3p Weekend: 18 Panels to Catch at Sustainable Brands (Even if You’re Not Going)

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

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Bummed you can’t make it this year’s Sustainable Brands conference in San Diego? You’re not alone. With busy work schedules and prior commitments, it can be tough to clear a full week for learning (and fun) in Southern California.

Time for the good news: While we can’t bring you the San Diego sun, this year you can catch some of the hottest Sustainable Brands panels right from your living room (or cubicle, as the case may be). Thanks to sponsor CVS Health, those who can’t attend SB’15 in person can still watch plenary sessions live, or on demand, for free.

So, don’t let your friends have all the last-minute SB planning fun. Pull up your calendar, and start making time for these Sustainable Brands sessions you can watch live from home.

Monday

 

1. Opening Plenary Remarks: From What If to How

Kick off the Sustainable Brands conference just like the attendees do — with opening remarks from SB founder and CEO, KoAnn Skrzyniarz. As always, she’ll set expectations for the conference and update the audience on conversations the global Sustainable Brands network has facilitated and hosted over the last year.

When: Monday, June 1, at 4:45 p.m. PT
Register here

2. How to Make Tomorrow Love Today: Meeting Society’s Needs Sustainably in the 21st Century

In this opening-day panel, Charlene Wall-Warren, director of sustainability for conference sponsor BASF, will outline ways in which the company is “strengthening its innovation processes to bring a range of chemical solutions that meet society’s 21st-century needs.” From urban living, to food, to smart energy – learn how BASF is future-proofing itself through smart analysis, engagement, innovation and co-creation.

When: Monday, June 1, at 5:40 p.m. PT
Register here

Tuesday

 

1. How Millennials and Gen Z are Changing the Game, and How a Chief Futurist Can Help

Ever hear of a Chief Futurist? Ford has. In this talk, Ford’s Chief Futurist Sheryl Connelly will unpack the value her job delivers to the rest of the company. She’ll dive specifically into “recent insights her team has reached about the ways Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the relationship between brand authenticity and trust,” SB says in its event program.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 11 a.m. PT
Register here

2. How to Intersect Sustainability and Marketing, Sell More by Selling Less and Drive Positive Impact

“While sustainability leaders are rallying everyone to ‘save the world’ with them, marketing executives’ first reaction is to frown at the complex sustainability agendas shoved in front of them. Indeed, marketers can feel that sustainability limits their creativity – after all, sustainability colleagues often seem to bring a dense, grim, wonky load of reality checks and demands,” SB points out.

Heineken knows all about this difference and has taken some interesting steps to alleviate the friction. Learn more from Michael Dickstein, the company’s global director of sustainable development.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 11:20 a.m. PT
Register here

3. How Major Technological Advances will Enable a More Sustainable Future

In this session, Chandrakant Patel, senior fellow and chief engineer for HP, will summarize promising ways in which “innovation in computing, connectivity and 3-D printing is enabling a more sustainable future.”

Expect not only a portrayal of the near future of tech innovation, but also an outline of specific sustainability-driven applications in smarter corporate, city and home infrastructure.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 12 p.m. PT
Register here

4. How to Close Material Loops and Drive Value from Innovative Partnerships

The Closed Loop Fund has attracted considerable attention since launching several months ago as a $100 million dollar joint investment of Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and other Fortune 100 brands.

This presentation will analyze the value and potential of the newly-formed Closed Loop Fund. Len Sauers, VP of global sustainability for Procter & Gamble, will also touch on other partnerships the company has joined in advancing corporate sustainability agendas.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 11:40 a.m. PT
Register here

5. How to Become Part of the Next Generation of Winning Brands

Looking to engage Millennials and Gen Z with design, certification and marketing? Learn from the pros in this Tuesday afternoon session.

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of Hollender Sustainable Brands, co-founder of Sustain Condoms and former CEO of Seventh Generation, and Meika Hollender, co-founder and marketing director at Sustain Condoms, explain.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 12:15 p.m. PT
Register here

6. How the Correlation Between Sustainability and Brand Strength has Changed in the Last Few Years

CSRHub, the world’s largest database of sustainability information, teamed up with Brand Finance, creator of the world’s largest database of brand values, to “combine analytical powers and examine the relationship between brand strength and corporate sustainability.”

This presentation from Cynthia Figge, CEO and co-founder of CSRHub, will share the latest results.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 4 p.m. PT
Register here

7. How to Galvanize an Entire Industry by Deepening System-level Understanding

Through the leadership of its president, Craig Shiesley, Silk is launching a new effort to shift the current 2050 food trajectory by “changing how food brands operate and how consumers think about food.”

As the leading plant-based food and beverage brand, Silk surely has a role to play. Craig Shiesley, who leads WhiteWave Foods’ plant-based food and beverage business in the U.S. and Canada (including the Silk portfolio and So Delicious Dairy Free beverages), will talk about this new mindset in an SB presentation.

When: Tuesday, June 2, at 4:35 p.m. PT
Register here

Wednesday

 

1. How to Lead for Sustainability, and What Engagement Levers to Pull both Internally and Externally

In this must-see panel on Wednesday, Marc Gunther, editor-at-large of Guardian Sustainable Business U.S., sits down for an interview with Chip Bergh, president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. Tune in to hear about sustainability leadership, stakeholder engagement and product design.

Their conversation will be followed by a presentation by Paul Dillinger, head of global product innovation at Levi Strauss, a perennial favorite at conferences from SB to SXSW Eco.

When: Wednesday, June 3, at 10:40 a.m. PT
Register here

2. How to Unify and Scale Sustainability Strategy across a Multi-brand Portfolio

VF Corp., a 25-brand parent company that includes labels like The North Face, Timberland, JanSport and Wrangler, among others, is making huge strides in sustainability.

In this session, Letitia Webster, the company’s global director of corporate sustainability, explains how the company is integrating its brands’ individual sustainability strategies and rolling them up into a “unified parent-corporation center of goal-setting, excellence and governance.”

When: Wednesday, June 3, at 11:35 a.m. PT
Register here

3. How to Improve the ROI of Business Model Innovation and Scale it to New Heights

Interface is a brand name that has become practically synonymous with corporate sustainability over the last couple of decades. Despite all of the company’s ambitious efforts and accomplishments, there still are fascinating aspects of its sustainability strategy that aren’t as well-known as they should be,” SB says in its event program.

We know a little something about the ROI of sustainability here at TriplePundit, so we’re pretty pumped for this one. On Wednesday afternoon, John Bradford, chief innovations officer for Interface, will talk about how the company is scaling a key pillar of its sustainability agenda to new heights.

When: Wednesday, June 3, at 12:15 p.m. PT
Register here

4. How to Generate New Layers of Value from Innovative Peer-to-peer Models

GoodGym is a “quickly growing group of runners who combine regular exercise with helping nearby communities – whether by visiting isolated elderly people, repairing various kinds infrastructure, or a number of other activities,” SB says.

That’s pretty awesome on its own, but it’s not the whole story. This peer-to-peer economy model teamed up with footwear giant New Balance to create even more shared value. Tune in for the scoop on what SB calls “one of the defining moments in mainstreaming the peer-to-peer economy.”

When: Wednesday, June 3, at 4:50 p.m. PT
Register here

Thursday

1. How a New Connected Life Can Transform Communities, and How to Know if Customers Care

From the devices we use daily to the increasingly connected offices and cities in which we work and live, the digital age brings clear convenience benefits. But can it also help us live a more sustainable lifestyle?

In this session, John Schulz, assistant vice president of sustainability operations for AT&T, will discuss how the expansion of mobile technology is empowering consumers to live more independently and sustainably. He’ll share what “steps AT&T is taking to bring new sustainability-driven innovation to consumers” and “how AT&T’s consumer engagement measurements have helped guide a new multi-pronged strategy.”

When: Thursday, June 4, at 10:40 a.m. PT
Register here

2. How Digital Innovation and Strategic Collaboration Can Drive Consumers to More Sustainable Goods

“For over five years, Walmart and more than 100 suppliers, several leading NGOs and government agencies have worked with The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) to build the Sustainability Index program,” SB says in its event program. The index gives brands information about suppliers and helps them manage their social and environmental impact across entire product lifecycles. In February, Walmart took things a step further by launching its Sustainability Leaders badge program.

In this session, author and sustainability consultant Andrew Winston talks to Manuel Gomez, VP of sustainability at Walmart, to learn more.

When: Thursday, June 4, at 11 a.m. PT
Register here

3. How a Science-based Company is Listening, Learning and Engaging with Stakeholders

3M was publicly targeted by ForestEthics at last year’s Sustainable Brands, but how far has it come since then?

In this session, Andrew Winston talks with Gayle Schueller, VP of global sustainability for 3M, to find out how the company balances an increased focus by consumers and investors on social responsibility.

When: Thursday, June 4, at 11:20 a.m. PT
Register here

4. How to Build a Bright Future Inside and Out

In this talk, we’ll hear from Jonathan Atwood, VP of sustainable living and corporate communications for Unilever. We don’t have many details on what he’ll be talking about. But, with Unilever’s track record in sustainability leadership, we’re willing to spend 20 minutes to find out.

When: Thursday, June 4, at 11:40 a.m. PT
Register here

5. How to Inspire People from All Walks of Life to Do a Tonne of Good

Stand For Trees is an innovative collaboration between Code REDD, USAID and Facebook, among others. It represents a “first-of-its kind consumer campaign that uses the power of social media and crowdfunding to enable everyone to purchase verified carbon offsets and take real and effective action to prevent deforestation and curb climate change.”

In this talk, songwriter and performer Prince Ea explains the program and why it matters. Offstage, Prince Ea is founder of Make SMART Cool (SMART being an acronym for Sophisticating Millions and Revolutionizing Thought). “The organization seeks to promote positive social change in various concrete ways from speaking at schools, organizing community events, benefit performances, partnering with community organizations and setting up educational mentorship programs,” SB says.

When: Thursday, June 4, at 12 p.m. PT
Register here

Want to make sure you don’t miss a beat from this year’s Sustainable Brands conference? Be sure to check out TriplePundit next week for coverage, and follow the hashtag #SB15sd on Twitter.

Mary Mazzoni

Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is the senior editor of TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and social justice. You can contact her at mary@triplepundit.com.