Dr. John R. Ehrenfeld | Former Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology
|Breakout Sessions 1|
|Lunch and Expo|
Gary Hirshberg | CE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm
|Breakout Sessions 2|
|Breakout Sessions 3|
Dr. John R. EhrenfeldFormer Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology
Interviewed by Andy Hoffmann, Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan
John Ehrenfeld is one of the leaders and pioneers of sustainability thinking in the world. In his entire career he always put down provocative ideas to push further the boundaries of this field – as shown in his latest book Sustainability by Design. In this interview by Professor Andrew Hoffman, you will learn more about John’s influential ideas, sustainability’s evolving definition and the story and evolution of sustainability in the academic field.
Breakout Sessions 1
Bending the Water Cost Curve: Innovations to Avert Water Crisis
Inspired by the famous "water cost curves" in the 2030 Water Resources Group's "Charting Our Water Future" report, this panel will highlight businesses that are capitalizing on opportunities to mitigate future water supply-demand imbalances. Panelists will discuss the solutions their firms have developed to reduce agricultural, industrial or municipal water demand and/or increasing water supply.
Gordon McKay Prof. of the Practice of Environmental Engineering, SEAS, Harvard University
VP and General Manager, Echologics
Co-Founder and CTO, Oasys Water
Director of Corporate Responsibility and Branding, Nalco
Reviving New England's Fishing Economy
While fishing has played a critical role in New England's economy for centuries, overfishing has been depleting stocks of many important and tasty species of fish like cod and flounder, damaging coastal economies and marine ecosystems. Recently, sustainable fishing pioneers have improved the way fisheries are managed to allow fish stocks to rebuild and create a sustainable fishing economy for generations to come. Join representatives from both the fishing and environmental communities to discuss the problems of overfishing, why they are difficult to overcome, and how innovative solutions to fishery management are making a difference.
Director, MIT System Dynamics Group
Science and Policy Manager, Northeast Fisheries Program, Pew Environmental Group
Chairman, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association
Chairman, Midcoast Fishermen's Association
Sustainability in the Built Environment: Integrating Transport Planning with Land Use and Building Design
For much of the post-World War II era, transport policy focused on 'the concrete commons' has resulted in land use patterns that are not only energy and space intensive, but also dependent on continued economic growth for their viability. Recently however, the convergence of the lingering impacts of recession, demographic shift, and increasing environmental awareness has provided an opportunity to develop new paradigms and strategies for urban development and land use planning that are economically resilient, environmentally sustainable, and socially equitable. How can and should transport policy be leveraged to promote such development patterns, given its inseparability from land use policy as demonstrated throughout the history of cities and regions in the United States and abroad?
Director, MIT AgeLab; lecturer, Engineering Systems Division & Dept. of Urban studies and planning
Graduate Student, MIT Dept. of urban studies and planning and Editor, The Transport Politic
Editor at Large, Next American City and Founder, New Cities Foundation
Director of Environmental and Transportation Planning, City of Cambridge
Gary HirshbergCE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm
Much of the 20th century's social and economic development was built on mythological foundations—for instance:
- The idea that the earth is a subsidiary of our economies--there for the taking and dumping
- The idea that the earth is infinitely resilient to withstand humans' abuses
Even the very fundamental allowance in our economic theories for "externalities" means that often no one is held accountable for the direct consequences of economic activities that do not appear on income statements or balance sheets.
Another myth is that food can be cheap. The problem with this idea is that in fact we now know there are significant nutritional, environmental and social costs incurred in the production of so-called cheap food--we just don't pay them at the supermarket check-out. The net result of businesses and an overall economic system that are founded on myths is that economic success for one party or constituency is always at the expense of another. Someone or something always pays when one party wins.This presentation will examine one company's 28-year effort to address these myths head-on; to seek solutions that internalize externalities to the greatest extent possible and that create Win-Win-Win-Win formulae in which the conditions for all stakeholders—shareholders, employees, farmers, consumers, even livestock—can be enhanced. This is not only about how we can and must THINK differently, but also about proven ACTIONS and RESULTS that can encourage us all to embrace sustainability goals in all that we do.
Breakout Sessions 2
Building a Regional Food System
With obesity approaching epidemic status, millions of people living in food deserts with limited access to healthy and affordable food, and farmers struggling to make ends meet, the US food system is broken. This panel explores how shifting to a regional food system may be able to address some of the key problems with our current food system and ultimately improve public health. Participants will think critically about the challenges to implementing a regional food system and highlight a few innovative companies that are making great strides in regional sourcing, like Bon Appetit Management Compay and Chipotle.
Associate Director and Co-Founder of MIT Collaborative Initiatives
Senior Officer at Pew Environmental Group
VP of Sustainability at Bon Appetit Management Company
President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
All Linked Together: Sustainable Supply Chains
What do agriculture, biotechnology, and retail have in common? They all draw on natural resources to produce products, and they all dispose of waste on the same finite planet. What else? What crossover is there between disparate industries and what can they learn from each other? How do their definitions of sustainability lead them to implement sustainability initiatives in different ways? Companies in the same or similar sectors usually look to each other to learn about best practices. The purpose of the session is to showcase innovative organizations in varied sectors that support sustainable supply chains and to cross-pollinate best practices. The panel aims to challenge the participants to consider how it is that an industry's definition of sustainability drives its actions.
Research Director, MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics; Exec. Director, MIT SCALE Latin America
Vice President, NA Product Supply & Logistics, Chiquita Brands International
Founder and CEO, The Green Roundtable, Inc.
Senior Vice President, Strategy and Research, Trucost
Closed Loop 102: Adopting a Zero-Waste Approach
Positive waste reduction efforts such as improved recycling programs and renewable material innovations indicate that trash is receiving greater widespread attention, but there is still much work to be done. Waste streams and material life cycles are a mystery to most, making the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality the common mode of thinking about trash. This highlights the need to explicate the complex cycles related to the effects of consumption, meaning where products come from and where they end up. Building on last year's "Closed Loop 101" discussion that questioned the feasibility of reaching zero waste, this year's panel will focus on turning the idea into practice. Distinguished professionals across disciplines ranging from media to the public sector will share key strategies, personal accounts, pivotal moments, and lessons learned on their path to adopting zero-waste approaches.
Director of Recycling, Cambridge Dept. of Public Works
Partner, SaveThatStufF, Inc.
CoLab MIT, Documentary FilmmakeR AND AUTHOr
Branch Chief, Waste Planning and Commercial Waste Reduction (MassDEP)
System Dynamics in Sustainability and Its Application to Climate Change Policies
System dynamics is a methodology for studying and managing complex feedback systems, such as one finds in business and other social systems (Source: System Dynamics Society). In this session we will give you an overview of this methodology, its relationship to sustainability issues and its applicability to define climate change policies through the C-ROADS "Common Platform" simulation. The C-ROADS is designed to help climate analysts improve their understanding of how various proposals to the UNFCCC will impact climate outcomes, is based on the biogeophysical and integrated assessment literature and includes representations of the carbon cycle, other GHGs, radiative forcing, global mean surface temperature, and sea level change.
Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The Fletcher School/Tufts University
Breakout Sessions 3
The Future of Footprinting
In this panel, business leaders will discuss how they are developing and utilizing cutting-edge tools and methodologies to footprint their carbon, water, and materials use throughout the operations chain. Panelists will also be asked to reflect on how footprinting might change in the years ahead: will/should footprinting metrics be standardized and mandated within industries? Should products sold to consumers be required to show their embedded footprint? How can business translate footprinting metrics into effective reductions in environmental impact?
Research Associate, MIT Materials Science Lab
Director of Environment and Sustainability, OCP Group
Sr. Director for Value Chain Compliance & Environmental Sustainability, Cisco Systems
Director of US Operations, Quantis
Director of Responsible Resource Solutions, Diversey
Economic Case For Sustainability
Corporations are pursuing sustainability for a host of reasons: improving operations, reducing risk, accessing new customers, fulfilling a mission. For some, there is a real or perceived trade-off between sustainability and profitability, while for others, sustainability simply makes good business sense. How do companies make the economic case for sustainability, both internally and externally? To answer the latter, this session will consider the perspective of two influential groups: customers and investors. As these stakeholders are becoming more sophisticated, what proof are they demanding to back up sustainability claims, and how are companies communicating about their values and actions?
Senior Lecturer in Finance, MIT Sloan
Founder, Domini Social Index and Domini Social Investments
Director, Corporate Responsibility Office, Intel
Senior Vice President, TruCost
Lead Principal, Sustainability & Climate Change Practice, Deloitte Consulting
Microfinance has exploded into the public consciousness in recent years. With organizations such as Grameen Bank and Kiva becoming more mainstream, the next question sustainable finance academics and practitioners alike should be asking themselves is: what’s next? The purpose of the panel is to showcase innovative organizations and their business models that support financial sustainability beyond microfinance. The panel aims to challenge participants to think of ways to build on the successes of the microfinance model to bring creative and sustainable financial solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social problems.
Manager of Volunteer Partnerships, ACCION USA
Carbon Finance Manager, E+Co.
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