Episode 234: Circularity 20 highlights, talking green chemistry
Fri, 08/28/2020 – 02:00
Week in Review
Stories discussed this week (6:45).
- The rise (and rise) of sustainability-linked finance
- This Israeli startup mimics mangroves, coral and oysters to create protective seawalls
- Amid devastating forest fires, One Trillion Trees movement puts down U.S. roots
Mainstage highlights from Circularity 20 (19:10)
This week, GreenBiz hosted Circularity 20, the largest North American conference focused on circular economy issues. We’ll be posting videos for many systems in coming weeks. Meanwhile, here are highlights from four of our mainstage speakers. (A second batch is forthcoming next week.)
- Dame Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which has been instrumental in catalyzing collective corporate action to address key circular economy issues such as plastics and food waste, kicked off the conference. This outtake feature her thoughts on systems change and the link between climate change and circularity.
- Audrey Choi, chief marketing officer and chief sustainability officer of Morgan Stanley, gave a great presentation on ways to engage the C-suite about circular economy issues. “I can’t think of another instance in which it would be a smart business position to take a finite natural resource, turn it into a product we use on average for 12 minutes and throw it away,” she said, talking about single-use plastics.
- Ovie Mughelli, the former Atlanta Falcons fullback who has dedicated his voice and resources to environmental education for children, challenged the business community to work harder on including environmental justice considerations in their strategy.
- Jasmine Crowe, founder and CEO of Goodr, addressed the persistent problem of food waste and made the case for why every company — no matter its industry — needs to be have a strategy for addressing it.
Reflections on circular economy progress (34:00)
Lauren Phipps, director of the Circularity conference and senior analyst for GreenBiz, chats about the challenges — and opportunities — associated with taking the event online, the need to move from pilots into fully scaled projects and the imperative to prioritize concerns for equity and access in circular business processes.
Green chemistry pioneer goes corporate (44:05)
Chemist John Warner has joined materials company Zymergen as a research fellow, where he’ll focus on building the 12 principles of green chemistry into its work. Warner and Zymergen co-founder and CEO Josh Hoffman chat about their new mission.
*Music in this episode by Lee Rosevere: “Curiosity,” “Knowing the Truth,” “4th Avenue Walkup,” “Going for a Coffee,” “Here’s the Thing” and “And So Then”
*This episode was sponsored by WestRock
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