In February, I was back at the annual GreenBiz flagship conference – a leading global conference that brings together sustainability leaders on the topics of net zero, circular economy, stakeholder engagement, biodiversity, resilient supply chains and more. I’ve been to around ten GreenBiz’s, and it has been fun to watch the growth of the event amid the expansion of the greater sustainability movement.
The interaction at GreenBiz23 was the first “normal” Greenbiz since 2019; in fact, attendance rocketed to what is surely a record of over 2000. Among other drivers, this is due to
- increased investor focus on ESG
- pending SEC regulations on GHG emissions
- the incoming workforce generation’s interest and focus on sustainability
- customer demand on suppliers for ESG disclosure
On the environmental front, Scope 3 was a hot topic throughout the conference, with a focus on granularity, specificity and traceability of offsets and renewable energy credits. I noticed many new service providers in this space vying to help companies meet science-based targets (SBTs). And speaking of SBTs, SBT for emissions is expanding to Science Based Targets for Nature and likely will be one of the next big environmental issues for large companies. The main KPIs seem likely to be focused on biodiversity.
Regarding social issues, the main focuses were on employee health and wellness, and particularly avoiding and addressing burnout. Nike sponsored a curated space with facilitated meditation and yoga sessions, which doubled as a quiet spot to pop in throughout the conference. This was a hit among many participants looking to balance their time spent on-site.
Scope 3 dominated in the governance pillar as well, specifically on the veracity and proof of Scope 3 data and reductions. This space is evolving quickly and going in the right direction for providing the necessary proof points of additionality for emissions reduced via third-party and off-site entities.
The question persists – is great sustainability performance a result of great management? Or is great management a result of great sustainability performance? The answer to both is simply “yes,” depending on a company’s unique history and journey. Sharing insights on the journey and applying them to your own company is what events like GreenBiz are all about – congregating, learning and moving forward together.