Panel #3 for the day at Georgetown Energy and Cleantech Conference coming up…click through to next page for live stream.
“Panelists will discuss what obstacles face sustainability solutions today, and how their organizations are working to integrate sustainability into their operations while also taking into account the bottom line. They will also reflect on the tools available today to implement strategy and measure progress.”
- • John Friedman - Board of Directors - Sustainable Business Network of Washington
- • Melissa Adams - Division Head, Sustainability and Business Development - Washington Gas
- • Billy Grayson - Senior Associate - ICF International
- • James Sullivan - Strategic Advisor, Sustainability - SAP
- • Ian Muir - Manager, Carbon Strategy - PFC Energy
- • Suzanne Watson - Policy Director - American Council for Energy Efficient Economy
That’s it! Last panel after a short break.
3) top line benefits: new markets, branding, new products. (GE sold more wind turbines this year than gas for the first time ever- according to Jim)
2)HR benefits: doing good for the community. Give vacation and “bank days” to use for working in community. 3 weeks of vacation but if you give back to community, you get 4 weeks.
A: People want to be affiliated with strong CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs or companies/organizations that are green.
Last Question: Other business motivations besides bottom line to go green?
Life cycle analyses: to get them right is one of the biggest problems out there.
(Jim): Many studies are “black box” and may not be reliable. Organizations are out there to help with this problem. EPA has also embraced life-cycle analysis for things such as biofuels.
A: (Ian): Yes. Life cycle taken into account. Solar panels take 2-3 years generating electricity to pay back the energy used in producing and transporting the original solar panel. 2) gas power plants are the cheapest to build.
Q (Audience): What is the actual definition of sustainability? It’s getting tossed around a lot. Life cycle assessment taken into account?
(Suzanne): Rebates and incentives for appliances.
A: (Jim) Power of competition. Lists of companies: Here are the leading green power purchasing companies, for example. Also, using social media to get employees to implement management ideas on sustainability. Point system for people with best green ideas. Using ROI from efficiency gains and rolling that over to employee incentive plans for say, buying a hybrid car.
A: EnergyStar Program
Q: Models where technology and behavioral change have been succesfull?
Apologies: “Ian” in previous posts should be “Billy”
(Jim): Private sector initiatives are having larger global effect than governmental action right now. Ex. Walmart Supply Chain efforts.
(Jim): Not going to happen soon. EPA likely to keep pushing its regulatory changes. If it gets too messy with EPA doing all kinds of things, it could go back to Congress as a way to “save” businesses by producing a standard, more black and white approach to carbon.
cap and trade, in and of itself, really depends on the rules/regulatory details.
Suzanne: Realizing carbon costs and cap and trade are distinctly different.
(Ian): It is possible but states are important in leading the charge to eventually get federal government to move.
Q. : Is cap and trade realistic? Would it actually be effective if enacted?
(Ian): Behavior change is the lowest hanging fruit or “fruit on the ground”. Technology (installing meter at home) is increasingly a key component of initiating behavioral change.
(Jim): SAP has looked at their entire chain. Need system to record carbon data and energy use. Right now, the data is good but that is not the only thing you need. You have to analyze and act on that data. That’s where the real savings come. So, more data and more ways to act on that data.
(Suzanne): Need basic energy education. Many things we can do to use energy more wisely (including behavior modification) but other things are easier to do to use energy more efficiently – again this is “low hanging fruit”.
Q: How do we drive behavioral change with regards to using energy?
(Jim Sullivan): No. Not a game changing accident.
You cant’ really ask that question about Deep Water Horizon being a game changer with the massive dependence on oil…too hard to sway public opinion and policy.
U.S. consumes nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day
Q: Three Mile Island accident and Deepwater Horizon: Similar as watershed events?
All panelists: Cross-discipline knowledge is important for the job market.
A: Suzanne Watson: Energy companies. Having a good business background is helpful with analyzing. Need engineers. Sociology backgrounds- how to motivate people? Regulatory and law backgrounds. Many opportunities.
A: (Jim Sullivan) Sustainable business. You need to make a business case around green job. Sustainable business needs to be wrapped around core of business model. Big impact on bottom line. Jim’s worked from government, 4 person start-up, 50,000 company and others, all in a green job role.
Question: What kind of jobs are out there in “green” fields?
U.S. Capitol is going to do its first GHG inventory
Billy Grayson from ICF International: works with clients on energy management and now does federal sector work.
Ian Muir from PFC Energy: strategic advisors in global energy
WGL Holdings: http://www.wglholdings.com/
Melissa Adams at WGL Holdings (Parent company of Washington Gas – they get from me each month): promotes sustainable business operation throughout WGL Holdings (reducing carbon footprint etc)
Jim Sullivan from Sustainability at SAP: Leading Dow Jones Sustainability Index for IT companies
And we’re off and running again!