Amcor is driving environmental change by redesigning the world of packaging - learn how at their panel discussion, Closing the Loop: Collaborating to Scale the Circular Economy at the 2016 Net Impact Conference in Philadelphia, November 3-5.
Amcor and the New Plastics Economy
Unless you work in the packaging industry, you probably haven’t given too much thought about packaging in general. And yet, it’s a ubiquitous part of everyday life. What did you eat for breakfast? How did you rehydrate at your last sporting event? Did you take any medicine the last time you had a headache? The truth is, our modern urban lives wouldn’t be possible without effective packaging.
A plastic packaging leader
Amcor is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic packaging with operations in 44 countries worldwide. We make flexible and rigid plastic packaging for food, beverage, home and personal care, and pharmaceutical products. We’ve been working to reduce our environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, waste, and water use for many years and have long prided ourselves on our work to make efficient, responsible packaging- which includes using the right amount of packaging and the right materials for the package.
Data reveals that most of a product’s impact is in its raw materials, and only a minor impact is from its packaging (less than 10%). Furthermore, often using fewer materials is the most effective way to reduce the package’s impact, even if the material is not widely recycled. At the workshop we facilitated at the 2014 Net Impact Conference, however, we saw firsthand that consumers want to be able to recycle packaging.
Not only that, but the literature on the effects of plastic waste on the environment is shocking. The February 2015 article by Jenna Jambeck et al. in the journal Science quantified the amount of plastic waste entering the oceans each year- 8 million metric tons.
That is the equivalent of five plastic grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. Then you have the September 2015 report from the Ocean Conservancy, “Stemming the Tide,” which demonstrates that most of the waste entering the oceans is from countries in which waste management infrastructure has failed to keep pace with population growth: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Amcor has operations in four of those five countries. In January 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation released “The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics;” this report stated that if we don’t take action, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
The New Plastics Economy
Amcor, as a member of the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Alliance and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, is ready to tackle this challenge. At our panel discussion at the 2016 Net Impact Conference, we’ll be discussing our work to develop a circular economy for plastic packaging: one that recognizes plastic as a resource to be used again and again, rather than garbage to litter our environment. Packaging, as a vital part of our everyday lives, must be rethought, redesigned, and recycled. Join us November 4th at 2:45pm for Closing the Loop: Collaborating to Scale the Circular Economy.
Read more about Amcor and the new plastic economy here:
The 2016 Net Impact Conference is quickly approaching and we want you to get the most out of your experience. Whether you are looking for new connections, leadership skills, or even a job - we have one tip that will help amplify your experience: Twitter.
There are a growing number of conferences where tweeting can help you stand out, but let’s focus on the conference we are most passionate about: the 2016 Net Impact Conference!
Here are 10 easy ways to incorporate tweeting into your conference experience (psst, make sure you’re registered for NI16.)
1. Identify the conference hashtags you can use for targeted conference-specific conversations
It’s never too early to start the conversation so begin following the conference hashtags now. We have: #NI16 #passionmeetaction #makehistory #leadthechange
2. Focus on one specific session
At NI16 there are so many great sessions, from workshops to panels, covering topics including sustainability, transforming business, and social entrepreneurship. The hardest part will be picking which sessions to go to, but once you have decided check out that session’s specific hashtags.
3. Find the speakers or companies you are most passionate about…
And you guessed it, follow them on Twitter! Find out who is speaking and their handles here.
What sessions are you excited for? Tell the world! A sample tweet could be…“I’m so looking forward to the (Confessions of a Social Entrepreneur) session with (@DaraKosberg) at #NI16
5. Plan out how often you want to tweet
Planning ahead will help you not feel overwhelmed during the conference. If you are going to a panel for example, you could tweet one point each panelist makes, and have their Twitter handle and company handle on hand so you can include them in your tweet.
6. Always put the conference hashtag in your tweets
#NI16 #NI16 #NI16
7. Share your experiences through Twitter
You can generate conversations and inspire others through your participation.
This ongoing blog series features articles written by a few of the speakers we’re looking forward to seeing at the 2016 Net Impact Conference. Erin is Lead for Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab & Women Enhancing Technology Programs. She will be speaking at the "EdTech: More than Just Hype?" session on November 4th.
Expanding Wireless Reach through Public-Private Partnerships
I’ve spent much of the last decade leading Wireless Reach programs in Southeast Asia, many of which were EdTech related and focused on overcoming access barriers by bringing mobile devices, connectivity, educational content, and online resources to students and teachers at underserved schools.
Developed and implemented through public-private collaborations, these programs leveraged ubiquitous mobile technologies. And, while some programs used digital tools with more features and greater capabilities than in other programs, all helped prepare students for careers in the 21st century, serving as models for economic and social development.
For example, the first education program I led established computer labs and Internet connectivity in six schools in Indonesia and helped integrate the use of computers into the curriculum, providing more than 1,000 students with tools for education, research and valuable job skills training. Our team also created the Computer System Sustainability Toolkit, which we provided to the participating schools, empowering them to achieve financial and technical sustainability of their labs.
Currently, I lead the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ and Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) programs which, together, encourage young people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in the U.S. and around the world to experience science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, which is supporting the advancement of our future workforce.
Part engineering lab and part classroom, our Thinkabit Lab has been so successful in exposing middle school students to STEM-related subjects in a fun way that we’ve been collaborating with local schools and libraries to expand the Thinkabit model to their campuses. Our collaboration with Virginia Tech has resulted in the opening of the Virginia Tech Thinkabit Lab in the National Capitol Region, the first Thinkabit Lab outside California.
Our WeTech activities are building a healthy pipeline for girls and women in STEM. I’m particularly proud of Qcamp for Girls in STEM, an intensive summer camp program hosted at our Thinkabit Lab and designed to introduce and solidify middle school girls’ interest in STEM. Based on our success with our first cohort of girls, we expanded this program in 2016 with new Qcamp experiences for girls and boys and hosted our first non-US Qcamp for Girls in STEM in China.
Qualcomm & the SDGs
Goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals focuses on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning. Through our strategic sustainability programs, Qualcomm is contributing to efforts to achieve this very important goal.
I look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia next month!
Erin Gavin serves as a Senior Manager of Government Affairs for Qualcomm Incorporated. In this role, she is responsible for initiatives that focus on building a diverse and innovative pipeline of talent in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). One of her key programs is the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, which is the combination of a lab, makerspace, and classroom for 6-8th grade students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Erin also leads Qualcomm’s international and U.S.-based Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) program with the Institute of International Education.
Fall is an exciting time, the leaves are changing colors, pumpkin patches are opening, and that holiday spirit begins to fill the air. But what could make fall even better? Choosing to have a green fall this year.
Here are five easy ways you can have a positive impact this fall, so grab a pumpkin spiced drink and enjoy!
1. Compost your leaves
Raking the yard may not be the most enjoyable task, although jumping in the pile of leaves in always fun, but the effort to collect your leaves really goes a long way as you can use them as mulch for your yard. If you do want to throw your leaves away, try to stay away from plastic bags to hold the leaves.
2. Attend the 2016 Net Impact Conference
The 2016 Net Impact Conference is where emerging impact leaders go to collaborate, learn, and innovate for social and environmental change. Taking place November 3-5 in Philadelphia, you will hear from inspiring speakers and gain impact skills in breakout sessions including workshops, panels, and debates. Don’t miss out, register now.
3. Donate your old coats and blankets to homeless shelters
While many love the drop in temperature during the fall- wearing knit sweaters or drinking hot chocolate by a crackling fire- for others it can be a dangerous struggle just to stay warm enough throughout the night. Especially if you live in a cold climate, take some time to donate your old coats and blankets to a local homeless shelter, that old sweater that just hangs in your closet all year could save a life for someone in need.
4. Put your old pumpkins to a good use
There are so many ways to reuse your old pumpkins so before you head to the trash can, check out these ways to put your old pumpkin to better use: Compost - pumpkins are 90% water which means they easily break down making them a great addition to your compost pile. Just remove the seeds to prevent unwanted pumpkin plants. If you don’t have a compost bin or pile, check your local government, nearby farms, or community gardens to see if they collect old pumpkins. Cut your pumpkin into pieces for animals to eat Plant pumpkin seeds- The squash bee is one of many insects to pollinate pumpkin flowers. If you have room in your yard, you can save seeds for a harvest of pumpkins next year.
5. Keep your energy bills low
This is great for the environment and your wallet. Turn your dial down and crochet a blanket or sweater instead. Also get a programmable thermostat so you’re not heating an empty house when your family is at work or school.
By Cecily Joseph, VP Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer and Ruha Devanesan, Manager, Global Diversity and Inclusion, Symantec
This ongoing blog series features articles written by a few of the speakers we’re looking forward to seeing at the 2016 Net Impact Conference. Cecily will be speaking on Saturday, November 5th at 11:00am during the Beyond Diversity: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Sustaining Inclusion in Business session and Ruha will be speaking Saturday, November 5th at 9am during Breaking Through Barriers for the Inclusive Employment.
There is no denying that diversity is one of the most talked about issues in business at the moment. And for good reason. McKinsey research estimates that “$12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.” It also shows that shows that companies which are gender diverse are 15% more likely to outperform peers, those that are ethnically diverse are 35% more likely to outperform peers. And Gallup research shows that organizations with inclusive cultures have 27% higher profitability than those without.
Diversity helps us understand our customers better, respond to trends quicker, and stimulate innovation because of the diversity in thoughts and approaches. It also makes people feel more accepted and respected, creating a happier and healthier workplace. Diversity makes moral AND business sense.
Whose responsibility is it anyway? All of ours.
To create a future workforce that truly mirrors our available workforce, we must, as individuals within our organizations, recognize the role we play. Diversity is a lens we often apply, as CSR and social impact professionals, to the populations we target and how we spend our philanthropic dollars. We overlook, however, think about the diversity of our own internal teams, and of the partners we choose.
How can we as CSR and impact professionals integrate diversity into our business morals and every day work? How can we be provocative, and address controversial issues related to gender and equity head on? Below are a few key ways Symantec, and some other companies that inspire us, look to impact diversity across our functions, partners, customers, and communities:
Attracting, retaining, and advancing diverse employees. Through our diversity strategy rooted in the four key areas here, we have increased female representation on our board to 33 percent and are working towards our goal of having women in 30% of all leadership positions by 2020. Similarly, Walmart President’s Global Council of Women, comprised of 14 female leaders, uncovers opportunities for females and inspired Walmart Canada to create its Women Retail Program, that has resulted in females representing more than half of Walmart Canada’s managers, including its corporate office and field.
Ensuring an inclusive experience for our employees, customers and entire value chain.
Our five employee resource groups (ERGs) are key to building an inclusive culture. For example, due to the work of our Pride ERG, all-gender single-stall bathrooms are now available at Symantec headquarters and other main sites, and transgender inclusion guidelines are available to assist any employee transitioning during their Symantec tenure. AT&T, with a goal to hire 20,000 veterans by 2020, relies on its veterans ERG to mentor and support veterans transitioning into the company. And more than 10,000 employees participate in Target’s diversity focused business councils.
Additionally, this year we launched a new set of employee values and a leadership blueprint that call out diversity and inclusion as key tenets of how we work at Symantec. We are rolling out trainings for managers on the role unconscious bias plays in every day decisions, and trainings for all employees on how to build and sustain inclusion on teams.
Investing in your industry, customers, and entire value chain. Our signature Symantec Cyber Career Connection (SC3) program is addressing the growing cybersecurity workforce gap and provides underrepresented young adults and veterans the preparation and training to enter a long-term cybersecurity career.
Promoting equality on a national and global level.
At Symantec we partner with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and just in this past year have joined 180+ of the world’s most prominent companies including Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup Company, Starbucks, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Yahoo, to advocate for marriage equality, denounce the Bathroom Bill and support the Equality Act—protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination on a federal level in the United States.
Additionally, our #iamtech Medium publication, gives a voice to those underrepresented in tech through personal and thought provoking stories written by authors within and outside of Symantec.
Improving diversity requires a long term, multifaceted approach and while substantial progress has been made, as professionals with a purpose we can still do more. In the same way companies have shifted practices due to climate change and human rights risks, we need drive and courage to tackle gender and racial equity issues. For example, in a current series with Triple Pundit, “Black Lives Matter and Beyond: Corporate Leaders Respond,” we discuss the ways companies can address controversial racial and diversity issues, as opposed to shying away from the discussion.
We must step up and own this issue, drive awareness, and help our businesses integrate diversity & inclusion into their everyday operations. Whether or not we are part of an ethnic community, the LGBT population, just entering the workforce or an industry veteran, inclusion should be a concern and priority for all of us looking to create tomorrow’s responsible AND successful businesses.
Last April, Net Impact launched a program to inspire members to drive environmental change within their companies...and it worked!
The 2016 Impact at Work: Climate Disruptors Challenge required teams consisting of three or more co-workers to identify a need for sustainable impact within their company, initiate a project, and collaboratively work toward a solution.
So who won?
Aspen Global Change Institute
As a part of their final submission, teams were asked to summarize their project; describe how they engaged other stakeholders in the company; and discuss what team members learned about driving sustainability forward with their employer.
So let’s learn more about the impact these next generation intrapreneurs were able to have so we can all take inspiration from the example they set; that from any job title in any company, real impact can be achieved.
An organic and natural foods company based in Berkeley, CA.
What was their project?
Tiffany Tran, Judea Eden, Molly Janis, and Shauna Sadowski worked to create the company's first Facilities Energy Management Plan after Tran noticed ceiling and HVAC systems were being left on during weekends.
The Annie’s Inc. team were able to decrease their building's electricity and gas usage, equating to a reduction of 13.8 metric tons of CO2.
“It takes time to encourage behavioral change, and communication regarding change is essential… It took some time for employees to understand the changes and the new process, however employees quickly caught on,” said the Annies, Inc. team.
Baxter International - Winner: New Team Track
What is Baxter International?
A leading company in the healthcare industry for more than 80 years, located in Deerfield, IL.
What was their project?
The Baxter team were inspired to take a grassroots approach to sustainability and employee engagement by launching a Reuse-A-Shoe-Drive pilot project to encourage employees to recycle old and worn out athletic shoes to be transported to NIKE store locations and transformed into playground surfaces throughout the nation.
They were able to save embedded energy in the shoe production process.
The Baxter team plans to establish a more formalized employee business resource group around sustainability with executive sponsorships and a governance structure.
Aspen Global Change Institute - Honorable Mention
What was their project?
After launching an energy table filled with data on energy sources in 2015, team members John Katzenberger, Emily Jack-Scott, Elise Osenga, Ellie Barber, James Arnott, and Alyson Wright found the Getting Near Zero Energy Tool allowing users to bring that data to life.
Users are now able to create their own global energy scenarios and create an energy future to see the impacts of their scenario on primary energy supply, carbon emissions, energy costs, and carbon budget.
“It’s important in the pursuit to combat climate change to channel energies towards productive solutions and opportunities rather than perpetual bad news and despair,” said the Aspen Global Change Institute team.
Winning teams received a donation to the environmental nonprofit of their choice, therefore driving sustainable impact from inside and beyond their office walls.
A special thanks to the Moxie Foundation and bobble for their support on this project.
At 3M, our Sustainability platform and strategy is built on the concept of purpose. We call it our Every Life Ambition, and to us it means improving our business, our planet, and every life.
At the core of purpose is who you are. Who you want to be. And what you want to do. At 3M we like to imagine a world where every life is improved – where natural resources are reliably available, people have access to education and opportunity, and communities are safe, healthy, connected and thriving.
We define purpose as collaboration, innovation, and empowering individuals. We’ve always been a company that solves our customers’ challenges, and a company that empowers employees to address the issues they want to impact. Using those same processes and passions to address shared global challenges, in partnership with civil society, communities, and our customers, is a new and exciting path forward for us. And one that brings value to both society, as well as our business.
We know we cannot solve these problems alone. By 2050, the earth is expected to be home to 9 billion people. This number poses some big challenges, and will require some big solutions.
So the question is, where do you fit? How do you define your purpose?
Defining your purpose is not easy. We get that. But key to collaborating towards big solutions is purpose-driven business. That requires individuals empowered and inspired by their purpose, pushing for new and creative ideas.
We think you define your purpose by:
● Identifying your strengths, values, and passions.
● Creating shared value.
● Being your authentic self.
At 3M we are working to spread the message of purpose-driven business. We encourage our employees to have a childlike curiosity. To explore the limitless boundaries of science and to uncover new ways to solve challenges.
The bottom line? A strong sense of purpose is good for business and for the big picture.
To learn more about defining your purpose, and how 3M is #improvinglives please visit our workshop Saturday, Nov. 5th at 11:00am and visit our Expo booth.
At the 2016 Net Impact Conference, Southwest will be tackling the issue of community fragmentation, and you can help support them. Engage with Southwest leaders and community resilience experts, take a walking tour of Philadelphia, and explore ways to make communities stronger at NI16. Megan Lee is theSr. Manager Community Programs and Engagement at Southwest Airlines.
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost time for #NI16! It feels like we were just getting ready for last year’s conference in Seattle … yet we’ll be packing our bags for Philadelphia soon.
In the past year, we’ve been busy– after awarding 6 Heart of the Community grants in April, we have now supported 18 placemaking projects in cities where we fly, bringing our unique “open seating policy” to public spaces. Instead of simply connecting people to places, we are connecting people to people – building community in the places we fly across the country.
Making connections across the skies – and right in your backyard
But across the country, there continues to be a decline in community participation and in gatherings with neighbors. When we don’t even know our neighbors' names, how can we work together? How do we begin to solve the complex issues that face us? How can we respond in a state of emergency? How can we ensure our cities are welcoming for visitors and for future generations?
Connections are the key to a healthy society. Resilient communities – those which are nimble, collaborative, and well connected – are the ones that thrive through turbulent times. In resilient communities, local residents have a sense of ownership in the place they call home and feel compelled to work with others, creating even stronger connections.
To make a difference, we all have a role to play.
Here’s where you come in
So, how can we tackle the issue of community fragmentation? At this year’s Net Impact Conference, we’ll be partnering with our friends from Project for Public Spaces for a two-part interactive workshop to explore these topics.
On Saturday morning November 5, join us for a walking tour of downtown Philadelphia, culminating in a visit to a Heart of the Community project site at City Hall, where we will discuss the work that is underway and the local issues we are addressing.
Later that day, we’ll dive into an interactive workshop and dialogue, focusing on themes from the tour and identifying strategies to bring people together.
Whether you’re building a career in urban planning or are passionate about strengthening your own city, you will leave with ways to make local communities stronger and more resilient.
We are looking for 24 dedicated individuals to sign up for this two-part tour and workshop – an exclusive opportunity to work closely with Southwest leaders and experts in community resilience.
To join us, think about how you would work to build connections in your community and apply here by October 17!
Red Solo cups have become a symbol of American parties, especially on college campuses nationwide, but two Net Impact club members from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School have found a better use for them.
Deanna MacCormac and Lisa Dunleavy, rising seniors and business majors at UNC Kenan-Flagler, were inspired by their campus Net Impact Club to find an environmentally friendly alternative to the ubiquitous red Solo cups. After being introduced to three other students who were also trying to spark change by spreading awareness on campus sexual assault, they aligned with the idea to replace the traditional party cups with environmentally friendly cups emblazoned with an awareness message.
Launched last Spring their innovative project has grown into a campus-wide business and now its founders are preparing for even greater impact by beginning to think about expanding beyond their school. In the meantime, they’re getting ready for their first full year operating at UNC.
You may be wondering, how did they accomplish this? Well, they teamed up and founded Carolina Conscious as a campus club. Then they embarked on designing the cups, found a way to mass-produce the cups, and thus the business was born. In the last month of school, Carolina Conscious sold 20,000 cups.
“It got too big for us not to do it,” MacCormac says. “We’re trying to encourage a culture shift. Carolina Conscious is helping people do their part, without them having to take a very big step themselves.”
For the Environment:
Carolina Conscious cups are made of corn-based bioplastic that can decompose in 50 days. They order the cups in bulk and sell them in smaller numbers to groups throwing parties on campus. This is important because traditional red Solo cups last hundreds of years in landfills without decaying.
Against Sexual Assault:
The logo was designed to direct party-goers to the Carolina Conscious website, which provides data specific to their college that was published in 2015 by the Association of American Universities’ Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Some of the most shocking data from the report shows that one in four female undergraduates, and one in 15 male undergraduates, have been raped or sexually assaulted. All the more reason for a greater awareness of sexual assault. The site also provides advice on how to have an honest conversation about sexual consent.
The Carolina Conscious website states “We need to make strides to end sexual violence at UNC. Learn about the issue, become more than a bystander and make a conscious choice to improve our campus culture.”
By advocating social and environmental change on their campus, these Net Impact Club members are taking responsible parting to a whole new level.
Work plays an essential role in most of our lives; we spend eight hours of our 24 hour day at work, it gives us financial security, and it provides opportunities for personal growth and passion. As the famous quote says “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
Finding a job where you can make a positive impact on the world is possible from any career position and provides a purposeful career and personal satisfaction. Wherever you are on your career path; undergraduate, graduate, MBA, or a working professional, Net Impact is your resource to explore careers with positive social and environmental impact.
Our website provides Impact Career Profiles to give you the information and resources to discover different types of impact careers. One career profile example is our Impact Investing Portal where you can learn the fundamentals of the field, watch videos from practicing experts, and chart your own career path.
At 2016 Net Impact Conference this November 3-5, in Philadelphia, we have programming to give you the inspiration, resources, and connections to pursue a career with impact. For example, if you are exploring a career in the sustainability field, this workshop could help you on your way:
In this interactive workshop, you will unpack the sustainability job landscape, and then immerse yourself in an exercise to help you map your skills to best position yourself for those roles. Experts will share cutting-edge trends in the marketplace. Whether you’re early on in your career path or hoping to make a professional shift, you’ll walk away with a better understanding of your worth in the market and where you fit into the sustainability job spectrum.
Or perhaps you are wondering how you could balance working in a social impact career with your busy life; hear from industry leaders at this panel:
Work, Life, Impact: The Personal Side to Changing the World
Working in social impact careers can be emotionally draining, therefore it is important to establish a work-life balance that works for both for you and your family. But that isn’t always easy; it takes dedication and compromise and is considered by some to be, at best, an elusive ideal and, at worst, a complete myth. Hear how those working in the social impact career space have maintained relationships and a healthy personal life while working for the greater good.
Now that you are exploring purposeful careers, stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series to find out how the 2016 Net Impact Conference can help you actually land an impact job.