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 or email GEMI’s Program Manager Kellen Mahoney at

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.

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