GEMI held its annual membership meeting on November 10, 2022 in Washington, DC. Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President, Gannet Fleming and GEMI’s Chair welcomed the attendees and outlined the history and importance of GEMI highlighting that GEMI is celebrating it 30 years of commitment to Environment Health & Safety, Sustainability and ESG leadership.
The theme for the meeting “Bridging the challenges of ESG expectations and performance” comes from the clear message that emerged from all the different GEMI Work Groups in 2022: Emerging Sustainability Leadership, Sustainability Disruption Project (SDP), Scope 3, Contaminated Plastics, and the Trade Association Sustainability Forum.
Underlying this theme was the realization that corporate and organizational ESG leadership increasingly requires leaders (current or aspiring) to master “3 C’s”: Commitments, Collaboration and Credibility.
- Commitments for corporate/organizational performance, especially but not only carbon. For some companies/organizations, those commitments are coming due as soon as 2025, and there are significant challenges in meeting them.
- Credibility, a clear recognition of the importance of honesty in setting and reaching corporate/organization sustainability goals for both internal and external audiences.
- Collaboration both internally and externally to solve some of the biggest sustainability challenges and opportunities. Building relationships between traditional EHS and sustainability professionals within the same organization as well as other internal and external audiences.
GEMI leaders Steve Hellem, Scott Nadler and Natalie Pryde facilitated a series of interactive working sessions around each of the “3 C’s” that led to productive cross-industry peer discussions around shared, collective challenges related to managing ESG expectations and performance.
A thoughtful and insightful Keynote was presented by Mitch Jackson, Chief Sustainability Officer for FedEx, entitled “Accessing Sustainable Leadership.” Mitch spoke to key building blocks of practical sustainability, including performance, transparency, innovation and leadership, which he defined as strategic and transformational stewardship that adds tangible value in the effort to be more responsible. He discussed the need for sustainability leaders to avoid “pinball leadership” and instead enable the “license to optimize”, allowing creative energy to find new ways to change what’s possible”.
The annual meeting allowed GEMI members an opportunity to share with and learn from their peers in a focused, interactive setting while also providing important input to help shape future GEMI collaborative activities and objectives going into 2023.
If you would like to learn more about GEMI and opportunities for participation as a member, please contact Steve Hellem at firstname.lastname@example.org