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GEMI’s Chair, Moe Bechard, Diversey, Inc., welcomed guests, thanked sponsors, and introduced GEMI’s Board. Mr. Bechard noted that all meetings and conferences of GEMI operate under GEMI’s Antitrust Guidelines. He noted it is important that the issues discussed here today, and in all GEMI meetings, always comply with the guidelines, which also cover conversations in the hallways and restrooms during the conference.

Mr. Bechard then recognized the conference sponsors that include:
• Reception sponsors: Carnival Corporation & PLC; ConAgra Foods; and, Diversey, Inc.
• Lunch sponsor: Abbott
• Breakfast sponsors: Occidental Petroleum and Perdue Incorporated
• Break sponsors: Kraft Foods; Smithfield Foods; Gannett-Fleming; and, Golder Associates

He then launched a new GEMI tool, the GEMI Solution Tools Matrix™, a Matrix to help a user find their way through all of the GEMI tools. He invited Ms. Leslie Montgomery, Southern Company, and GEMI’s Tool Chair, to do a live demonstration of the Tool Matrix™. The GEMI Solution Tools Matrix™ is an interactive web-tool which guides a user to navigate through all of the GEMI solution tools. The site also has a feedback option and users are asked to share ideas with GEMI of needed changes.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn from each other, share with each other and identify ways that we can collaborate together. While some may believe that in Washington, DC only conflict and disagreement can carry the day, we know that the environment can bring thoughtful people together and we are committed to doing everything possible to improve the global environment while also improving economic opportunities for the companies and organizations we represent,” said Moe Bechard.

He added, “The opportunity for sustainability professionals to provide business value has never been better.”


Pictured: John Alexander - “For Diversey, sustainability is an embedded part of what we do and we could not have done this work without GEMI.” Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

Mr. John Alexander, President, Diversey Americas, congratulated GEMI on 20 years of environmental leadership. He acknowledged the companies that were founding members of GEMI, including: Duke Energy, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, The Procter & Gamble Company, and Southern Company, and commended those companies for being leaders. “Your long standing commitment to GEMI, its principles and outcomes have helped make the case that business plays an indispensable role in meeting the environmental challenges we face,” said Alexander.

He posited the question: Has GEMI had an impact? And then shared how GEMI has been a valuable partner for Diversey. He spoke of how sustainability is built right into the purpose of Diversey, which is to protect lives, preserve the earth, and transform the industry. Diversey’s purpose aligns perfectly with the concepts of sustainability. He emphasized that he wasn’t speaking of just the purpose of the sustainability program but the overall purpose of Diversey.

“Times are tough right now but that does not mean it is a time to put off sustainability. Instead it is companies who integrate sustainability that will emerge from this recession stronger than ever,” Alexander noted.

Mr. Alexander spoke of why GEMI has been important to Diversey: “GEMI has set sustainability standards which have helped Diversey have awareness at the Board level. When GEMI shares information our Board listens.” He added that, GEMI keeps sustainability on the agenda of for-profit Boards of Directors. “GEMI plays an important role by illustrating best practices in a number of areas and keeping these snapshots current. When GEMI speaks, Board members and senior executives listen,” said Alexander. GEMI has raised the sustainability bar because when GEMI shares its ideas these often become the industry norm. GEMI’s sharp, consistent focus on identifying and elucidating emerging sustainability issues provides valuable input to the business innovation process. And, last but not least, GEMI has created environmental sustainability solution tools that drive innovation.


Keynote speaker: Aimée Christensen, CEO, Christensen Global Strategies, LLC

Pictured: Aimée Christensen - “Business needs to take a more holistic approach and partner with government to help understand what is possible. We need leadership, collaboration, conversation.” Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

Aimée Christensen, Christensen Global Strategies, LLC noted that Americans love the idea of clean energy but they are afraid about whether or not it is real: are these real jobs? Will we have to sacrifice by giving up the legacy fuels? We are economically challenged and we are not optimally positioned. The US was a global leader, yet we have slipped, and now China, India and Europe have moved ahead of us in some areas. Unfortunately investors are going to other markets because they don’t trust policy in the US, or they do trust policy in other places. Huge opportunities exist in efficiency, wind power, solar and geothermal, and others are moving ahead; transportation, electric, natural gas and biofuels are all moving along. A study by Google of what is possible said it is possible to get the US off coal and oil with economic benefits.

Ms. Christensen noted that business leaders are working to educate and push Washington to act through interesting advertisements. She showed two commercials from We Can Lead, the first featuring A123 Systems and the second featuring a group of business leaders, as well as an advertisement from the Clean Economy Network. The objective of these commercials is to influence the Senate to enact clean energy and climate policy to support economic recovery.

Pictured: Participants at GEMI's 20th Anniversary Conference

She noted that there were lots of high expectations at COP15, yet little was done because heads of States held back negotiators. The US moved some of the conversation, set a temperature target and set financing commitments. There are transparency requirements and verification. One hundred and eleven heads of state were present and engaged. Brazil, South America, India and China all made voluntary commitments. “We must not walk away from COP15. We need countries to follow these commitments. We need talks to maintain investment and connection. Beyond the talks we have to work on financing,” said Christensen.

GEMI Climate Change Member panel: Carl Wirdak, Occidental Petroleum; Jim Hunn, Carnival Corporation & PLC; Dawn Rittenhouse, DuPont; and keynote speaker, Aimée Christensen

Pictured:Steve Hellem, GEMI; Jim Hunn, Carnival Corporation; Carl Wirdak, Occidental Petroleum; Dawn Rittenhouse, DuPont; and Aimee Christensen, CGS. Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem, introduced the panel members and asked the panel to speak to the role of GEMI in their climate change environmental sustainability work and give an overview of their company and its environmental sustainability climate change practices and key focus areas.

Carl Wirdak, Occidental Petroleum – Mr. Wirdak has co-chaired the GEMI Climate Work Group since 1998. The Work Group is helping members to figure out what is going on and how to help members manage climate related issues. The Business and Climate Change web tool is rich in member companies’ experience. The process of building a tool is the real learning for GEMI members. The output is never as rich as the process of sharing and learning that occurs during tool development. The Climate Network is currently engaging government, investors, and NGOs to continue to learn.

Oxy has had an HSE Board Committee for 30 years that is very actively involved. Half of the Board members are on the HSE Committee, including a former Secretary of Energy. Oxy is a world leader in CO2 injection to get the extra end of the available oil, with more than 20 million tons of CO2 injected per year. The big project is to capture CO2 from better sources, ones where it would otherwise be emitted. There is a major project in Texas that captures CO2 from anthropogenic sources, and a project in California that uses CO2 from coke gasification for electrical generation, so Oxy is the world’s leader in CO2 sequestration. Though perhaps not originally by design.

Jim Hunn, Carnival Corporation & PLC – GEMI has been instrumental in the way Carnival does business. Carnival’s EHS Board Committee, led by the Chairman of a UK energy company, is pushing for sustainability and energy efficiency. Carnival has set a target to reduce energy intensity 20% by 2015 from its 2005 baseline. We have installed a prototype scrubber on the ship boilers. Ours is the only at-sea scrubber at the moment. The type we used is common on land but tricky to install on a ship. We had to resize and such and we were the first to do it.

Carnival Corporation used the GEMI Map of the Future Forces Affecting Sustainability, which was created with Institute for the Future (IFTF), to help our management teams think and work for a successful future. We then engaged with IFTF in mapping Carnival's sustainability impacts and are rolling that out to Carnival’s Management Teams, noting that the nine major impacts include a blue economy and energy uncertainty. The technology we are investing in includes, air emissions control for various air pollutants as well as CO2, and energy efficiency in the design of new ships and on existing ships.

Dawn Rittenhouse, DuPont – DuPont is a science company. We are a $26 billion company, where about $2 billion is chemicals. We have a long history of proactive environmental goals. DuPont set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45% from 1990 levels, and when we reached that goal, we reset the goal to 65%, and we have reached a 72% reduction. DuPont also set a goal to reduce energy use per pound of product 15% by 2000 and have gone beyond that; with the next goal of absolute 1990 energy use level. We have new and exciting market facing sustainability goals which are about doubling R&D investment in products which have positive environmental performance, for example products that reduce GHG for customers such as Tyvek house wrap that reduces energy use. We plan future investment in alternative fuels such as biofuels and materials which go into solar power, wind mills and energy storage technology.


Keynote speaker: Martha N. Johnson, Administrator of General Services, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Pictured: Administrator Johnson - “Sustainability makes good economic policy. It makes good environmental policy. It is also, and this is important to me, about making good government policy.” Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

Administrator Martha Johnson gave an overview of GSA’s reach: 350 million square feet, 1/3 of the Federal vehicle fleet along with goods and services for federal workers including travel. In the search for a sustainable world, what is the role of GSA? GSA actually makes and moves markets with its large consumption. GSA is a significant player in markets, and prefers to be intertwined and strategic around that. The Recovery Act provided significant resources to GSA both directly with $5 billion for real estate and fleets; and, indirectly as GSA qualifies industry partners under the Act. She said the support through the Act is because “rising energy costs imperil the future”.

GSA is an aggressive sustainability organization, and a membrane between government and industry. GSA has been in sustainability since the 1970s oil crisis, and has invested a fair amount in its buildings since then. Government buildings are now on average 22% more efficient than private sector buildings. Administrator Johnson noted, “a sustainability focus at GSA invites creativity and helps attract top talent.”

Pictured: Participants at GEMI's 20th Anniversary Conference

Supply Chain is a major lever the GSA is using in innovating for sustainability. GSA is offering a GHG tool to support small business GHG reporting. Purchasing is working on how to guide contracting to further reporting of GHG emissions.

Administrator Johnson closed her prepared remarks stating that “transparency is very important”, and GSA is committed to collaborating with business. We are “standing on the beach …. the foam is at our feet and we need to act before the riptide reaches us. We must, ‘sail forward fast and fruitfully’ to lead in sustainability.”

Moe Bechard thanked Administrator Johnson, adding that “Any way that GEMI can engage with GSA will be beneficial to both organizations.”

GEMI Supply Chain Member panel: Phil McAndrew, Kraft Foods; Keith Miller, 3M; and, Steve Shedroff, Procter & Gamble

Pictured: Steve Hellem, GEMI; Keith Miller, 3M; Phil McAndrew, Kraft Foods; and Steve Shedroff, P&G. Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem, introduced the panel members and asked the panel to speak to the role of GEMI in their supply chain sustainability work and give an overview of their company and its supply chain sustainability practices and key focus areas. He then led a discussion.

Phil McAndrew, Kraft Foods – Mr. McAndrew, who serves as the chair of the GEMI Supply Chain Network, gave an overview of GEMI’s supply chain (SC) activities. GEMI has been involved in supply chain issues since the early 2000s with the New Paths to Business Value: Strategic Sourcing guide that addresses how to improve procurement processes by integrating EHS concerns. In 2004, GEMI developed the SC Forging New Links tool incorporating risk in supply chain activities from customers back to raw materials supply. GEMI has reviewed hundreds of SC surveys and scorecards in assessing key questions on supply chain issues. What are leaders doing to improve SC sustainability? What are the challenges in SC sustainability? The information demands with thousands of suppliers is huge. The group is developing Fact Sheets on leadership in Supply Chain using companies’ case studies.

Kraft uses a Sustainability Wheel that includes energy, water and waste goals. The most significant issue from the SC perspective is agriculture with coffee, cocoa, wheat and dairy products all involved. Transportation involved with the logistics of moving products around the globe and packaging are also key. Kraft is approaching SC issues via collaborative efforts. These include work on coffee with the Rainforest Alliance, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in working with coffee and cashew growers and in teaching sustainable farming. Kraft is working with third party carriers and its own fleet in reducing miles and converting from over the road transport to rail and ship transport where appropriate. The R&D Packaging Group is collaborating with Terracycle with packaging that can be “up cycled” to other products such as backpacks, etc.

Keith Miller, 3M – Mr. Miller, who serves as GEMI’s Sustainable Development Network Chair, gave an overview of 3M and SC sustainability. 3M: $23 billion in sales; 75,000 employees; and, more than 55,000 products with more than 1,000 new products each year. 3M’s Pollution Prevention Pays program began in 1970, 3M was a founding member of the WBCSD in 1995 and has been working with GEMI in networking and benchmarking since the late 1990s. 3M has over 30,000 suppliers. In evaluating suppliers considerations have included risk factors, spend, country, sole supplier, and outsourced manufacturing. Now 3M is moving to a broader standard that will include use of materials (reducing/reusing/recyclability), energy, transportation and water. Life cycle management is incorporated in product development. And a product catalog noting products that can help reduce energy, environmental impacts and support green building is available. A Sourcing Sustainability Standard for Suppliers is in the works for rollout year-end.

Steve Shedroff, Procter & Gamble – Mr. Shedroff gave an overview of P&G and SC sustainability. P&G is 173 years old and has been demonstrating its sustainability for decades. The Company mission is to “be a force for good in the world”. P&G has over 65,000 suppliers. A Supplier Scorecard has recently been developed through collaboration with key suppliers on metrics. An ongoing discussion is held with suppliers to improve SC sustainability by innovating and collaborating. The focus on sustainability at P&G is on the product side as most impacts are related to product use in the home. P&G did the first life cycle assessment on energy use for laundry and then developed Cold Water Tide to reduce the impact. Sustainability work is active from raw materials to final products. Manufacturing is located near distribution centers, and local people are employed. Sustainable plastic packaging is in the works. P&G has zero waste and energy aspirational goals.


Pictured: Philippe Cousteau - “Every child should be able to walk on clean grass, breathe fresh air next to a babbling brook under a clear blue sky… nothing should supersede that dream….together we can build that dream.” Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

Philippe Cousteau Jr., CEO, EarthEcho International, began by saying he was thrilled to be speaking to the Group. He’d spent time in the Gulf this summer and helped contribute to the discussion on the fate of the released oil. Although the press reported the oil was going away with the application of dispersants after a few weeks, Philippe expected the oil was still present, based on tracking of an oil spill 30 years ago off the Yucatan in shallow reefs with mangroves. He and a team dove in the Gulf oil spill area, found the oil still present, floating in layers below the surface and at significant depth, and filmed that. And, with oil now in microscopic pieces from the action of the dispersants, its ability to more readily enter the food chain becomes a question.

Philippe went on to speak about the need to recognize and understand the “true cost of our actions” by keeping an historical perspective of change in the environment over a few decades. He showed recent video of the coral reefs that appear brown with areas of dead elkhorn coral, and then of the same area in the ‘80s when the coral was vibrant. The reefs provide food and shelter for fish and sea life, serve as barriers protecting the coast, and may be extinct by 2050. Coral reefs are home to a quarter of all ocean life.

He spoke about a 160% increase in asthma in children under age 5, and obesity in children. He noted coal mining has impacted over a million acres of mountain tops and hundreds of stream and river miles. The 1.5 billion people without water could reach 5 billion in mid-century. And in Darfur over 200,000 people have already died over water. We don’t pay the true cost, for example, the price of cheap food is obesity and diabetes. With these impacts occurring in the relatively short time in earth’s history that humans have been here, Philippe demonstrated with his outstretched arms as the timeline of earth’s history and human history as the tiniest tip of his fingernails, he is thinking about human survival. The planet will survive; it is our species that is in danger.

We all have a critical part to play. We have a lot of power as individuals to make a difference. Corporations have tremendous power. Look at the world in a different way. In closing, Philippe reiterated the theme of children, along with restoration, research and education; and, added “energy efficiency is the single best thing we can do. I know you guys fight for that every day. Continue doing that.”


Keynote Speaker: John Oldfield, Executive Vice President, Water Advocates, “Global Water and Business: Risks and Opportunities”

Pictured: John Oldfield - “Sustainable development happens when development meets capitalism." Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

Mr. John Oldfield, Executive Vice President, Water Advocates, began by describing his job as “one billion people with a drinking problem” and proving that it is solvable, and spoke about the urgent need for safe drinking water and sanitation globally. There are one billion people in the world without safe drinking water and another two and a half billion people without adequate sanitation.

He went on to describe and discuss the significant global impacts ranging from health issues, with 2.5 million deaths per year from water-related diseases, to the global economy where the GDP of developing countries are impacted at several points by water issues. John showed the WRI Water Stress map of the world and asked how many of our upstream and downstream customers will be in water stressed areas by 2030. He said “sustainable development happens when development meets capitalism”. Consider the women and girls who must commit their time to carrying water; they are not in school or at work…and are not able to buy products as a result.

He discussed areas where global companies can and do support water sustainability. It is critical to decentralize and engage locally. The organization, Engineers Without Borders, has professional and student chapters that need volunteers and funds. Mr. Oldfield noted that manufacturing sites have utilities, and challenged “how about doubling up and providing water to the surrounding community, while reducing the site’s water risk?” In agriculture, think in 10-year increments about your farmers and their families. Companies can work with local communities with an upside for both parties. Go local, be sustainable for the long-term, and choose a good partner. Be strategic and thoughtful, measure impacts.

GEMI Water Sustainability Member panel: Paul Halberstadt, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston; Bill Lechner, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; and Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods

Pictured: Steve Hellem, GEMI; Paul Halberstadt, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston; Bill Lechner, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; and, Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods. Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem, introduced the panel members and asked the panel to speak to the role of GEMI in their water sustainability work and give an overview of their company and its water sustainability practices and key focus areas.

Bill Lechner, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company – Mr. Lechner serves on the GEMI Board of Directors as the Senior Advisory Council (SAC) Chair and will be the 2011 GEMI Finance Chair. He is co-chair of the Water Sustainability Work Group. He noted that Scotts joined GEMI in the early 2000s for its networking, benchmarking and support as Scotts develops environmental sustainability programs. Bill spoke about a key GEMI benefit being the opportunity to work with ‘lots of brilliant people’, particularly in working closely on tools, to develop a deep understanding of the background and flavor of sustainability issues with industry leaders.

Scotts is not a significant water user in manufacturing, and recycles water and also reuses water by providing nutrient-bearing water to farmers. The liquid manufacturing plants have a project to reduce water 85% via reuse. Externally, Scotts’ products require water use. Scotts goes directly to the consumer to educate on product water use via the Scotts Training Institute. Scotts partners with Keep America Beautiful in building community gardens and providing information on lawn and garden care. Scotts worked with the Friends of the Chesapeake and now markets products without phosphorus to help address phosphorus runoff issues in the Bay.

Paul Halberstadt, ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston – Mr. Halberstadt co-chaired the first two GEMI water tools, and noted that the first water tool was the first media-specific GEMI tool. He spoke about ConAgra and its water sustainability. ConAgra products include brands such as Healthy Choice, Hunts and Wesson. Lamb Weston is No. 2 of the top 3 frozen potato products manufacturers, who have 90% of that market. Working with Jim Lime, ConAgra’s EHS VP, a goal to reduce water use by 15 percent per pound of product produced by 2015 was announced in April 2010. ConAgra tracks water use for all facilities; both total water use and water use per pound of finished product is tracked for all facilities to help prioritize water efficiency projects.

Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods – Mr. Gill serves on the GEMI Board of Directors as the Communications & Marketing Committee Chair and will be the 2011 GEMI Vice Chair. He noted that Smithfield is the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. Processing is water intensive. With daily cleaning of facilities from top to bottom, use at larger facilities is up to 3 MGD, making water a significant environmental aspect of operations and sustainability. As water conservation efforts began about eight years ago, a cross functional team formed to improve performance at the approximately 40 plants in the US. Plant water data and metrics reporting were developed, with visibility to all sites, and a good baseline developed. Incentives were built into the program with environmental awards that include a monetary award and contribution to their chosen community group. A target to reduce normalized (per product weight or per animal) water use 10% by 2016 is in place.


Panel comprised of environmental sustainability NGO representatives: Tom Murray, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Martin Chilcott, 2degrees; Tom Kelsch, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF); and Claire Tomkins, Carbon War Room (CWR)

Pictured: Tom Kelsch, NFWF; Moe Bechard, Diversey; Martin Chilcott, 2degrees; Tom Murray, EDF; and Claire Tomkins, CWR. Photo provided by Mark Silva Photography

GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem, introduced the panel members and asked the panel to provide an overview of organizations and environmental sustainability NGO-business collaborations. He then led a discussion.

Steve Hellem – One of the key things GEMI has done is work on reaching out to be collaborative with key players and thought leaders. He asked the panel members to talk to their collaborative efforts.

Tom Murray, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) – Mr. Murray noted that this year is also EDF’s 20th birthday. We do hands on work with leading companies with corporate partnerships. We started partnering 20 years ago, and have since partnered with companies that include DuPont and Abbott. We are now reflecting on the past and thinking about the future, seeing more transparent collaborative work on core problems. We are currently working with private equity firms to examine their views of how they choose and manage investments, firms such as KK and Carlisle.

Claire Tomkins, Carbon War Room – Ms. Tomkins noted that we are at 50 billion tons of GHG and we are headed to 60 billion tons. We need to get down to at least 45 billion tons. We need to think gig, as in gigatons of reduction for CO2. We need more affordable energy. We are not investing enough money or doing enough to get where we need to go in renewables. Think gigaton solutions at that scale.

Tom Kelsh, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) – Mr. Kelsh noted that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) was created by Congress in 1984 to preserve and restore native wildlife species and habitats. NFWF directs public conservation dollars and matches those with private funds, partnering with individuals, foundations, government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations to identify and fund conservation projects. We have leveraged more than $635 million into over $1.5 billion on the ground with measurable outcomes. We produce “true meaningful results” and are accountable and transparent. NFWF has worked with Southern Company since 2002 on wetland restoration, reforestation and recovery of endangered species.

Martin Chilcott, 2degrees – Mr. Chilcott noted that collaboration is essential. We have the world’s largest on-line group of sustainability experts. We have about 7,000 companies, 10,000 sustainability professionals, engaged and we are studying with a school, The Smith School of Oxford University. We are examining what leads to some problems getting solved and others not. Sustainability is the 4th economic revolution. We are at the tail end of the 3rd economic revolution. These revolutions were 1st -agrarian, 2nd - industrial, 3rd - knowledge, and now 4th - sustainability. He added that the characteristics of companies that will succeed include: Monitoring, reporting, verifying; zero waste; dematerialization; driving growth through service innovations; and, world class collaboration. Sustainability is a problem of the commons and so we need common work to find solutions.


In closing the meeting Moe Bechard, Chairman of GEMI, noted that “it has been a remarkable day!” and thanked the participants for helping GEMI celebrate 20 years of “business helping business achieve environmental sustainability excellence”.

Moe Bechard: “All of us who have been associated with and supported GEMI over the years should take a moment to reflect on our progress but also get ready for the future. Just as our early founders had a vision for what GEMI was then, we now have the responsibility of defining the vision of GEMI for the future. ”

Photos provided by Mark Silva Photography
© 2010 Global Environmental Management Initiative