GEMI Winter Meeting

GEMI winter meeting addresses materiality assessment for corporate sustainability reporting

Members examine best practices for analyzing materiality and aligning sustainability and corporate strategies

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, convened its members for GEMI’s winter meeting focused on methods for assessing sustainability materiality and how best to customize an approach for a company’s specific business needs. GEMI member Sealed Air hosted the meeting, themed “Materiality Part II: How to Take Action,” at its Packforum Americas facility in Atlanta on March 11-12.

“GEMI’s materiality meeting offered our membership the opportunity to learn from and work with highly credible corporate sustainability guest experts who shared their experiences in training corporate sustainability leaders, building reporting frameworks and helping companies sync business and sustainability strategies and metrics,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI. “This facilitated a lively forum for our members to share their experiences and brainstorm ways to fine-tune their programs.”

The meeting included guest speakers from Hedstrom Associates, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), KPMG and BSR. These experts discussed corporate sustainability leadership development needs, accounting standards, data-sourcing methods and materiality reporting frameworks – including Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Integrated Reporting (IR) and newcomer SASB.

“We used what we learned from our guest speakers on the first day in our second-day working session to build a framework for GEMI’s upcoming Materiality 101 Quick Guide,” said Stan Mierzejewski, senior manager, Sustainability, Tennant, and chair, Tools Work Group, GEMI. “As an organization, GEMI is not only committed to staying ahead of sustainability issues and reporting strategies, but we produce business solutions and tools, such as our quick guides, to help others manage emerging sustainability challenges for their businesses.”

GEMI will publish its Materiality 101 guide in late 2015, and it will be publicly available with complementary material accessible to members only.

The GEMI summer meeting will focus on water issues and will be held in Milwaukee, Wis., on July 7-8, 2015. Non-member companies considering membership may be allowed to join one complimentary meeting. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit www.gemi.org.

For More Information Contact:
Monica MacKay, 262.563.5665

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.

Gannett Fleming Joins GEMI

Newest member brings architecture/engineering/construction expertise to EHS group

 Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, today announced the addition of its newest member company, Gannett Fleming. Gannett Fleming is a global infrastructure firm that provides planning, design, technology and construction management services for a diverse range of markets and disciplines. It is the first architecture/engineering/construction firm to join GEMI.

“We are very pleased that Gannett Fleming has joined GEMI,” said Roland Mostovy, Sustainability Program manager, Ashland Inc., and GEMI’s membership chair. “We are particularly pleased that we will have the opportunity to work with, learn from and share with the Gannett Fleming sustainability team, who has a solid history of working with GEMI and a number of our member companies.”

Mark Johnson, vice president and Corporate Sustainability Officer, Gannett Fleming, will be the senior representative to GEMI.

“Like GEMI, we are committed to staying on the leading edge of sustainability issues and developing world-class solutions. Connecting with other industry leaders who share the same passion enables us to expand our knowledge and connections and, thereby, our ability to deliver the most efficient, cost-effective and sustainable solutions for our clients,” said Johnson.

“GEMI provides an opportunity for our members to collaborate on sustainability solutions, develop tools and resources to solve sustainability challenges and create world-class meetings for networking and discussion,” said Bill Gill, assistant vice president, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, and chair, GEMI. “The knowledge and experience of the Gannett Fleming team will be a real asset to GEMI as the organization works to advance sustainable business solutions to emerging sustainability challenges.”

GEMI Releases Quick Guide on Engaging Employees in Sustainability

GEMI Quick Guide on Engaging Employees in Sustainability

The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) today announced the availability of a new solution toolkit, the GEMI Quick Guide on Engaging Employees in Sustainability.

The GEMI Quick Guide on Engaging Employees in Sustainability is designed to provide insight for how corporations can successfully engage and motivate employees to actively participate in executing a comprehensive sustainability strategy.

“Establishing a meaningful connection with employees is critical to the success of a company’s sustainability program,” said Bill Gill, Assistant Vice President, Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods and GEMI’s Chair. “The methods for making this link are varied, and organizational leaders should give considerable thought as to how they choose and adopt approaches to engage employees,” Gill said.

“Engaging employees across an entire organization can prove to be challenging. Companies vary in size, complexity and sustainability strategy,” said Roland Mostovy, Sustainability Program Manager, Ashland Inc., and GEMI’s Membership Chair. “This guide explores strategies for fostering employee connections to sustainability, implementing an engagement strategy, and understanding the role of corporate culture within an engagement strategy.  It can be used to help design an approach that makes sense for your organization,” Mostovy added.

GEMI’s Quick Guide series is designed to provide a closer look into the methods leading corporations use to address sustainability topics. The GEMI Quick Guides incorporate members’ experiences and support GEMI’s mission of “collaborating for sustainable business solutions”.

For more information about this GEMI Quick Guide, or opportunities to participate in the development of future GEMI’s Quick Guides addressing sustainability topics –  ranging from Materiality to Sustainability 101 to Waste Reduction Best Practices – please contact info@gemi.org

GEMI’s Quick Guides are available for free at http://www.gemi.org/solutions/solutions-quick-guides/

Mill Boosts Efficiency

Palatka Mill’s $70 Million Investment Boosts Energy Efficiency

Georgia-Pacific’s commitment to sustainability can be seen as an investment in the future, which is why we’re spending $70 million in our Palatka, Florida, paper mill. The money will be used to upgrade the mill’s evaporators, a key component in generating energy to operate the mill. At first glance, new evaporators might not sound impressive, but they’ll reduce energy costs by an estimated $1 million per month and water usage by more than 30 percent.

This is just the latest in almost $100 million spent to enhance the mill’s safety, quality, sustainability and productivity.

Palatka mill manager Kevin Curry stresses the strategic importance of the expense. “We continue to make ongoing investments in the mill to help reduce our overall environmental impact and improve our cost competitiveness. This latest investment helps accomplish both of those goals, and earning it is a great accomplishment for our entire Palatka team,” he said.

This new project is in addition to an approximately $19 million investment announced last year for the installation of product quality improvement equipment in the mill’s kraft paper area. Installation of that project is currently underway. The mill also has approximately $10 million slated for safety and environmental improvement projects.