Day 2 Sessions

Wednesday, May 16, 10:30-11.10 am

How Evolving Federal Policy Is Impacting Energy Markets
Moderator: Brian Janous, Director of Energy Strategy, Microsoft

With major shifts in environmental policy in light of a new presidential administration and changes in the regulatory atmosphere, the impacts on energy markets can be subtle or dramatic. Add the additional changes that could be ahead as a result of federal tax overhauls and the market for energy could look quite different in the months and years ahead.

In this session you will learn:

  • What impact recent changes at the federal level will have on traditional energy markets
  • Why it is important to make decisions that take into account new federal policy
  • Where to look for energy in the market in light of ongoing changes

Brian Janous is responsible for the development and execution of Microsoft’s global data center energy strategy. His responsibilities include oversight of all energy supply agreements, renewable energy purchasing, distributed generation and strategic partnerships to ensure a power supply that is reliable and sustainable. As general manager of the energy strategy and research team, Janous creates end-to-end strategies that will drive innovations in the next generation of cloud data centers, and supports efforts to establish energy market policies that will foster end-user innovation.


Track: Energy Procurement & Distributed Energy


The ROI of Retrofitting Aging Facilities
Moderator: Carol Dollard, Energy Engineer, Colorado State University

As the nation’s facilities age, companies and institutions are constantly forced to consider complex and sometimes contradictory questions: When is it time to cut one’s losses with an older facility and replace it with a new one? When does it make sense to retrofit? And, just as important, what are the implications of these choices when sustainability goals, energy management needs, and regulatory requirement are more pressing every day?

In this session, you will learn:

  • What it takes to analyze the opportunities and challenges involved with retrofitting aging infrastructure
  • How you determine the costs & benefits involved with upgrading existing facilities
  • Why making the case to an organization’s CFO concerning retrofitting is so important
  • When is “tear down & start over” the right answer

Carol Dollard is co-chair of the President’s Sustainability Commission at Colorado State University. In her 19 years at CSU, Dollard has worked to make university operations more sustainable. These efforts include 14 PV installations totaling over 6,700 kW, two LEED Platinum and 19 LEED Gold buildings, and more than $14 million of energy and water efficiency projects. In addition, she leads a team that conducts the university’s annual greenhouse gas inventory and produces biannual updates to the CSU Climate Action Plan.



Track: Air, Waste, Water & Energy


Connecting Life Cycle Assessments to a Company’s Business Plan
Moderator: Debbie Kalish, Program Manager, Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand

There are any number of imperatives compelling companies to assess every element of a product’s life cycle, as well as every component of the supply chain. It is equally important to be sure that achieving sustainability and energy management goals are consistent with a company’s overall business plan as well.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What elements are required to make an adequate life cycle assessment that corresponds to the business plan
  • Why financial executives must be involved in the process from the very beginning
  • How to align sustainability and energy management goals with a company’s business plan






Track: Circular Economy & Supply Chain


Setting a Higher Bar: Exploring the Business Case for Third-Party Industry Certifications
David Meyer, Senior Consultant, BSI

For at least 20 years, organizations across the industry spectrum have sought and attained third-party certifications to improve environmental performance, enhance sustainability initiatives, leverage risk, and attain higher competitive advantage. The most recent updates include the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system standard, advances to the Global Reporting Initiative, a myriad of industry specific standards and guidelines, and the most recent health and safety management standard, ISO 45001. In this session, a panel of industry leaders and practitioners will explore the nexus between third-party certifications and the impact on corporate continual improvement initiatives.

In this session, you will:

  • Reflect on how standards have evolved over the past two decades
  • Learn how the standards impact EHS professionals
  • See where these standards are headed in an increasingly dynamic and changing global marketplace

Track: Materiality & Metrics


Wednesday, May 16, 11:20 am-12:00 pm

Procurement Practices and Emerging Renewable Energies
Stephen Abbott, Senior Associate, Rocky Mountain Institute
Andy Smith, Global Manager, Energy and Sustainability, Cisco Systems
Jonathan Reinbold, Sustainability, Research & Grant Manager, Organic Valley

While a growing and diverse number of companies pursue renewable energy, companies differ in their specific approach and procurement choices. Determining whether to pursue on-site or off-site projects, selecting a geographic location, and choosing how to manage any associated renewable energy attributes are all influenced by a company’s broader goals and stakeholder interests. This panel, featuring staff from Rocky Mountain Institute’s Business Renewables Center and panelists from a range of companies, will explore the variety of corporate approaches to developing renewable energy strategies and prioritizing specific projects.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn the best criteria to use in choosing types of renewable energies
  • Discover how renewable energies integrate with a company’s overall business strategy
  • Receive tips on how to prioritize specific projects

Stephen Abbott joined the Rocky Mountain Institute in 2013, and has focused on helping large organizations better understand their renewable energy options. Since the Business Renewables Center’s formation in 2014, Abbott has developed several case studies, primers on specific key barriers to transactions and a number of web-based resources. As a manager on the team, he currently oversees the BRC’s online platform and ongoing efforts to expand the suite of educational and analytical tools available to BRC members.



Andy Smith joined Cisco in 2009 and has helped turn Cisco’s sustainability program into what it is today by leading a number of initiatives including developing and achieving multiple sustainability goals, managing global energy efficiency programs, deploying a global energy and sustainability information system and creating Cisco’s annual greenhouse gas inventories and Corporate Social Responsibility reports. Prior to joining Cisco, Smith worked as a consultant at Rocky Mountain Institute and DOMANI Sustainability Consulting in Colorado.



Jonathan Reinbold has worked in sustainable agriculture and food systems for eight years, currently for Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Reinbold leads Organic Valley’s efforts in natural resource conservation, renewable energy production, environmental research and employee engagement. He currently serves on the board of the Sustainable Food Trade Association.

Track: Energy Procurement & Distributed Energy


Net Positive: The Next Wave of Corporate Responsibility Has Arrived
Josh Prigge, Founder and CEO, Sustridge

A new movement towards Net Positive is emerging in corporate sustainability that is both critical and paradigm-shifting. At the heart of the movement is this truth: that those committing to become Net Positive–achieving a positive corporate footprint (a radical but not unachievable goal)–must go beyond risk avoidance and incremental improvements to their businesses towards truly innovating to eliminate negative impacts and actively creating positive impacts.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to use a Net Positive approach to strategy to grow your brand
  • Find out how to incorporate that approach into a strategy that leads to strong financial performance
  • Discover how to attract the brightest talent to your company because of your Net Positive efforts.

Josh Prigge, CEO, Sustridge, was previously at Fetzer Vineyards, where he guided the vision and execution of regenerative measures at the world’s first zero waste-certified wine company and largest organic wine-grape grower in the US. He led the efforts at Fetzer Vineyards to receive B Corp certification, Carbon Neutral certification and Zero Waste certification. Before that, Prigge was sustainability coordinator at Hawaii Pacific University.

Track: Air, Waste, Water & Energy


Collaboration Throughout the Supply Chain
Moderator: Lonny Knabe, Manufacturing Energy and Carbon Director, Nike

It is one thing to make a policy statement that a supply chain will reflect all the sustainability goals dictated by a company’s overall business model. It is another thing to incorporate all of a company’s suppliers in the same process, particularly when an organization has the complex web of international partnerships that many global businesses now have.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to make sure you are aware of the source of your suppliers’ materials
  • What the best practices are for creating a collaborative atmosphere among partners
  • Where to look for the pain points in your supply chain
  • Why collaboration through the supply chain is so important to a company’s stakeholders

Lonny Knabe, part of Nike’s sustainable manufacturing environmental excellence and innovation department, has created and implemented continuous improvement energy and CO2 programs for Nike’s manufacturing partners. He also created Nike’s internal renewable energy executive committee that is responsible for driving adoption of renewable energy across Nike’s owned and operated buildings, logistics and manufacturing partners. Since the program started in late 2008, Knabe’s work enabled Nike’s contract footwear factories to reduce their total energy intensity by over 50 percent, with more than $150M financial benefits generated from the program.

Track: Circular Economy & Supply Chain




Wednesday, May 16, 3:30-4:10 pm

The Intersection of Energy and Building Management
Moderator: Caitlin Rood, National Environmental Sustainability Director, Mercy Housing

Energy management is a vital component of any building management model that includes cost containment measures. Yet we all know that sometimes antiquated building systems that rely on fossil fuel use can drive costs up substantially. At the same time, innovative programs to reduce costs – and the use of carbon – can be expensive to initiative. What’s a building manager to do?

In this session, you will learn:

  • What are some examples in which building managers fund affordable energy management innovations
  • How a company can balance the demands to reduce its carbon footprint at the same time it satisfies its stakeholder
  • Where a building manager can look for best practices for successful energy management

Caitlin Rood is responsible for developing, implementing and tracking environmental programs in all areas of Mercy Housing operations, including development, operations and maintenance, resident services and office practices. Rood is an environmental engineer with a BS and MS in civil and environmental engineering. A 20-year veteran, Rood is an accomplished environmental, sustainability and efficiency professional and project manager with broad experience in environmental sustainability program development and reporting, energy and water efficiency, environmental management systems, audits, waste management and recycling.

Track: Energy Procurement & Renewable Energies


Making the Business Case for a Carbon Tax
Moderator: Dominick Brook, U.S. Leader, Global Sustainability Tax, Ernst & Young

While the current presidential administration may not be receptive to a carbon tax, many state and local governments seek ways to help meet the U.S. commitments under the Paris Accord and look for new ways to raise revenue. Companies can mitigate some of the business risk associated with carbon pricing and build support for this type of policy bu following some clear principles.

In this session, you will learn:

  • What different types of carbon pricing regimes (cap and trade v. carbon taxes) mean for businesses
  • How businesses can adjust to a carbon tax and potentially reduce its overall tax rate
  • Why other outcomes from a carbon tax may have a positive impact on companies

Dominick Brook focuses on analyzing and improving the ROI for sustainability strategies, including renewable energy investments, energy efficiency improvements, recycling initiatives, advanced manufacturing, and LEED-certified buildings. Brook also has experience with other related federal tax credits and grants, including New Markets Tax Credits, Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, and Department of Energy grants. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, he led the expansion of economic development services at Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs and served as an adjunct instructor of economics at Ohio University.



Track: Compliance & Risk


Achieving an Immediate ROI with PACE Funding
Moderator: Scott Ringlein, President, The Energy Alliance Group of North America

Energy and sustainability managers are challenged with making capital investments in efficiency improvement and renewable energy solutions beyond “low hanging fruit” opportunities. In fact, 98 percent of efficiency improvement and renewable energy projects go unfunded. One tool available to overcome these challenges is the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) funding program. The PACE program allows building owners to utilize a voluntary property tax assessment, rather than a personal guarantee, to secure long-term funding and achieve an immediate ROI while conserving capital.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Where PACE is available and how it can be utilized for sustainability and energy management projects
  • How PACE funded projects improve a company’s bottom line
  • How a positive savings-to-cost ratio is achieved in the first year of a PACE funded project

Scott Ringlein has accumulated more than 30 years of project and business development experience with clients throughout Asia, Europe and North and South America. He has managed projects for companies, such as Ford, Nissan, and Renault, and has developed numerous efficiency improvement, water conservation and renewable energy solutions for the industrial, commercial, multi-family, higher education, and municipal sectors. Ringlein is also a technical advisor to the US Department of Energy, leading technical reviews for technology innovation and commercialization funding.

Track: Leadership & Engagement


Wednesday, May 16, 5:10-5:50 pm

Greenhouse Gas Management Reporting
Moderator: David Parham, Deputy Director of Research, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board

With climate change receiving ever-greater global governmental attention and commitment to action, investors are calling for high-quality, comparable, and useful disclosures from companies describing their exposure to and management of climate-related risks. With a multitude of available reporting frameworks, disclosure channels and stakeholder groups, how can companies ensure the right stakeholders are receiving consistent, accurate, and relevant data describing company efforts to manage climate risk?

In this session, you will learn:

  • How can companies guarantee stakeholders information provided them is accurate and relevant?
  • What information on climate risk must companies provide to investors?
  • Which are the most serious climate-related risks that must be reported?







Track: Compliance & Risk


Making Your Company’s Business Case to the ESG Investing Community
Mike Wallace, Managing Partner, BrownFlynn
Amy E. Dine, Partner, Terra Alpha Investments
Lee O’Dwyer, Equity Market Specialist, Bloomberg

Whether you work for a large, multi-national publicly traded company or a small private company, stakeholders are increasingly demanding disclosure of your organization’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance information. These converging developments create the need for companies to fully understand and strategically manage the disclosure of a new set of performance metrics.

In this session, you will:

  • Learn of the developing trends in ESG investing
  • Find out how to build the strategic business case for greater ESG disclosure
  • Discover how influential stakeholders are using the information provided to them.

Amy E. Dine lead’s Terra Alpha Investments’ advocacy efforts to promote the use of environmental productivity and corporate environmental data in professional investment and business decisions. Dine also oversees proxy voting. Previously, she spent 10 years with Capital Group Companies, where she took on the environmental, social and governance research and engagement for Capital International’s institutional business as the initial ESG/SRI investment specialist in the early 2000s, overseeing $15 billion in assets with an SRI/ESG mandate.


Drawing on 15 years of experience in traditional and alternative investments, Lee O’Dwyer is an expert in environmental, social and governance (ESG) data; portfolio analysis; and equity fundamental valuations. Lee’s experience allows him to calibrate around the varied needs and styles of clients, allowing him to interpret their comments and provide meaningful and useful support. Working closely with product development groups and third parties, his goal is to advance ESG integration into investment decisions wherever possible.





Having given expert testimony to the European Commission, US SEC and EPA, Mike Wallace’s expertise in the field is highly regarded and valued by a wide range of colleagues and organizations. Wallace has chaired (or chairs) some of the field’s leading expert working groups and is an active member of business and nonprofit committees. As chair of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s ESG Ratings & Rankings Working Group, Mike brings unique insights to the ESG research field.





Track: Leadership & Engagement


The ROI of Coordinated Energy/Sustainability Initiatives
Moderator: Mark Wilhelm, Sustainability & Climate Neutrality Consultant, Quest Energy Group

Since lavish use of fossil fuels is so widespread, transitioning companies to true climate neutrality by 2050 or earlier will be difficult, but there is value to be found in doing so. Institutions are typically driven by incremental strategies with quarterly and annual horizons, which is an approach that doesn’t always deliver transformational change at the same time it delivers revenue to a company’s bottom line.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to identify the characteristics and differences between incremental and transformational strategies
  • Where companies can significantly reduce their reliance on fossil fuels in an economical fashion
  • What is required to create a partnership-based approach to GHG reduction roadmaps that provides economic benefit as well
  • What tools and approaches are required to deliver ROI with combined energy and sustainability initiatives

Mark Wilhelm has 30 years of experience in the energy industry and 20 years in sustainable building design, construction and operations. Wilhelm has served as the corporate sustainability leader for Ameresco, leading its Climate Neutrality Alliance with Arizona State University, which is intended to drive ASU to climate neutrality by 2035 with a positive financial result. He co-founded Green Ideas, Inc. where he provided high-performance building consulting for 38 million square feet of built space and helped develop 41 MW of renewable energy systems. Wilhelm directed LEED certification efforts for 80 projects, two-thirds of which earned Gold- or Platinum-level certification.

Track: Materiality & Metrics