WEBINAR March 7: Understanding and Communicating Your Organization’s Sustainability and Climate Impact

Thursday, March 7 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

A third of the Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the binational Great Lakes region, the economic engine of North America. In a region that is guardian to one of the world’s largest freshwater systems, one that holds 20% of earth’s surface freshwater, environmental stewardship and corporate sustainability is a responsibility and an expectation. 

But how do we know that companies in our communities are implementing global best practices and adhering to the highest standards that will help protect our Great Lakes? And how can businesses, both big and small, build trust and communicate their commitments on sustainability and climate action?

Transparent reporting of environmental impacts, including carbon emissions, is a critical element of consumer trust and a growing requirement of governments across the globe, and sustainability reporting standards can help companies understand and communicate their economic, environmental, and social impacts. 

In the March 2024 webinar, co-hosted by CGLR and USBCSD as part of our Great Lakes Carbon Collaborative, we will hear from GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), an independent, international organization that sets standards and creates a global common language for impact reporting that fosters transparency, organizational accountability, and informed decision-making to advance sustainable development in the interest of all. The GRI Standards are the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting and are used by 78% of the world’s largest companies. 

During this one-hour webinar, we’ll hear about GRI’s approach to developing standards and how the reporting standards are helping companies communicate transparently. GRI will discuss the two-pillar reporting system and their role in the current sustainability and ESG disclosure landscape, as well as update us on new Climate Change and Energy Topic Standards revisions. If you are wanting to better understand and communicate your organization’s impact, including impact on climate change, be sure to register for this informative event.

Speaker:

Matthew Rusk, Head of GRI North America, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Matthew Rusk is Head of GRI North America, based in New York City. GRI is the independent, international nonprofit standard-setter that creates the global common language for impact reporting to foster transparency, organizational accountability, and informed decisions to advance sustainable development in the interest of all.

The GRI Standards are the world’s most widely used standards for sustainability reporting that are used by 78% of the world’s largest companies, over 11,000 organizations, and the majority of the Russell 1000. Matthew advances GRI’s mission by increasing regional knowledge and use of the GRI Standards by organizations of all sizes and types. He oversees the North American GRI Community of over 80 members committed to advancing corporate transparency and works with other corporates and service providers to raise awareness about the latest disclosure developments, best practices, and GRI resources including the GRI Professional Certification program, GRI Academy, GRI Certified software, and GRI Services.

Co-Hosts:

Lora Shrake, Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Lora Shrake is the Senior Program Director, Business and Sustainability for the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR), where she is working with a growing network of business leaders to connect across sustainability issues and support the advancement of cross-sector solutions. Some of the programmatic areas include circular economy, water stewardship, and climate change and decarbonization. She also facilitates CGLR’s monthly business and sustainability webinar series, providing a platform for knowledge sharing and amplifying regional best practice.

Lora’s career experience spans across non-profit operations, environmental program management, stakeholder engagement, strategy, and research. Prior to joining CGLR, Lora led a national green building council in the United Arab Emirates where she oversaw all aspects of the organization’s cross-functional development, including its impact and reach.

Claude Griffin, Executive Director, US Business Council for Sustainable Development

Claude is the Executive Director of the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), a globally recognized leader in sustainable development solutions, collaboration and innovation. Current platforms focus on decarbonization, equity, water/ecosystem synergies, and material reuse in support of a circular economy. Among his goals as executive director, Claude is expanding upon the US BCSD’s strong social equity foundation. 

Claude served skillfully as a program director at the US BCSD for two years, following retirement from Shell in Houston. He has more than 40 years of program and project experience in commercial and government sectors, focused on energy, environmental restoration, conservation, and social investment. Before retiring from Shell, he served as External Relations Advisor for Social Investment Environmental Programs in the US. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University.

About the Great Lakes Carbon Collaborative:

The Great Lakes Carbon Collaborative is connecting companies with decarbonization commitments to other like-minded companies and organizations in the region to develop action strategies together. Modeled after the US BCSD’s Gulf Coast Carbon Collaborative, the Great Lakes Carbon Collaborative is supporting the development and implementation of multi-industry decarbonization projects in the bi-national Great Lakes region. Business-led working groups are formed in the following areas – electrification, hydrogen, carbon capture use and storage, nature-based sequestration, and decarbonization through material circularity.

The US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Council of the Great Lakes Region serve as the Collaborative secretariat, organizing and facilitating working groups and helping members thoroughly understand decarbonization strategies leading to collaborative projects.

Visit the Great Lakes Carbon Collaborative website for more information: https://greatlakes.carbon-collaborative.org/

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