Sustainability in Your Business

11 - 11:50 a.m.

Carbon Reduction Isn’t Just About Operational Emissions…
  • Lisa Conway Vice President Sustainability Americas/Interface

The building sector is the world’s single largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs), accounting for 39% of total global GHG emissions. Although operational emissions account for more of a building's carbon footprint over its entire life, between now and 2030, about half of the carbon footprint of new construction will be embodied emissions (the carbon emissions of your building supply chain), NOT operational emissions. Building products can reduce their carbon footprint and even become carbon sinks that help remove excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Shifting some of our focus to address the more immediate challenge of embodied carbon requires wide-spread education on the emerging toolbox available to industry professionals, as well as an education on how climate change impacts public health and social justice. This session will equip the audience with specific and practical strategies and case studies for selecting products and materials that reduce embodied carbon emissions and move the industry toward making buildings part of the solution instead of less of the problem.

Lisa Conway serves as VP of Sustainability, Americas for Interface, the global flooring manufacturer that is leading industry to love the world. She and her team are responsible for regional activation of the company’s mission: Climate Take Back. She is passionate about bringing awareness to the interconnectedness of environmental sustainability and human health. To drive understanding of the impact of carbon on human health, Lisa and her team provide educational programming around the need for transparency and prioritization of embodied carbon in specifications within the building industry. She co-founded the materials Carbon Action Network (materialsCAN) in 2018 to mobilize this effort. Lisa also serves on the Sustainable Advisory Board for Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business and was named to “CoreNet’s 36 Under 36” in 2015.

2–2:55 p.m.

Go for the Gold! Unless Platinum is More Your Vibe…
  • Marcos Estrada City of Dallas, Green Business Certification Program
  • Danielle McClelland City of Dallas, Environmental Quality & Sustainability Division Manager

Dallas consumers have a high interest in supporting environmentally-friendly businesses. This presentation introduces the City of Dallas' Green Business Certification Program to those who've already made the commitment and are ready for the bragging rights to distinguish themselves. Dallas' Green Business Certification Program evaluates and verifies the operations of local businesses that have committed to sustainable operations in resource management, including energy, waste, water and more! Those whose applications meet criteria are awarded Silver, Gold and Platinum certification levels.

Marcos Estrada is the City of Dallas' lead consultant for the Green Business Certification Program. He markets the initiative and guides local businesses through the application process. An avid runner, Marcos never tires of hitting the streets to increase the number of businesses that operate in a sustainable manager.

Danielle McClelland is responsible for the implementation of approved programs in the City of Dallas' Local Solid Waste Management Plan (aka Zero Waste Plan). She also stays abreast of best practices to help set the strategy to reduce the generation of waste and improve the diversion of materials from the landfill. She tries not to peek into public recycling containers while traveling, but she can't help herself.

3–3:55 p.m.

Sustainability Basics for Business Operations
  • Bianca N. Grant Owner and CEO, Virtual Business Services of Texas

This presentation will provide participants with two key components that promote efficiency in back-office business processes. By automating everyday tasks such as appointments, client onboarding and contracts, service-based entrepreneurs and small businesses can save time, energy and resources. Additionally, small business owners can further promote sustainability by automating and repurposing marketing and social media content.

From working in a small family business to opening her own remote services firm in 2008, Bianca Grant has assisted clients large and small for more than 20 years. She is a natural-born problem solver with hands-on experience with how business and technology merge. She has worked in government, education and private sectors in various support roles. Working with international firms in an administrative capacity has equipped Bianca to understand how business functions around the globe and how strategic planning coupled with a highly-qualified administrative team equals success. Bianca brings all her experience and love of problem-solving to this role as the Owner of VBS of Tx by determining each client’s administrative needs and constructing an innovative outcome that will enable the business to run seamlessly.