Welcome to our series of interviews with leading female CSR practitioners where we are learning about what inspires these women and how they found their way to careers in sustainability. Read the rest of the series here.
TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.
Jennifer Dudgeon: I am the Principal, Office of Sustainability at CA Technologies.
I’ve worked at CA Technologies for 2 and a half years. My primary responsibilities are:
- Ensure that our GHG footprint is transparent, accurate, inclusive, third party verified, and communicated correctly internally and externally.
- Develop and lead our global Green Team program. Through this program we are engaging our colleagues around the globe and harnessing their energy, enthusiasm, ingenuity and knowledge in this space so we can make our offices more efficient, educate our colleagues and raise awareness on our successes in this space.
- Support the development and execution of corporate sustainability strategy.
- Report on our progress to CDP, DJSI, Maplecroft, Bloomberg, IW Financial, Customer RFPs and other organizations looking for information on our sustainability program.
3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?
JD: CA Technologies sustainability program was initiated in 2006 with our first submission to the CDP. From there, a small team was established to identify ways we could make our operations more efficient. In 2008, we released our first Sustainability Report and in 2010, we hired our current CSO, Cynthia Curtis.
She has transformed the program by creating a governance model, getting board oversight and establishing environmental targets – including our GHG reduction target. Since her arrival, we have released annual sustainability reports which continually disclose more information to the public. Additionally, we have been able attract more investors through our partnership with CERES and submissions to more investor surveys, including Bloomberg, Maplecroft and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). We have a multi-pronged approach to employee engagement which includes training, green teams, and a social network/gamification platform.
We have now started Sustainability 2.0 where we intend to operationalize the people, profit, planet principles throughout our business. We are excited about this next phase and have established many strong partners throughout out company to make this happen.
3p: Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who affected your sustainability journey, and how.
JD: I have worked in energy/climate change for 15 years and learned much along the way. I know my field and I like to think that I’m good at my job. But it wasn’t until I got an opportunity to work with and for Cynthia Curtis, my Chief Sustainability Officer, that I really grew in this profession. Her passion for this is contagious. She has broadened my vision to be not just a tactical analyst on energy, climate change and environmental elements but to be more strategic and a future leader in this space.
3p: What is the best advice you have ever received?
JD: “It doesn’t matter what you do – just do it well and you will succeed.” My older brother told me that when I was contemplating majors in university. I have taken it with me ever since. I’ve had many jobs during my career and not all of them were wonderful all the time, so during those times I leaned on his words of wisdom like a crutch. I would remind myself that even if I wasn’t completely interested in working on a specific job, I still needed to give it my all and do my best and then success would come my way. My definition of success, while morphed throughout my life, was getting a job I wanted and having a lifestyle I enjoy. I can now say I’ve succeeded and thank my brother for his voice in my head during the tough times.
3p: Can you share a recent accomplishment you are especially proud of?
JD: I was given the opportunity to develop and lead our global Green Team program. This is something I had never done before – managing by influence and inspiring a volunteer army across the world to engage with their local colleagues and make their office greener – to make a difference. I have spent many hours outside work learning how to be effective at this and while I think I will always be on this learning curve, I am proud that we now have 20 teams representing 58 percent of our employee base. Our teams have had some fabulous successes with landfill waste initiatives and general awareness raising and it’s really nice to see that. The Green Team Captains are fabulous, passionate people and I’m proud that I have the opportunity to work with them.
3p: If you had the power to make one major change at your company or in your industry, what would it be?
JD: I think if I would change one thing, it would be the volume of questionnaires we receive from investor groups and green rankings. It takes a considerable amount of time to respond to each of these – taking away time that could be used to further our program.
3p: Describe your perfect day.
JD: Interesting question. I have two young children so any perfect day would have to start with them getting ready for school without me nagging them! After that I would spend 30–45 minutes in the pool to clear my head and get me energized for the day. Once at the office (and let’s be honest if the day was perfect I would have cycled in!) I would spend the morning doing some analysis that yields results which help tell our sustainability story to our stakeholders. I do enjoy engaging with people and so I guess in the afternoon I’d spend an hour in front of a group of interested people discussing what sustainability means to CA Technologies, what success we’ve had, where we’re going from here and how they can help.