Project Invitation – External Future Forces That Will ‘Disrupt’ the Business of Sustainability

What four or five external future forces are most likely to ‘disrupt’ the business of sustainability for companies, the industry, and society at large—thinking ten years ahead? 

In 2007, Institute for the Future created a 10-year custom forecast for GEMI focused on external future forces likely to disrupt sustainability. The forecast was quite accurate and it gave GEMI project members unusual foresight that contributed to their business strategy. Now, we are looking ten years ahead again at a very different future in a very different world. In this world, it is too late to have just a sustainability strategy. Now, companies must have a strategy that melds sustainability and business.  Click here to review the 2018 project proposal.

GEMI/IFTF 2007-2017 Sustainability Map

Opportunity
GEMI is seeking a preliminary indication of interest from organizations wishing to participate in and contribute to a new custom forecast that will point a ten-year lens on external future forces—including both threats and opportunities—that will disrupt sustainability, with a focus on business choices and business strategy.

The goal of the project is to use foresight to awaken, engage, and drive change in the present. Urgent future disruptions are looming and this project will provide the grounding to engage with and win through the most important external future forces.

This project will focus on this research question: Over the next ten years, what four or five external future forces are most likely to disrupt the business of sustainability for companies, the industry, and society at large?

We will focus in particular on the links to digital transformation and the impacts on the business of sustainability. This new forecast will help leaders glimpse and understand the future disruptions in the environment within which they will be required to win. It will help companies heighten their game, and it will give a rigorous, provocative futures perspective to inform business strategy.

Cost
GEMI’s goal is to raise funding for this project from a range of companies / organizations, all of whom are interested in successfully navigating the major future forces that will affect the business of sustainability over the next decade. This cost-shared model allows project partners to receive the map and presentation at a much lower cost than commissioning this foresight individually. Active GEMI member companies will be invited to participate at no additional cost.

The fee per partner company is $15,000 USD and GEMI’s goal is to secure commitments from a minimum of 10 organizations. If GEMI is successful in securing a minimum of $150,000 in funding commitments from interested organizations, the project will be kicked off in 2018. If there is not a sufficient response to GEMI’s project solicitation by January 31, 2018, GEMI and IFTF will work to be prepared to execute the project in 2019.

Deliverable
IFTF will develop a new custom forecast map for project partners in pdf form to allow partners to focus strategic conversations on the four or five most important external future forces. The 2007 map was a very accurate forecast, but as the speed of business has increased, maps like this are just too busy to engage many top executives. This map will be just as content rich, but more clear and actionable.

In addition to the map, IFTF will create an annotated PowerPoint presentation that summarizes the forecast in a form that can be used easily by the sponsor companies, even when IFTF is not present.

IFTF will offer presentations of the forecast at sponsor location at a cost depending on which staff members are involved in that presentation. The new custom forecast map will be available to project partners first, but then will be public after an agreed upon period.

Timeline
The target kick off for this research project is March 25, 2018, with the final map and presentation delivered six months thereafter.

Action
If you would be interested in learning more about how you can participate in and contribute to this project, please click here to express your interest by December 21. Please contact us with any questions.

Interested in Participating?

Complete the short form to receive more information on participation

Save the Date: GEMI Spring Meeting

Please save the date of April 11-12, 2018 for GEMI’s Spring Meeting.

The meeting will be hosted by GEMI member Schlumberger at the Schlumberger Sugar Land Technology Center southwest of Houston in Sugar Land, Texas.

The meeting will include facilitated workshop discussions with buyers, suppliers and data collectors regarding supply chain sustainability expectations, in addition to sessions on other key sustainability topics. We hope you will join us!

REQUEST INVITATION 

GEMI holds Fall membership meeting in Charlotte

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), a global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, held its Fall Membership meeting in Charlotte, NC on November 9-10, 2017. The meeting was hosted by GEMI member Gannett Fleming at the Microsoft Technology Center in Charlotte.

The meeting brought together industry groups, 3rd party providers and corporate leaders to discuss principles and approaches for addressing sustainability across the supply chain, measuring and managing supply chain emissions, and working across the supply chain to advance a circular economy. Speakers included representatives from Ecodesk, EcoVadis, Gannett Fleming, Institute for the Future, Maersk Line, MBJ Strategies, NASCAR, Quantis, Sealed Air, Smithfield Foods, Trucost, Wake Forest, Waste Management and World Resources Institue.

Supply Chain Sustainability

Mary Beth Jordan, MBJ Strategies LLC, provided an overview of research conducted through the GEMI Supply Chain Sustainability (SCS) project in 2017, including a GEMI SCS Solutions Map, Case Studies and Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles. She then facilitated discussion on the next phase of work for GEMI’s Supply Chain Sustainability Work Group, including a targeted effort to engage and understand expectations of key buyers who are driving supplier sustainability programs. Next, Peter Rau, EcoVadis presented the results of the Global CSR Risk & Performance Index 2017, followed by a discussion of opportunities to promote engagement, continuous improvement and innovation across the supply chain from James Burke, Ecodesk.

Measuring / Managing Emissions 

Catherine Kummer, NASCAR, shared information on the NASCAR Green program, and discussed the approach the organization is taking to engage its employees, fans, and partners to reduce the sport’s environmental impact. Karl Hausker, WRI, then shared information on two recent reports on decarbonization pathways for the United States, and noted key issues/opportunities for industry to consider.

Brian Werner, Trucost, spoke to trends and gaps related to increasing expectations for corporate ESG disclosure and highlighted risks companies should be considering related to carbon pricing schemes.  Michele Zollinger, Quantis, shared approaches for accounting for emissions in the supply chain and discussed the use of lifecycle assessment in measuring and managing supply chain risks.  Finally, Lee Kindberg, Maersk Line, discussed opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of supply chain transportation and shared various methods to account for transportation impacts.

Zero Waste Economy 

Ron Cotterman, Sealed Air,  discussed various approaches to zero waste and shared examples of Sealed Air’s zero waste strategy related to its operations, products and value chain, with a particular emphasis on source reduction.  Susan Robinson, Waste Management, then introduced the concept of sustainable materials management and discussed the benefits of using a lifecycle based approach to reduce environmental impacts across the value chain.

The meeting also included a discussion with Stan Meiburg, Wake Forest regarding what industry is looking for in future environmental / sustainability employees and issues that academics should consider as they develop new sustainability curricula.  The meeting closed with a discussion from Bob Johansen, Institute for the Future on the opportunity for GEMI to explore what sustainability issues are most likely to disrupt the current business environment over the next decade through an update to the GEMI / IFTF Map of Future Forces Affecting Sustainability.

For more information about GEMI, membership and upcoming meetings, visit www.gemi.org or email GEMI’s Program Manager Kellen Mahoney at kmahoney@navista.net

About GEMI

GEMI is a global leader in developing insights, networking, and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business. For 25 years, GEMI has captured the vision and experience of global corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability leaders from diverse business sectors through the development of a wide range of publicly-available, solutions-based tools designed to help companies improve the environment, their operations and add business value.

GEMI Publishes Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles

GEMI Publishes Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles
Principles are intended to outline foundational elements that business leaders across industries believe to be essential when engaging suppliers on sustainability.

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), a global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, today published its GEMI Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles. The principles are intended to outline foundational elements that business leaders across industries believe to be essential when engaging suppliers on sustainability.

“GEMI hopes that these Principles may provide a framework to help companies and industry stakeholder groups to guide the process for engaging suppliers regarding sustainability, advance strategic collaborations and, promote increased alignment across industry-focused supply chain sustainability initiatives” said Bill Gill, AVP Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Food and GEMI’s Chair.

Through GEMI’s SCS Work Group, GEMI sought input from a group of large multi-national corporations, 3rd party providers and industry associations to inform GEMI’s development of the Principles. This work included a June 2017 GEMI Workshop where representatives from a variety of organizations including the American Chemistry Council, CDP, Ecodesk, EcoVadis, Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance, Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Initiative, Plastics Industry Association, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, The Sustainability Consortium, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production and others shared information on principles guiding their respective supply chain sustainability efforts and explored commonalities across industries.

“GEMI evaluated principles established by various industry sectors and 3rd party organizations, and facilitated engagement with many such organizations to inform our development of these Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles. As we continue to see a proliferation of new and different expectations for supplier sustainability performance, GEMI believes there is a real opportunity to promote further coordination across efforts while focusing on tangible results that drive long-term business value” said Steve Hellem, Executive Director, GEMI.

GEMI’s Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles follow the recent release of a GEMI Supply Chain Sustainability Solutions Map, along with a series of case studies examining why and how companies are utilizing certain supply chain sustainability solutions.

GEMI believes there is strong potential to increase coordination across industry efforts while further enhancing engagement, performance and business value through the supply chain, and will continue to facilitate cross-industry dialogue and action to address these opportunities through GEMI’s SCS Work Group going forward. Please contact Kellen Mahoney if you’d like to learn more about participation in GEMI’s SCS Work Group.

Special thanks to 2017 GEMI member companies and Supply Chain Sustainability project participants for their leadership and engagement in this effort, including American Chemistry Council, Ashland, Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable, Carnival Corporation & plc, Corn Refiners Association, Ecolab, ExxonMobil Chemical, FedEx, Gannett Fleming, Hexion, IPIECA, Merck, Plastics Industry Association, P&G, Perdue Farms, Schlumberger, Sealed Air, Smithfield Foods and Smith & Nephew. Special thanks also to Mary Beth Jordan, MBJ Strategies for her work in supporting this effort.

The GEMI Responsible Supply Chain Guiding Principles may be downloaded at: http://gemi.org/gemi-responsible-supply-chain-guiding-principles/

About GEMI 
GEMI (www.gemi.org) is a global leader in developing insights, networking, and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business. For 25 years, GEMI has captured the vision and experience of global corporate environmental, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability leaders from diverse business sectors through the development of a wide range of publicly-available, solutions-based tools designed to help companies improve the environment, their operations and add business value