Detroit’s Moment: Accelerating the Sustainable Business Revolution
United States of America
Detroit’s Moment: Accelerating the Sustainable Business Revolution
Sustainability is a critically important driver of business in our region – it adds value and impacts justice and equity. Join the newly formed Sustainable Business Network of Detroit (SBN Detroit) in this inaugural event that will focus on how we can mobilize businesses and organizations of all sizes to make Southeast Michigan a global leader in sustainability.
Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Business enterprise at the University of Michigan, will talk about the importance of sustainability to business now and how collaboration and creativity can accelerate the pace of sustainable change. Following his remarks, Andy will moderate a panel of recognized leaders in sustainable business: Bob Holycross, vice president, sustainability, environmental and safety engineering, Ford Motor Co.; Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO, Rebel Nell; and Carla Walker-Miller, founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services.
About the Sustainable Business Network of Detroit: In 2020, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation conducted an interview-based study to assess the status of sustainable business efforts in Southeast Michigan. The study revealed that while many local businesses have activated sustainability initiatives, there is an urgent need for collaboration. With global climate change accelerating and equity declining among marginalized populations, the Erb Family Foundation assembled a coordinating team of leaders to join it as partners in a network: the Erb Institute, Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (SMSBF), TechTown, Wayne State University, and Inforum. The group’s goal Is to create a sustainable business ecosystem through a network serving as a hub for idea sharing, programming, content, mentoring, and other activities to advance and accelerate the systemic adoption of sustainable business practices. Questions about the network? Click here.
Andrew Hoffman, professor of environment and sustainability, University of Michigan
Andrew is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; a position that holds joint appointments in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School for Environment & Sustainability. His research uses organizational behavior models and theories to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations. He has published over 100 articles/book chapters, as well as 18 books, which have been translated into six languages. In this work, he focuses on the processes by which environmental issues both emerge and evolve as social, political and managerial issues. Some of the topics he has covered are the evolving nature of field level pressures related to environmental issues; the corporate responses that have emerged as a result of those pressures, particularly around the issue of climate change; the interconnected networks among non-governmental organizations and corporations and how those networks influence change processes within cultural and institutional systems; the social and psychological barriers to these change processes; and the underlying cultural values that are engaged when these barriers are overcome. To read more about Andy click here.
Bob Holycross, vice president, sustainability, environmental and safety engineering, Ford Motor Co.
Bob serves as the company’s top environment and safety officer, responsible for implementing sustainability best practices throughout the company and leading our global environment and safety strategy, policy and performance. Prior to his current role, Bob was director, Sustainability, Homologation and Compliance (2018 to 2019). In this position, he was responsible for sustainable business plans and policies, environmental negotiations with regulatory bodies around the world, reporting on the company’s environmental and social performance, and engaging with non-government organizations and other outside stakeholders. Previously, Bob was vice president of Sustainability, Environment & Safety Engineering, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa (2016-2018). Bob began his career at Ford in 1993 as a Ford College Graduate. Since that time, he has held several engineering and supervisory positions related to streamlining and reforming regulatory protocols in support of Ford’s business plans. He has chaired several government and industry committees, testified before federal and state government bodies on environmental and energy matters, and moderated several third-party technical panels through organizations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. To read more about Bob click here.
Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO, Rebel Nell
Amy’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for helping others lead her to cofounding one of her greatest accomplishments, Rebel Nell in 2013. Rebel Nell is a jewelry company with a purpose, that employs women with barriers to employment to help them transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance. As Co-Founder, Amy’s background in law and business has significantly contributed to the success of Rebel Nell in its early stages. Living next to one of the city’s most well-known shelters gave Amy the unique opportunity to build relationships with many of the residents. The inspirational stories many of the women shared of overcoming emotional, physical and financial abuse were the catalyst for creating Rebel Nell. Amy was adamant about providing women in the shelters with an opportunity to lead an independent life. She believed that employment paired with financial literacy, business education, and a focus on life wellness would help them regain the confidence they need to lead them on the path to success. Prior to taking over as CEO of Rebel Nell, she served as Vice President of Special Projects and General Counsel for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). RISE and as the Associate Counsel for the Detroit Tigers. For more about Amy and Rebel Nell click here.
Carla Walker-Miller, founder and CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services (WMES)
Carla Walker-Miller is the founder and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services (WMES), a 20-year old values driven company that changes lives through energy. Her high performing firm helps electric and gas utilities achieve mandated energy reduction goals that reduce energy waste, create local jobs, decrease the energy burdens on families, and reduce harmful greenhouse gases. Started in 2000 after an 18-year corporate career in technical sales, Carla reinvented her company during the height of the recession, successfully pivoting from electrical transmission and distribution equipment sales to the rapidly growing energy efficiency industry. With 7 times revenue-growth since 2014, and average annual revenues of $25 million, Carla has molded WMES into one of the largest African American and woman owned energy waste reduction companies in the country. Determined to create positive change, Carla is a visionary who leads with both empathy and tenacity. A long-time Detroit booster, Carla champions diversity, inclusion and equity in the energy industry by aggressively recruiting and training a workforce that reflects the rich diversity of the communities her company serves. She is a sought-after speaker on issues relating to entrepreneurship, diversity, inclusion & equity, energy efficiency, workforce development, utility affordability and sustainability. To read more about Carla click here.
Date: Wednesday, June 16
Time: 12 - 1:15 p.m.
Place: Virtual link will be sent to those who register
Cost: Free. Registration is required.
Partners of the Sustainable Business Network of Detroit:
Not a member? Join Inforum today!
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