GEMI summer meeting addresses resource efficiency strategies

GEMI summer meeting addresses resource efficiency strategies

Members share case studies and insights to close loops in supply chains, recover and recondition materials and integrate sustainability throughout the lifecycles of materials

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, gathered for its summer meeting to focus on resource efficiency on July 27-28 in St. Paul, Minn. Hosted by GEMI member Tenant Company and held at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Environment (IonE), the meeting began with Lewis Gilbert, managing director of the IonE, sharing insights from the organization’s projects about valuing natural capital, supply chain sustainability, water conservation in agriculture and sustainability communications.

“Hearing from those who are making progress in resource efficiency efforts within their companies and organizations helps all of us think of ways we can implement those insights for our own business solutions,” said Stan Mierzejewski, senior manager, sustainability, Tennant Company. “Whether it’s determining financial and natural capital opportunities for closed-loop systems, designing for circularity, materials recovery and reconditioning or value chain approaches to developing resource efficiency solutions, we can learn from each other and connect our efforts for better supply chain efficiency outcomes and healthier environmental impacts.”

   

Pictured: Kathleen Salyer, US EPA; Chad Pregracke, Living Lands and Waters

Leading business and environment experts joined GEMI membership to share case studies, projects, research and new ways evaluate the risks and opportunities. Speakers included representatives from the University of Minnesota, the U.S. EPA, Trucost, the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, 3M, Johnson Controls, Steelcase, General Motors, Healthcare Plastics Recycling Council, Resource Recycling Systems, Living Lands and Waters, Koch Industries, GE Water and the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition.

“Sustainability has evolved from businesses retroactively reporting on goals and outcomes to enhancing reputation to proactively managing materials and resources and measuring that performance daily,” said Steve Hellem, executive director, GEMI. “Global and U.S.-based initiatives are driving the push toward a circular economy, but there are many regulatory, standardization, chemical make-up, process and communication, packaging and financial roadblocks that stand in the way shifting from a recycling-heavy mindset to true systematic supply chain development.”

   

Pictured: John Bradburn, General Motors; Sheryl Corrigan, Koch Industries

As part of GEMI’s meetings, GEMI members work together to identify and develop new solutions related to the meeting topic. As a follow up to this meeting, GEMI will develop a Quick Guide on Resource Efficiency to serve as a primer for all business leaders who are interested in implementing circular economy concepts. The Quick Guide is planned for late 2016. All current GEMI Quick Guides are available to the public: http://gemi.org/solutions/solutions-quick-guides/.

The next GEMI meeting will be held in November 2016, and will address supply chain sustainability. Nonmember companies considering membership may request attendance at one meeting on a complimentary basis. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit www.gemi.org or email GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem: shellem@navista.net.

About GEMI

GEMI is the 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 spring meeting targets emission trends and corporate carbon reduction efforts

GEMI spring meeting targets emission trends and corporate carbon reduction efforts

Members learn the science behind new emission targets and collaborate on strategies to drive action on carbon reduction commitments across the value chain

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, gathered for its spring meeting to focus on “Science-Based Targets”.  Held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 4-5, the meeting addressed emissions trends, methods for companies to set emission-reduction targets and solutions for aligning business with climate goals in a profitable manner. Leading environment and climate experts joined GEMI membership in brainstorming practical emission management ideas and partnership strategies for members to use within their businesses.

“The first day of the meeting gave us an opportunity to learn about the science behind the basis for a 1.5ºC / 2ºC increase in temperature target, how a particular operation determines its allocation and how to assess scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions,” said Mark Johnson, vice president and director, ECR, Gannett Fleming, Inc. and communications chair, GEMI. “The combination of both receiving a comprehensive overview of the issue and having a chance to speak directly with such a network of diverse professionals is a valuable way for sustainability professionals like me to stay on top of trends and spark new ideas we can implement in our companies.”

   
Pictured: (left) Rachael Jonassen, GWU; (right) Matt Banks, WWF and Cynthia Cummis, WRI

Reputable experts from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, CDP, Environmental Defense Fund, George Washington University, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, Trucost, World Resources Institute and WWF joined GEMI members for the private, exclusive discussion. Together, the group worked through science-based target-setting, partnership strategies to advance carbon goals, identifying supply chain hot-spots and engaging suppliers on reduction strategies and tools to support carbon reductions in operations.

“Many of us wrestle with GHG reductions, so having the ability to interact with expert speakers about emissions in a small group setting was an impactful way to validate our strategy,” said Dan Daggett, Executive Director, Sustainability, Sealed Air and Vice Chair, GEMI. “Setting GHG reduction targets is a priority for many businesses globally, so as a result of the discussion during the GEMI meeting, our members will develop a Science-Based Targets Quick Guide to help other business leaders who want to advance their commitments.”

   
Pictured: (left) Dan Daggett, Sealed Air and Pete Swenson, Tennant; (right) Adam Gordon, CDP

GEMI’s Quick Guide series features practices to address real-time issues and sustainability concepts, supported with mini case studies from member companies. GEMI’s Quick Guide on the Path to Science-Based Targets will be designed to outline key issues for sustainability / business leaders to consider as they seek to set a science-based target for their company. The guide is slated for publication in late 2016. All Quick Guides are available to the public: http://gemi.org/solutions/solutions-quick-guides/.

The next GEMI meeting will be held in July 2016, and will address Resource Efficiency: Taking the Circular Economy from Theory to Action. Nonmember companies considering membership may request attendance at one meeting on a complimentary basis. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit www.gemi.org or email GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem: shellem@navista.net.

About GEMI

GEMI is the 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.

More Information Contact:

Monica MacKay: 262-563-5665

Science-Based Targets

GEMI’s Spring Meeting is planned to examine why and how companies are deciding to pursue science based targets for GHG reduction, and to explore strategies and tools necessary for businesses to drive action across the value chain.

Life Cycle Thinking

GEMI fall meeting focuses on life cycle innovation and product sustainability

Members discuss emerging science and policy issues, product life cycle sustainability and driving business growth through life-cycle thinking

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, gathered at member P&G’s Mason Business Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 28-29 for GEMI’s fall meeting. Themed “Life Cycle Thinking and Product Design Strategies,” the program focused on how leading businesses are advancing life cycle innovation and integrating sustainability approaches and goals.

“Our group of environmental, health and sustainability professionals concentrates on helping others create sustainability strategies and win leadership support in their organizations. This meeting was an opportunity for us to dive deep on sustainability within the product life cycle, particularly green chemistry, toxicology, life cycle assessment and policy factors,” said Dan Daggett, executive director, Sustainability, Sealed Air, and vice chair, GEMI. “We had direct access to some of the best minds in sustainable engineering and design, which enabled constructive discussion about the business value of life-cycle thinking in product development.”

The meeting included several experts in life-cycle thinking, including guest speakers from Aligned Incentives, American Chemistry Council, BASF, Environmental Defense Fund, GE Aviation, Johnson & Johnson, the Ohio State University, Pure Strategies, thinkstep and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together with GEMI speakers, the meeting addressed green chemistry, engineering and design; advancing product sustainability programs; emerging issues in science and policy; enhancing sustainability across the product life cycle; insights from case studies in green engineering and sustainable design; the business value of life cycle thinking; and collaborative business solutions to life cycle challenges.

“After we heard from guest speakers and asked questions, we were able to share life cycle issues from our organizations, discuss common approaches, identify gaps and determine opportunities to collaborate to advance sustainable business solutions,” said Stan Mierzejewski, senior manager, Sustainability, Tennant, and chair, Tools Work Group, GEMI. “Harnessing the insights from that conversation, we’re in the process of defining the core focus issues for our next GEMI Quick Guide, which we hope to release in early 2016.”

GEMI’s Quick Guide series features practices to address real-time issues and sustainability concepts, supported with mini case studies from member companies. All Quick Guides are available to the public: http://gemi.org/solutions/solutions-quick-guides/.

The next GEMI meeting will be March 2016. Non-member companies considering membership may request attendance at one meeting on a complimentary basis. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit www.gemi.org or email GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem: shellem@navista.net.

About GEMI

GEMI is the 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.

More Information Contact:

Monica MacKay: 262-563-5665