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.

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