Accelerating Sustainability Agenda


Happening Now: Watch Accelerating Sustainability Live Webcast

Tuesday, May 6

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m.

Welcome and Event Overview

  • Jennifer Gerholdt, Director, Issue Networks, Corporate Citizenship Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

8:35 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.

Energy-Water-Food Nexus Research Release: Findings and Private Sector Implications

  • Jeff Lundy, Ph.D., Manager, Research, Corporate Citizenship Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

8:55 a.m - 9:05 a.m.

Opening Remarks

  • The Honorable John R. McKernan, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

9:05 a.m. - 10:05 a.m.

Keynote Panel: Corporate Leadership in Action

Companies can achieve great success deploying cost effective resource efficiency solutions at scale. C-Suite Executives from various industries will offer insights into why resource efficiency is important to their business, describe the key drivers, the internal and external enablers at play, how to measure performance, share and challenges and insights gleaned along the way.

  • Mary Grace Anderson, Vice President, Safety, Environmental and Social Performance, Shell Upstream Americas
  • Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal, Energy Works Consulting LLC, and Board of Directors, MGM Resorts International
  • David Melancon, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Benjamin Moore & Co.
  • Hugh Welsh, President and General Counsel, DSM North America
  • Moderator: Jigar Shah, CEO, Jigar Shah Consulting

10:05 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.

Networking Break

10:20 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.

Plenary Panel: Sustainability and the Return on Collaboration

Large scale collaboration - especially among businesses and their value chains, government, and civil society - is critical to successfully addressing the world’s most significant environmental challenges. This panel explores the growing number, ambition and types of sustainability-focused collaborations around energy and water, and discover how to ensure collaboration delivers. It also examines key market forces and trends shaping the evolution of collaboration, new emerging models, and how organizations should prioritize and manage them to ensure optimal return on collaborative investment.

  • Brendan FitzSimons, Project Manager, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Eunice Heath, Global Director, Sustainability Business Engagement and Education, The Dow Chemical Company
  • Ann Klee, Vice President, Environment, Health and Safety, GE
  • Monique Oxender, Senior Director, Sustainability, Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.

11:20 a.m. - 11:35 a.m.

Transition to Lunch

11:35 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Lunch and Keynote

  • Brodi Fontenot, Assistant Secretary for Administration and Senior Sustainability Officer, U.S. Department of Transportation

12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Transition to Breakouts

12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Catalyzing Collaboration Breakout Sessions

Engaging Employees to Accelerate Sustainability Goals

Companies are investing in employee engagement as a sustainability strategy, recognizing that a motivated and engaged workforce yields numerous benefits including increased cost savings, productivity, and performance. This session explores how companies can design and implement effective programs to retain and attract top talent, what works and pitfalls to avoid, and how to go beyond traditional employee engagement efforts to accelerate sustainability.

  • Chair: Sarah Moore, Director, Sustainable Operations, MGM Resorts International

Scaling Existing Collaboration to Deliver Shared Value

Businesses are thinking more strategically about how to leverage existing partnerships with non-profits, government, and other stakeholders to accelerate and scale their positive environmental and social impacts. This session focuses on successful best practices to scale collaborations that can create shared value, such as through products and markets, value chains, and strategic economic and social investments.

Pre-competitive Collaboration Across Value Chains and with Non-Traditional Partners

Pre-competitive collaboration can generate infrastructure that increases the return on sustainability investments while leveling the playing field. This collaboration is likely to involve direct competitors, suppliers up and down the value chain, and government and non-profit partners. In this session, participants will discuss examples of pre-competitive collaboration, what forms the "infrastructure" can take (e.g. software versus data versus standards versus knowledge), examine when these efforts are most valuable, how they get started, and why they succeed or fail.

  • Chair: Dave Witzel, Chief of Conspiration, Bright Passage

Systems Changing Collaboration: Scaling Collaboration to the Scale of the Problem

The scale of many environmental and social issues demands systems-level solutions. On the one hand, this invites a new level of collaboration, which helps deepen understanding of a problem and its potential solutions and  find leverage points to unlock progress. On the other hand, it forces us to confront greater complexity, including more potential partners with various interests, all of which can slow down or prevent effective collaboration. In this session, participants discuss strategies and examples to help ensure more effective scaling and impact of so-called system-changing collaboration.

1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Transition to Plenary Session

2:00 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

Lightning Round Pitches From Breakouts

Each breakout group has 3 minutes to pitch one idea or action that they can take back to their business. A volunteer panel of judges has 2 minutes to ask questions about the concept.

2:20 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.

Plenary Panel: Sustainability and the Innovators Opportunity

Companies harness sustainability to drive greater efficiency and business growth. Focusing on shared water risks, natural systems, infrastructure investments, fuel efficiency. and climate resilience, panelists will share how these issues relate to their core business strategy, how they gained internal support, what's worked and what has not. They also share how their efforts are measurable, scalable and replicable, and how companies can integrate a sustainability strategy into their business innovation platforms.

  • Liese Dallbauman, Director, Water Stewardship, PepsiCo
  • Dermot Murray, Sustainability Business Strategy Advisor, FedEx Corporation
  • Laura Nereng, Sustainability Business Development Manager, 3M
  • John R. Smith, Ph.D., P.E., Director, Sustaining Technologies, Products, and Operations, Alcoa Inc.
  • Moderator: Jessica McGlyn, Director, World Business Council for Sustainable Development-US (WBCSD-US)

3:20 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Networking Break and Transition to Breakouts

3:35 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.

Sustainability-Driven Innovation Breakout Sessions

How Sustainability Spurs Innovation, Differentiation and Business Growth

Leading companies recognize they can unleash market value and growth by designing new products and services that decrease environmental impacts and increase consumer well-being. How can companies increase internal buy-in needed to spark innovation in technology, product design, manufacturing, business models and other approaches?

Innovative Platforms for Reducing Shared Water Risk

With increased participation from business and other stakeholders, the world’s freshwater supply can meet growing demand through effective risk assessment and management. How can we leverage existing solutions and frameworks to implement mutually beneficial solutions to address water quality, quantity, and storm water challenges at scale?

  • Chair: Susan Fernandes, Director, Operations, US Business Council for Sustainable Development (USBCSD)

Barriers and Risks to Catalyzing Business Investment in Natural Infrastructure

Investing in ecosystems is often cost-competitive with man-made infrastructure investments for equivalent services. Yet companies face challenges like the “private cost-public benefit” dilemma and others. How can companies and other stakeholders work together to overcome these hurdles and scale up investment in natural infrastructure?

Operationalizing Innovative Business Approaches to Adaptation and Resilience

Changes in climate poses complex adaptation challenges for business and society due to the uncertainty associated with the timing and magnitude of projected changes and interconnectedness between risks and impacts in the modern globalized economy. What are some examples of existing approaches to climate adaptation and resilience, and how can these initiatives be applied by others?

  • Chair: Maribeth Malloy, Director, Environmental Sustainability and External Engagement, Lockheed Martin

4:35 p.m. – 4:50 p.m.

Transition to Plenary Session

4:50 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.

Lightning Round Pitches From Breakouts

Each breakout group has 3 minutes to pitch one idea or action that they can take back to their business. A volunteer panel of judges has 2 minutes to ask questions about the concept.

5:10 p.m. – 5:25 p.m.


Closing Keynote


5:25 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Closing Comments

  • Marc DeCourcey, Executive Director, Corporate Citizenship Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

5:30 p.m.

Networking Reception

Enjoy sustainably made wine and beer sponsored by Brooklyn Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewery. Both breweries will be offering tastings and talking more about sustainability in their operations.