Plenary Sessions

Tuesday, May 15, 1:30-3:00 pm
Sustainability’s Role in Strengthening Your Business

Sustainability initiatives are most impactful when they are core to a company’s business model and operations. Get practical tips on how energy and environment practitioners can tie their daily work to business value, strengthen relationships with departments such as investor relations and supply chain, and create a culture that empowers all employees to contribute to the momentum.

David Tulauskas, Sustainability Director, General Motors

David Tulauskas develops GM’s sustainability strategy and ensures alignment with its business model. His activities include collaborating with various functions to embed sustainability into processes; sustainability reporting; and identifying KPIs for business planning.


Innovations in Material Transparency

Material transparency is quickly becoming a topic of discussion at companies in multiple industries. The hidden impacts of embodied carbon, toxic ingredients or byproducts, and previously unknown elements within the supply chain can hinder manufacturers’ material selection process. Some companies, including ThyssenKrupp Elevator, are pioneering innovations in this process. Learn about the quality of information on materials that’s required, why it’s hard to find, and what can be accomplished when the right steps are taken.

Brad Nemeth, Vice President, Sustainability, ThyssenKrupp Elevator

With a background in engineering, Brad Nemeth has over 28 years’ hands-on experience in a diverse array of disciplines. He has been involved with manufacturing, operations, supply-chain strategy, sustainability, and technology; and in initiatives to improve the environmental performance of products and services, create new marketing channels, develop new business opportunities, and find cost savings.

Wednesday, May 16, 9:15-10:15 am
Procurement Practices with Renewable Energies

Large companies, universities, and municipalities are increasingly interested in purchasing renewable energy to meet an array of ambitious sustainability targets. Large companies in particular have already purchased more than eight gigawatts of utility-scale wind and solar in the US and Mexico. However, organizations without energy market expertise can find it difficult to understand these transactions and navigate this emerging market. Discover the most common deal structures, internal obstacles and financial risks associated with off-site transactions and learn how other organizations have managed these issues in the past.

Ian Kelly, Manager, Electricity Practice, Rocky Mountain Institute

Ian Kelly joined the Rocky Mountain Institute in 2014 and currently leads the task force on risk allocation, which will result in an analysis of the fair value of new wind or solar plants across the US. Kelly joined RMI after completing a master’s degree in energy & environment at Duke University. Among his activities there, he conducted an analysis of the feasibility and environmental impacts of incorporating renewable energy, energy storage and energy efficiency into a proposed islanded-microgrid to power an artisanal diamond mine in Sierra Leone.


Big Companies, Big Carbon Reduction Goals.

Many of the largest corporations, across a wide range of industries, are now on their second—and in some cases third—set of ambitious, long-range goals to reduce carbon emissions over a period of time. As time goes on, and even as companies achieve early success, continual improvement brings its own set of challenges and opportunities as well.

Catherine Greener, Vice President, Sustainability, Xanterra Parks and Resorts

Catherine Greener has been vice president of sustainability of Xanterra Parks & Resorts since September 2012. She is responsible for overseeing all of Xanterra’s corporate environmental initiatives. Prior to joining the company, her experience included vice president of sustainability consulting at Saatchi & Saatchi, leader of the commercial and industrial team at the Rocky Mountain Institute, and director of quality and customer focus for ABB Flexible Automation. She holds a BS in industrial engineering from Northwestern and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Thursday, May 17, 9:30-10:30 am
Tackling Climate Risk in the Financial Sector

The financial sector has become increasingly focused on the potential financial implications of climate change for loan and investment portfolios, including how companies are positioning themselves to manage risks and capitalize on opportunities. There are many questions and challenges around how to best quantify and model the potential effects of climate change that must be tackled.

Mackenzie Huffman, Vice President, Sustainability Financing, JPMorgan Chase

Mackenzie oversees the bank’s initiative to supply $200 billion in financing for sustainability projects by 2025. Before joining JPMorgan Chase, Huffman was deputy chief of staff for the White House Council on Environmental Quality in the Obama Administration. Prior to that, she held several positions in the US Department of Energy involving clean energy financing.

Reduce. Replace. Revolutionize.

Just as the three “R’s” of education–reading/’riting/’rithmetic–form the foundation of our modern educational system, Reduce/Replace/ Revolutionize is a sustainability strategy that can work for operations, assets and services, as it does for FedEx. Learn how FedEx uses the building blocks of performance, transparency, innovation and leadership to change what’s possible.

Mitch Jackson, Vice President, Environmental Affairs & Chief Sustainability Officer, FedEx

Mitch Jackson leads the strategic direction and provides vision for all aspects of FedEx’s sustainability initiatives and environmental innovations and technologies. With over 30 years’ experience in the transportation industry, Jackson joined FedEx in 1985, and has been named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in business by Trust Across America for four consecutive years.

Thursday, May 17, 1:00-2:30 pm
Creating an All-Encompassing Strategy

Airlines represent one of the few major industry sectors to set and implement all-encompassing carbon-emission goals, committing to carbon-neutral growth by 2020. As the first airline to invest in biofuel production technology, Cathay Pacific Airways is leading the industry’s way. As part of its commitment to the environmental, sustainability and energy management, the airline uses sustainably-sourced products, recycled and repurposed materials in its cabins. This session will investigate which measures other major industries can take to create similar, all-encompassing goals.

Philippe Lacamp, Senior Vice President, Americas, Cathay Pacific Airways

Philippe oversees all facets of operations and commercial activities for Cathay Pacific Airways in the Americas, and has led its sustainability initiatives in North America. Before joining Cathay Pacific in 2016, he spent five years as head of sustainable development for Swire Pacific and John Swire & Sons, covering a range of industries including aviation, shipping and marine services, property development, beverages, and agri-business.

The Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference 2018 will be held May 15-17, 2018 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center in Denver, CO.