, and developed their rule of law business line. He also served as the company’s Director of Corporate Responsibility, where he integrated CSR into business development efforts across the company.

As a Managing Director of the Individuals and Communities at Risk Program at Amnesty International USA, Samir oversaw a crisis response unit that responded to 500 human rights incidents each year. Previously, Samir co-founded his own non-profit organization in Illinois where he organized survivors and led coalitions that transformed the State’s response to human trafficking.

Samir’s opinion pieces have been published in the Guardian, The San Francisco Chronicle, CNN.com, World Affairs Journal, and other outlets. Samir teaches a class on CSR at Rutgers University, and – along with his spouse Annick – spends lots of time spoiling their rescue dog, Ellie, and trying wines from all over the world.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

We see RBS West as a great opportunity to share best practices and demonstrate how AI can be developed with the benefit of society and humanity in mind. Many companies have proven that the profit vs sustainability paradigm is a false choice. They have demonstrated that companies can prioritize shareholder profits while also engaging in practices and processes that protect the environment and promote human rights. RBS West is a venue to share, learn and inspire and mainstream this balance - particularly on the West Coast where innovation and speed is prioritized.  AI is an emerging technology(s) that is impacting companies across industries, and we look forward to adding to the conversation.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

(1) Building a sustainable organization that respects its employees, (2) Bringing our community together to produce research that is of value to our stakeholders, and (3) Using our leverage to have our members adopt best practices.

How are businesses going to have to transform their operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Customers value sustainability and respect for human rights, and, increasingly, ESG factors are important to institutional investors as well. Businesses need to build a corporate culture (top down and bottom up) that integrates these values into every aspect of their operations (sales, procurement and product development). There is currently a lot of public fear that AI technologies can pose risks (privacy, civil rights, lack of accountability and job displacement). Businesses need to also reassure their customers that AI is being developed with safeguards. Businesses can take the Ruggie principles on business and human rights and apply them broadly to AI product development -- upholding their responsibility to protect human rights and ensuring that processes exist to remedy wrongs.

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

PAI brings together stakeholders from across industry, academia and civil society to collectively address challenges. We believe that this multi-stakeholder process can ensure that AI is developed and deployed to benefit people and humanity, and that best practices are adopted across industries.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

The industry has learned many lessons in the past two decades that can be applied to emerging technologies. For example, AI research teams at large companies can learn from their colleagues who manage environmental issues, or sustainable procurement, on how to integrate sustainability into their AI product development. We don't have to reinvent the wheel in the AI ecosystem and can learn from the progress made in other areas and apply it to AI.

Bruno Sarda
CDP North America

Bruno Sarda

President

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Bruno Sarda is the President of CDP North America. He works to grow the organization and increase environmental disclosure and action among companies and local governments, as well as manages the North American team and operations. Previously he served as Chief Sustainability Officer for NRG, a leading integrated power company, and has also worked at Dell and Charles Schwab. Bruno is a faculty member and Senior Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University.

Paul Rice
Fairtrade USA

Paul Rice

President & CEO

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Paul Rice is Founder and CEO of Fair Trade USA, the internationally-acclaimed social enterprise and leading certifier of Fair Trade products in North America. He launched the award-winning nonprofit organization in 1998 after spending 11 years organizing farmers in the highlands of Nicaragua. There, he founded and led the country's first Fair Trade coffee export cooperative, which introduced him to the transformative power of market-based approaches to sustainable development. Paul then returned to the United States to obtain his MBA from Berkeley Haas with the dream of bringing Fair Trade to consumers, businesses and farmers worldwide.

People called him crazy in the beginning, but Paul had a bold vision for Fair Trade: from his years in Nicaragua, he knew that farmers and workers could learn to navigate the global market and empower themselves on a journey out of poverty. He believed that business could become a major force for social and environmental change, creating “shared value” and sustainability with profitability. He envisioned a consumer awakening and recognition that everyday purchases can impact the world for the better. In short, Paul believed deeply that the FairTrade movement would have a major impact on the world and also help propel a much larger, lasting shift toward Conscious Capitalism.

Twenty years later, Fair Trade has grown into a widely-known and increasingly mainstream consumer trend that is rapidly approaching an inflection point. In 2016, consumer recognition of the Fair Trade Certified label reached 67% and U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products grew to an estimated $6 billion. Paul and his team have enlisted the support of over 1,300 companies, including market leaders like Green Mountain, Starbucks, Nespresso, General Mills, PepsiCo, Whole Foods, Costco, Target and Walmart. Fair

Trade USA now certifies coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, coconut, fresh fruits and vegetables. Most recently, through groundbreaking partnerships with Patagonia, West Elm and Gap Inc., Fair Trade has begun certifying apparel and home furnishings to improve working conditions and incomes for factory workers. In addition, Fair Trade has begun certifying both wild capture fisheries and aquaculture farms to ensure financially stable and sustainable socio-ecological systems, safe working conditions, access to community services, and healthy natural resources for future generations.

Since its launch, Fair Trade USA and its partners have generated almost $500 million in additional income for farmers and workers in more than 70 countries worldwide, allowing them to keep their kids in school, care for the land and steadily improve their livelihoods. 

Paul’s rich, first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the areas of sustainable agriculture, grassroots economic development, global supply chain transparency and consumer activation is unique in the certification world. He is now a leading advocate of “impact sourcing” as a core strategy for both poverty alleviation and sustainable business.

Paul has been honored for his pioneering work by Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Fast Company Magazine’s Social Capitalist of the Year award (four-time winner), Ethisphere’s 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year (2012 Finalist) and the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The Texas-native holds an Economics and Political Science degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he is now an Executive Fellow. Paul has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll World Forum, TEDx and numerous universities and conferences around the world.

Kristina Kloberdanz
Mastercard

Kristina Kloberdanz

Chief Sustainability Officer

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Kristina is Mastercard’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. A catalyst for change, she works with Mastercard’s Board of Directors and senior executives to advance sustainability and drive strategic growth. She is helping shape Mastercard’s business strategy through its commitment to sustainability, which comes from the long-held belief that doing good for society helps them do well as a company. Kristina believes that companies must use their infrastructure and technologies, capital and creativity in order to create scalable and sustainable solutions that benefit everyone --employees, citizens, customers, companies and governments. As CSO, she collaborates with leadership across the business to integrate sustainability initiatives shared among business units and position them to be enterprise wide drivers of growth – in advancing inclusive growth, ensuring a workforce that is inspired by a sense of purpose, limiting its impact of climate change, and putting ethics, data privacy and security first. Kristina’s role at Mastercard rests on two decades of experience from her work at IBM leading its global Corporate Responsibility, as an inaugural member and facilitator of IBM’s Corporate Service Corps and managing IBM’s Global Sports and Entertainment Sponsorships, among other responsibilities.

Kristina has served on a variety nonprofit boards and advisory councils, from Outward Bound International to New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet, lending her expertise in sustainability, marketing, strategic planning and fundraising. A former professional ballerina, she also loves an adventure and can be found traveling the globe from the peaks of Kilimanjaro to the mountains of the Himalaya. With a passion for wellness, Kristina is a certified Holistic Health Coach.

Most recently, Kristina was listed on Forbes: 46 Sustainability Leaders (Who Are Also Women) July, 2018.

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Dennis Arriola
Sempra Energy

Dennis Arriola

Executive Vice President and Group President

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Dennis V. Arriola is executive vice president and group president, and chief sustainability officer for Sempra Energy.

In his current role, Arriola oversees Sempra Energy's communications, government relations, regulatory and international affairs activities, corporate social responsibility and the company's South American operations.

Previously, he served as chairman, president and CEO of Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), one of Sempra Energy's regulated California utilities.

Arriola spent most of the past 24 years in a broad range of leadership roles for the Sempra Energy companies. He served as president and chief operating officer of SoCalGas beginning in 2012, until he was promoted to CEO in 2014.

From 2008 to 2012, Arriola left Sempra Energy to work as executive vice president and chief financial officer for SunPower Corp., a Silicon Valley-based solar panel manufacturer.

From 2006 to 2008, he was senior vice president and chief financial officer of both San Diego Gas & Electric and SoCalGas. Previously, Arriola also served as vice president of communications and investor relations for Sempra Energy, and regional vice president and general manager of Sempra Energy’s South American operations. He first joined the company in 1994 as treasurer for Pacific Enterprises/SoCalGas.  

Arriola serves on the board of directors for the California Latino Economic Institute (chairman of the board) and previously on the board of the California Business Roundtable (prior chairman of the board). Arriola also serves on the boards of directors for several Sempra Energy operating companies, including Chilquinta Energía in Chile (chairman of the board), Luz Del Sur in Peru (chairman of the board) and Infraestructura Energética Nova (IEnova) in Mexico. He was actively involved in United Way's efforts to implement Linked Learning in association with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Arriola holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Stanford University and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University.

Tim Ring
MetLife

Tim Ring

Chief Sustainability Officer

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Emily Wimberger
California Air Resources Board

Emily Wimberger

Chief Economist

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Dr. Emily Wimberger is the chief economist at the California Air Resources Board where she leads the economic analysis of California’s climate change and criteria pollution regulations and policies. Previously, Emily served as a researcher at the University of California Center for Energy and Environmental Economics at UC Santa Barbara and as Economics Fellow at the California Air Resources Board where her research focused on carbon market design and vehicle emission reduction programs. Emily received her Ph.D. in Agriculture and Resource Economics from the University of California Davis and her bachelor’s degree in Energy, Environmental, and Mineral Economics from Penn State.

Leo O’Loughlin
JLL

Leo O’Loughlin

Sr. Director, Business Development

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Virginia Covo
Ab Inbev

Virginia Covo

Director Climate Change

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Lenny Mendonca
State of California

Lenny Mendonca

Chief Economic and Business Advisor

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Lenny Mendonca is the chief economic and business advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. He is also a senior partner emeritus of McKinsey & Company, a lecturer on inequality at the Stanford Business School, and chair and primary owner of the Coastside News Group. He founded McKinsey’s US state and local public sector consulting practice and led the firm’s knowledge development efforts, overseeing the McKinsey Global Institute and the firm’s communications—including the McKinsey Quarterly. He served for a decade on the McKinsey Shareholder Council (its board of directors). Over the course of his career, he helped dozens of government, corporate, and nonprofit clients meet their most difficult management challenges. He was formerly the chair of New America and Children Now, co-chair of California Forward, and chair of Fusecorps. He is chair emeritus of the Bay Area Council and their Economic Institute. He also previously served as the vice chair of Common Cause, the vice chair of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, and a trustee at the Committee for Economic Development. He served on the boards of Fidelity Charitable, Western Governors University, UC Merced, the Educational Results Partnership, the College Futures Foundation, California Competes, the Opportunity Institute, Commonwealth Club, the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers, and theguardian.org. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees for Junior Statesmen of America, and the advisory boards of Y Analytics, QB3, the Haas Center at Stanford University, Third Sector Capital, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. He received his MBA and certificate in public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an AB from Harvard College, where he majored in economics.

Ron Jarvis
Home Depot

Ron Jarvis

VP Merchandising/Sustainability

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What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as sustainability becomes more of a priority for the business? What’s driving the change?

We push the action to embrace or improve sustainability concerns and opportunities to the ultimate business owner. The accountability to “do the right thing” has to lie with that individual or team.

How is your company leading on sustainability?

We lead by running a very efficient business model and by working with the many industries that we support to reduce the overall impact of those industries.

How are you decoupling business growth and GHG emissions?

We have been tracking our GHG emissions for many years, we have not had to decouple emissions from our growth as we may been able to have tremendous growth and an absolute reduction in emissions.

Disclosing ESG risk to investors is a hot topic for 2019 – how are you tackling the increased pressure and workload for you and your team?

We strive to keep transparency at the forefront of ESG issues, we have enhanced our ESG reports into easy to find and read on our investor and customer facing websites.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

The great change in Sustainability efforts came when companies started using it as a competitive measurement. We witnessed the need to push companies to sustainability diminish as each company did not want to be a laggard in their industry.

Ruth Harper
ManpowerGroup

Ruth Harper

Global Vice President of Communications

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Ruth Harper leads all aspects of communications strategies and channels, research, thought leadership and content creation across ManpowerGroup’s 80 countries and family of brands - Manpower, Experis, ManpowerGroup Solutions and Right Management. She co-authored recent reports including Skills Revolution, Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision, Seven Steps to Conscious Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Accelerating More .Women Into Leadership and ManpowerGroup’s Sustainability Plan and Report 2015/16. Ruth also leads ManpowerGroup’s partnership with the World Economic Forum, serving on the Education and Skills Steering Committee for the Future of Education, Gender and Work Initiative. Previously, Ruth worked for ManpowerGroup in Europe, leading Public Affairs, Government Relations, Marketing, CSR and PR and representing the industry to advise government and business on the European labor market. Ruth has a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Hull, UK.

John Scott
Subway

John Scott

VP - Global Quality, Food Safety & Sustainability

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With 20 years of experience in sustainability and consumer-focused supply chains, John C. Scott serves as the Vice President of Global Quality & Sustainability for Subway®, the world’s largest restaurant chain.

In his role, John oversees the global agenda for an integrated Quality, Food Safety and Sustainability programs in collaboration with Marketing, Operations, Communications, Public Relations, Innovation and Procurement.

Prior to Subway® in 2017, John held global leadership roles at PepsiCo, The Chefs’ Warehouse and Nabisco. John has also served on the board of Sedex, a world-wide technology platform for sharing responsible sourcing data, and co-chaired the AIM-PROGRESS CPG initiative on responsible sourcing.

Rebecca Lucore
Covestro LLC

Rebecca Lucore

Head of Sustainability and CSR

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Rebecca L. Lucore is Head of CSR and Sustainability for Covestro LLC’s America’s region, responsible for innovating new approaches to social programs, philanthropy and donations, community relations and partnerships and sustainability initiatives in North and South America.

Lucore oversees i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate), Covestro’s companywide CSR program that aims to spark curiosity, to envision what could be and to help create it. Its three focus areas, i3 Engage, i3 STEM and i3 Give, leverage the company’s current and future workforce, the communities in which it operates, and its partners and collaborators to create sustainable and lasting impacts.

A leading voice in Corporate America on purpose-driven, next generation skills-based volunteerism, Lucore has 20 years’ experience in corporate citizenship, philanthropy, environment/ sustainability and STEM education and diversity.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting? 

I am incredibly honored and excited to speak at Responsible Business Summit West.  It brings together top drivers of sustainability from all sectors who are accelerating a sustainable economy, conserving Earth’s natural resources and delivering business success.  I’m looking forward to inspiration!

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as sustainability becomes more of a priority for the business? What’s driving the change? 

When we became Covestro in 2015, we made the decision to fully embed sustainability into our innovation and business strategy, a decision reinforced by our early adoption of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).  We’ve then used the goals as a framework for our own sustainability strategy, setting five ambitious targets for 2025, all of which cut across multiple goals.

They include:

  1. Tying 80 percent of all R&D project spend to one or more of the UNSDGs.
  2. Anchoring our sustainability requirements among 100% of our suppliers, who will be held to the same high standards that Covestro sets for itself.
  3. Reducing our carbon emissions by 50 percent.
  4. Improving the lives of 10 million people in underserved markets.
  5. And extracting the most value from carbon – a concept we call carbon productivity. 

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to conserve the natural environment in 2019/20?

Covestro discovered a revolutionary new process that allows us to capture waste CO2 and convert it into a raw material used to produce polyols for flexible foam used in mattresses and furniture.  We’ve built a new production facility in Germany dedicated solely to manufacturing these CO2-based polyols.

Our scientists are also looking at plant-based materials known as biomass as another raw material that could replace fossil fuels in the manufacturing process.

More recently, we’re partnering with nine companies and academic institutions from six countries on a new research project called “PUReSmart,” with the goal of developing a complete circular product lifecycle and turn polyurethane into a truly sustainable material.

What engagement strategies are you employing to educate communities and employees?

Covestro has a long history of engaged employees and we support their efforts, giving them the support (paid time off) and tools to sharpen their purpose skills. 

For example, more than 215 employees have gone through skills-based and other volunteer training at the Covestro Center for Community Engagement at Robert Morris University. Armed with that training, they have consulted on business projects for more than 40 nonprofits whose work aligns with the UN SDGs, helping these organizations scale up and become more sustainable.

Internally, we have The StartUp Challenge, a global initiative that gives all employees the opportunity to think and act like entrepreneurs. This year, we asked employees to share their ideas for a more sustainable future.  They’ll compete for 1 million Euros in seed funding and one year to bring their ideas to life.

Finally, as part of our UN Environment partnership on the Young Champions of the Earth program, Covestro employees serve as mentors to more than 50 young environmentalists around the world who are bringing their big, bold ideas to life.  

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

When it comes to sustainability, our leadership isn’t just walking the talk at Covestro. Many of our executives have taken on additional leadership roles to advance sustainability, particularly in the chemical industry. 

For example, the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Our CEO chairs both the ACC’s executive committee and its sustainability committee.  Last year, the ACC agreed on a set of sustainability principles, with many of its members coming to the table to make a unified commitment to advance safe and innovative chemical products, accelerate sustainability and manage the industry’s footprint.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

For me, it’s a very exciting time to be a sustainability professional.  Why? We are no longer relegated to the “nice to do” category.  Instead, we are seeing more and more businesses taking a more holistic approach, embedding sustainability into the heart of their business strategies AND their social responsibility strategies.  AND, it’s a critical moment to be inclusive – when you’re having conversations around solutions to some of society’s greatest challenges, you must include those most affected by those challenges in the conversations.

John Hocevar
Greenpeace

John Hocevar

Oceans Campaign Director

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An accomplished campaigner, explorer, and marine biologist, John has helped win several major victories for marine conservation since becoming the director of Greenpeace's oceans campaign in 2004.

John has been featured on many national TV and radio networks, including CNN, BBC, ABC, NBC, Fox, and NPR, and has been quoted in the New York Times, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, Science, New Scientist, Salon, Washington Post, The Times of London, and many others. John is also a regular presenter at refereed scientific meetings, such as the International Deep Sea Coral Symposium, Marine Conservation Congress, Alaska Marine Science Symposium, and the annual meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

John directed a campaign that secured the first cap on factory fishing for menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay (menhanden is the second largest fishery in the United States). In 2007, John led an expedition to the Bering Sea that employed submarines to conduct the first manned exploration of the world's largest underwater canyon. He and his team discovered a new species of sponge, and documented many corals and sponges that were not previously known to live in the Bering Sea.

In 2010 John helped lead Greenpeace's response to the BP Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. John put together the scientific program for a three month-long research expedition to assess the true scope and impacts of the disaster, involving scientists from over a dozen independent institutions.

On the international level, John helped persuade the United Nations to protect deep sea corals and other vulnerable marine life from bottom trawling and other destructive fishing practices. As a member of the US delegation to CCAMLR, the body responsible for stewardship of the waters around Antarctica, he helped establish the largest marine reserve in the World, in the Ross Sea.

John has also played a leading role in Greenpeace's global anti-whaling campaign, successfully persuading the Japanese to drop plans to hunt humpback whales and to end all private investment in Japan's whaling industry. In early 2017, John worked with a team of Brazilian scientists to explore the Amazon Reef for the first time. Their discoveries helped stave off plans to drill for oil and gas in the region.

John has helped drive Greenpeace work to reform the world's tuna fisheries, championing an effort to get businesses to take responsibility for ensuring that their seafood is ethical as well as environmentally sustainable.

Prior to joining Greenpeace, John was involved in several environmental projects including the Sea Turtle Nesting Project in Florida, Coral Cay Conservation in Belize, and as an environmental educator for Marine Science Under Sails in Florida. He is a graduate of the Green Corps organizing fellowship, a program dedicated to training the next generation of environmental leaders and previously worked at Corporate Accountability International. He is a co-founder and former executive director of Students for a Free Tibet.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

Meeting in a state that has been wracked by a series of devastating wildfires, it is clearer than ever that we must act now if we hope to preserve our world as we know it. Climate change, plastic pollution, ocean acidification and unsustainable agriculture have become existential threats that require bold thinking and urgent action. None of can solve these problems on our own, so this meeting provides us with a crucial opportunity. We must listen to and learn from each other about what is working and challenge ourselves to prioritize initiatives that match the urgency of the moment in which we find ourselves.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team?

Preventing runaway climate change is our top priority. Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C is critical to avoid crossing fundamental planetary boundaries. We are working to ensure that America elects leaders that recognize the importance of shifting away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy sources. We can no longer afford to pursue new sources of coal, oil or natural gas.

Our oceans and forests need to be protected, to preserve biodiversity and the important functions these ecosystems serve as carbon sinks. Companies must deliver on their commitments to achieve zero deforestation goals. As for our oceans, we have embarked on a ten-month expedition that will take us from the Arctic to the Antarctic to build support for a strong Global Ocean Treaty. This Treaty will enable the international community to establish a network of sanctuaries covering at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, in line with the best available scientific recommendations.

We are also working to turn the tide on plastic pollution, with a focus on reducing production of single use plastic. We have put so much plastic into the environment that it is not just a problem for whales, turtles and seabirds, but for ourselves: plastic is now in the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. With US recycling rates falling to 5% and projections for substantial increases in plastic production, it is clear that we cannot recycle our way out of this crisis. We need to stop making things that we use once and throw away out of material that essentially lasts forever.

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

Collaboration with a range of partners and stakeholders is key to success of any ambitious sustainability effort, enabling businesses to tap into expertise and perspectives that cannot be found in any one place. We are seeing a lot of companies take actions that have unintended consequences or shortcomings that will prevent them from achieving their desired goals. It can be more useful to take the time to seek out views that are not obviously in line with company culture or plans than to engage with those who will tell you what they think you want to hear.

Samantha Sue Ping
MSCI

Samantha Sue Ping

Vice President, Head of ESG Issuer Communications

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

As an ESG service provider, attending and participating in the RBS West is first and foremost an opportunity for knowledge-sharing – for us to be able to provide insight on how our clients – investors – are approaching ESG investing, and how we assess company ESG performance. The event also allows us to directly connect face-to-face with some of the issuers we rate, which is always a great experience given that our primary mode of communication with companies is largely electronic due to the global nature of our business and the scope of our research coverage.

Where does sustainability sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver a sustainable future?

Sustainability and ESG is integral to the MSCI business. Via MSCI ESG Research, we provide the global financial community with innovative products and services that power better investment decisions for a better world. Beyond this, in 2018, we appointed a Chief Responsibility Officer and a Corporate Responsibility Committee comprised of senior leaders across MSCI to lead our corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts internally. This team also works closely with our dedicated employee resource groups, such as MSCI’s Women’s Leadership Forum and MSCI Pride, to elevate the issues like diversity and inclusion to a strategic level within the firm.

How is your company leading on sustainability?

As mentioned, MSCI provides the global financial community with innovative products and services that power better investment decisions for a better world. We have been voted Best Firm for SRI Research, Corporate Governance and Sustainability Indexes for the fourth consecutive year in the IRRI Annual Survey, and we will continue to push ourselves to support research and develop new solutions to solve sustainable investing needs. 

Disclosing ESG risk to investors is a hot topic for 2019 – how are you tackling the increased pressure and workload for you and your team?

As a primary user of company disclosures in our work to help investors power better ESG investment decisions, we are encouraged by the push for more meaningful data in corporate reporting on ESG issues. However, through our many interactions with companies via our Issuer Communications team, we recognize that the process to disclose more and navigate the ESG reporting landscape can be confusing and challenging at times. MSCI ESG Research is not a disclosure framework, and we do not issue stock questionnaires to companies as part of our data review process. However, we are empathetic to the burden of “survey fatigue” that companies face. As such, we have tried to structure our communication and review processes as efficiently as possible, and we continue to work to improve the experience in the hopes that it both lightens company workloads, as well as provide greater transparency on our assessment approach for companies along the way.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

Six years ago, the response rate to our company outreach was around 15% of companies we rated within the MSCI ACWI universe; in 2018, it jumped to 52%, and continues to grow through 2019.  This significant rise in response is illustrative of companies becoming more attuned to how investors are viewing their ESG performance, and in turn, also becoming more aware of how ESG is integrated into their business strategy. As someone that has been in this space for 10 years – first as an analyst, and now in my capacity in issuer communications for MSCI – its extremely encouraging to see this shift in the industry.

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Maureen Kline
Pirelli Tire North America

Maureen Kline

Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability

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Maureen Kline is Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability for Pirelli Tire North America, responsible for the US, Canada and Mexico. She is based in New York.

She sits on the boards of the US Tire Manufacturers Association and the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada.

She co-chairs a thought leadership council on communications for the Corporate Responsibility Association and writes a column on sustainability for www.Inc.com. She is a frequent speaker on various topics relating to sustainability.

Previously she was based in Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan, Italy, where she coordinated government affairs for the company’s foreign subsidiaries, and before that was responsible for Pirelli’s international media relations.

Prior to her public affairs and communications career, Maureen worked as a journalist over a 15-year period. She was Milan correspondent for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Breaking Views, and Business Week, among others. She edited a blog on the topic of meritocracy, hosted by Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera. She wrote and co-hosted a TV talk show in Italy on business and finance, broadcast on the local channel Telelombardia.

Maureen Kline holds a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. She lived in Italy for over 20 years, working in the communications, public affairs and legal fields, and holds dual US-Italian citizenship.

Doug Walters
City of Los Angeles

Doug Walters

Chief Sustainability Officer and Chief Resilience Officer, LA Sanitation & Environment

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Yalmaz Siddiqui
MGM Resorts International

Yalmaz Siddiqui

Vice President, Corporate Sustainability

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Yalmaz Siddiqui is Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at MGM Resorts International. He joined MGM in 2016 and is responsible for the company’s overall Environmental Management Program including policy, goals, reporting and alignment with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (U.N. SDGs). He also leads a range of specific initiatives for the company including sustainable events for major convention clients, food waste reduction, environmentally preferable purchasing, and circular materials management.


Prior to joining MGM, Yalmaz was Senior Director, Sustainability at Office Depot, where he set global strategy and led a number of industry-leading social and environmental sustainability programs. In his ten years with Office Depot he helped the company reduce total carbon emissions by 40%, grow sales of environmentally preferable products from $1.2B to $3.2B, and reach a ranking of #1 greenest large retailer in America in Newsweek Magazine’s green rankings, for three consecutive years.

Before Office Depot, Yalmaz worked for ten years as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM Business Consulting Services where he focused on business-to-business customer strategy, customer relationship management, market assessment, and operational performance improvement.

A global expert in sustainable purchasing, Yalmaz was the Founding Chair of the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, a non-profit organization focused on supporting and recognizing purchasing leadership that accelerates the transition to a prosperous and sustainable future. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Impact Nevada, Southern Nevada's leading sustainability non-profit focused on creating innovative public-private partnerships to advance sustainability in the region.

Yalmaz has a Master’s Degree in Environment & Development from the University of Cambridge in England, where he completed a thesis on Industrial Ecology, Biomimicry and Life Cycle Analysis. He also has a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Canada with majors in Marketing and International Business.

Michelle Cirocco
Televerde

Michelle Cirocco

Chief Social Responsibility Officer

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Michelle Cirocco is Televerde’s Chief Social Responsibility Officer. Michelle joined Televerde in 1999 and has held several leadership positions including Chief Marketing Officer. Michelle is a strong customer champion with a tireless commitment to demand generation excellence and best practices.

Michelle earned her MBA from Arizona State University where she also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Center for Services Leadership. She holds multiple certifications from SiriusDecisions. Michelle is an avid TED fan and organized and hosted TEDxPerryvilleCorrectional, the first TEDx to be held in an Arizona prison, which looked behind the curtain of incarceration to show the potential that exists in giving second chances.

In her role as Televerde’s Chief Social Responsibility Officer, Michelle is excited to further expand Televerde’s social footprint to create even more opportunities that transform lives.

Michelle dedicates a significant amount of her free time giving back to her local community by volunteering for the Phoenix Rescue Mission, Athena International and the Arouet Foundation. Michelle is a member of the National Association of Female Executives and MBA Women International.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

Having a passion for and commitment to corporate sustainability and philanthropic efforts has never been more important than right now. There are so many global issues that business is in the position to help solve. For me, this summit is an opportunity to connect with other business leaders to share best practices and ideas for how business can operate as a force for good and drive innovation and meaningful change for future generations.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team?

  • Expand our purpose-driven business model to support and provide opportunity for other disempowered communities around the world, starting with United Kingdom.
  • Show companies how they can further their commitment to CSR and support diverse communities by sourcing from diverse-owned businesses that employ a diverse workforce. Companies can strengthen the positive impact they have on disenfranchised communities by sourcing from B Corps and other companies that are purpose-driven. Companies can also commit to impact sourcing by pledging to hire impact workers, which is the mission of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition. We need to begin leveraging diversity in ways that meet the needs – not just of our business – but of individuals and communities as well.
  • Raise awareness for the impact of Televerde’s business model in all arenas: business, community, corrections, government and disempowered individuals.

These priorities are important to our team because it shows a purpose-driven company actually walking the talk in how we operate as a company and build stronger communities for all.

How are businesses going to have to transform their operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future? 

The global digital economy demands that companies be willing to adapt and pivot when necessary. According to Gartner, more than 66% of CEOs say they plan to change their business model in the next three years. The most successful companies never allow themselves to become complacent. They have their finger firmly on the pulse of the consumer and they continue to evaluate and then revaluate processes, products and business models.

Companies must place a high value on ethics and operating as a force for good in order to drive durable and long-term business results. Customers want great customer experiences from brands they can trust and that can successfully balance purpose and profit to build a better world.

What engagement strategies are you employing to educate communities and employees?

Our leaders work together – from the top down – to create an environment in which employees can learn, grow and see the impact of their work beyond just delivering profit. We bring our employees into the decision-making to ensure they feel 100 percent invested in our business. Our employees are loud and proud champions of our business model, which enables them to see the true impact of their work. Their passion extends into our communities where they volunteer to help and support society’s most vulnerable, while also advocating for broader criminal justice reform because of our innovative and unique business model.

How are you improving the D&I of your business – internally and with suppliers? 

In the simplest terms, we create shared value. Shared value means that we are mutually dependent on each other to succeed. As our business grows, our partners are open to more opportunities so it’s definitely a quid pro quo.

Our partnerships with small businesses benefit not just one another but our community as well. Together, we foster broad-based prosperity, creating more jobs and helping to strengthen a local, thriving business community. Our business model is something all our partners invest in deeply. They believe in the value we are delivering from a societal and economic standpoint and they want to be a part of this work, so much so that they often invest their personal time volunteering for our non-profit organization The Arouet Foundation.

Internally, our unique make up underscores our passionate commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace at all levels of the organization. Our company has a 600+ global workforce, 87% of which is female. For more than 20 years, we’ve created best-in-class sales and marketing services through a business model that hires, trains and supports incarcerated women. Seventy-percent of our workforce are incarcerated in correctional institutes in Arizona and Indiana, while 40 percent of those who work at our Corporate HQ began their careers with us in prison. These women are represented in every business group and role in our company, including the c-suite. Since our inception in 1994, 3,000 women have been through our program, with just 7% recidivism.

Our culture of inclusivity is built on dignity, respect, compassion and providing second chances.

Scott Anders
University of San Diego School of Law

Scott Anders

Director Energy Policy Initiatives Center

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Scott Anders has 20 years of experience in energy and climate policy. Anders is the director of the Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) at USD School of Law, where he works on regulatory and policy issues related to advancing a low-carbon economy. He has authored and co-authored numerous reports and papers, and is a frequent speaker, on topics including energy efficiency, distributed generation, renewable energy, and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Prior to joining EPIC, Mr. Anders was a senior manager at the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), where he directed regulatory activities and a portfolio of energy programs funded under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. He also worked as a policy researcher for a Washington D.C. policy think tank and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali (West Africa). He holds a BA in international politics from Muhlenberg College and an MA in public policy from the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

Derek Bingham
Goldman Sachs

Derek Bingham

VP Global Investment Research

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Alexander Spilger
Cushman & Wakefield

Alexander Spilger

Senior Vice President of Sustainability

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Alex Spilger is Senior Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield and Founder of GreenStep Education. He has consulted on over 100 diverse green building projects with high profile clients such as Google, Salesforce, Skype, Comcast, GoPro and the Wharton School of Business among others. His project achievements include the first LEED Platinum Major Renovation project on the west coast, the first LEED CI Platinum project in California and one of the first projects to attempt the prestigious Living Building Challenge.

Alex has taught over 300 green building workshops across the globe through organizations such as the US Green Building Council (USGBC), American Institute of Architects (AIA), Sustainable Building Advisors Program and the Stanford Graduate School of Business to name a few. He has also developed curriculum for UC Berkeley where he teaches a 6-week Green Building Project Management course.

Alex is a LEED Accredited Professional, USGBC Faculty and WELL Faculty. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UCLA.

Riva Krut
Linde

Riva Krut

Global Head of Sustainable Development

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Dennis Wilson
Saint Gobain

Dennis Wilson

Director of Sustainability & EHS

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Dennis is the Director of CSR, Product Stewardship & Sustainability for Saint-Gobain in North America, the parent company of CertainTeed. Dennis joined CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain in 2007 and has since worked in a variety of operational EHS, product stewardship and sustainability roles. Dennis’ team leads Saint-Gobain North America’s process & product sustainability efforts including waste, water, energy, & greenhouse gas reduction as well as product life cycle assessments. Dennis holds a BS in Applied Environmental Health & Safety Sciences (Safety Sciences) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Environmental Protection & Safety Management from St. Joseph’s University, an MBA from LaSalle University, and a certificate in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University. Prior to his time at CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain, Dennis held a variety of operations, quality, and regulatory positions in the pharmaceutical, and paper and plastics industries. Dennis was recently appointed to the USGBC LEED Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group (MR TAG) for 2018.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting? 

It brings together a diverse audience across business sectors and functions to have substantive conversations on how we can collectively leverage what we do to deliver on a successful triple bottom line approach.

Where does sustainability sit in your organization? And how are you working with other departments to deliver a sustainable future? 

Sustainability is a core piece of the Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability organization, but also has representation in the risk, marketing, R&D and purchasing organizations.  This allows for a cross function approach that lowers risk while unlocking innovation and business opportunity.

What kind of shift are you seeing in organization-wide strategy as sustainability becomes more of a priority for the business? What’s driving the change?  

We’re seeing deeper integration of sustainability principles in how we do everyday product and process development.  Change is being driven in part by customers asking for more sustainable product, an internal motivation to deliver on our brand promise while reducing risk and lastly, but of equal importance, by grass root employee interest in the topic.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20?

And why are they important to your team. First to further tie deep analysis like life cycle assessment and material health analysis to how we design products and the processes that make them.  Second, to further embed sustainability practices and procedures into our standard methods of doing business. Third, to further develop and implement our carbon mitigation strategy.

How is your company leading on sustainability? 

Saint-Gobain, as the largest building products company in the world, designs, produces and distributes materials and solutions that are key ingredients for the well-being of each of us and the future of all. These materials are found everywhere in living places and in everyday life: buildings, transport, infrastructure, as well as in many industrial applications. They provide comfort, performance and safety, while meeting the challenges of sustainable construction, efficient resource management and climate change. Saint-Gobain aims to meet today's individual expectations and tomorrow's collective challenges by offering its customers well-being through sustainable solutions that respect the environment and health; and its professional customers in particular, a guarantee of productivity, performance and innovation.

 In the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, Saint-Gobain is included on the MSCI World ESG Leaders, STOXX® Global ESG Leaders, Euronext-Vigeo Europe 120, Euronext Vigeo Eurozone 120, Ethibel ESI Excellence Global, Ethibel ESI Excellence Europe, FTSE4Good indices and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Inclusion in ethical stock market indices reveals recognition of the Group’s long-term commitment and of the results achieved in the area of corporate social responsibility.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present? 

It’s tremendously exciting that sustainability practices are becoming standard ways of doing business and are really being viewed as “good business” more and more as opposed to an extra effort or cost to meet isolated goals that might not be at the core of what your company strives to achieve.  We have a very diverse business across all of the Saint-Gobain brands and in each case we are finding new ways to deliver on our promises to our all stakeholders through sustainable solutions.

Heather Grantham
Nomura

Heather Grantham

Head of Client Relations and Marketing Resources

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Heather Grantham is the Head of Client Relations and Marketing Resources at Nomura Corporate Research and Asset Management Inc. (NCRAM), where she manages institutional client relationships and works closely with portfolio management, credit research, sales and business development teams to create and market high-yield fixed-income investment products for investors globally. She also serves on NCRAM’s ESG Committee and has a leadership role in defining and framing NCRAM’s responsible investing practices, ESG integration and ESG-focused products to clients, prospects, internal stakeholders and global Nomura affiliates. Ms. Grantham joined NCRAM’s Product Development team in 2012, prior to which she was a Senior Strategist at Cohl & Co., a strategic communications and institutional development consulting firm. Previously, at ZelnickMedia/ZM Capital, she managed a comprehensive branding and communications program, investor relations and business development support for several portfolio companies and two funds. She earned a B.A. in Government, with additional studies in Sociology and Fine Arts, from Cornell University.

Leonardo Moreno
The AES Corporation

Leonardo Moreno

Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy

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Leo is AES’ head of Corporate Strategy and Chief Commercial Officer, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. A leader with substantial international experience, he has led strategy, finance, commercial, risk, and M&A teams in the US, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

In his current role, Leo leads the design and execution of AES’ global strategy, oversees the company’s growth investments, leads global commercial teams in charge of marketing all technologies and solutions, and heads a unit to incubate new businesses with the potential to become transformative, high growth platforms. He sits on the Board of Directors of Dayton Power & Light in the US, AES Gener in Chile, AES Distributed Energy in Colorado, and AES Tiete in Brazil.

Leo previously served as AES’ Chief Risk Officer, and before that he was Chief Financial Officer for the Europe business unit, managing businesses in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. In his 14 years with AES, he has held leadership positions at the corporate and local levels, and has managed mergers, acquisitions, divestments, and restructurings throughout AES’ global portfolio.  In Brazil, he ran teams in charge of strategy, financial planning, and risk. Leo worked for Ernst & Young prior to joining AES.

He has a degree in Business from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, and has completed executive business and leadership programs in the London Business School, Georgetown University, and University of Virginia.

Betty Cremmins
CDP

Betty Cremmins

Director, CDP West

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Betty Cremmins has been helping CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) transition the world to a low-carbon economy since 2010. CDP is an international non-profit organization that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. With a background in greenhouse gas footprinting, green building and environmental policy, Betty relocated from New York City to San Francisco in 2016 to establish CDP’s first West Coast office. She also serves as Senior Account Manager on CDP’s Supply Chain program, working with leading organizations including Dell, Microsoft, Walmart, and the U.S. government to support the integration of climate change disclosure and action into standard purchasing practice. Betty has worked on climate change mitigation projects around the world, from the US Gulf Coast to sub-Saharan Africa to Antarctica. She holds a BA from NYU and a MPA in Environmental Science & Policy from Columbia University. Betty is a Young Professional Board Member of Habitat for Humanity-NYC, Advisory Board Member of the world’s first Climate Museum, Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and LEED Accredited Professional. 

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Gideon Maltz
Tent Partnership for Refugees

Gideon Maltz

Executive Director

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Gideon Maltz is the Executive Director of the Tent Partnership for Refugees.

He previously served as deputy chief of staff to Ambassador Samantha Power at the U.S. mission to the United Nations; director of human rights and multilateral affairs at the U.S. National Security Council; and senior advisor to the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Prior to government service, Gideon worked as an attorney in the international trade practice of Hogan Lovells and as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He has also served as a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Predoctoral Fellow at Stanford’s Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law.

Gideon has a BA from Yale and a JD from Stanford Law School.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

At the Tent Partnership for Refugees, we know that to make a significant impact on the lives of over 25 million refugees around the world we need to harness the power and influence of the business community. This is why the Responsible Business Summit West is so critical - it brings together like-minded companies who are pushing to do business in a more sustainable way, and who are committed to solving some of the world’s most pressing issues by mobilizing their networks, resources, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. 

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team?

Our first priority is to make the case to the business community that they have a vital role to play in helping refugees around the world - so that we can continue to grow Tent’s membership and inspire even more businesses to make meaningful commitments towards refugees. This was the vision of Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of Chobani, who launched the Tent Partnership with 10 companies in 2016, because he had a conviction that businesses can and should do more to address the global crisis. We’re now a vibrant community of over 130 companies, but we have so much more work to do to bring more businesses to the table.

Secondly, we want to encourage more companies to go beyond corporate philanthropy and think about how they can support refugees through their core business operations. Now that we know that refugees are typically displaced for a generation or more, there’s a real opportunity for businesses think about how they can support refugees in more sustainable ways, such as hiring them or investing in refugee-run businesses.

Our third priority is Latin America, which is currently seeing two refugee crises - with four million Venezuelans displaced in the region, and hundreds of thousands from the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Our focus for the rest of 2019 will be to galvanize the international business community and large Latin American businesses to step up to these crises and make meaningful commitments to help refugees in the region.

How are businesses going to have to transform their operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

We know that consumers’ purchasing decisions are increasingly being driven by a company’s social responsibility efforts - this is a trend that will only continue to grow.

Tent recently carried out research in partnership with New York University’s Stern School of Business, which found that U.S. and European consumers are more likely to buy from brands that help refugees. The younger the consumer, the more favorable their view. Businesses need to show leadership on issues like refugees to meet consumer demands and distinguish themselves in the marketplace.

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

Tent was founded on the belief that it will take a community of businesses coming together to make a real impact on the refugee crisis. 

One of the key services that Tent provides is connecting our members to each other, so they can share best practices and lessons learned. Critically, we also help connect businesses to NGOs and local service providers with expertise in refugee resettlement.

We create these connections in a number of ways - from business summits where businesses come together to make public commitments towards refugees; through to regional meetings where we share best practices; and webinars where companies talk about their experiences of working with refugees.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

I’m really excited about the creative ways in which the private sector is tackling major sustainability challenges. Take supporting refugee entrepreneurs for instance. Refugees have shown to be incredibly entrepreneurial, and businesses are looking at how they can support refugee businesses along every step of the way - from investing in them, through to incubating them, mentoring the founders, giving them market access or sourcing more refugee-made products. 

Erik Wohlgemuth
Future 500

Erik Wohlgemuth

Chief Operating Officer

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Andreea Rodinciuc
Future 500

Andreea Rodinciuc

Analyst

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Alex Morgan
Rainforest Alliance

Alex Morgan

Chief Markets Officer

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Alex Morgan is the Chief Markets Officer of the Rainforest Alliance. Since the merger with UTZ, he leads a global team that works with companies across the agriculture, forestry, and tourism sectors to develop and execute sustainable sourcing and sustainability programs, including certification, customized programs, and more. Through the lens of global supply chains, he is dedicated to broadening and deepening each company’s commitment to sustainable supply chains.

Alex has worked for the Rainforest Alliance for over ten years. He previously worked for Seattle Audubon, U.S. Senator Cantwell, and other non-profit organizations in the Seattle area. He has studied and worked in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Madagascar. He previously served on the Board of the Northwest Avalanche Center and the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Sustainability Council. He currently sits on the Sustainable Food Lab’s advisory board.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

We at Rainforest Alliance have always operated with partnership and transparency as core values. Participating in public fora, such as the Responsible Business Summit, and in dialogue with groups and organizations that span the business world, is a crucial part of executing our mission. This is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded thought leaders, and the Responsible Business Summit provides a valuable platform to discuss the pressing issues that we—as businesses and as citizens of this planet—face today.

How are businesses going to have to transform their operations to meet the needs of the customers in the future?

Sustainability has transcended to the mainstream consciousness. It is no longer a nice-to-have add-on that can make customers feel good, but is now a demand and a necessary component if a business wants to stay relevant. To that end, businesses will have to look closely at their operations and put sustainable practices into place. This means following supply chains to their source, and demanding better social and environmental practices from suppliers, as an example.

Which technologies are you exploring, or investing in, to conserve the natural environment in 2019/20?

This is a topic that we at the Rainforest Alliance are very excited to talk about. Digital and mobile technologies are on the rise. For example, we have recently launched a program called SAT4Farming, which utilizes satellite and remote sensing technologies to help develop farm improvement plans, with the ultimate goal of increasing yields on cocoa farms in Ghana and limiting destruction of the surrounding natural environment. Its more and more the norm for farmers and others in rural areas to own smart phones—we’re jumping on that trend and creating digital services to help farmers adopt best agricultural practices. We expect to launch two new apps targeted towards coffee producers before the end of the year.

To what extent are you driving sustainable innovation across the business?

The Rainforest Alliance has made innovation a key part of our strategy to create a world where humans and nature thrive in harmony. We aim to be leaders in this space, and push for innovation in the form of unexpected partnerships, the use of data and digital technology to enhance traceability and transparency, improve farming practices and provide tools and guidance to those who are just embarking on their sustainability journeys. A great example that encapsulates our drive to innovate is the Accountability Framework, a new initiative launched in June of 2019. The Accountability Framework provides common definitions, guidelines, and metrics for businesses that have made sustainability commitments but need guidance on credible execution.

How important is collaboration to long-term cross-industry transformation? What are you doing to deliver it?

Collaboration is a vital component of long-term change. As an alliance of farmers, scientists, forest communities, governments, and businesses, the Rainforest Alliance has always worked with a diverse array of stakeholders to drive change. We will keep working with these varied groups, soliciting input and cross-sector dialogues to find solutions to environmental and social problems. For example, our new sustainable agriculture standard will launch at the beginning of 2020—the result of important conversations at events such as the Responsible Business Summit, and after many rounds of stakeholder input. Cutting across some of the most challenging tropical agricultural commodity sectors, such as cocoa, coffee, tea, and bananas, the new standard is a product of years of collaboration, and promises to push for changes on the ground, to drive more value for farmers and to provide more transparent impact to all supply chain actors.

This document has been composed with the online HTML editor. Use the online visual HTML converter will help you a lot while you are working on your articles.

Katie Schmitz Eulitt
SASB

Katie Schmitz Eulitt

Director of Investor Outreach

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Katie Schmitz Eulitt has worked with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) since its inception. She now serves on SASB’s Capital Markets Policy and Outreach team, cultivating the use of SASB standards in investment decisions. Katie co-manages SASB’s Investor Advisory Group, comprising 40 leading global asset owners and managers – with over $30 Trillion in assets under management – supporting a market standard for the communication of corporate performance on financially-material ESG issues to investors. She also curates and edits ESG Integration Insights, SASB’s ongoing series of investor-written case studies examining the use of SASB tools across asset classes, markets, and investment strategies.

Katie worked with investment bank Salomon Brothers for over a decade in the US, Japan, and Hong Kong. Her experience in project development and finance spans the energy sector (both fossil fuels and renewables), the protection of forested lands, and water disinfection in developing markets.

She holds a BA in Japanese from the University of California, Berkeley, an MBA from l’Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France and, an executive certificate in sustainability from the Presidio Graduate School of San Francisco.

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Why do you feel the Responsible Business Summit West is an important meeting?

The Responsible Business Summits are well-curated programs that dig into tough topics like how we move from a linear to a circular economy and leverage technology to build a more sustainable future. I always learn something at Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summits because they are focused on moving sustainability beyond theory to practice.

I especially like that a Reporting and Communications track complements other tracks on the Responsible Business Summit West (RBSW) conference agenda. It’s important that sustainability reporting keep pace with changing demands. Companies need to communicate performance on sustainability issues to multiple audiences, and those audiences have different needs. The investor audience for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data has grown beyond what many could have imagined even just a few years ago and, while it’s exciting to see such extraordinary growth in investors’ interest in and demand for ESG data, whether they are active or passive fund managers, “issue-agnostic” or impact-oriented investors, it’s very challenging for investors to find the kind of information they need in sustainability reports designed for other audiences. To incorporate ESG issues in their investment decisions investors need comparable, consistent, reliable data; their needs are distinctly different from those of employees, community leaders, and other stakeholders. So, it’s great to see so much content at RBSW on investor-focused reporting, including a TCFD-focused panel in the mix. I think that will be well-received by sustainability practitioners struggling to meet the growing demands for ESG information. The tools for meeting these demands are out there, but I admit it can be puzzling to know which tools are best used for which purposes. There is a market need for businesses and investors to align on ESG performance and the tools used for communicating about that performance to different audiences; forums like RBSW are vital to moving this conversation forward.

How is your organization leading on sustainability? And how are you working with other organizations to deliver a sustainable future?

At SASB, we believe capital markets work best when they have the information needed to allocate capital to businesses with clear strategies for creating sustained value over the long-term. SASB standardizes that information—in the form of performance metrics—to help businesses and investors better understand business-critical ESG-related risks and opportunities. SASB standards are industry-specific, enabling comparison of performance across companies and peer groups. As businesses measure, manage, and improve their performance on key ESG factors, we can all benefit.

SASB works with a number of organizations to advance sustainability in the capital markets, but the group with which I personally work most closely is the Investor Advisory Group of the SASB Alliance (IAG). The IAG comprises 45 global asset owners and managers – with over $33 trillion in assets – who believe standards would improve the quality and comparability of sustainability-related information and that SASB’s approach is a path toward improving the availability and quality of ESG information relevant to investment decisions. The majority of ESG information available today is binary – yes/no answers to questions like, “do you have a policy in place on X issue(s)?” That is not actionable information for investors. To address this shortcoming, 74% of the metrics in SASB standards are quantitative, providing investors with data they can factor into investment decisions.

That said, the needs of other stakeholders not be eclipsed by investor needs. Another important group with which SASB is working is the Better Alignment Project (BAP) of the Corporate Reporting Dialogue. Through the BAP, SASB is working with GRI, the IIRC, CDP, and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB), among others, to make it easier for companies to understand which tools to use for which purposes/audiences. Output from the first of two phases of the BAP will show how the resources of each of these organizations map to the TCFD recommendations and should be published later this year.

What are your top three priorities in 2019/20? And why are they important to your team.

In 2011, SASB’s founding premise was that a key piece of market infrastructure was missing, and that developing industry-specific standards to measure the ESG issues most likely to have material financial impacts would not only drive more effective management of those issues but also enhance the efficiency, stability, and resilience of capital markets. The idea was derived from research out of Harvard aptly titled, “From Transparency to Performance.”

SASB standards were in provisional form until last November. Now that the standards have been officially released, a big priority for SASB is to help companies better understand SASB’s value proposition and how the standards – designed specifically for communicating corporate performance on ESG issues to investors – can be used to complement (not replace) other tools designed for other purposes. For example, many of the companies that have begun reporting via SASB standards do so by including a SASB table in their GRI reports so investors can “zoom in” on the subset of ESG issues likely to affect the financial condition or operating performance of companies in that industry. Companies are increasingly recognizing that this is not about reporting for the sake of reporting; academic and investor research supports SASB’s hypothesis that companies that focus on financially material ESG issues outperform companies that don’t.

Another priority for us is to continue demonstrating the variety of ways investors use SASB in investment decision-making across a range of asset classes and investment strategies. As of July 2019, more than 45 entities were licensing SASB intellectual property, the majority of which are investors using SASB IP to inform proprietary analytical models and other investment tools/platforms. We’ve co-published a growing number of case studies from investors using SASB tools and resources to enhance a variety of investment activities, from equity and debt analysis to manager selection and monitoring to index construction.

The priority underpinning all of SASB’s work is to serve the markets as a credible and respected standard-setting organization that produces world-class work, serving as a roadmap for companies and investors seeking to put resources and capital to their highest and best use.

Disclosing ESG risk to investors is a hot topic for 2019 – what’s your advice to companies tackling increased disclosure demand?

Every company is unique, so I recommend engaging with your shareholders to better understand their needs. Investors today obtain ESG and sustainability data on companies from a variety of sources. Some companies are surprised to learn that, even if they haven’t filled out a certain questionnaire on ESG topics, data providers will often “fill in the blanks” by estimating what a company is or isn’t doing in a given area. A company I recently encountered lamented that their ESG rating by one service provider was negatively impacted because of operations in China – but the company has no such operations! This is a great example of why it’s important for companies to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to disclosing what investors are seeking in terms of ESG performance data.

Before embarking on a journey, it’s wise to consult a map. For companies seeking a better view of what reporting via SASB standards might entail for them, consulting SASB’s Materiality Map ® at SASB.org is a great starting point.  The Materiality Map ® is an interactive tool that provides an overview of the ESG topics likely to be financially material for companies in their industry, as well as related metrics they may want to consider reporting (on average, there are six disclosure topics and 13 metrics per industry, so even for companies operating in more than one industry, we’re not talking about hundreds of pieces of data). SASB standards for 77 industries are also available for download, free of charge, on our website.

The other advice I would give companies trying to meet investor demand for ESG information is that investors are not asking for another 20 pages in your CSR or sustainability report. SASB standards were designed specifically for use in investor communications. In a sense, SASB translates the work companies are already doing on sustainability into a language and format spoken by investors. Whether it’s a SASB table in another report, on the investor relations section of your website (here is an example of what Nike does), or in a stand-alone SASB report (as JetBlue does), there are many ways companies communicate with investors. If your company has been reporting on sustainability, it’s likely that you already have at least some of the information included in SASB standards readily available. If you’re new to sustainability reporting, SASB’s streamlined approach is a great place to start. We also have a growing body of case studies from leading companies and investors who have already started using SASB standards, so companies can learn from their peers how others have overcome challenges and reaped benefits of reporting via SASB standards – as well as how investors are using a “SASB lens” in their investment decision-making. By communicating ESG performance using SASB standards, companies can take back the reins and make sure investors have a more complete and more accurate picture of their sustainability performance – and that's valuable for both companies and investors.

What excites you about the sustainability industry at present?

What’s exciting is that is there so much momentum around ESG and sustainability, both in terms of our understanding of these issues and the tools available through which we can take action on them. It’s especially exciting to see growing investor interest in ESG; to transition to a low-carbon, more sustainable world, we need to further mobilize the capital markets to help finance solutions to sustainability-related challenges. Fortunately, the economic opportunities inherent in this transition provide ample incentive for this mobilization.

Although some bemoan the fact that there are so many frameworks for managing and reporting on ESG (and, while I agree that harmonization in this space is needed), from a “glass half-full” perspective, this is a high-quality problem to have. Putting this in practical terms, no one ever built a house armed only with one tool. You need hammers, drills, screwdrivers – you see where I’m going with this. It’s not helpful to think that we can tackle the entire array of often large-scale and always richly nuanced ESG issues armed with only one tool in the sustainability tool box. Investors with access to higher quality ESG data can better assess and price ESG-related risks and opportunities, tilting portfolios towards companies that are maintaining and creating long-term value, and engaging with companies where there is room for improvement. We’re fortunate to have an array of tools at our disposal to ensure that companies are managing sustainability-related risk and opportunity well and providing investors with the kind of data they need. 

In an era in which expectations of companies go beyond earning a profit to how they earn a profit, heightened levels of scrutiny faced by companies from their customers, employees, and society as a whole – up and down supply chains and across geographies – is not going away. Based on the research available, companies should embrace these changes and understand that increased expectations for transparency around ESG performance can be beneficial when managed well; focusing on the issues likely to be financially material has been shown to lead to outperformance. In my opinion, it’s never been a more exciting time to be working in sustainability.

Hank Cauley
Conservation International

Hank Cauley

Senior Vice President

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Hank Cauley is the Senior Vice President of Conservation International’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, which works with companies to advance corporate sustainability efforts that ensure the protection of nature for all. This involves working with influential companies, like Disney, Starbucks and Walmart, to transform the landscapes in which business operates.

A key part of Hank’s role is inspiring companies to not just commit to sustainability, but to evaluate their policies and practices and implement solutions that are good for nature, people and business. Hank is also helping shape the future of Conservation International’s forum for engaging companies in sustainability, which will tackle sustainability issues head on with the latest innovations in conservation science.

Hank is a specialist in the intersection of business and environmental and social issues, with experience in creating and managing organizations, developing marketing and strategy, and building partnerships between companies, nonprofits and governments. Before joining Conservation International, Hank served as a senior officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, taught at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and was President of the U.S. Forest Stewardship Council. He was also a board member of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, Root Capital, the Center for Science in Public Participation and Pacific Environment.

Hank has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona.

Robert Hirth
SASB Standards Board

Robert Hirth

Co-Vice Chair

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Bob Hirth was appointed to the nine-member standard setting board of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) upon its formation in 2017 and serves as a Vice Chair of the board. He currently heads SASB’s Technology and Communications sector committee and is a member of the Services, Healthcare and Extractive and Minerals Processing sector committees.

Serving as COSO Chair from June 2013 to February 2018, his activities included leading COSO’s project on revising its Enterprise Risk Management Framework which was released in September 2017, issuing COSO’s Guide on Fraud Risk Management and actively promoting COSO’s 2013 Internal Control Integrated Framework around the world and through the Media. He has worked on assignments and made presentations in over 20 countries, serving more than 50 organizations and working closely with board members, C-level executives, University professors, finance and accounting personnel as well as public accounting firm partners and employees.

He is a Senior Managing Director of Protiviti, a global internal audit and business risk consulting firm that operates in 22 countries. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President, global internal audit and a member of the Firm’s six-person executive management team for the first ten years of Protiviti’s development.

In 2012, Bob was appointed to serve a two year term on the Standing Advisory Group of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and was re-appointed to serve a three-year term ending December 31, 2016.

Bob started his career in public accounting and became a global equity partner of Arthur Andersen in 1988. During his tenure there, he worked in the Dallas, Melbourne Australia, San Jose and San Francisco offices, serving as a partner in both the audit and advisory practices of the firm. For over 20 years, he practiced as a CPA in Texas and California and also qualified as a chartered accountant and registered company auditor while working in Australia.

In 2013, Bob was inducted into The American Hall of Distinguished Audit Practitioners. In 2014 and 2015, he served as the Chairman of the IIA’s IPPF re-look task force. Bob graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, with a concentration in accounting.

Cody Hooven
City of San Diego

Cody Hooven

Chief Sustainability Officer

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Jason Anderson
Cleantech San Diego

Jason Anderson

President and CEO

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Dianna Cohen
Plastic Pollution Coalition

Dianna Cohen

Co-Founder and CEO

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Dianna Cohen is co-founder and CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) and a passionate advocate against plastic pollution. 

PPC is a growing global alliance of nearly 700 organizations, businesses, and notable thought leaders working toward a world free of plastic pollution and its toxic impact on humans, animals, and the environment. 

A Los Angeles based visual artist, Dianna has shown her work internationally at galleries, foundations, and museums. She uses plastic in her artwork to make a visual and social impact. With plastic bags as her primary material for the past 27 years, Cohen is interested in exploring its materiality through modifications and the material’s relationship to culture, media, toxicity, and the world at large and shared this in her 2010 TED talk “Tough Truths About Plastic Pollution.” 

Dianna is a frequent speaker and guest and has spoken at the UN and international conferences and symposia, and has been interviewed by Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, The Guardian, USA Today, Martha Stewart Living, and many others. Dianna studied Biology, Art, and Film at the University of California, Los Angeles and holds a BA in Fine Arts.

Bill Sisson
WBCSD

Bill Sisson

Executive Director

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William (Bill) Sisson is presently the executive director for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) North America operations, based in New York City. He oversees WBCSD’s regional strategy, relations and growth efforts, sustainability focused member projects and strategic engagements. Prior to his role with WBCSD, Bill gained over 30 years of private sector experience with the multi-national conglomerate United Technologies Corporation (UTC), where he capped his career as Senior Executive Director for Sustainability. While at UTC, his responsibilities included directing Carrier’s long-range HVAC research as well as managing Carrier’s Commercial Controls division. Bill presently sits on the Technical Review Committee of the Global Cooling Prize, administered by Rocky Mountain Institute, and is a member of the expert group for Aspen Global Change Institute’s research on Industry Decarbonization. After 7 years on the Global Building Performance Network (GBPN) Board, Bill was appointed the Chairman and Board President in September 2018. He holds advanced degrees from Virginia Tech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Business, where he is a Sloan Fellow alumnus.

Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh
American Sustainable Business Council

Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh

Vice President, Membership & Chief of Staff

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Ali-Reza “A.R.” Vahabzadeh is a solutions-geared organizational development professional with strong experience in relationship management and marketing. He has worked in business development and investor relations roles for companies such as Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase in the U.S., Europe and Middle East. He is a senior business partner with exceptional interpersonal skills and a distinctive ability to support and work alongside executive leadership. He is a graduate of The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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Shari Rudolph
Good360

Shari Rudolph

Chief Marketing Officer

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Shari Rudolph is Chief Marketing Officer for Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy and purposeful giving. She came to Good360 from the private sector nearly 4 years ago because she was attracted to Good360’s smart and efficient operating model of helping transform the lives of those in need, including survivors of disasters, through the distribution of critically needed product donations.

At Good360, Shari provides leadership for the organization’s marketing, ecommerce and disaster recovery teams. She is happy to put her business track record to work in this sector, generating meaning and impact.

Shari is an accomplished retail, digital commerce and media executive with a strong track record of creating growth and building value. Her previous experience includes senior leadership posts at Hearst Magazines, Gabriel Brothers Inc. (“Gabe’s”), and Primedia among others, and she has co-founded three start-ups in the media and ecommerce areas.

She is also an adjunct professor teaching classes in marketing, advertising and entrepreneurial studies, and she earned her MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA.

Matt Ellis
Measurabl

Matt Ellis

Founder & CEO

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Matt is Founder and CEO of Measurabl, an enterprise software company that makes it possible for any company to collect, report, and act on sustainability data, powering the global market in non-financial information.

Before Measurabl Matt spent five years with CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services company, where he began his career as a real estate broker. Matt went on to lead CBRE’s Sustainability Practice Group in the Western US, implement its industry-first global carbon neutrality program, and serve as the company’s first Director of Sustainability Solutions and youngest member of its Global Sustainability Steering Committee.

Matt has expertise in sustainability reporting, corporate sustainability strategy, institutional and corporate real estate, carbon accounting, and green building. He is an Aspen Institute First Movers Fellow, a New Leaders Council Fellow, and was named a “Top 50” real estate executive by Real Estate Forum in 2017.

Professional

  • LEED AP, US Green Building Council
  • Certified Carbon Reduction Manager (CRM), Association of Energy Engineers
  • Certified Business Energy Manager (BEP), Association of Energy Engineers
  • Broker, California Department of Real Estate

Education

  • Professional Certificate, Corporate Sustainability & Innovation: Harvard University Extension
  • MS, Business Administration: San Diego State University
  • BA, Economics: University of California, San Diego
  • BA, The Study of Religion: University of California, San Diego

Community (by Mayoral Appointment)

  • Board Member, City of San Diego Sustainable Energy Advisory Board
  • Commissioner, City of San Diego Funds Commission
Nicole Capretz
Climate Action Campaign

Nicole Capretz

Founder and Executive Director

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Nicole Capretz is an environmental attorney with 20 years of experience as an energy, equity, and climate policy advisor for local governments and the nonprofit sector. Nicole was the primary author of the City of San Diego’s groundbreaking, legally binding 100% clean energy Climate Action Plan adopted in late 2015. Nicole has since played a pivotal role in helping other cities in the region adopt similar 100% clean energy climate plans, and is a prominent advocate for Community Choice Energy in Southern California.

Nicole was appointed to the California Strategic Growth Council, effective August 22, 2018. She was named a New York Times Top 10 Californian of 2016. She is a board member of Trees 100. Ms. Capretz received a Bachelor of Arts in in Law and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Arts in Environmental Law, and a Juris Doctorate from Vermont Law School. She currently resides in City Heights.

Previously, Nicole served as the Associate Director for Green Energy/Green Jobs at Environmental Health Coalition, an environmental justice organization in National City. She has also worked as an environmental and energy policy advisor for the San Diego City Council. Nicole’s duties as Founder and Executive Director of CAC include overall strategic and operational responsibility for the organization’s staff, programs, expansion and execution of its mission.

VALERIE RED- HORSE MOHL
Social Venture Circle

VALERIE RED- HORSE MOHL

Executive Director

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Mark Tulay
Sustainability Risk Advisors

Mark Tulay

Founder & CEO

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Mark has served in leadership roles in sustainability initiatives for over 25 years, focusing on advancing the metrics, measurement and management of corporate sustainability performance.  As Program Director and the first employee of Ceres, he was involved in the early stages of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).  He co-founded the Strategic Investor Initiative (SII) at CECP which is re-orienting the capital markets to the long-term and is elevating sustainability factors as a CEO leadership imperative.

Mark serves as the Founder and CEO of Sustainability Risk Advisors (SRA) which helps companies measure and manage what matters most for community, climate and culture.

Mark has a proven record of driving innovation and sustainable growth for environmental organizations, investment firms, companies, and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) ratings and research providers.  He has demonstrated a unique ability to collaborate effectively with a diverse mix of constituencies – institutional investors, government, NGOs and companies – towards the common goal of accelerating the global transition to sustainable finance and development. 

Mark is a frequent speaker on corporate sustainability issues and has written extensively on environmental, social and corporate governance topics.

Mark serves as Finance and ESG Program Manager for GreenBiz which is launching the GreenFin Summit to accelerate the rise and growth of sustainable finance and ESG, and its link to corporate sustainability.

He is also a Senior Associate for the AHC Group that convenes experts in corporate strategy and social response since 1981.

Mark serves on Advisory Board’s for Cornerstone Capital Group and holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

Twitter: MarkTulayESG
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mtulay

John Holm
Pyxera Global

John Holm

VP of Strategic Initiatives

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Mikhail Samonov
Two Centuries Investments

Mikhail Samonov

Founder

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Mikhail Samonov is the Founder of Two Centuries Investments, a Quantitative Asset Management firm in Princeton, New Jersey. Mikhail has been a portfolio manager for over 15 years with a demonstrated track record of innovation and performance. His prior roles included managing more than $5 billion in quantitative equities for PineBridge Investments, including $1 billion in a Socially Responsible strategy, and managing $1 billion in multi-asset and alternative factor strategies for Forefront Analytics, including ESG alternatives. Mikhail is a published author and a frequent speaker on the topics of factor investing, asset allocation, quantitative innovation and responsible investing. His work has been quoted by leading media organizations, academics and book authors. His latest research is focused on socially optimized portfolios that generate positive outperformance, for example: "Efficient SRI / ESG Portfolios" (SSRN 2019) with C. Geczy and J. Guerard. Mikhail has assisted teaching Impact Investing at the Wharton Business School. Mikhail is an honors graduate of Brown University with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics and Economics, and holds an MBA degree from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. Mikhail is a CFA Charterholder.

Brian Tomlinson
Corporate Purpose (CECP)

Brian Tomlinson

Research Director, Strategic Investor Initiative, Chief Executives

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As Research Director of the Strategic Investor Initiative at Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP), Brian develops leading research to help reorient our capital markets toward the long-term. Through research and collaboration, with organizations such as FCLTGlobal and KKS Advisors, he helps develop decision-relevant, practical tools for both investors and corporations (across both Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability).

Brian’s work on sustainable business and investment has been published by Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, the World Economic Forum, Top 1000 Funds, and the Huffington Post among others.

Brian is an expert on investor Fiduciary Duty having published reports on capital markets in the US, UK, Canada and Japan. Brian has a decade of experience as a corporate finance attorney and worked in the business turnaround group of an investment bank. Brian also served as the Managing Director of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism.

Brian has an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School and a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from the University of Oxford.

Mary MacDonald
EarthShare

Mary MacDonald

SVP, Business Development

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Mary oversees EarthShare’s corporate development work, including program innovation and supervision of customized, strategic programs to help companies meet -- and exceed -- their employee and consumer engagement, community impact and environmental sustainability goals.

Mary has over 25 years of experience in corporate relations, marketing and development. She has worked for some of EarthShare’s most well-known and effective NGO partners, including Environmental Defense Fund, Rainforest Alliance and the Natural Resources Defense Council, and has extensive experience collaborating with myriad constituencies, from the nonprofit, corporate and public sectors to the entertainment community. In 2006, she was invited to participate in the inaugural Climate Reality Team trained by Al Gore in Nashville, and was asked back to mentor participants in subsequent training sessions.

Prior to her environmental career, Mary worked in advertising and was an actress and theatrical producer in New York City. Her recent relocation from New York City to Colorado has reconnected her to the awesome splendor of America’s national parks and the joy of exploring the outdoors.

Bruno R. Pereira
BioLogiQ

Bruno R. Pereira

Chief Sustainability Officer

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Gil Friend
Natural Logic

Gil Friend

CEO

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Christopher Cabaldon
City of West Sacramento

Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor

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Christopher Cabaldon became the first mayor directly elected by West Sacramento voters in November 2004; he was re-elected in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Prior to his election as mayor by voters, Mr. Cabaldon had been elected to four single year terms as mayor by the West Sacramento City Council. Voters first elected Mr. Cabaldon to the City Council in 1996.

Mayor Cabaldon’s work on transportation, land use, air quality and climate change, housing, and economic development is regarded as a model for effective collaborative action. The Sacramento Bee says that “under his leadership, the City has become one of the municipal stars of the region.”

Mayor Cabaldon currently is chair of the Jobs, Education and Workforce committee with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He's the former chair of the Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ groundbreaking Blueprint for the Future project. He also chaired the region’s Partnership for Prosperity, and has served on a variety of transportation and air quality agency boards. He worked on state water and habitat issues for more than a decade, as a member of the state’s Delta Protection Commission, as well as the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

As mayor, Mr. Cabaldon has represented the City as a member of the Sacramento-Yolo Port District Commission and the River City Regional Stadium Financing Authority. His local and regional leadership on school facilities and programs, along with his efforts to advance universal preschool, have established him as a visionary leader for education.

Mr. Cabaldon served as a director for the League of California Cities, and was the founding co-chair of both the Asian Pacific and Gay / Lesbian caucuses. He was also president of Asian and Pacific Americans in Higher Education, founding chair of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, and president of the Asian Pacific Legislative Caucus.

From 1997 to 2003, Mr. Cabaldon was vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges System.

He earned his B.S. in environmental economics from UC Berkeley, where he’s also been a member of the alumni association board, in addition to a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from CSU Sacramento, where he subsequently received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Mayor Cabaldon says, “West Sacramento has had dreams come to reality. We keep developing major projects that symbolize improvement. Development has led to new homes, Raley Field, a library, community college, and new retail. West Sacramento has become one of the most admired cities in the region.

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Trisha Bauman
TJBauman

Trisha Bauman

CEO & Founder

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Trisha Bauman is CEO and founder of TJBauman, a New York City-based strategic communications consultancy enabling business and NGO leaders to drive positive change in social and environmental impact. She also serves as the Founding Co-Chair of the NYC chapter of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), the largest global professional association for leaders across the sustainability sector. Through TJBauman, she has enabled C-suite executives, social entrepreneurs, and global innovators to leverage powerful, data-driven storytelling on platforms such as the TED conferences, the Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship, the Fidelity Investments Quant Summit, the Harvard Business School Summit on Gender and Work, and the Women In The World Summit. Trisha has served on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of New York, as an Executive Mentor for Springboard Enterprises, and is a regular speaker on impact communications at Fortune 100 companies, universities, and international conferences. She has degrees from Bowdoin College (BA, magna cum laude) and Columbia University (MS).

Mark R. Jones, Ph.D.
Antioch University Seattle

Mark R. Jones, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

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Betsy Henning
AHA

Betsy Henning

CEO

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Bennett Freeman
Bennett Freeman Associates

Bennett Freeman

Principal

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Amit Kakkad
University of San Diego School of Business

Amit Kakkad

Clinical Professor

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Dr. Amit Kakkad is a management thinker and leader dedicated to educating tomorrow's leaders that are competent and conscious, and to resourcing both the individuals and the organizations across sectors that are focused on the penta-bottom line of planet, people, profit, peace, and prosperity.

Dr. Kakkad firmly believes that to solve the chronic global challenges faced by humanity, universities must educate tomorrow’s leaders who are both competent and caring, and that these leaders must make the private sector accountable not just for making profit for its shareholders, but also for the impact its business practices have on the communities and the planet.

Most recently, Dr. Kakkad led University of San Diego (USD)’s Center for Peace and Commerce (CPC) from 2016 to 2019 through a highly successful growth cycle, revitalizing and expanding CPC’s programming through increased depth and widened reach of CPC’s flagship initiative - the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge; record-level of fundraising achieved through new and existing partnerships with marquee funders, state and federal agencies, corporate and family foundations, as well as individual donors; while building & maintaining a highly positive team morale built on trust, respect, transparency, and a genuine concern for every team member’s wellbeing.

Currently, Dr. Kakkad serves as a clinical professor of Operations Management at USD’s School of Business and as a strategic advisor for USD’s newly launched Entrepreneurship and Innovation Catalyzer. His research interests include sustainable social enterprises, customer input as a driver of service innovation, and an exploration of service creation, delivery and recovery processes. Dr. Kakkad has considerable corporate and startup experience in the United States, United Kingdom, and India in industries ranging from oil and gas, chemical production, infrastructure, hospitality and entertainment and logistics; to telecom, financial services and consulting. Dr. Kakkad is a part of San Diego’s eco-system that supports impact-driven innovators and entrepreneurs, and has previously also served on the governing boards of three nonprofit organizations in Europe.

Layalee Ramahi
UN Environment

Layalee Ramahi

North America Network Coordinator

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Layalee Ramahi is Regional Coordinator for North America at UNEP FI. She is engaged with industry leads and the finance sector in North America to assist in implementing banking, insurance and investment activities. Her role consists of developing UNEP FI sustainable finance network with members in the region, facilitate knowledge sharing and peer-to-peer learning and support the sustainable finance agenda and working with members to address regional priorities.

Layalee Ramahi, a business strategy and sustainability professional, has over 13 years of experience in the financial industry in market analysis, strategy and product and business development. With MBA in Banking and Finance and executive certification in Sustainable Business Practices and Management from University of California - San Diego, Layalee specializes in developing business strategy and project management focused on sustainability integration and strategy alignment.

Prior to working as a consultant in California, Layalee worked across different emerging markets in the Middle East. Layalee previously head the business strategy and sustainability function for Tawreeq Holdings group based out of Dubai, leading the development and execution of the business strategy and establishing the sustainability unit. Before that, she worked in analysis, operations and communications in financial markets and investment management consultancies in Jordan and Egypt.

Alyson Genovese
GRI

Alyson Genovese

Director of Regional Hub, USA & Canada

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Alyson Genovese is GRI’s Director of Regional Hub: United States and Canada. GRI is an international independent organization that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate the impact of their operations on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, corruption and many others. With thousands of reporters in over 90 countries, GRI provides the world’s most trusted and widely used standards for sustainability reporting and disclosure.

Alyson leads engagement with GRI’s North American network of sustainability reporting organizations, nonprofits, academic institutions, and investment organizations. This includes management of GRI’s GOLD Community network and all GRI-led programming in North America. Ms. Genovese is also responsible for raising awareness about GRI’s work in the US and Canada.

Alyson is an accomplished professional in the corporate and nonprofit sectors with more than 20 years of experience in corporate social responsibility, public affairs, corporate citizenship, sustainability communications and stakeholder engagement. Alyson has worked as an internal executive, a freelance consultant and a trusted advisor.

Jamie Lawrence
IBM

Jamie Lawrence

Corporate Social Responsibility

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Jamie leads IBM's corporate citizenship efforts in the Western United States. Under Jamie’s direction, IBM has partnered with a diverse set of stakeholders across government, non-profit, and private sector organizations to establish and maintain innovative programs to benefit underserved communities throughout the region. As the daughter of a teacher, Jamie believes passionately in the power of education to create opportunity. This belief drives her approach to corporate citizenship.

Prior to joining IBM, Jamie spent four years in the White House Office of the Vice President, serving as an advisor to Vice President Joe Biden's Chief of Staff and then as Policy Director to Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden. Jamie earned her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University and received her master's degree from the London School of Economics.


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