GreenBiz’ 17 Recap

SupplyShift Staff

March 01, 2017

I attended GreenBiz ’17 recently in Phoenix, Arizona, a gathering of around 1000 sustainability execs from different parts of the world. Here is a short summary of my experience at the biggest GreenBiz conference to date:

Takeaway One: During the biomimicry excursion on Day 1 we learned that the saguaro cactus (The saguaro blossom is the state wildflower of Arizona) adapts to changing conditions. Its ribs expand and contract as the plant absorbs moisture. As it matures, the base fuses together for strength and new shoots are created — although the cactus can also cut off that growth easily, without the main body sustaining damage. Is this a leading example for innovative organizations? Trying new ideas, abandoning them (early), if necessary, for the good of the whole?

Takeaway Two: ‘There’s no trumping progress with this kind of momentum and backing’. Cleaner energy, circular business models, sustainable development goals and sustainable supply chains are here to stay — and better not to stand in the way, since the train has already left the station and is barreling forward at full speed.

Greenbiz’17 was a ‘call to arms’ to be far more outspoken about the positive business impact that our efforts have yielded over the years. ‘Everything we care about is under assault,’ Greenpeace’s executive director Annie Leonard stated, ‘We need to be bolder than ever before.’

Other highlights:

McDonald’s, together with International Paper, discussed cross-industry collaboration to accelerate supply chain transparency.

PepsiCo announced that, by 2025, all farms and production partners must commit to PepsiCo’s ‘Performance with Purpose’ code of conduct.

Peter Seligmann, CEO of our partner Conservation International, encouraged to ask yourself in these critical times: ‘What would make your children proud?’ He recommended everyone to let their answer guide their actions. ‘You cannot solve this problem intellectually,’ said the elder Seligmann. ‘This needs heart. It needs you to constantly challenge what you are doing.’

Joel Makover, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, ended the 2 day sold-out conference with the following statement: ‘Trump is the ultimate sustainability stress test, but this could be our finest hour’.

#GreenBiz ’17 was an amazing conference where the biggest players in corporate sustainability came together to network, learn from each other, and share ways to help our world move forward in accordance with the Triple Bottom Line.

Onwards, fellow humans.

SupplyShift Staff

March 01, 2017