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Key Practice Area - Sustainability - Sustainability Management Best Practices
Key Practice Area: Sustainability

Sustainability Management Best Practices Conference

April 2012

Get a look behind the scenes at how leading companies have built successful enterprise-wide sustainability programs. Whether your program is in its early stages, or you’ve been at it for years, this section offers practical insights that will help you improve your corporate sustainability efforts.


NAEM's 2012 Corporate Sustainability Management conference featured case studies from peer experts across industries. In this section you will find:

Agenda: Read session descriptions

Videos: Watch interviews with corporate EHS and sustainability leaders

Speaker Bios: See a list of speakers and read their bios

Presentations: Featured presentations from NAEM's 2012 Corporate Sustainability Management conference include:

  • Benchmarking Different Approaches to Corporate Sustainability Management
  • Measuring the Business Value of Employee Engagement
  • Assessing Water Availability for Global Business 20 years and beyond
  • Essential steps to conducting a baseline GHG inventory
  • What's the Value in Sustainability Rating and Rankings?
  • Stakeholder Mapping: Understanding Your Company's Role in the Bigger Picture
  • Ecosystem Services: A Lens for Understanding Business Risk
  • Taking your Sustainability Communications and Reporting to the Next Level
  • Sustainability Innovations and Emerging Technologies


The explosion of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings firms and rankings has generated tremendous public attention and discussion about which metrics are predictive measures of strong EHS and sustainability management programs.

Keynote: Global Environmental Trends Impacting Business
Global environmental trends are shaping tomorrow’s markets. How can your company navigate them and be competitively positioned for future markets over the long-term?

  • Samantha Putt del Pino, Co-Director of Business Engagement in Climate and Technology, Climate and Energy Program; World Resources Institute

Benchmarking Different Approaches to Corporate Sustainability Management
This session will provide attendees with an opportunity to benchmark different approaches to sustainability management including reporting structures, staffing, budgeting, metrics, goals, and results/program benefits. Attendees and speakers will have the chance to discuss the benefits, challenges and opportunities of these different structures and management approaches.

  • Balaji Saravana, Head of Global Sustainability; Newell Rubbermaid
  • Bill Frerking, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer; Georgia-Pacific LLC
  • John Gardner, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer; Novelis Inc.

Measuring the Business Value of Employee Engagement
This session will focus on case studies from companies with established Employee Engagement programs. Speakers will give highlights of their efforts, but focus more on how they measure and report the business value of their efforts.

  • Gretchen Digby, Director, Sustainability Education and Engagement Initiatives; Ingersoll Rand Co.
  • Sasha Bailey, Strategic Communications Manager; ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas

Peer to Peer Discussions on Sustainability

This session will offer attendees an opportunity to meet and discuss their ideas and plans informally with experienced Sustainability Managers. Whether just starting out, or tackling advanced issues, attendees will enjoy lively small group discussions and receive peer advice on how to move forward.

  • Art Gibson, Vice President of EHS; Baxter Healthcare
  • Bruce Karas, Director of Safety & Environmental Services; The Coca-Cola Co.
  • David Newman, Head of EHS and Sustainability; EMD Millipore

Assessing Water Availability for Global Business 20 years and beyond
Water scarcity is poised to become one of the largest business risks in the next two decades. Gain an understanding of the impacts that reduced water availability will have on operations around the world and how to prepare for likely scenarios. This session will also feature a case study that demonstrates how one company prioritized water-related risks and opportunities to establish an actionable global water strategy'

  • Aaron M. Lien, Analyst; Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona
  • Todd Swingle, Environmental Manager; Cummins Inc.

Essential steps to conducting a baseline GHG inventory
Gain an understanding of the key steps in developing a greenhouse gas inventory. This session will provide an overview of the requirements and guidance provided in the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, including determining which company operations to include, identifying and categorizing emissions sources, calculating emissions with user-friendly tools, and reporting complete emissions information.

  • Kaleigh Robinson, Lead - International Training and Capacity Building; World Resources Institute/ GHG Protocol Initiative

Making the Grade: What's the Value in Sustainability Rating and Rankings?
What impact do different sustainability and 'green' rankings have on the bottom line? While being at the top of the list is good for a corporate image, does it actually correlate to increased sales? Here how a well-rated company measures both the qualitative and quantitative benefits of their ratings.

Additionally, hear an update on the sustainability ratings and rankings landscape, one year after NAEM's initial assessment in the Green Metrics that Matter Project.

  • Japen Hollist, Second Vice President; Aflac
  • Rose Shaver, Manager, Sustainability; Summit Energy Services Inc.

Stakeholder Mapping: Understanding Your Company's Role in the Bigger Picture
Stakeholder Engagement has become an increasingly crucial driver of business performance. It is a vital tool for managing risk, protecting the license to operate, enhancing reputation, and finding new revenue opportunities. Companies often struggle to map stakeholders effectively. The session will provide an expert-led exercise to use stakeholder mapping as a tool to engage business units and deliver business results from stakeholder engagement. This session will provide a case study that demonstrates how mapping has been used to make engagement more effective.

  • Steve Rochlin, Director; AccountAbility
  • Hilary S. Davidson, Director, Sustainability & Community Affairs; Duke Energy Corp.

Ecosystem Services: A Lens for Understanding Business Risk
Leading organizations have realized that nature is an essential asset which provides vital but undervalued benefits such as clean air, fresh water and flood protection. But how do you operate in a way that reflects nature's short and long-term worth? Hear from companies that assessed financial, ecological and societal factors in their decision making, and understood potential risks and opportunities related to resources and raw materials essential to their business.

  • A.W. Armstrong, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Caterina Conti, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel; Anvil Knitwear Inc.
  • John Finisdore, Principal; Sustainable Flows

Taking your Sustainability Communications and Reporting to the Next Level
This session will cover a wide range of communications and reporting issues including effective messaging through words and images, elements of best-in-class sustainability communications and how to get the most out of using GRI guidelines for fundamental and advanced reporters.

  • Marjella Alma, Manager External Relations; Global Reporting Initiative
  • Sarah Dearman, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations Communications Director; Coca-Cola Refreshments
  • Emma Williams, Corporate Communications, Sustainability; Shaw Industries Group Inc.

Sustainability Innovations and Emerging Technologies
Across the country, large businesses, start-up firms and universities are working on technologies that will leapfrog corporate sustainability efforts and drastically reduce resource needs. From energy to water to packaging reductions, NAEM has gathered a group of innovative big-thinkers and doers to show you what will be possible in the near future. While these products and ideas may not apply to your business today, this session is an opportunity to see what's on the horizon and meet some sustainability innovators.

  • Matt Plante,Vice President of Energy Efficiency; EnerNOC
  • Gavin Mcintyre; Ecovative
  • Kathryn Lewis, Business Strategist; dMASS


Interview with Baxter Healthcare's Vice President for EHS and Sustainability
Art Gibson, Vice President of EHS and Sustainability for Baxter Healthcare, explains how the company defines sustainability and realizes results for its stakeholders.

Vice President of Environmental Stewardship for The ServiceMaster Co. Talks Sustainability
Jamey Jones, Vice President of Environmental Stewardship for The ServiceMaster Co., reacts to a keynote panel discussion at NAEM's Corporate Sustainability Management Conference in Atlanta. He also shares some of the initiatives he is leading for the company.

Insights from Anvil Knitwear's Water Footprint Analysis
Caterina Conti, EVP at Anvil Knitwear Inc., shares lessons from the company's recent water footprint analysis and explains its "Track My Tee' initiative. Interviewed by Lara Greden, Senior Principal of Business Unit Strategies at CA Technologies.

The Better the Governance, the Better the Sustainability Ranking
Japen Hollist, Second Vice President at Aflac, describes the strategies the company has pursued to proactively manage its sustainability ranking. Interviewed by Bob Pojasek, Sustainability Leader with Shaw Environmental.

How Water Management Aligns with Cummins Inc.'s Core Values
Todd Swingle, Environmental Manager for Cummins Inc., describes the company's approach to corporate water management and shares his advice for those just starting out. Interviewed by Nick Martin, Associate with Antea Group.

Speaker Bios

A.W. Armstrong, Program Manager; U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development
A.W. Armstrong is the US BCSD Program Manager for By-Product Synergy and is responsible for managing the growth of the National BPS Network. A.W. has over 15 years of consulting experience, helping organizations within the refining, chemical, metal castings, transportation and beverage industries design and implement management systems focused on reducing waste and improving environmental performance.

Over the past decade, A.W. has been involved in the development of innovative programs to drive environmental improvements. A.W. was appointed by the Commissioners of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to the Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee and is a former co-chair of that group. A.W. has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science in Geology from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Sasha Bailey, LEED AP BD +C, Strategic Communications; ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas
Ms. Bailey is responsible for creating and implementing high level communications strategies for all business units within the Americas as well as acting as the press and media liaison. In her previous role, as corporate sustainability manager for the same operating unit, she facilitated the global Sustainable Efficiency program both internally and externally. A main objective in this role was to grow an internal culture of sustainability through employee engagement and communication initiatives and also to act as a resource for external communications including providing content for industry publications and handling other sustainability-focused public relations. She represents ThyssenKrupp in organizations like the Sustainability Leadership Forum and Frisco's Green Business Network. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Texas at Dallas and is a LEED accredited professional with a specialization in Building Design & Construction.

Caterina A. Conti, Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel; Anvil Knitwear Inc.
Ms. Conti currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Anvil Knitwear, Inc., a century old brand which is now a leader in the sustainable apparel industry. She joined the company in May of 2007 as Interim General Counsel and was named to her current position in September 2007. Ms. Conti is responsible for Anvil's sustainability, legal, and human resource functions. Ms. Conti spearheads Anvil's digital and supply chain transparency initiatives, including and Shirt Scan™. Ms. Conti started her career as a corporate and securities lawyer.

Ms. Conti is also a Member of the Board of the International Apparel Federation.

Hilary S. Davidson, Director, Sustainability and Community Affairs; Duke Energy Corp.
Hilary Davidson is director of sustainability and community affairs for Duke Energy. She is responsible for directing Duke Energy's sustainability outreach strategies.

Davidson joined Duke Power in 1985 as an associate scientist in the nuclear production department where she provided guidance on solid and hazardous waste management in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. She was named scientist in the corporate materials department in 1990 and manager of environmental excellence in 1993.

Since 2003, Davidson served as director of Duke Energy's corporate community relations organization. She led the company's community outreach and philanthropic giving organization, including The Duke Energy Foundation, employee volunteerism, retiree affairs, federated campaigns and community engagement. She was named to her current position in March 2008.

The Hanover, N.H., native earned a bachelor of science degree in geology from Emory University and a master of science degree in civil engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC).

Sarah Dearman, Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations Communications Director; Coca-Cola Refreshments
Sarah joined Coca-Cola in March 2011 as the Sustainability & Stakeholder Relations Communications Director. A member of Coca-Cola Refreshments' Public Affairs and Communications team, Sarah Dearman oversees environmental communications for Coca-Cola in North America.

Prior to joining Coke, Sarah worked for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as Public Relations Manager in the Commissioner's Office. She joined DNR in 2007 where she originally led public relations and communications for the Sustainability Division.

Sarah began her career as a meteorologist and reporter working in the broadcast news industry in the Southeast. She holds a bachelor's degree in physical science from the University of Maryland.

John Finisdore, Principal; Sustainable Flows
John Finisdore has over 15 years of global sustainability consulting and project management experience with ecosystem services, water, supply chains, climate, and poverty expertise.

He led the World Resource Institute's Business & Ecosystem Services Project and its corporate partners in developing strategies, policies and new markets for ecosystems services. He is coauthor of the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review and contributed to the Guide to Corporate Ecosystem Valuation, TEEB for Business, Nature in Performance. John spent several years in Central America, Indonesia and the South Pacific where he worked at the nexus of economic development and the environment. His sector portfolios include ecosystem risk assessments, management and metrics of ecosystem services, the Green Economy, poverty reduction, small enterprise development, supply chain management, agriculture, forestry, and manufacturing.

In these capacities he helped numerous firms - including several Fortune 20 firms - on initiatives that reduced risks, identified new product opportunities, improved corporate performance, and grew asset values.

John Gardner, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer; Novelis Inc.
Mr. Gardner leads Novelis' global sustainability program which reflects the company's commitment to delivering sustainable solutions in its processes and products. Mr. Gardner previously served as Vice President, Human Resources and Communications for Novelis Europe, and has been an integral member of the company's sustainability platform. With more than 25 years experience in Novelis, he has held a variety of senior roles throughout the company including positions within sales and marketing, operations, recycling and corporate affairs. Mr. Gardner holds a B.A. in Humanities and a Masters in Management Science from Warwick University.

Bill Frerking, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer; Georgia-Pacific LLC
Bill Frerking is vice president and chief sustainability officer of Georgia-Pacific, one of the world's leading manufacturers and marketers of tissue, packaging, pulp, paper, building products and related chemicals.

Frerking became the company's first chief sustainability officer in November 2007. As CSO, he is responsible for Georgia-Pacific's overall sustainability efforts, including working with the company's business units and procurement and staff groups to develop and implement sustainability strategies, goals, measurement and reporting. He chairs Georgia-Pacific's Sustainability Council and represents the company in sustainability discussions with customers and other groups.

He is active in various sustainability efforts on behalf of Georgia-Pacific, including The Sustainability Consortium, where he is a member of the Corporate Advisory Council and the External Affairs Committee; Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business Executive Environmental Sustainability Forum; Sustainability 50; AHC Group; and the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Environmental Policy and Sustainability Committee.

He remains a member of the Missouri Bar, the State Bar of Georgia and the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Japen Hollist, Second Vice President; Aflac
Japen Hollist recently completed a master's degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management from the Harvard University Extension School. His thesis covered "Scoring Performance and Results Based Indicators to Determine Sustainability Maturity and Corporate Sector Leadership in the U.S. Insurance Sector". Inputs to that research were jointed published with his thesis advisor Dr. Robert Pojasek in the journal of Environmental Quality Management, Summer 2011. Japen's interest in corporate sustainability stems from his work as 2nd Vice President of Strategic Sourcing and Procurement at Aflac.

Gavin Mcintyre, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist; Ecovative Design LLC
Gavin McIntyre is the co-founder and Chief Scientist of Ecovative Design LLC, and has lead all material and biological process development in the company's strides to replace synthetics. Gavin co-invented the MycoBond platform, a patent-pending technology that uses a growing organism to transform agricultural byproducts into strong, inexpensive biomaterials. These materials are 100% compostable, and made with a fraction of the energy of conventional plastics. He has served as the principle investigator on grants received from the US EPA, the USDA, and the NSF, and guides private development projects. Gavin has also served on Technology Roundtables hosted by former NYS Governor David Paterson, the US DoE and EPA, and Congressman Paul Tonko. He received a dual B.S. In Mechanical Engineering and Product Design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Samantha Putt del Pino, Co-Director of Business Engagement in Climate and Technology, Climate and Energy Program; World Resources Institute
Samantha Putt del Pino is Co-director, Business Engagement in Climate and Technology. As part of the Next Practice Collaborative, she works with companies to foster the transformative approaches needed to quickly close the gap between today's best practice and the pace and scale of the climate challenge. Samantha is particularly interested in solutions at the intersection of innovative corporate strategy and low-carbon development. Samantha previously led WRI's U.S. Climate Business Group, a cross-sector network of 36 Fortune 500 companies that developed strategies for companies to thrive in a carbon-constrained economy including building internal support for corporate climate change strategies, exploring emission reduction opportunities and technologies, and navigating the dynamic climate policy landscape. Samantha initiated a successful series of outreach materials called The Bottom Line on Climate Policy which demystify climate policy and terminology for business audiences. She has worked directly with dozens of companies on renewable energy procurement, greenhouse gas management strategies and adaptation approaches, and has published multiple works on those topics.

Kaleigh Robinson, Lead , International Training and Capacity Building; GHG Protocol Initiative/ WRI
Kaleigh Robinson is the Training and Capacity Building Lead for the Greenhouse Gas Protocol at WRI, where she manages international training and capacity building initiatives focusing on preparing corporate GHG inventory trainers and on building local capacity to design and implement national and regional voluntary corporate GHG reporting programs. She also develops in-person and e-learning courses, manages the GHG Protocol certificate programs, and leads trainings. As part of the GHG Protocol Brazil Program, Kaleigh trains and provides technical assistance to many of Brazil's best known companies to quantify, report, and reduce their emissions. She works closely with local partners to manage the Brazil Program's day-to-day operations and to develop corporate inventory verification specifications for the Program.

Prior to joining WRI, Kaleigh worked on local, regional and federal climate policy issues at the Climate Trust and provided research and analysis for the Offset Quality Initiative. She holds a Master's degree in International Development from Tulane University. She is fluent in Portuguese and proficient in Spanish and has previous work and research experience in microfinance and international education.

Steve Rochlin, Director; AccountAbility
Steve is a Director at AccountAbility and Global Head of Advisory Services. He frequently consults with leading brands on Corporate Responsibility (CR) and Sustainability strategy, governance, stakeholder engagement, reporting and performance management. Steve has co-authored two books -- Untapped: Creating Value in Underserved Markets and Beyond Good Company: Next Generation Corporate Citizenship. He is a frequent keynote speaker at global CR events.

Prior to joining AccountAbility, Steve focused on technology-based economic development for the National Academy of Sciences and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He also served as Director of Research and Development at The Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, one of the premier applied R&D Centers on the strategy, management, measurement and practice of corporate responsibility. His previous experience also includes a stint at an economics and management consulting firm. Steve obtained his Master's degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and his A.B. from Brown University.

Balaji Saravana, Head of Global Sustainability; Newell Rubbermaid
As the heading the Global Sustainability group at Newell Rubbermaid, Balaji is responsible for developing, managing and executing sustainability strategy. He possesses extensive experience in Operations, Product design and stewardship, Supply Chain and risk management. His key skills include managing large cultural diverse global teams, training and communication, data analysis and reporting, standards development, Climate Change and product management issues.

Rose Shaver, Manager, Sustainability; Summit Energy Services Inc.
Rose Shaver, LEED AP, BEP, is the Manager of Sustainability Services for Summit Energy, a subsidiary of Schneider Electric. She has over 25 years experience in client development for energy and sustainability services. She has worked in a wide range of practice areas including Greening supply chains, Sustainability strategy and roadmap development and External sustainability reporting documents (CDP, supplier surveys, investors, GRI).

Todd Swingle, Environmental Manager; Cummins Inc
Todd Swingle works in Cummins, Inc. Corporate Environmental Group as an Environmental Manager in Columbus, Indiana. In this role, Todd is leading efforts focusing on water and wastewater management and water resources sustainability efforts.
Prior to joining Cummins, Todd served the City of St. Cloud, Florida as Public Services Administrator. In this role, he managed all Engineering, Project Management, Public Works, Utilities, Solid Waste and Fleet Maintenance functions for a City of approximately 35,000 people. Todd was also active in statewide water resources efforts, serving in leadership and technical advisory roles to a number of regulatory bodies and professional associations. Prior to his role with St. Cloud, he worked in the Environmental Consulting field with both Parsons Corporation and GeoSyntec Consultants, specializing in environmental remediation and industrial wastewater treatment for large industrial and government clients.

Todd holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Central Florida and a M.B.A. degree from the University of Florida. He is also a Professional Engineer, registered in the State of Florida.

Emma Williams, Corporate Communications, Sustainability; Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Emma Williams first made the leap from the world of advertising and public relations to corporate sustainability five years ago in order to combine a strong personal interest in global sustainability issues with her professional experience. Since 2008, she has managed sustainability/corporate communications for Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a global flooring manufacturer owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

In addition to leading communications efforts surrounding sustainability – including internal and external stakeholder engagement, media relations and training, Emma has been responsible for Shaw's GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) corporate sustainability reporting, starting with the company's inaugural corporate sustainability report in 2008 (also first within the Berkshire Hathaway organization and a first for the flooring industry).

She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and a BA from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. Her work has earned ADDY, AIGA and PRSA award recognition.


Click here to download the "Sustainability Management Best Practices" presentations from NAEM's 2011 Sustainability Management Conferece. This content is available to NAEM members only: you must be logged in as a member to view it.


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The 2012 Corporate Sustainability Management conference was presented with special support from our sponsors.

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