Ep. 100: Janis Searles Jones – CEO, Ocean Conservancy ||

Ocean Conservancy educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic -to- the Gulf of Mexico -to- the halls of Congress, Ocean Conservancy brings people together to find solutions for our blue planet.  Driving forward progress built on science, policy, advocacy, and citizen engagement, for 48 years, Ocean Conservancy has fought relentlessly to protect the ocean and its wildlife we rely upon.

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Thanks to these efforts tangible progress has been made on a range of issues including ocean plastic pollution, smart ocean planning, sustainable fisheries, ocean acidification and sea turtle protection. The ocean is the great global commons and the Ocean Conservancy keeps that sentiment front and center for key policymakers in the U.S. and abroad.  This approach allows us, mankind, to become better shepherds of the bounty of the sea and preserve the sanctity of our oceans for generations to come.

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In our 50 minute discussion we learn about the lineage and focus of the Ocean Conservancy.  I ask Janis Searles Jones, CEO of the Ocean Conservancy, about the organization’s strategic priorities and how they have evolved since she has taken the leadership role in 2017.  We learn about their diverse ocean health efforts, and about what has successfully percolated to the domain of public knowledge.  We hear what’s really working and how certain pathways to broader awareness – initiatives focused on the likes of plastic straws & sea turtles – are serving as an impetus to drive real change by empowering end users, consumers and voters.  We discuss the state of biodiversity in our oceans and the capacities for the seas to continue to keep buffering the excess amounts of heat and carbon we’re spewing into the atmosphere.  We learn what Ocean Conservancy is doing to instigate climate action in projects ranging from local clean-up initiatives, all the way up to global policy making in multi stakeholder relationships like the Paris Accord.

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We discuss seafood and the state of our global fisheries.  In our chat we learn how we may or may not be able to continue to feed over 3 billion global citizens reliant on seafood as their main caloric intake – on oceans threatened to be exhausted within a decade.  I ask about Searles Jones’ interest and enthusiasm for Regenerative Ocean Farming.  How this smart and pragmatic management practice of generative natural resources can spawn a sea change in our relationship and management of the oceans.

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BIO: Janis Searles Jones champions the work of the Ocean Conservancy’s fight against the growing threats of oil and gas development, increased maritime shipping, overfishing, contamination and climate change.  As CEO of Ocean Conservancy, Searles Jones helms the efforts of this leading conservation organization’s strategic direction to preserve the health of our oceans  – bringing her passion, logic and commitment to their work throughout global waters.  Searles Jones is a respected expert in the marine conservation field – authoring numerous pieces on the sustainable use and proper management of ocean resources. Janis was a 2017 Pew Marine Fellow, and prior to taking the leadership role at the Ocean Conservancy – she was senior regional counsel and policy advisor for Oceana, and the staff attorney for the Alaska office of Earthjustice.

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We must stop exhausting the health of oceans in our mining of biodiversity and exploitation in using them as our dumping grounds.  Representing 70% of the face of the panet, oceans constitute our best opportunity to balance a planet under threat by enveloping the ideas of systems thinking which will save our own asses through investing in the well being or others. It’s an opportunity to coexist with life on the planet by stepping-up and acting as a steward of the seas.

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Janis Searles Jones book recommendations:

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photo credit: Ocean Conservancy & Jasmine Ive 


 

Ep. 99: Jennifer Morgan – Executive Director, Greenpeace International ||

Joining for ep. 99 is the Executive Director of Greenpeace International, Jennifer Morgan.  For 50 years, Greenpeace has been fighting for ecological justice.  Now, arguably the pre-eminent non-governmental voice instigating environmental action, Greenpeace has a focused lens on addressing climate change, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling, genetic engineering and orchestrating anti-nuclear campaigns.

 

 

In 2019, there were approximately 4000 Greenpeace staff working for Greenpeace International and its offices around the globe, alongside tens-of-thousands more volunteers and passionate activists!  The co-ordinating body of Greenpeace International represents the collective actions of 27 independent national and regional organizations in over 55 countries and regions across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. In our 45 minute discussion we cover how Jennifer and her global team makes sense of all of the moving parts.  We learn how the preservation of biodiversity is the lifeblood of Greenpeace’s activism. 

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We hear more about the lineage of the organization, and how Jennifer came to lead efforts with this world renowned ecologically focused juggernaut set on “ensuring the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity”.  We discuss where Greenpeace plays in the Paris accord, and how the United States should not just be re-entering the agreement, but lead in future efforts to define substitutive and quantifiable climate actions.

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A focus area of our conversation is the utilization and shepherding of regenerative natural resources. Specifically, with the production of food.  What humans eat from land and sea has a vast impact on the planet and its inhabitants.  In our conversation we explore how food values may materialize as a unique angle to drive environmental awareness with broader audiences.  How much of the global population can choose these food values as a way to take environmental action, 3-times daily.  We also explore concerns of food insecurity, for those who don’t have access to enough food or nutriment in the developing world and within some of the richest countries on the planet.  Food insecurity is real, and we learn what Greenpeace is doing to address impending problems throughout these diverse corners for often marginalized communities.   One thing is for sure, we can’t keep exhausting regenerative natural resources just to generate more calories that may never reach the target audience. It’s ecological suicide.  

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Jennifer Morgan became Executive Director of Greenpeace International in 2016. Formerly, Morgan was ‘Global Director for the Climate Program’ at the World Resources Institute.  Additionally, she was ‘Global Climate Change Director’ at Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G) and she led the ‘Global Climate Change Program’ at the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).  She is passionate about helping countries, governments and individuals take positive action to achieve a zero-carbon future, and is a strong proponent of the need of companies to “go green” and invest in sustainable technologies.

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Tune in to hear Jennifer’s thoughts on how antagonizing and instigating change has  set forth numerous efforts by Greenpeace to realize lasting impact on a shrinking planet.

 


photo credit: Greenpeace International & Roland Berger


 

Ep. 98: Joel Makower – co-founder & chairman of GreenBiz ||

 

For episode 98 we welcome Joel Makower, chairman of GreenBiz. For more than 30 years, Joel has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. Joel Makower is co-founder, chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, Inc. Among his duties at GreenBiz, Makower hosts the annual GreenBiz forums and is author of the annual ‘State of Green Business’ report.

 

 

A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author or co-author of more than a dozen books, titles include: ‘The New Grand Strategy’, ‘Strategies for the Green Economy’, ‘Beyond the Bottom Line: Putting Social Responsibility to Work for Your Business and the World’, ‘The Green Consumer’ –  just to name a few.  Awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, The Associated Press has referred to him as “The guru of green business practices.”  In 2014, Makower was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.
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Much of our conversation in this episode focused on the Circular Economy.  The United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO) describes this holistic approach as, “A circular economy is a new way of creating value, and ultimately prosperity, through extending product lifespan and relocating waste from the end of the supply chain to the beginning – in effect, using resources more efficiently by using them more than once. In a circular economy materials for new products come from old products. As much as possible, everything is reused, remanufactured or, as a last resort, recycled back into a raw material or used as a source of energy. ”

 

Offering a more concise description of what a circular economy could do for the stability of the planet, Makower explains the system as “keeping molecules in play“. Joel leverages an in-depth understanding and appreciation to evolve common practice of businesses and consumers alike.  As such, his work focuses on three principal topics:

  1. How companies of all sizes and sectors are integrating environmental thinking into their operations in a way that produces business value. 
  2. The creation of new companies and markets for clean energy, clean water, and advanced materials.
  3. The strategies and tactics that companies use in order to communicate and market their environmental efforts and leadership, especially to consumers.

 

In our 50 minute discussion we cover stakeholder value vs. shareholder value.  We discuss a bit of politics and the potential for sustainability and Green Business under the Biden administration. We learn where things stand with the Paris Accord and what we should do, now.  We explore if biodiversity could replace the siren song of Carbon.  I learn more about the history of GreenBiz and how Joel and his talented team have been able to not just weather the storm in 2020, but thrive.  Additionally, we discuss the role of business leaders in climate action and how business itself as an arm of the voter/ consumer can influence policy moving forward.  

 

Joel Makower has been a commentator on environmental topics for public radio’s “Marketplace” and appears frequently in both broadcast and print media. He serves as a board member or adviser to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations and speaks regularly to companies, industry groups and business schools around the world.  I encourage all of listeners to get on the GreenBiz mailing list, to attend his conferences, and seek out other speaking engagements featuring this expert in all things sustainable.


Tune in to ep. 98 to learn from a man with unique sagacity about what it’ll take to save the planet through better business.  As Joel explains it, “this is a massive economic opportunity masquerading as an environmental problem.”

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@Makower

@GreenBiz

 


photo credit: New York Times & Gage Skidmore


 

Ep. 76: Luke Holden, CEO & Founder of Luke’s Lobster ||

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On episode 76 of Sourcing Matters we welcome CEO & founder of Luke’s Lobster – Luke Holden.  Luke’s Lobster first opened its doors in the East Village of New York City in 2009. The company brings traceable, sustainable seafood to guests across the country.  They work directly with fishermen to hand pick the best seafood, and serve that straight from the source, prepared pure and simple, without the filler. They’ve systematically chosen partners who uphold our commitment to sourcing superior, sustainable ingredients and strive to support other small businesses, many of which are based in Maine or local to the cities where they maintain their Lobsters shacks.
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BIO: Luke Holden grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine – a third-generation lobsterman who started learning the trade at age 13. After attending Georgetown University and beginning an investment banking career on Wall Street, Luke was remiss to find that every lobster roll available in New York was overpriced, drowning in mayo, and diluted with celery. He craved a real Maine-style roll and simply couldn’t find one.
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In the 10 years since launching, Holden and his partners have worked to vertically integrate the business to insure the highest quality products with guaranteed integrity and provenance. Growing up in the industry has afforded Holden a high level of clout with with the lobsterman, harvesters and fishermen in Tenants Harbor Maine who source his product.  We learn that the experience and support that Luke’s father offered from running Maine’s largest lobster processing facility gave their team at Luke’s Lobsters the insight and knowhow to launch a processing facility in Saco.  This infrastructure  has since expedited growth to now service 30 domestic, and 11 international Shacks,  as well as their wholesale account Whole Foods.
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In our 40 minute discussion we learn more about what this thought-leader is doing to protect his fishery in the warming waters of the Gulf of Maine.  We chat about full carcass utilization of the lobster, and about the economic viability of the fishery and its future crop. We discuss product differentiation, and diversifying the offerings of both their producers/ harvesters, and of his growing $30mm business.

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TuneIn to hear about the future of the iconic Maine lobster.

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LukesLobster

 

 

 

 



Ep. 75: Teresa Ish, Program Officer of the Environment @ The Walton Family Foundation ||

 

On Sourcing Matters episode 75 we welcome Teresa Ish – Oceans Initiative Program Officer at The Walton Family Foundation.  Ish manages grants in the Environment Program that leverage the power of the supply chain to advocate for more sustainable fisheries.

Weeks prior to recording I had the opportunity to meet with Ish at the Seafood Expo North America (SENA) in Boston.  Teresa provided a walking tour of the SENA floor – introducing us to three change agents in the future of fisheries:

  1. Casey Marion – the Director of Sustainability Initiatives for Quality Management for Florida based Sea Best.  Casey shared with us some of the systems they’ve introduced to better understand sophisticated supply chains in global fisheries.
  2. Mauricio Orellana – a leader in the Octopus fishery on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.  We learn first hand about this unique example of a future responsible fishery built to service its community of fisherman through first appreciating its resources.   – We also learn a bit more about the soul of an Octopus.
  3. Our final stop was in my native New England waters.  We learn from Richard Stavis – of the iconic brand, Stavis SeafoodLuke Holden – founder of Luke’s LobsterDick Jones of Ocean Outcomes, and Sean Murphy of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. This gathering was focused on trends in fisheries and seafood sourcing – on advancements which are better meshing with modern consumer interests.
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Our 40 minute discussion follows this walking tour of SENA.  We discuss each stop along the way, as well as the Walton Family Foundation’s 2020 Environment Strategic Plan.  We chat about education, and the potential of integrating outreach, education and investment into stable ecosystems – which begins & ends with healthy oceans.
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TuneIn to hear what a leading foundation

is doing to protect our seas; our future!

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BIO: Before joining the foundation, Teresa Ish was the seafood project manager for the Corporate Partnerships Program at Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked with leading seafood buyers to develop and implement sustainable seafood purchasing policies. During her tenure at EDF, she played an instrumental role in merging the organization’s seafood buyer work and its extensive experience in the fishery policy arena. Prior to joining EDF, she co- founded FishWise and served as its director of science.
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