Life Cycle Thinking

GEMI fall meeting focuses on life cycle innovation and product sustainability

Members discuss emerging science and policy issues, product life cycle sustainability and driving business growth through life-cycle thinking

Washington, DC – The Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI), the global leader in developing insights, networking and creating collaborative sustainability solutions for business, gathered at member P&G’s Mason Business Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 28-29 for GEMI’s fall meeting. Themed “Life Cycle Thinking and Product Design Strategies,” the program focused on how leading businesses are advancing life cycle innovation and integrating sustainability approaches and goals.

“Our group of environmental, health and sustainability professionals concentrates on helping others create sustainability strategies and win leadership support in their organizations. This meeting was an opportunity for us to dive deep on sustainability within the product life cycle, particularly green chemistry, toxicology, life cycle assessment and policy factors,” said Dan Daggett, executive director, Sustainability, Sealed Air, and vice chair, GEMI. “We had direct access to some of the best minds in sustainable engineering and design, which enabled constructive discussion about the business value of life-cycle thinking in product development.”

The meeting included several experts in life-cycle thinking, including guest speakers from Aligned Incentives, American Chemistry Council, BASF, Environmental Defense Fund, GE Aviation, Johnson & Johnson, the Ohio State University, Pure Strategies, thinkstep and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Together with GEMI speakers, the meeting addressed green chemistry, engineering and design; advancing product sustainability programs; emerging issues in science and policy; enhancing sustainability across the product life cycle; insights from case studies in green engineering and sustainable design; the business value of life cycle thinking; and collaborative business solutions to life cycle challenges.

“After we heard from guest speakers and asked questions, we were able to share life cycle issues from our organizations, discuss common approaches, identify gaps and determine opportunities to collaborate to advance sustainable business solutions,” said Stan Mierzejewski, senior manager, Sustainability, Tennant, and chair, Tools Work Group, GEMI. “Harnessing the insights from that conversation, we’re in the process of defining the core focus issues for our next GEMI Quick Guide, which we hope to release in early 2016.”

GEMI’s Quick Guide series features practices to address real-time issues and sustainability concepts, supported with mini case studies from member companies. All Quick Guides are available to the public:

The next GEMI meeting will be March 2016. Non-member companies considering membership may request attendance at one meeting on a complimentary basis. For more information about GEMI, membership benefits and upcoming meetings, visit or email GEMI’s Executive Director, Steve Hellem:

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.

More Information Contact:

Monica MacKay: 262-563-5665

GEMI Fall Meeting – Life Cycle Thinking

GEMI invites corporate environmental sustainability leaders to join us in Cincinnati to engage in an interactive discussion on life cycle thinking and product design strategies.

GEMI’s Fall Meeting on Life Cycle Thinking and Product Design Strategies will be hosted by P&G at its Mason Business Center on October 28-29, 2015.



October 28

9:00am – 9:30am

GEMI Annual Business Meeting

GEMI members will review plans and proposed actions for 2016.

  • Bill Gill, AVP Environmental Affairs, Smithfield Foods, GEMI’s Chair

9:30am – 10:30am

GEMI Quick Guide / Project Discussion

Participants will learn about recent solutions/collaborations developed by GEMI, and discuss potential opportunities to collaborate to advance new solutions to emerging sustainability challenges in 2016.

10:30am – 11:15am

Welcome Remarks: Green Chemistry, Engineering and Design

  • Don Verseeg, Sustainability Expert, Environmental Toxicologist, Risk Assessor, P&G, Retired

11:15am – 12:15pm

Advancing Product Sustainability Programs

Discussion of new analysis on how to maximize business value to keep pace with competitors’ rapid progress in product sustainability; and, steps for building strong corporate alignment and bringing product sustainability into the core of the business.

  • Tim Greiner, Managing Director, Pure Strategies

12:15pm – 1:30pm


1:30pm – 3:00pm

Emerging Issues in Science and Policy

Speakers will discuss emerging issues in science and policy affecting chemicals in the US and globally.

  • Tom Neltner, Chemicals Policy Director, EDF
  • David Widawsky, Director, Chemistry, Economics and Sustainable Strategies Division, US EPA

3:00pm – 3:15pm


3:15pm – 5:00pm

Enhancing Sustainability Across the Product Lifecycle

Speakers will discuss various approaches private and public sector organizations are taking to advance sustainability through life cycle innovation.

  • Jim Fava, Chief Sustainability Strategist, thinkstep; Chair, Forum for Sustainability through Life Cycle Innovation
  • Yann Risz, Former McKinsey, LCA and product design




Dinner Event – Hosted by P&G

October 29

8:00am – 8:15am

GEMI Welcome and Introduction – Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods

8:15am – 9:30am

Case Studies in Green Engineering and Sustainable Design

Speakers will share demonstrated business examples of using green engineering and sustainable design practices to advance sustainable innovation.

  • Robert Predale, Director of Environmental Product Stewardship, Johnson & Johnson
  • Dan Daggett, Executive Director, Sustainability, Sealed Air

9:30am – 10:00am


10:00am – 12:00pm

Business Value of Life Cycle Thinking

Speakers will share experiences in applying life cycle tools/approaches to support business decision making, product development and innovation.

  • Bruce Uhlman, Team Leader, Applied Sustainability, BASF
  • Todd Rockstroh, Consulting Engineer, GE Aviation
  • Kevin Mulvaney, Senior Director, Value Chain Outreach, American Chemistry Council

12:00pm – 12:30pm


12:30pm – 1:45pm

Collaborative Business Solutions to Life Cycle Challenges

Participants will engage with fellow corporate sustainability leaders addressing life cycle issues in their organizations to share common approaches, identify gaps, and discuss opportunities to collaborate to advance sustainable business solutions. 

1:45pm – 2:00pm

Closing Comments – Bill Gill, Smithfield Foods


  • Meeting Location: The meeting will be hosted by Procter & Gamble at its Mason Business Center located at 8700 Mason Montgomery Rd, Mason, OH 45040.
  • Hotel Information: A P&G rate of $159 per night is available at the nearby Cincinnati Marriott Northeast (9664 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason, OH 45040; (513) 459-9800)
  • Airport: The Cincinnati (CVG) and Dayton (DAY) airports are convenient to the meeting location.

Register to Attend

GEMI invites corporate environmental and sustainability leaders to register to participate in the meeting as our guest.