Q&A With Mitch Jackson, FedEx Vice President of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability

Posted by Guest Contributor on Thu, 2014-04-17 10:38

Join FedEx at Accerating Sustainability on May 6!

[Editor's note: This article was republished with permission by FedEx.]

In our ongoing series exploring the links between connectivity and innovation, we spoke with Mitch Jackson, Vice President of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability for FedEx. Jackson spearheaded the implementation of FedEx hybrid-electric vehicles, among the first in the commercial marketplace.

How would you describe the relationship between increased global connectivity and innovation?

MITCH JACKSON: I believe that global connectivity and innovation go hand in hand. If you think about it, attempts at globalization have been ongoing for centuries. Books like A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World (Grove Press) and Bound Together: How Traders, Preachers, Adventurers, and Warriors Shaped Globalization (Yale University Press) illustrate many of these efforts. What makes our current efforts different is the state of technology used for global connectivity — providing better efficiencies, speed and information. Innovation is clearly a...

Cardinal Health Empowers Women Through its Women in Pharmacy Initiative

Posted by Guest Contributor on Thu, 2014-04-17 10:14

By: Eden Sulzer, Director, Women in Pharmacy Initiative, Cardinal Health

The rising influence of women on the global economy -- a subject gaining heightened attention due to efforts by individuals like Carolyn Buck Luce and organizations such as the Center for Talent Innovation – cannot be understated – particularly in the healthcare space. In fact, women make 80% of healthcare purchasing decisions for their families and often serve as primary caregiver for their children, as well as aging parents. And who better to serve their healthcare needs than the growing number of women pharmacists, particularly those who run independent pharmacies where personal attention, backed by a first-hand understanding of women’s health, is the standard of care? 

Consider the facts:

  • Women comprised less than 13% of all pharmacists in 1970 but comprise almost half of all pharmacists today.
  • Because two thirds of new pharmacy graduates are women and because most pharmacists nearing retirement are men, the proportion of pharmacists who are women will continue to rise. By 2025, two out of three pharmacists are likely to be women.

The case for women in pharmacy doesn’t stop there.  The pharmacy profession is expected to grow 14.5% by 2022, was recently named #5 on the US News and World...

How Amway Helps and Advances Entrepreneurs at Home and Abroad

Posted by Guest Contributor on Wed, 2014-04-16 13:13

In 24 countries and from 26,000 people, Amway recently sought opinions on the attitudes, concerns and desires of would-be entrepreneurs. Titled the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, the study provides an up-to-date view on self-employment potential and obstacles hindering entrepreneurial activities around the world.

The data tells one story, and next Thursday, April 24th, at Georgetown University’s Riggs Library, a group of entrepreneurial experts will gather to tell the rest of the story.

Join us that morning at 9:00 a.m. as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s own Kara Valikai, director of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Issue Network, will join Arthur Brooks, Doug DeVos and Lisa Miller of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, on stage at a free panel discussion to uncover the human nature aspect of entrepreneurship, and the economic and social environment factors that impact it. 

Although they hail from different disciplines, every panel member believes it to be urgent to support the activation of potential entrepreneurs by jointly raising awareness,...

Public vs. Private Failure

Posted by Richard Crespin on Tue, 2014-04-15 16:58

There is a direct correlation between an organization's willingness to take risks and its ability to innovate. So imagine my surprise when I asked Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) if government agencies should "fail fast, fail forward" to come up with the big innovations necessary to tackle big problems and he said, "No."

Earlier this month, at the Catalyzing Growth in Emerging Markets Conference, in addition to the Congressman, I interviewed a number of leading thinkers on public private partnerships in the developing world including Intel's Wendy Hawkins, Dow Chemical's Bo Miller, PSI's Karl Hofmann, and JP Morgan Chase's Bruce McNamer. In contrast to the Congressman they all felt that ventures should take intelligent risks in order to quickly learn, adapt, and scale.

People in the private sector know from experience that, in the words of Intel's Wendy Hawkins, "...when you're on the bleeding edge the only way you can learn is from your mistakes." Civil sector leaders are more circumspect. Some, like PSI's Karl Hoffman live on the bleeding edge themselves. Karl's work creating markets for affordable condoms for people in the developing world required intelligent risk taking. At the same time, he faces a different level of donor and public scrutiny than companies engaged in commercial research and development.

In the public sector there's greater anxiety. Admitting failure brings tons of public,...

Public-Private Partnerships Improve American Competitiveness and Profitability

Posted by Hugh Welsh on Fri, 2014-04-11 10:08

Join  DSM at Accerating Sustainability on May 6!

In 2010 DSM, the global leader in life sciences and material sciences, announced its new strategy with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, innovation, partnerships, and sustainability. DSM began executing against this strategy almost immediately. On December 20, 2010, DSM announced that it had signed a deal to acquire NASDAQ--listed Martek Biosciences Corporation for $1.2 billion. This was an important first step in meeting the company’s new strategic goals. On December 21, 2010, DSM made another announcement about taking an equally important step in meeting its strategic goals: It inked a partnership in Washington, DC, with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Save Energy Now program.

While at first blush the private sector partnering with the government to improve sustainability and profitability seems improbable, the increasing challenges in energy and sustainability require innovative thinking and different kinds of partnerships. Pursuant to the Save Energy Now partnership, DSM North America pledged to reduce its industrial intensity by 25% over 10 years. This pledge is consistent with DSM’s global commitment to reduce its energy...

FedEx Fuel Sense: Every Drop Counts

Posted by Guest Contributor on Wed, 2014-04-09 15:55

Join FedEx at Accerating Sustainability on May 6!

By: Bobbi Wells, Managing Director, Air Operations Planning & Analysis, FedEx

FedEx moves more than 3.6 billion packages each year, across 220 countries and territories. It goes without saying commerce on this scale requires a lot of fuel. Aircraft are the biggest users at FedEx, but these planes are also flying farther, using less energy, and carrying more. It’s part of FedEx’s EarthSmart platform to create solutions for a more sustainable world.

For the aviation fuel management team, step one is to save as much fuel now without impacting quality or safety. Their Fuel Sense program is made up of 40 different initiatives—all designed to improve efficiency across operations, from pre-flight planning to in-flight routing and post-flight operation. Examples range from the simple and logical, such as shutting down one engine while taxiing an aircraft between the ramp and the runway, to the highly complex, such as creating new computer technology to optimize the speed of an aircraft during travel....

Strategic Sustainability

Posted by Ruth Kinzey on Fri, 2014-04-04 16:55

Sustainability is important. But, being smart about how you approach your corporate commitment to the environment offers a multitude of benefits, ranging from operational efficiencies to lessening your reliance on natural resources. That’s why strategic sustainability makes good business sense.

Recently, the Food Marketing Institute hosted a webinar given by Dr. Sally Uren, of Forum for the Future. Her presentation focused on the complex challenges of sustainability with practical tips for successful implementation. And while her presentation was on the global food chain, the model she used could be leveraged by those in other industries.

Dr. Uren identified five fundamental factors that impact food chain sustainability, which are the same factors faced by any business. They are:

  • Changing consumer attitudes
  • Increased demand/decreased availability
  • Changing climate
  • Technological innovation
  • Policy inadequacies

She then set these elements in relation to both certain and uncertain responses. For example, it’s clear that consumers are clamoring for higher supply chain standards. The public also is looking for increased transparency in regards to where food is grown and how it is processed.

Next, Dr. Uren offers...

More than Just Dollars: The Potential of the Private Sector to Contribute to Women’s Health

Posted by Guest Contributor on Thu, 2014-04-03 11:24

By Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

When governments, NGOs, and UN agencies conceive of global health interventions – be they products, services, or large-scale initiatives – each of their roles are often clearly articulated and carefully defined,  based on each organization’s knowledge, expertise and available resources. But when it comes to ‘leveraging the private sector,’ this is typically reduced to a single primary role: funding.

And there’s validity in a focus on funding: many companies are able to commit significant financial resources to global health efforts, which can enable scale, a focus on results, and a risk-taking mindset that often fosters innovation. But I believe funding just scratches the surface of what the private sector can offer to global health and development – specifically women’s health – and I was pleased to hear this sentiment echoed last month at the International Women’s Day Forum, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Business Call to Action and United Nations Office for Partnerships.

Titled “...

How Data Empowers Women

Posted by Jeff Lundy, PhD on Wed, 2014-04-02 17:22

On March 4, more than 500 leaders gathered for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and United Nations’ International Women’s Day forum held at the United Nations. This annual conference discusses the private sector’s role in economically empowering women around the world. Surprisingly, a new star arose that day: data. Across industries and sectors, speakers agreed on the complex need for data for a variety of reasons: i) to inform decision-makers on the success or failures of past initiatives, ii) to understand the needs for a group as large and diverse as women, and iii) to continue to show that there is a business case for the private sector to engage in women’s economic empowerment.

One of the resounding themes of the day was the argument from many sectors that empowering women is not simply a good cause, but there is a business imperative. Given that the business case for empowering women is inextricably linked to data, there was much hope and excitement during the day around how we can better use data to empower women, the business case is clear. Women around the world represent more than 65% of all purchasing decisions, including houses, cars, and health. In addition, if women worked at the same rate as men, GDP would expand substantially, estimated at 34% growth in Egypt; 12% in the United Arab Emirates, and 9% in Japan...

Embracing Corporate Leadership in Confronting the Nexus

Posted by Shanna Fricklas on Thu, 2014-03-27 15:23

On March 5-8, 2014 I attended UNC Chapel Hill’s Nexus 2014: Water, Food, Climate and Energy Conference, to gain insights for a research project I am spearheading this semester for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center.  There was a particularly compelling panel entitled “Nexus Corporate Stewardship: How Business is Improving Resource Use” which focused on how organizations are viewing and tackling energy-water-food nexus challenges. Among the high level speakers was Stuart Orr, Head of Water Stewardship from WWF International; Dan Bena, Senior Director of Sustainability at PepsiCo; Kim Marotta, Director of Sustainability at MillerCoors; and Puvan Selvanathan, Head of Sustainable Agriculture at the UN Global Compact.

Above all, the speakers on the panel and conversations throughout the rest of the conference stressed that collaboration is key to solving natural resource challenges that benefits communities, business and the environment, including as it pertains to the energy-water-food nexus. The nexus, as generally defined, means that water,...


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