25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021

March 8, 2021 by  
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25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021 Heather Clancy Mon, 03/08/2021 – 02:00 Given the devastating economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women and girls, the imperative to mark International Women’s Day carries more weight than usual this year.  The idea of a day celebrating the accomplishments of the female gender in the U.S. reaches back to 1909. Throughout the subsequent decade, the concept was embraced by countries including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Russia and Switzerland, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the first International Women’s Day was celebrated and adopted by the United Nations. As I began identifying leaders to include on this third annual list, I was inspired by the introduction to ” All We Can Save ,” an essay and poem collection co-edited by marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (who you can find on this year’s list) and Katharine Wilkinson (who we recognized on the first Badass Women list in 2019).   They celebrate a rise in climate leadership distinguished by four important characteristics: it is focused on “making change rather than being in charge”; it is committed to responding in ways “that heal systemic injustices rather than deepening them”; there is “an appreciation for heart-centered, not just head-centered, leadership”; and there is “a recognition that building community is a requisite foundation for building a better world.” By not including women at equal levels — in companies, in government, in NGOs and elsewhere — the climate movement is itself experiencing a crisis, they argue. “As the saying goes, to change everything, we need everyone … We need feminine and feminist climate leadership, which is wide open to people of any gender.” When it comes to those shaping the corporate climate movement — either from within companies or as part of NGOs and policy organizations that recognize the critical role businesses must play in addressing the climate emergency — I’m grateful to say it’s becoming easier to find women with a seat at the decision-making table. This list, selected subjectively, celebrates a diverse, intergenerational set of leaders. Speaking of giving credit where credit is due, nominations are open for the seventh annual Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards, to be conferred by the Women in Sustainability Alumnae Group at a virtual ceremony May 19. Nominees must have at least seven years management and leadership experience, and have made a noteworthy contribution to the cause of corporate climate action. I can think of plenty of worthy candidates, how about you? You’ve got until March 24 to suggest them. And now, I invite you to meet the 2021 class of Badass Women. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand LinkedIn | Twitter New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wasted little time raising the stakes in her nation’s fight against climate change after handily winning re-election in October. Drawing on that mandate, Ardern declared a “climate emergency” and set the wheels in motion for New Zealand’s public sector to become carbon neutral by 2025. “This declaration is an acknowledgment of the next generation,” she told parliament early in December. “An acknowledgment of the burden they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now.”  New Zealand, a nation of about 5 million people, in late January reported progress toward its goal to cut emissions by 30 percent over the next decade compared with 2005 levels — but recognized current measures won’t be enough to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Ardern was praised for her government’s aggressive containment of the COVID-19 pandemic last year — her country reported just 25 deaths. She passed a Zero Carbon Bill during her first term that mandates net-zero emissions by 2050 and campaigned on tougher action this term.  Ardern is being watched closely : Her administration has been criticized for being lenient on reducing biogenic methane from agricultural production — notably dairy cattle and sheep — which accounts for almost half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and roughly 6.6 percent of its GDP . Her idea is to phase in reductions. Farmers could face higher taxes or the elimination of irrigation subsidies as early as 2022 if they don’t act to reduce their impact.  Alyssa Auberger, CSO, Baker McKenzie LinkedIn | Twitter Over the past year, many professional services organizations that previously had little to say publicly about their climate change strategy — from law firms to management consultants to ad agencies — found themselves under closer scrutiny not just for their own footprint but for supporting some of the biggest climate deniers around. Amid that soul searching, one of the largest law partnerships in the world, Baker McKenzie, named its first chief sustainability officer, Alyssa Auberger. A partner in the firm’s Paris office, with more than 20 years’ tenure, Auberger previously led Baker McKenzie’s consumer goods and retail practice. In that role, she was engaged in helping clients develop strategies for supply chain transparency disclosures and claim, emissions reporting and human rights.  “In terms of our partnership with our clients, this means being able to understand what sustainability means to their businesses across all industries and identifying how we can help them with their environment, social and governance needs,” she said. “For our own people, it means a focus on nurturing a business that aligns with and respects our own unique values, cares about communities and gives us all a sense of purpose that goes beyond the billable hour.”  Baker McKenzie established its climate change practice two decades ago, one of the first firms to do so, and it is one of the largest law organizations to belong to the United Nations Global Compact, which it joined in 2015. It uses the Sustainable Development Goals as a guidepost for many of its policies and has aligned its business with eight of them.  Boma Brown-West, Director of Consumer Health, EDF+Business LinkedIn | Twitter A mechanical engineer by training who spent the early part of her career in the private sector at Whirlpool, Boma Brown-West leads the Environmental Defense Fund’s work to eliminate toxic chemicals and other substances with questionable consequences for human health from consumer products and retailer store shelves — everything from paints to makeup to baby food. As part of her role, Brown-West manages the NGO’s Five Pillars for Safer Chemicals Leadership program. She is at the center of the NGO’s working relationship with Walmart , among other retailers and consumer brands, helping it launch in 2017 an expansive strategy to reduce its chemical footprint for consumables by 10 percent by 2022.  Promoted to her current position in October, Brown-West — a prolific EDF author based in Washington, D.C. — last year drew attention to the disproportionate impact that cosmetics and beauty products have on women of color. Her team in August expanded its relationship with beauty retailer Sephora, which has committed to reducing certain high-priority chemicals in the products it sells by 50 percent in the next three years.  One other recent crusade is pushing e-commerce retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart to disclose more about the climate effects and chemical compositions of the millions of products they sell, which EDF supported with a roadmap of suggestions in summer 2020. “We want to call attention to how the biggest environmental impacts and the biggest health impact of products is really due to the products themselves and the creation and the use of a product,” Brown-West noted at the time. Martina Cheung, President, S&P Global Market Intelligence; Head of ESG, S&P Global LinkedIn | Twitter When it comes to market intelligence, S&P Global — the New York-based parent company to Dow Jones, Trucost and soon-to-be IHS Markit — is a familiar, respected name in boardrooms. Martina Cheung is the executive driving the growth strategy across S&P’s portfolio of ESG ratings, benchmarks and data products. After a career as a consultant, Cheung joined S&P in 2010 and has led diverse strategic initiatives and titles including vice president of operations, chief strategy officer and head of risk services. Drawing on that perspective, she encourages sustainability leaders to spend more time with their counterparts in finance. As she observed during GreenBiz 21 in February: “I think the partnership with the CFO is incredibly important, the partnership with investor relations because sustainability goes to the heart of performance.”  A new parent, Cheung has been outspoken about the need for more flexibility and support for women who choose to juggle careers and family responsibilities, a message she has amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, one of the “S” factors in ESG.  “As employees work from home, children and family members have become regular fixtures in the background of online meetings,” she wrote in an editorial for NBC. “Their increased visibility can lead to better communication about the burden of family care, more expansive family-leave policies and reduced stigma around taking such leave.” Debra Haaland, Congresswoman; Secretary Nominee, Department of the Interior Twitter As of this writing, New Mexico Congresswoman Debra Haaland has yet to be formally confirmed as Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior, but she already has a long history of championing climate-related causes. Raised in a military family, Haaland identifies as a 35th generation New Mexican and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna. Before entering public service, she oversaw the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in the state, where she focused on the creation of earth-friendly business practices. There are many “firsts” on her resume: the first Native woman to lead a state party, the first to serve in Congress and, if successfully confirmed, the first Native person to hold a U.S. Cabinet position. Those critical of her appointment point to Haaland’s support of the Standing Rock pipeline protests as extreme — she brought food to the tribes camped out to protect their territories’ natural resources and heritage. “When we’re thinking about our environment, you can destroy faster than you can rebuild,” she said at the time. “You can cut down a 500-year-old tree. That tree is never going to grow back like that again. Climate change is real, and I’m going to fight to the bitter end to protect our environment because it’s the only one we have and our environment gives us everything.”  Last year, Haaland led a coalition that proposed the 30 By 30 Resolution to Save Nature, aimed at creating a strategy for the U.S. to preserve at least 30 percent of the ocean and land by 2030. President Joe Biden announced his support for that philosophy just one week after taking office in January. Celine Herweijer, Partner, Global Innovation and Sustainability Leader, PwC LinkedIn | Twitter The newly anointed group sustainability chief for one of Europe’s largest banks, HSBC — a role she will assume in July — London-based Celine Herweijer is a familiar feature in the continent’s corporate climate movement. In her current position as innovation and sustainability leader for consulting firm PwC, Herweijer has advised some of the world’s largest financial services organizations and asset management companies on climate risk strategy and sustainable finance initiatives. She has served on numerous committees for the World Economic Forum and the United Nations, among other groups, and is co-chair of the We Mean Business Coalition. Like many other banks, HSBC has pledged to step away from its funding of fossil-fuels interests and other high-carbon industrial activities with a pledge to achieving net-zero financed emissions across its customer portfolio by 2050. (It aims to reach net-zero for its own operations and supply chain by 2030.) Skeptics have criticized its commitment for not going far enough.  Still, the company is stepping out as an innovator in sustainable finance — it was the first buyer into a new reef credits system in Australia , and Herweijer’s innovation lens and ongoing research into risks associated with nature and biodiversity loss no doubt helped land her new job.  “The cascading physical, regulatory and legal, market and reputation risks we see mean nature risk now needs to be a mainstream issue for corporate enterprise risk management,” Weijer said last year . “We have an opportunity to extend the recent response of regulators, businesses and investors on climate change to nature; both are interrelated and both pose a systemic risk to the global economy.” Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President, Ariel Investments LinkedIn | Twitter Mellody Hobson joined Chicago-based Ariel Investments, one of the largest African American-owned mutual funds in the United States with more than $15 billion in assets under management, as an intern. Today, she is co-CEO, responsible for strategy and planning. Ariel’s focus is on nurturing small and midsize capitalization stocks, and in mid-February, the firm announced a bold new initiative — Ariel Alternatives , aka “Project Black.” The goal is to invest in businesses owned by Black or Latinx entrepreneurs, as well as middle-market companies that are not minority-owned, with the goal of helping them change their ownership model. Its partner is JPMorgan Chase, which has committed to co-investing $200 million. One of Hobson’s convictions is that American’s must be “color brave,” a phrase she coined in her 2014 TED Talk . She commented in a February interview : “I’m going to always take the hopeful route here and say we have become more brave, but we have to be much braver than we are.” In “Civil Rights 3.0” corporations need to step up much more proactively, Hobson observed. We’ve had plenty of talk, and now we need elbow grease and accountability, she said.     An active outside director, Hobson chaired DreamWorks Animation up until its sale to NBCUniversal, and in March became chairperson of Starbucks. In October, her alma mater announced plans for a new residential college. The new facility, Hobson, the first to be named for a Black woman at Princeton, will appropriately be built on the former site of a building previously named for Woodrow Wilson, whose name was removed in June because of his racist views and policies. Kara Hurst, Vice President, Head of Worldwide Sustainability, Amazon LinkedIn | Twitter Now in her seventh year with Amazon, Kara Hurst — the company’s first sustainability executive via previous gigs with The Sustainability Consortium and BSR — leads the team that helped orchestrate many ambitious commitments that the giant company has made in the past two years. She was instrumental in designing Amazon’s signature program, The Climate Pledge, launched with Global Optimism in September 2019, which includes a commitment to earn net-zero carbon status by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement timeline. As of Feb. 17, there were 53 signatories representing 18 industries.  “The Climate Pledge is a call to urgent action,” Hurst said in a February interview . “I think one of the things that also distinguishes the pledge is a commitment to sending these market signals, the demand for the products and services that companies need to help us decarbonize.”  For Seattle-based Amazon, that includes a plan to invest $2 billion in climate tech and decarbonization services; a $100 million fund to support reforestation and urban greening projects; the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles for the company’s delivery fleet; and the creation of the Climate Pledge Friendly labeling program, which makes is easier to research the sustainability attributes of products. Hurst’s causes outside Amazon include board positions with Stolen Youth, an organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking; as well as with the roundtable for sustainability that’s part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Ellen Jackowski, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP Inc.  LinkedIn | Twitter For HP Inc., sustainability strategy isn’t just a source of operational or ESG differentiation, it’s a revenue driver  — $1 billion in customer contracts for the past two fiscal years. Ellen Jackowski is the Palo Alto, California, company’s long-time sustainability innovation champion, who ascended to her current position in June. Jackowski was at the center of HP’s ongoing project in Haiti to collect ocean-bound plastic waste and incorporate the material into the company’s printer cartridges and, as of May, into some of its personal computers. So far, that effort has diverted 1.7 million pounds of plastic, or 60 million bottles. Like many consumer products companies, the HP sustainability team is also focused on reducing the impact of its packaging — its goal is to eliminate 75 percent of single-use plastics by 2025.  She also leads the company’s work on fighting deforestation, through efforts such as a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to restore and manage up to 20,000 acres in Brazil’s endangered Atlantic Forest, or through the HP Sustainable Forests Collaborative, which includes Chenming Paper, Domtar Paper and New Leap Paper.  One of Jackowski’s latest initiatives is a program, HP Amplify Impact, that calls upon HP’s expansive partner network — including the companies that resell its computers — to set sustainability goals. “Our team is not just tracking how partners select their suppliers — we’re measuring the carbon reductions across the value chain,” she wrote in February. “We’re also tracking the overall impact on people and on communities, collectively with our partners. That’s where we will find real inspiration and momentum.” Image by Landon Speers Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Co-founder, Urban Ocean Lab and Ocean Collectiv, All We Can Save LinkedIn | Twitter Marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson has lived at the intersection of practical environmental conservation strategy and social justice for years, through her consulting work with Ocean Collectiv, dedicated to addressing issues such as overfishing and habitat destruction. Her research on the role coastal communities can play in climate solutions — including policy work on offshore wind development and the Blue New Deal — is supported by her second venture, Urban Ocean Lab. Last year, the New York-based scientist tapped into her experience and her friendship with climate solutions expert and author Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown to co-launch a project dedicated to amplifying the work of women in the climate movement — scientists, policymakers, activists and, notably, BIPOC. All We Can Save , the book they birthed in September, features 41 powerful voices. Johnson and Wilkinson have spun the dialogue into a nonprofit focused on supporting — financially, intellectually and otherwise — female climate leaders.  Johnson’s own voice has become far more familiar. In November, she began co-hosting a Gimlet Media podcast, ” How to Save a Planet .” Her passionate call for the climate movement to confront racism was prominently published in the Washington Post in June. “To the white people who care about maintaining a habitable planet, I need you to become actively anti-racist,” she wrote . “I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis. If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither.”  Rose Stuckey Kirk, Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon LinkedIn | Twitter Rose Stuckey Kirk, who spent much of her career as a journalist, has been more visible than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of her attention over the past year has been surfacing ways for Verizon to help support struggling small businesses.  Two notable efforts include a $1 million grant for the We Mean Business coalition, aimed at helping up to 1 million small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) with carbon footprinting tools; and its $10 million commitment in February aimed at supporting SMEs in historically underserved communities. Both fall under Citizen Verizon , the Basking Ridge, New Jersey, teleco’s initiative for economic, environmental and social advancement. The pandemic didn’t stop Verizon from advancing its sustainability strategy significantly over the past 12 months, with a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2035 and the pricing of a second $1 billion green bond meant to support the construction of renewable energy resources for its telecommunications networks. Raised in Arkansas with seven siblings, Kirk serves on the board of numerous organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Leadership Council and the C-200 women’s leadership initiative. She was executive producer of the 2017 documentary “Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America.”  “Whether in education, nonprofit, business, media, policy or another industry, the individuals who have influenced me the most are the innovators — the leaders and change-makers who are pulsing the world forward,” Kirk said in a 2017 Forbes interview . “Those who don’t just talk — who act.” Jill Kolling, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Cargill LinkedIn | Twitter Jill Kolling, a former entrepreneur and management consultant who hails from Minneapolis, joined the agricultural giant in 2015. Over the past six years, she has been at the center of the strategy to build a global sustainable team focused on climate science, water and sustainable agriculture practices.  As one of the largest private companies in the U.S. — and a huge buyer of commodities such as soybeans, which have been linked to deforestation — Cargill’s work on climate action is highly scrutinized, and Kolling’s team has been pushed to set ambitious, transparent commitments. Among the initiatives that have emerged under Kolling’s leadership include the company’s science-based climate commitments, which include a target to reduce operational GHG emissions by 10 percent by 2025 and those from the Cargill supply chain by 30 percent per ton of product by 2030.  Her team also last year set context-based water targets that aim to restore 158 billion gallons of water and reduce about 5,500 tons of water pollutants in priority watersheds. And like many agricultural companies, Cargill is investing in regenerative agriculture, with the goal of advancing practices such as planting cover crops or rotational grazing on 10 million acres.  “I think farmers are starting to realize that it’s ultimately the consumer who’s starting to care more and more about this,” Kolling told GreenBiz last summer. “Over the coming years, those pressures and those desires from consumers to want to know more about how their food was produced and having greater expectations, we believe it’s going to grow and will continue to trickle back to the farmer.” Yuko Koshiishi, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, Suntory LinkedIn | Twitter With more than $21 billion in revenue as of 2019, Japan’s Suntory is parent to well-known water, tea, soft drink and spirits brands, including American bourbons Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. Company veteran Yuko Koshiishi , who has held multiple communications and business development assignments over the past two decades, is the woman behind its sustainability strategy . The hallmarks of Suntory’s climate action plan include a high-level commitment to eliminate “petrol-based materials” from its PET bottles by 2030, a pledge it is supporting with a mechanical recycling process called Flake-to-Preform ; it’s also developing chemical recycling approaches. To address and decrease its heavy dependence on water , Suntory created a concept back in 2003 called Natural Water Sanctuary, which it uses to protect the watersheds near its production facilities in places such as Japan, India, Mexico, the United States and Spain. The goal: to cultivate more water — and habitat in those watersheds — than it uses in its plants by 2050. “Water is a very localized issue, which means we need a tailored approach for each site,” Koshiishi said late last year. Suntory also has embedded sustainability considerations into its procurement policies: All new suppliers are screened on criteria including environmental considerations such as emissions, as well as broader factors such as ethics, security and human rights.  “We have maintained the momentum behind our sustainability strategy during the pandemic,” Koshiishi said in October . “This includes working closely with our supply chain to make sure that we are promoting sustainability in the sourcing of raw materials, transportation and production processes.” Ellen MacArthur, Founder and Chair, Ellen MacArthur Foundation LinkedIn | Twitter It’s the rare corporate sustainability professional who doesn’t recognize the name Dame Ellen MacArthur. The British sailor-turned-circular economy strategist’s eponymous foundation has been instrumental in getting some of the world’s best-known, biggest brands to commit to moving away from linear models of economy production to processes that prioritize the recirculation and regeneration of materials and products. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) was created in 2010 to inspire next-generation business leaders to rethink and redesign their approaches. The idea was born during MacArthur’s three-year-long “journey of discovery” around the world from 2006 to 2009.  “If we create a circular economy, if we use things rather than using things up, then why can’t we build a future that works,” MacArthur said at the EMF launch .    Since that time, EMF, based in Cowes, U.K., has orchestrated collaborative initiatives targeting everything from plastics to food waste and bringing together large companies, NGOs and policymakers. In 2018, it raised the stakes further, joining the World Economic Forum, World Resources Institute, the United Nations Environment Program and several dozen other organizations to create the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy. And last summer, it convinced 50 CEOs in food, fashion, finance and plastics — including the leaders of Danone, H&M, L’Oreal, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever — to commit to making circular principles a fundamental part of their post-COVID economic recovery plans. Essentially, to push reset.  “This is something that’s moved phenomenally quickly in the last five years, and I think that’s because it has to,” MacArthur said during a presentation at Circularity 20. “The brands know it has to.” Roma McCaig, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Campbell Soup LinkedIn | Twitter With much of her early career focused on operational efficiency, change initiatives and stakeholder engagement, Roma McCaig brings a relatively unique point of view to her work on ESG strategy for food company Campbell Soup. She’s been influencing the Camden, New Jersey, company’s sustainability strategy for the past three years, first as head of responsible sourcing in the procurement function and for just under two years in her current role. Under McCaig’s leadership, Campbell is working to improve its transparency about progress — it hasn’t reached its renewable goal, for example, and that work continues. The company also identified 14 areas of ESG focus ranging from climate to human rights to board diversity — issues that are material to its business in the future. And it’s committed to reporting against those risks.    Among the new commitments McCaig has cultivated over the 12 months include a pledge to halve food waste and loss by 2030 as part of the 10x20x30 initiative ; a vision to transition 100 percent of its packaging to recyclable or industrial compostable materials by the same time frame; and a push to set science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the company’s supply chain. As part of its COVID-19 response, it donated more than $8 million in cash and food to organizations across North America.  “During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we continue to build a sustainable and resilient supply chain, while giving back to the communities that we call home,” McCaig told a consumer goods trade publication in May. Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business LinkedIn | Twitter With more than two decades of experience in policy and sustainable development, energy economics expert Maria Mendiluce brings both private and public perspectives to her relatively new role as CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, with positions with the Spanish prime minister’s economic team and Iberdrola’s CEO office among her career highlights. The initiative, which focuses on coordinating corporate climate action, is a collaboration among BSR, B-team, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, The Climate Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It’s Mendiluce’s mission to orchestrate coordinated responses on key issues, including amplifying the voices of businesses that want national governments to deliver zero-carbon economic stimulus packages as part of the response to COVID-19. “Governments need to take confidence from the growing call from businesses for policies that will boost the economy and get us on track to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030,” she said in May. “By doing so, they will enable companies to invest now and innovate at the scale and pace that is necessary to build back better and create the future we all want.” A champion of women’s leadership in sustainability, prior to joining the coalition Mendiluce was with WBCSD. There she played a pivotal role in establishing the Alliance to End Plastic Waste; the Transforming Urban Mobility Project; and the Low Carbon Technology Initiative. Mendiluce also serves on the boards for organizations including the Science Based Targets initiative and the Energy Transition Commission. Rebekah Moses, Head of Impact Strategy, Impossible Foods LinkedIn | Twitter Just five years ago, Impossible Foods launched its plant-based (aka “fake meat”) burgers in a handful of specialty restaurants. Today, while the category it represents is still tiny — just 1 percent of the meat market — the company’s consumer brand recognition and its presence in mainstream supermarkets have grown by leaps and bounds. One of its first hires was Rebekah Moses, an agricultural and international development scientist who previously worked on numerous field projects domestically and in the Middle East. She’s head of impact strategy for the San Francisco-based company, valued at $4 billion in August. It’s her job to calculate the potential environmental outcomes associated with eating an Impossible Foods product versus the ones associated with meat cultivated from farmed animals. That’s not necessarily to “demonize behavior” but to raise awareness of habitat loss and other side effects of eating animal meat, and to keep that philosophy central within the company’s innovation process. While the health and agricultural impacts of the Impossible Burger have been criticized — after all, one of the main ingredients, soy, is closely linked with deforestation — Moses says it requires less land and water to produce, and the production process emits fewer GHG emissions than raising animals for meat.  Cultivating a variety of plant protein sources will be crucial for the future of food systems, Moses said in a recent interview . She noted: “One of the really interesting questions for our industry is how do you actually biodiversify your protein and fat ingredient streams so that you support agricultural diversity within the system itself?”  Sunita Narain, Director General, Center for Science and the Environment LinkedIn | Twitter Indian environmental researcher Sunita Narain has been associated with the country’s Center for Science and Environment for close to 30 years, starting as an assistant and assuming the director general role in 2011. She’s also a prolific writer and the editor of a fortnightly magazine on politics and environment, Down to Earth , published in New Delhi. Narain’s work and recommendations have directly informed India’s policies including around air pollution, with a focus on how to learn from strategies used by the Western world and leapfrog them. One example is the adoption of buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) in India’s capital city.  Water is one of the issues about which Narain is most passionate; one of India’s largest rural economic development programs focuses on the ecological restoration of more than 1 million bodies of water. She has been recognized for her research on rainwater harvesting and local water management policies, and co-authored two books on the topic: “Dying Wisdom” and “Making Water Everybody’s Business.”  In November, Narain was recognized with the Edinburgh Medal, rewarded annually to scientists who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing of humankind. “We need cooperation, we need equity, and we need climate justice,” Narain said in her acceptance speech, pointing to the disproportionate burden that the world’s poor carry when it comes to the effects of climate change. Malin Nordin, Head of Circular Development, Inter IKEA Group LinkedIn | Twitter Sweden’s IKEA is at the leading edge of circular economy principles among retailers, through initiatives such as the furniture buyback program it tested last year on Black Friday in countries including Australia, Canada and Russia. The idea — to resell what’s still usable and recycle what’s not — was spearheaded by the team led by IKEA’s head of circular development, Malin Nordin. A chemical scientist by background, Nordin said the company’s vision to be 100 percent circular by 2030 starts with the design process. Through research in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, it has identified 32 priority materials in woods, plastics, papers, metals and textiles that have the most potential to stand up in a circular model, Nordin has noted .  “One aim of circular design is to develop products that can be useful throughout the changing lives of our customers,” she said, pointing to examples such as baby cots that can be transformed into toddler beds or modular storage systems.  One principle central to Nordin’s mission is upholding the company’s vision of creating products that are affordable, a principle it calls “democratic design.” “When you add the idea of circular design to the idea around democratic design, it makes the problem even better, even more valuable,” she said in a November interview with EMF. Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All; Co-Chair, UN-Energy LinkedIn | Twitter After years of focusing on energy access in Nigeria — where she was the first female managing director of the country’s rural electrification agency — Damilola Ogunbiyi stepped into her current position in early 2020. She’s also a commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty . As CEO of Sustainable Energy for All in Vienna, Ogunbiyi is responsible for promoting the development of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy not just in Africa but globally by 2030, the mandate set out by U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 7. She has extensive experience in shaping policy to that end. In Nigeria, Ogunbiyi was instrumental in supporting the construction of solar mini-grids and home systems across the country, where her work was particularly focused on energizing universities and healthcare facilities. At Sustainable Energy for All, she’s prioritizing the “smart use of data, next partnerships and scaled involvement of the private sector.” Two core programs: the electrification of healthcare facilities and a focus on clean cooling, for which the organization estimates that more than 2.2 billion people globally lack access to clean, efficient options.  “To truly deliver the vision of SDG7 and universal energy access in a sustainable way, decentralized solutions must be our focus to reach the most vulnerable and remote populations,” Ogunbiyi said in a July 2020 interview. “We also need to build a bigger market for clean cooking fuels, so women don’t have to use dirty fuels to cook dinner for their family.” Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact LinkedIn | Twitter Sanda Ojiambo has made a career out of cultivating effective partnerships between businesses and civil society.  Before she ascended to the CEO and executive director positions at the United Nations Global Compact last summer, she was head of sustainable business and social impact for Safaricom, the largest telecommunications service provider in Kenya. There, she managed multiple relationships between Safaricom and U.N. organizations.  During her initial months at the UN Global Compact, which now includes more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 other signatories, Ojiambo has urged business leaders to confront the issues of racial injustice that have surfaced more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic and to do their “due diligence” when it comes to establishing and enforcing human rights throughout their entire value chain.  One initiative designed to speed the response is the new SDG Ambition Accelerator, a six-month-long executive training program meant to help leaders more holistically incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals into business strategy — no matter their industry. “There has to be an ‘all of’ sector, a multi-sectoral approach to driving this [social] change,” Ojiambo said during a GreenBiz 21 keynote interview . “Each time I’m in a different sector, there’s different views, different challenges and certainly different opportunities.” Raised in Nairobi, Ojiambo earned international development and public policy degrees in the U.S. and Canada. She worked in Somalia before her Safaricom career, shaping programs for CARE International and the U.N. Development Program focused on issues including education, safe motherhood, environmental conservation and dismantling land mines. Maria Outters, Group Senior Vice President, Sustainability/Corporate Responsibility, Sodexo LinkedIn | Twitter Born in Africa and fluent in four languages, Maria Outters joined French food services company Sodexo 12 years ago and held positions in human resources, marketing and group strategic planning before becoming its sustainability and CSR lead in January 2020. She’s also part of the investment committee for Sodexo Ventures. It was an eventful year for many reasons, but Outters’ team used the economic, social and health crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to “reaffirm” its sustainability commitments, including a commitment to reducing food waste by 50 percent at more than 1,500 sites. The program will continue as sites reopen: As of June, the company had saved the equivalent of 4.8 million meals. Sodexo is also prioritizing the adoption of alternatives to single-use plastics and a plan to raise the mix of plant-based foods on its menus to more than 30 percent globally. The company renewed a longstanding relationship with WWF centered, in part, on responsible sourcing of land commodities and seafood. “Underlying economic and social challenges ahead will magnify the need for economic models built on sustainable consumption patterns and solutions preserving natural resources,” Otters said in June . “These priority actions in the current environment are part of our pragmatic approach to work with our clients, suppliers and employees to bring back confidence and seize the window of opportunity to make the recovery a turning point when it comes to sustainability.” Katrina Shum, Sustainability Officer, North America, Lush Cosmetics LinkedIn | Twitter Katrina Shum is challenging the personal care industry to get naked.  As North American sustainability manager for 25-year-old U.K. company Lush Cosmetics, she leads a program working to doff single-use, plastic packaging across five manufacturing facilities, two distribution centers and 250 retail shops. Lush’s approach: Create solid versions of its products — from shampoo to toothpaste and more — that reach back to its roots more than 20 years ago, when the company’s founders “packaged” their soap in old pipes and other discarded containers. Its strategy is unique for an industry that creates an estimated 120 billion package a year, many of them impossible to recycle, if consumers remember to even try. Lush’s approach also conserves water. Plus, why not devote the millions if not billions of dollars consumer brands spend on packaging into true product innovation, Shum asked in an essay last year . What about labels with instructions and ingredients? “Leveraging technology, we have developed the Lush Lens App, which allows customers to use their phones to scan products and get the typical information they would find on a physical label, along with engaging and interactive content about the ingredients and stories behind them,” Shum wrote. For products that still require plastic or paper packaging, Lush has been sourcing post-consumer recycled content for more than a decade. The reverse logistics haven’t been easy, but Lush’s vertically integrated production model has helped, she wrote. One of Shum’s “pet peeves” is food waste, she revealed in an October interview, and she keeps close tabs on her habits at home in the Vancouver area. The focus isn’t surprising: Prior to Lush, Shum worked on a sustainability strategy for food service giant Aramark. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri LinkedIn | Twitter Much of the ocean’s potential role in reversing climate change is unfathomable, literally — with just one-fifth of the its floor cataloged in maps. Dawn Wright, the first Black American woman to deep-sea dive in an Alvin submersible, is leading geographic information systems (GIS) company Esri’s quest to map the rest by 2030. “How can we take care of this planet, how can we understand this planet, how can we protect it if we don’t know the totality of it?” Wright said in a 2019 interview . “We have better maps of the moon, better maps of Venus and even Mars than we have of the oceans of the Earth, because the Earth is an ocean planet.” As chief scientist for the software company, Wright spearheads Esri’s work in the scientific and research communities, where she champions the use of GIS imagery and data in applications ranging from flood risk planning to fighting deforestation. The company’s partnership network is expansive: last year, it teamed with Microsoft on its ” Planetary Computer” initiative, aimed at helping protect biodiversity. A marine geologist and oceanographer by training, Wright was a full professor at Oregon State University for more than 25 years (she’s still on the faculty there) before joining Esri in 2011. Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Cisco LinkedIn | Twitter One of Cisco’s earliest employees — she joined more than 30 years ago before the technology company went public — Tae Yoo has placed the concept of inclusion at the center of its CSR and sustainability initiatives with a goal to “positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.” She has also helped elevate this strategy to the company’s board of directors.  Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic in the San Jose, California, company’s 2020 CSR report, Yoo noted: “To avoid reinforcing prior inequities and vulnerabilities, it is critical that we apply significant effort on rebuilding … Living our purpose means continuing to get everyone involved, and that’s exactly what we intend to do.” For Cisco, making an impact takes many forms, such as the Cisco Networking Academy, a program Yoo established in 1997 that has helped more than 2.7 million people find jobs since 2005. She also leads Cisco’s work on other educational programs, such as the 21st Century Schools Initiative. The networking hardware giant first set a GHG reduction target in 2006, and as of its 2020 fiscal year, it had cut Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 55 percent, just shy of its upcoming goal in FY 2022. Elsewhere, Yoo’s experience as the co-founder of Cisco’s business development organization has doubtless helped inform her strategy about tough strategic decisions. One of her team’s top priorities is embracing circular economy business models (it’s an EMF founding partner), which calls for all of its new products to incorporate core principles such as reusability, recyclability and repairability by 2025. This, too, will require collaboration with the company’s expansive network of technology and service partners.  Topics Careers Leadership Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz Group Close Authorship

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25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021

Tourists could spread COVID-19 to gorillas in East Africa

February 18, 2021 by  
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A study by researchers at Oxford Brookes University shows that tourists may be spreading COVID-19 to gorillas in the wild. The study was carried out through an analysis of about 1,000 photos from Instagram posts. The researchers noted that tourists were taking photos too close to gorillas, a situation that may lead to disease transmission. Most of the photos analyzed were from people visiting mountain gorillas in East Africa. “The risk of disease transmission between visitors and gorillas is very concerning,” said Gaspard Van Hamme, lead author and Oxford Brookes University Primate Conservation alumnus. “It is vital that we strengthen and enforce tour regulations to ensure gorilla trekking practices do not further threaten these already imperiled great apes.” Related: 2 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID-19 The researchers’ concerns draw from the fact that apes have been infected by the virus from humans before. In January, gorillas at the San Diego Zoo were infected with the virus, which was passed on from their caretakers. Magdalena Svensson, biology lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, noted that most tourists do not wear masks when interacting with the animals . “In the photos we analyzed, we found that face masks were rarely worn by tourists visiting gorillas, and that brings the potential for disease transmission between people and the gorillas they visit,” Svensson said. “With people all over the world getting more used to wearing face masks we have hope that in the future wearing face masks will become common practice in gorilla trekking.” Mountain gorillas are native to East Africa, with the largest population in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Their population had been on a downward trend due to hunting and other human activities. In recent years, legislation and strict policies have seen the numbers start to climb. Today, there are 1,063 gorillas in the region that must be protected. According to Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka of Conservation Through Public Health, Uganda, the new study shows the need for responsibility from tourists. “This research provides a valuable perspective on how much tourists are willing to share their too-close encounters with mountain gorillas through Instagram, which creates expectations for future tourists,” Dr. Kalema-Zikusoka said. “It highlights a great need for responsible tourism to provide adequate protection while minimizing disease transmission, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.” + People and Nature Via Oxford Brookes University Image via Thomas Fuhrmann

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Tourists could spread COVID-19 to gorillas in East Africa

Earth911 Reader: The End of King Coal, Green Fuels From Plants and Carbon Capture Progress

February 6, 2021 by  
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The Earth911 Reader collects and comments on useful news about … The post Earth911 Reader: The End of King Coal, Green Fuels From Plants and Carbon Capture Progress appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: The End of King Coal, Green Fuels From Plants and Carbon Capture Progress

Boosting the Immune System During COVID-19 and Beyond

January 11, 2021 by  
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The coronavirus has spread throughout the United States, and health … The post Boosting the Immune System During COVID-19 and Beyond appeared first on Earth 911.

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Boosting the Immune System During COVID-19 and Beyond

Infographic: Plastic Pandemic in the Age of COVID-19

December 11, 2020 by  
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Recycling efforts have taken a backseat during the pandemic. Efforts … The post Infographic: Plastic Pandemic in the Age of COVID-19 appeared first on Earth 911.

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Will shifting to smaller turkeys help combat food waste?

November 25, 2020 by  
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Will shifting to smaller turkeys help combat food waste? Jesse Klein Wed, 11/25/2020 – 05:00 Thanksgiving looks different this year in America. Grandpas and grandmas, uncles and aunts, and cousins of all numbers probably aren’t gathering together for dinner, unless it’s over Zoom. That reality is creating challenges for producers and suppliers — and new implications for holiday food waste. Holidays — and Thanksgiving, in particular — are huge food waste days. During a typical year, American families throw away 200 million pounds of turkey on Thanksgiving. And anothe r 200 million pound s of sides will also wind up in the garbage can. But with the coronavirus contracting many people’s Thanksgiving dinners to just their immediate households this year, those numbers are likely to be dramatically different for 2020. Just as food producers shifted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate the decrease in demand from restaurants, some are pivoting this fall again to provide smaller turkeys for smaller Thanksgiving dinners. Heifer USA , part of Heifer International, a nonprofit that works with small farms, helped farmers change tactics to produce these smaller turkeys. Heifer USA sells through the e-commerce organization Grass Roots Coop directly to consumers.  “Because of the short value chain, we could to pivot very quickly,” said Donna Kilpatrick, the ranch manager and land steward of Heifer USA. “There’s much more agility as a short value chain.” Because of the short value chain, we could to pivot very quickly. According to Kilpatrick, big supermarket chains order their turkeys almost a year in advance, so it’s hard to adjust to shifting demand. Grass Roots was able to get feedback directly from its customers and communicate their changing preferences this year to poultry farmers. Poultry farmers, in turn, sent their turkeys to be processed a few weeks earlier than usual to give cooks smaller and lighter-weight options. According to Grass Roots, the extra-large turkeys were the last to sell out this year, and it made the decision to cut up a higher percentage (compared to last year) of the larger turkeys into breasts and legs because it expected customers to have smaller gatherings. “If it threw anyone off track it would be in our processing facility that is booked and has to quickly change dates,” Kilpatrick said. “Now that can be difficult. I would say they bore the brunt of having to make some shifts.”  Grass Roots sold 3,000 turkeys this year, but also saw an uptick in turkey products including legs, breast and ground meat, signaling that some consumers maybe aren’t cooking an entire bird for just a few people but looking for alternatives to get their turkey fix. This year, Grass Roots reported that it saw a 219 percent lift in ground turkey sales and a 440 percent lift in turkey breast sales. Selling smaller turkeys, especially this year, will hopefully cut back on those millions of pounds of food waste and put consumers on a path to a less wasteful Christmas and 2021 Thanksgiving, even when the COVID pandemic is hopefully behind us Pull Quote Because of the short value chain, we could to pivot very quickly. Topics Food & Agriculture Food Waste Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Turkey sales are shifting to smaller birds this year and could help decrease Thanksgiving food waste.//Courtesy of Unsplash

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Will shifting to smaller turkeys help combat food waste?

Another Reason to Recycle Cartons — and Other Materials

October 13, 2020 by  
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Another Reason to Recycle Cartons — and Other Materials

The COVID Covenant: Going big is the price of admission

September 21, 2020 by  
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The COVID Covenant: Going big is the price of admission Gil Friend Mon, 09/21/2020 – 01:00 The world (well, most of it) attacked COVID-19 as if it were a true global emergency: with extraordinary speed, scale and scope. With real collaboration and a healthy dose of courage, some gutsy decisions were made both in government and business. Getting billions of people to don masks, allocating trillions of dollars and putting massive human safety nets in place around the globe in record time is no task for the faint of heart. Yet we haven’t responded to other planetary catastrophes with the same speed, scale, scope and coordination. This year’s Climate Week commitments notwithstanding, we haven’t shown the same guts and drive on climate as on COVID. But what if we did? That is the challenge posed by the COVID Covenant. Take climate change — in the grand scheme, a far greater and decidedly more existential emergency than the current pandemic. While some targets have been set, some progress made and some portion of the public enrolled, the world has not become galvanized to meet it. This is a threat we know will affect billions of people and displace hundreds of millions more through sea-level rise, desertification and other disastrous impacts by the time our children are grown. The stakes are high. There is no room here for laggards. We need to shift the whole game, raise the level of ambition, move that needle. We could talk about why we haven’t acted, but the real question is about what we will do going forward: How will we provoke the world into attacking carbon as it has the virus? And climate is not the only major threat we face. The social infrastructure that has left many millions without access to healthcare in the middle of a major pandemic certainly threatens global stability. Inequality and injustice are worldwide disasters as well. These are all global issues that underpin all of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and they are all soluble. Yet our planetary response to them has been tepid at best. Going big The COVID Covenant was created to kick the world into overdrive, to accept no less than the huge, unprecedented commitments required to deal with these issues, to make what seemed impossible, possible. In short: to go big. Developed by a cadre of sustainable business veterans, the COVID Covenant represents an all-in community of influential business leaders, municipal leaders and individuals who — after a long, deep breath — have committed to doing far more, far faster than they ever believed they could, and to turn on the sirens and the flashing lights for others while they’re doing it. Each has committed to the COVID Covenant. They have declared they are going big. That’s the price of admission. The COVID Covenant I solemnly commit to do what is necessary, at the speed, scale and scope that is necessary, to ensure we don’t go back to a broken system — an overheating, divided, unequal world — and build a resilient, equitable, healthy world in its place. Before the ink is dry on this Covenant, I will begin creating economic, social and governmental change at speed, scale and scope. I will practice, and advocate for, unprecedented levels of collaboration and I will mobile mobilize my organization(s), city, company and others in my circle of influence to do the same. We know what a real emergency response looks like now, what it feels like — the immediacy and urgency of it. And still, when this pandemic eventually ends, will most organizations return to their pre-coronavirus goals, such as to reduce emissions by 20 percent in five years, say, or to be carbon neutral by 2050? Will they continue with health care and wages as usual? Or will they go big, to get it done now?Demand and lobby hard to ensure everyone has health care, and for a far more equitable wage structure? Will they catalyze others to do the same? If, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says, we have a maximum of eight years of carbon left in our 1.5 degree Celsius carbon budget, then a goal of neutrality 30 or 40 years from now no longer looks like leadership. Like heroism. Like going big. Instead, it looks like thinking small. If — or more likely, when — the next pandemic hits, or Florida is underwater, or California is burning, or whatever the next disruption is — can we afford to have millions of people in food lines within a few days of a shutdown, or for millions to lose their jobs or not be able to access health care? The stakes are high. There is no room here for laggards. We need to shift the whole game, raise the level of ambition, move that needle. If the COVID Covenant can get those who are crawling toward progress to walk instead, if it can get the walkers to start jogging and the joggers to sprint, then we have a chance. (Those already sprinting? Time to turn on the jets — let’s see commitments that make Microsoft’s aim to remove all the carbon it has ever generated look like last year’s news.) The world has progressed — a bit — on climate. A few short years ago, climate targets were not science-based, and carbon-neutral commitments were rare. Most corporations were not reporting to GRI or SASB or thinking about TCFD. Now, thousands of companies are reporting, hundreds have set science-based targets and many corporations and communities already have committed to neutrality — though, as we’ve noted, their goals are too modest and too slow. The goalposts have moved, but nowhere near fast or far enough. Further, faster The message of the COVID Covenant is, “It’s great you say you’ll do this cool thing in 20 or 30 years, but that’s not soon enough. What if you treated it like the emergency it is and committed to getting the job done fast? What would it take for you to do it in 10 years? Five years? Three?” The COVID Covenant is seeding a community of collaborating competitors, of peers, experts and cheerleaders, sharing best practices, modeling what going big looks like and how to get there, offering feedback and advice, and trumpeting its work to the world. What this community does and becomes is up to those who commit to it — we’re confident that a group of people and companies whose uniting purpose is to go big will do more than just commit. The community might generate new business relationships among its members, new research or new public-private partnerships. However the collaboration evolves, it will be a vehicle for greater change and impact — picking up the gauntlet thrown down by the coronavirus, climate change and widening social inequity.  Those who’ve committed to the COVID Covenant include Andrew Winston, Hunter Lovins, John Izzo, Gil Friend, Daniel Aronson, Catherine Greener, Daniel Kreeger, Amy Larkin, P.J. Simmons and Phil Clawson.  Read more and make your own commitment here . Pull Quote The stakes are high. There is no room here for laggards. We need to shift the whole game, raise the level of ambition, move that needle. Contributors Daniel Aronson Topics Climate Change Leadership COVID-19 COVID-19 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Where are they now? Catch up with 30 Under 30 alumni

June 29, 2020 by  
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Where are they now? Catch up with 30 Under 30 alumni Heather Clancy Mon, 06/29/2020 – 02:30 June 22 marked the publication of the fifth annual GreenBiz 30 Under 30 , our report celebrating rising young professionals in the field of corporate sustainability.  What’s up in the worlds of the 120 alumni from past lists? We reached out this spring to check in, asking those inclined to weigh in on how current events have changed their world views. We asked them to consider two questions: With the world turned upside down, what is your focus at work? Do you think the COVID-19 crisis marks a turning point for the sustainability movement?  Following are some of their responses, lightly edited, representing perspective from all four past cohorts. We did not specifically ask the alumni to consider the broader question of systemic racism, as our outreach was completed prior to the national protests triggered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. But look for future updates and essays on this topic, such as the one digitally penned recently by Jarami Bond (named in 2017). One final note: Be sure to check the end of this article for quick job updates from others who responded to our outreach but chose not to comment on the two questions. Without further ado, here’s what’s up with members of past GreenBiz 30 Under 30 cohorts. And, if you want to consult those lists in their entirety, here are the links: 2016 , 2017 , 2018 and 2019 . Jessica Artioli Centurião ( 2018 ) Digital Innovation Manager, BASF; Sao Paulo, Brazil COVID-19 will definitely change the world, and I truly hope that this will bring a new priority for sustainability topics. We as human beings and our planet are all connected. That’s why I hope that after COVID-19 we will be more human and environmental-driven than money-driven. If our environmental is suffering, we will suffer at some point. We cannot forget that a better future is 100 percent in our hands, because WE, and only WE, have the power and the resources to make better decisions, to be more conscious. Sustainability must be a must have and not a nice to have. We are constantly looking for innovation and solutions that can help us in this new way of remote work, to improve our interactions to our customers and to be more emphatic than ever. We don’t need outstanding experiences now; we need to shelter our customers, our people, our environment.  Holly Beale (2019) Program Manager, Datacenter Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft; Seattle My environmental work in Microsoft’s datacenter communities has certainly been disrupted by the global crisis. Plans for tree-planting programs have been postponed; workshops for sustainability employment training are on hold; and community gatherings for local environmental projects are on hiatus.  As I get the chance to meet in virtual roundtables with community members, it can easily get pretty discouraging. However, right now I’m focusing on two main things: Focus on being flexible and understanding the unpredictability our community groups are facing; being sympathetic and supportive in the ways they need, even if this differs from our original approach. And turning towards smaller-scale, grassroots engagement. We’ve been able to shift many environmental projects’ approaches to the home-scale, like home gardens, yard tree plantings and home recycling campaigns.  As we emerge, we are learning how to build the capability to truly understand, qualitatively and quantitatively, our communities’ vulnerabilities against a much broader set of scenarios. In a way, we are seeing this crisis as an illustration of how expensive the failure to build resiliency can ultimately prove. As we are learning, in climate change as in pandemics, the costs of a global crisis are bound to vastly exceed those of its prevention. We’re understanding that the seeds we sew today will grow our shade for the future, and without rolling up our sleeves now and getting dirty, the future will force our path in a direction we do not desire.  Can I talk about one trend that’s emerging which is giving me incredible hope? The shift towards plant-based protein has been a movement I’ve been following closely, with baited (tempeh) breath. We know that animal agriculture is now recognized as a leading cause of global warming. According to Project Drawdown, eating a plant-based diet is “the most important contribution every individual can make to reversing global warming.” But even in parts of the population unconcerned with the devastating environmental effects, this virus’s life disruption is forcing our awareness of meat farms being a “breeding ground for pandemics.” Issues of health, the working poor and racial justice are making people uncomfortable, and with the supply chain disruption with the closing of meatpacking cesspools, Jonathan Safran Foer writes, “Our hand has been reaching for the doorknob for the last few years. COVID-19 has kicked open the door.” And it’s really happening. Earlier in May, sales of alternative meat products in grocery stores went up 264 percent! I’ll certainly be watching this trend, and I’m more hopeful for it than I’ve been about any singular issue in a long time. John Bello (2018) Project Manager, Skanska; Portland, Oregon After doing some research in Prague on carbon negative building materials, I have relocated to Portland and am currently working as a project manager/sustainability lead on the PDX Airport Terminal Core Redevelopment (TCORE) Project. We are using the newly developed Embodied Carbon for Construction Calculator (EC3) to support low-carbon procurement on structural steel, piles, rebar and concrete. We are also working directly with Pacific Northwest lumber suppliers to procure sustainably harvested glulam beams for the airport’s new undulating roof structure. Fortunately, we have been able to continue construction during the pandemic and have made several changes to our operations to promote social distancing, hand washing and face coverings. Despite the crisis, I am pleased to see that we have not wavered on our approach towards sustainable procurement and low-carbon development.   Sara Bogdan (formerly Lindenfeld) (2016) Manager Sustainability and ESG, JetBlue; New York  My job is typically one where I am frequently traveling and in the operation. My favorite part of my work has always been implementing emissions and waste reduction projects, allowing me to visit airports and meet crew members all across our network.  But now, being “grounded” along with everyone else, of course my day-to-day has shifted. We are inventing new ways of coordinating sustainability programs from afar. Our priority and resolve hasn’t changed. For JetBlue and my team, COVID-19’s massive impact to our business and way of life has only reinforced the importance of smart, sustained ESG risk management. Our industry was, of course, abruptly and majorly changed by the global pandemic. For us, this only bolsters the imperative of thinking through how we can mitigate additional ESG risk factors that may present themselves next — such as those associated with a warming climate. I am proud that we have already made industry-changing moves to set JetBlue up for success, including the first U.S. airline to announce a carbon-neutral domestic operation, purchasing sustainable aviation fuel and rolling out fleets of airport electric ground vehicles, to name a few. Willemijn Brouwer (2018) Lead, Internal Engagement for Sustainability, DSM; Heerlen, Holland While the dystopic headlines made me temporally get rid of my news apps, I now truly believe we can seize this global crisis as a tremendous opportunity. Albeit the virus bringing terrible consequences for the vulnerable in our society, it has demonstrated to be very inclusive and diverse in who it has hit. In other words, all countries and all people are experiencing the consequences. It’s a truly global challenge, but that also ignites a global awareness we have to build back better. In my own job at RoyalDSM, I was afraid my co-workers couldn’t be bothered less with my projects around sustainability ambassadorship. And I couldn’t be more wrong! There is a genuine and collective interest how we as a company and as individuals can contribute to the sustainable future of society at large. The past months have shown me that together we stand strong and we can achieve a lot — faster and more determined than ever. Devin Carsdale (formerly Kleinfield-Hayes) (2017) Sustainability Compliance Auditor, Inter IKEA Group; Philadelphia I do think this crisis will force business to rethink its many assumptions about how it has conducted itself up until now. I traveled quite extensively for my job, securing IKEA’s supply chain throughout the Americas and meeting with suppliers to advise or verify the compliance of its many social, labor and environmental requirements. This situation has forced our team to do all of those activities virtually; some of which have the potential of staying that way permanently and others that may still need our attention in person. I have heard IKEA leadership referring to coming back stronger than ever and there is no question that its 2030 strategy is at the heart of it; with product circularity, renewable energy investment and taking care of workers as some of the key tenants, IKEA’s stewardship continues to be part of its core business model. My hope is that customers will reward companies that prioritize workers and the environment and have their precious purchasing power signal to the markets that “sustainable” business is the only kind of business here to stay. HY William Chan (2019) Urban Designer and Planner; Sydney, Australia We won’t have business as usual again, and we shouldn’t want it. Business as usual wasn’t working. We can evolve business (and cities, governance and individuals) to be and do better. The time is now to flatten the climate change curve. My focus is on “unlearning” the urban systems that we had taken for granted, the city challenges that were hidden until now, and shifting that paradigm long term. This includes a radical redesign of sustainable high density living, the development of better public spaces that support sustainable, personal active transport of walking and cycling, and to address gaps in food supply by innovating for more localized urban “farm to fork” approaches. I see these urban challenges as long-term opportunities in sustainability, catalyzed by what we have experienced together during the pandemic. Alexandra Criscuolo (2019) Environmental Sustainability Manager, New York Road Runners; New York As New York Road Runners’ Environmental Sustainability Manager, I have been tasked with developing and driving the execution of NYRR’s organization-wide sustainability strategy, which includes improving the sustainability of the TCS New York City Marathon, NYRR’s weekly running races, and our facilities.  Just prior to the pandemic, we wrapped up measuring our sustainability baseline with Waste Management Sustainability Services, and I was developing our detailed plan for the year ahead. As our programs and offerings began to shift and events were canceled as a result of the pandemic, we pivoted to donate unused equipment and other items to help frontline medical workers and others in need. I organized virtual meetings with stakeholders across the organization to determine a plan to keep the items from the landfill and give them another life. I am optimistic and believe this major disruption of our “business as usual” will allow us to rebuild a more sustainable future. A future that is more regenerative, circular and healthy for humans and the planet we call home. While operations have come to a halt, the climate crisis has not, and this pandemic can certainly be a turning point for the sustainability movement. We are focusing on two major goals: Planning for future events to be as sustainable — and safe — as possible while also using this time to enhance our sustainability data gathering process to make it as smooth as possible for the time when we return to operating races. Joseph Gale (2018) Environmental Specialist, RS&H; San Francisco RS&H Practices and Resource Groups are pushing forward to meet the ever-changing needs of our clients, as well as are furthering internal initiatives and external growth strategies. I am pleased to announce that in May, I received the approval to initiate an enterprise approach to corporate sustainability. Through collaboration with an internal cross-practice committee, this two-year effort achieved success with development of a business case, scope of services, and presentation to the company CEO in October. The Corporate Sustainability Team will be working with our CEO and executive team to implement new initiatives as they relate to sustainability and operational resilience. Alison Humphrey (formerly Larkins) (2019) Director, ESG, TPG Capital; San Francisco The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled world leaders, companies, communities and individuals to take urgent, collective action to confront a critical issue risking harm to people across the globe. It also illuminated challenges and opportunities previously obscured in the blurred corners of complex and interconnected global supply chains. My hope is that we can harness this energy and approach to address the climate crisis. In this spirit, I’m hearing from many companies that they are seizing this opportunity to reset, reassess and consider how we enhance and “rebuild” business and civic processes through an ESG and climate lens. From where I sit, I don’t see us losing momentum. Certainly, we’ll need hold ourselves and each other accountable, but I think ruthless optimism and hard work are ultimately what will get us to where we need to go. Kamillah Knight (2019) Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Unilever; Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey My focus at work has been providing tools, trainings and resources for all of Unilever’s employees in North America, focusing primarily on parents, women and our POC talent. My goal is to continue to create new and innovative ways to engage people both during and outside of their workday to ensure that they can show up as their best self no matter what. I do believe that the COVID-19 marks a turning point in the sustainability movement. We have seen countless reports during this time that make mention and provide facts around the decrease of pollution and harmful effects on the environment as a result of everyone being quarantined. This has led many people to say that they think it should be required for people to stay home for a certain amount of days in the year to give the environment a “break.” This time has not only changed the way that we see the environment and how it should be (without pollution), but it has also changed the way that people view other people and their needs given the huge disparities that exist in different communities, in addition to the value that people bring in the work that they do. The needs and diversity of communities is a huge component of achieving the SDGs and/pushing forward the sustainability movement. With the change in thought I am confident that we will see more people that will lean into sustainability than ever before. Just look at how companies are even responding. The most pressing issue on my mind right now is using the time that I am privileged to have right now to build stronger relationships and connections with my loved ones and to do the things that I didn’t have time to before. This is time that we will never get back in the same capacity. I am grateful and I know how I use this time will be reflected in how I “re-enter” the world once things open back up. Media Authorship UN Global Compact, Arlene Thompson Close Authorship Jillian Lennartz (2016) Manager, Sustainability Reporting, Teck Resources; Vancouver, British Columbia The COVID-19 pandemic has hit at a particularly interesting time for me. I moved from the U.S. to Canada in mid-February without any inkling that the border would snap shut behind me and the job market would suddenly all but dry up. Being a new immigrant looking for a job while there is a global health and economic crisis is not a situation I anticipated being in when I made plans to move. However, I was fortunate to have landed in an area with a few exciting roles that remained open despite the shutdowns. I’m beyond ecstatic to have started in a role with Teck Resources. I’ll be standing in for a fellow 30 Under 30 honoree (Katie Fedosenko, 2017 cohort) who will be going on a year of parental leave. She has built an impressive ESG program, which I anticipate will further evolve as the current global crisis plays out. SARS-COV-2 has noticeably impacted the entire process of interviewing and on-boarding. I have yet to step foot in Teck’s headquarters. Every interview, meeting and training has been remote, which has been an adjustment for both myself and the teams with Teck. Fortunately, I come from a generation and a culture that’s already very accustomed to using technology to its fullest; I believe we may have been the first generation to be referred to as “digital natives.” It therefore hasn’t been an entirely foreign experience to have meetings over teleconference and use cloud-based file sharing for collaboration. Especially as sustainability practitioners we have worked with stakeholders around the globe and formed relationships with site representatives we may never meet in person. I feel that as a profession we’re well-situated to continue our work as uninterrupted as possible. Ding Li (2018) Partner Business Development Manager, CLP Innovation; Hong Kong Ever since the COVID-19 crisis started in January in Hong Kong, I have been working from home and minimizing contact with people. As an extrovert, I have a strong need to be surrounded by people. I remember the first week of staying at home, I felt really bad. Boredom turned into negative thoughts, and negative thoughts turned into depressing thoughts. At the end of the week, I almost vomited because mentally I felt really sick.  I realized this is a problem and I have to fix it — I started to schedule virtual coffee meetings with friends in the sustainability industry. They shared with me how COVID-19 has impacted their organizations, their job roles and their personal life. Facility managers say they have discovered energy use issues in their buildings — buildings are not able to adjust loading with the decrease in occupancy; sustainability managers shifted their focuses from environmental issues to community engagement; and others say they spent more time with their family and experienced work-life balance for the first time. They have taken advantage of the situation and used it to enhance their companies’ sustainability strategy and their own personal goals. It is a rare opportunity for me to engage people who I know professionally in a personal way. It helped me to cope with the difficult self-isolation situation and allowed me and my friends to be united in this crazy time.  Meanwhile, I built an office space at my rooftop, which helps me to stay focused and separate work from personal life. I have cooked more healthy meals and now I am enjoying my time at home. If not because of COVID-19, I would not know how resilient and adaptive everyone can be.  We would not have imagined millions of people could stay at home to avoid a pandemic, just like we would not have imagined countries and businesses could truly collaborate and build a zero-carbon economy.  I am proud of what humanity has accomplished so far when facing the challenge of COVID-19, and I believe this gives us a reason to be optimistic when facing the climate crisis. We are more resilient and adaptive than we think. When there is a will, there is a way! Idicula Mathew (2019) Founder and CEO, Hera Health Solutions; Memphis Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our team at Hera Health Solutions has been closely interacting with leaders in the industry to build strategies and innovations that will outlast to redefine the new normal in healthcare. As a startup that is an innovator in pharmaceutical devices, Hera Health Solutions is now looking forward to help shape the future of sustainable long acting medications. Since my being featured in GreenBiz 30 Under 30 in 2019, Hera Health Solutions has closed a more than $1.25 million investment round led by leaders in healthcare venture capital firms and impact organizations. With the new funding, the Hera Health Solutions team has grown. Now even more notably, Hera Health Solutions has kickstarted new R&D for its proprietary implantables for areas of other extended release medication potentials including vaccinations. On the other side of this global pandemic is a new normal that we will establish together. And while there is an undeniable number of uncertainties, one thing for sure is that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry has now changed. The world had to witness the sudden and overnight decline of hospital and physician resources. The new demand in contactless and physically distant healthcare has now become a precedent for the future. Now more than ever, the need for more effective and sustainable long acting medications to patients and users is highlighted more than ever.  Ana Sophia Mifsud (2019) Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute; New York Life in New York has certainly felt intense over the last couple of months. In the midst of all the chaos, my work has never felt so important. Since my 30 Under 30 nomination, I have shifted roles and am now working on deep decarbonization a little closer to home. I have joined RMI’s Building Electrification program, which is focused on eliminating fossil fuels in buildings. What many don’t realize is that roughly 70 million homes and businesses directly burn fossil fuels for heating and cooking. In addition to contributing to almost 10 percent of the U.S.’s climate impact, these emissions lead to unhealthy living situations. Even before the pandemic hit, on average, Americans spent about 90 percent of their time in buildings. Yet, indoor air quality has remained largely unregulated, leading to disproportionate health impacts, particularly in already vulnerable populations.  While our work is more important than ever, we’ve had to make some adjustments in order to continue convening and strategizing virtually. I’ve developed some best practices to help guide this recalibration and am putting them in practice while facilitating an eLab accelerator team focused on decarbonizing affordable multi-family housing in Chicago. In this decisive decade of climate action, I feel fortunate to be working on developing solutions that create sustainable jobs, reduce our climate impact and create healthier places for us all to live and work.  With regards to whether the COVID-19 crisis marks a turning point for the sustainability movement, I’m not sure. But I firmly believe we should all act in the spirit of applied hope . The type of hope that catalyzes action out of the belief that we can create the type of future we deserve. Catherine Queen (2017) Senior Manager, Sustainable Development and B Corp, Danone; Broomfield, Colorado As a sustainability professional, and a stubborn climate activist, I see the stark parallels between the pandemic and climate change. Climate change is unseen in our daily lives — until it isn’t — much like this virus. Those impacted the hardest are vulnerable populations.  Amid the uncertainty, my specific focus at work has not shifted. After leading Danone North America to become the world’s largest Certified B Corporation, I continue to work to integrate the environmental and social mission into how we run our business — inspiring and engaging teams to take action every day to balance short-term profits and results for long-term social and environmental implications, including and especially during a pandemic.  While the pandemic has shown how interconnected we all are, and I have seen many inspiring examples of our shared humanity, it is devastating to see continued areas of grave disconnectedness with ongoing inequality and inequity. Our collective response to the pandemic has also shown what we can do, as a company and as a society, when we use our collective voices and action. I hope next year when these updates are requested, we will have globally proven that collectively we made a difference, to create a better and more equitable for us all.  Similar to the mission of the B Corp Movement, this year is illustrating the importance of being bold and taking a leadership stance — even when you don’t have all the answers. We can’t address crisis on our own and my hope is this time serves as a call to action — to join together to solve the issues of our times.  Alexis Rocamora (2019) Senior Sustainability Consultant, EY Japan My focus since last year has been to help companies in Japan integrate sustainability into their supply chain management. I do so by helping them adopt supplier policies and by conducting due diligence processes to verify suppliers’ compliance with sustainability obligations (environment, health and safety, labor and human rights).  Even before the COVID-19 crisis, companies were increasingly carrying out such assessments, for several reasons (rise in due diligence legislation, ethical concerns, willingness to limit corporate risks, etc.). However, as COVID-19 is amplifying inequalities worldwide, companies are realizing that knowing their suppliers is not merely about keeping the business as usual while applying green paint on the surface, or avoiding a few inconvenient headlines in the media. As it turns out, sustainability risks of suppliers act like a cascade effect on the most vulnerable in a time of crisis: Part-time workers are being laid off, foreign workers are forced to repatriate at their own expense, workplaces with poor health and hygiene measures become hot spots for the virus to spread.  So in the future, supply chain relocalization, full transparency and mandatory supplier due diligence might become mainstream, not (only) because it is the sustainable thing to do, but because businesses depend on it. Companies have a tendency to relegate sustainability to “non-financial” issues (which doesn’t matter much to shareholders, and thus to management). I have the feeling that this crisis will contribute to the realization that businesses actually depend more than they thought on real-world considerations, which are better embedded into sustainability factors than financial statements. This might lead to giving corporate sustainability a strategic and transformational role rather than a PR and risk management one.  I’ve been re-reading “This Changes Everything” from Naomi Klein recently. In the same way that she pointed out that the sustainability movement could have been successful if it had been put at the center of mass economic transformations (such as the spread of neoliberalization since the 1980’s or the economic stimulus granted to the banks after the financial crash of 2008), I believe that the economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19 should only be addressed by measures that aim to redefine our societies’ economic model towards a sustainable and equitable one.  Regarding adaptation to the situation, my company (even in Japan) has been promoting flexible working arrangements for a long time so the transition was rather easy. What I can tell about the situation here overall is that Japanese companies are known to have a conservative corporate culture with long working hours, mandatory drinking activities with teammates and an obsession for physical workplace attendance. COVID-19 has disturbed this prehistoric work culture by forcing even the most traditional companies to massively adopt flexible working arrangements (some are even in the process of ditching the mandatory use of the Japanese “seals,” used for hundreds of years to sign every official documents!) and I hope that these changes survive the pandemic.  Alejandra Sánchez Ayala (2019) Sustainability Leader, C&A Mexico; Guadalajara, Mexico My focus for the last 12 weeks has been to make sure my team is prepared for the new normal we will be facing in the short and medium term. We have been preparing strategies for adapted versions of our programs and revisiting the ideas of what makes sense in our supply chain. In Mexico, a lot of small business have been severely affected by the economic crisis linked to the lockdown, and we have a shared responsibility to take this into account for future decisions. I do believe that this crisis has arisen questions about the implications of the environmental challenges that we might face due to climate change and what role we play as society, consumers and professionals. We are facing challenges we never believed we’d have to face. I had a conversation with some colleagues about the almost apocalyptic sight of people wearing masks all the time. Now it’s about protecting ourselves from a virus, but what if this was linked to permanently poor air quality?  Sadly, I don’t think all governments are living up to the requirements of this crisis. For example, in Mexico, due to COVID-19, some highly questionable decisions have been made regarding environmental topics, which now seems to be even a lower priority than ever. Renewable energy projects have been threatened under the excuse of COVID-19, to favor fossil fuels, a strategy the government is pushing since last year. In this context, I believe that although consumers might be willing to engage in more conversations regarding sustainability (engrained in the core of business and not as a nice to have added value), this also requires participation from governments and private industry. But in the current landscape, I don’t believe that in the short term we will be seeing the turning point we wish regarding sustainability. Devan Tracy (2018) Smart Buildings and Energy Analytics Lead, Lockheed Martin; Washington, D.C. With the world turned upside down, I’ve noticed that data visualization has been used more frequently in mainstream media to depict COVID-19 spread projections, medical supply inventory or supply chain interrelationships. We are all becoming better data scientists as a result. In the smart buildings world, this is key. I’ve partnered with our data and analytics office to continuously optimize algorithms, explore anomalies, detect faults and jump on opportunities for our newly launched, large-scale smart buildings pilot. This pilot set the stage for an expansion of the program to 50,000 additional sensors across an additional 5.8 million square feet at Lockheed Martin this year. And the beauty of smart buildings is that they were designed from day one to support remote work. It is no longer a requirement to be onsite to operate and optimize a campus.  Powerful visualization underscores the importance of the effective translation of data, allowing us to address problems quicker than ever before — and helping everybody get to the future faster, together. Check out this quick video where I talk about our smart buildings program on the LM YouTube Channel “Talk Techy to Me” series.  We are all emerging from the crisis with a refined perspective. Now more than ever, dog barks and baby cries are welcome additions to conference calls. This is humanizing and reminds us that we are all multidimensional creatures. Colleagues are increasingly accommodating, and interactions more frequently extend beyond surface level chatter. These snapshots into our personal lives bring teams closer together and make us more cohesive teams. After all, we are human beings and not just human doings. Finally, here’s a list of other comings and goings among the 30 Under 30 (presented in alphabetical order): Kelly Elizabeth Behrend (2016) left New York City for San Salvador, El Salvador, to become director of sustainability at hugo, “the first Central American superapp.” Former Easton sustainability analyst Claire Castleman (2018) has started a new position as Small Business Support Program Associate at Self-Help Credit Union. James Connelly (2016) left the Living Future Institute after eight years to become CEO of My Green Lab, a nonprofit in the life science Industry.  Fifth Element Group partner Pratik Gauri (2019) is the India host of Fintech.TV, which produces a program on ESG investing and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. He’s also started a new blockchain venture and is a new global youth lead for innovation nonprofit Dream Tank .   I hear Lizzie Horvitz (2017) recently started a company (still in stealth) that helps incentivize consumers to make better purchasing decisions based on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with products.  Jeffrey Jennings (2016) in January started a new role as a senior supply chain sustainability process leader with Freeport-McMoran. He’s assisting with the development of a responsible sourcing program and assessment of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks in our supply chain.  Entrepreneur Andrew Krioukov (2016) has become an adviser to an early stage venture fund focus on artificial intelligence and internet of things, UNION Labs. His startup, Comfy, was acquired by Siemens two years ago.  Isabel Mogstad (2019) has left the Environmental Defense Fund to become director of U.S. policy and engagement at BP.  Former Sula Vineyards and PepsiCo sustainability team member Inesh Singh (2019) recently took over as manager of agro development at Anheuser-Busch InBev in India.  If you’re a GreenBiz 30 Under 30 honoree who’d love to engage — or contribute essays about the cause of corporate sustainability, environmental justice and the clean economy imperative — reach out to me by email at heather@greenbiz.com . Topics Careers COVID-19 Corporate Strategy Collective Insight 30 Under 30 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Where are they now? Catch up with 30 Under 30 alumni

Scientists support use of reusable containers during COVID-19 pandemic

June 25, 2020 by  
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Since the start of the pandemic, there have been concerns that using reusable containers and bags at grocery stores and cafes could enhance the spread of the virus. However, such claims have now been refuted by a team of 119 scientists. The team, which includes scientists from 18 countries, has published a document stating that reusable containers are safe. Many cafes, restaurants and grocery stores around the world have stopped accepting reusable cups, bags and other containers for fear that these items would spread COVID-19. Environmentalists have pushed for a long time to have restaurants and other businesses adopt the use of reusable containers. But these gains made over the years risk being eroded almost overnight if people continue to revert to single-use containers. Environmentalists are now accusing plastic manufactures of exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to lobby for single-use plastics. Related: COVID-19 leads to plastic ban reversals The scientists involved in reassuring the public include epidemiologists, virologists, biologists and doctors. They have compiled a statement that encourages restaurants and individuals to continue using reusable containers as long as public health requirements are observed. The team said that reusable items are safe as long as high standards of hygiene are observed. One of the signatories to the statement, professor Charlotte Williams of Oxford University, explained that COVID-19 should not stop the efforts made toward a sustainable future. “I hope we can come out of the COVID-19 crisis more determined than ever to solve the pernicious problems associated with plastics in the environment,” Williams said. According to the scientists’ statement, the coronavirus primarily spreads through aerosol droplets and not from contact with surfaces. Although surfaces can transfer the virus, washing reusable containers is much safer than relying on single-use ones. The scientists explained that most people do not bother cleaning single-use containers under the assumption that they are safe. Unfortunately, the virus can get in contact with any surface, including single-use containers. Europe plans to ban all single-use plastics starting next year. There is concern that plastic manufacturers are now using the coronavirus pandemic to delay the ban. Such a move would be detrimental, considering that plastic waste contributes 80% of all marine pollution . + Health Expert Statement Via The Guardian Image via Goran Ivos

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Scientists support use of reusable containers during COVID-19 pandemic

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