(Courtesy UW Now)

UW Now Livestream to study the Sustainable Business Shift

By Tod Pritchard

More than ever, consumers want to support companies that share their values—and employees seem interested in working in mission-oriented organizations.

How has the ESG (environmental, social, and governance) movement impacted businesses? What sort of best practices have companies adopted as they shift to more conscientious business models? How do investors promote and implement ESG principles? How do companies respond to consumers and investors who are using their buying and investing power to promote positive policies and behaviors?

On the next UW Now Livestream, we’ll hear from experts who will discuss the modern movement toward environmentally and socially driven business practices. The talk will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Featured guests:

Ratish Namboothiry is the director of Innovation for Good & Sustainability at Kohler Company, the company’s internal incubator focused on developing and implementing new business solutions that have a social purpose. He is also responsible for leading enterprise-level sustainability strategy and performance. Namboothiry has been a sustainability champion throughout his career at Kohler, from designing HVAC systems and implementing energy-efficient building solutions to bringing new, more efficient plumbing products to market. Recently, Namboothiry led Kohler’s work with the Closed-Loop Advanced Sanitation System (CLASS) project, an effort jointly funded by Kohler Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop sustainable sanitation solutions for underserved markets around the world.

Eric Senn is the vice president of Global Digital Business Development at Johnson Controls. The company was recently named a European climate leader by the Financial Times—one of only 300 out of more than 4,000 companies selected for the honor. Senn also serves as a board member on the MKE Tech Hub Coalition, whose primary goal is to double the tech workforce in southeastern Wisconsin by 2025 to help fulfill the tech talent requirements of employers, as well as drive economic success and innovation in the region.

John Streur is president and CEO of Calvert Research and Management, an investment management firm that specializes in responsible and sustainable investing across global capital markets. He has managed socially responsible investments at the request of institutional clients—including public funds, religious institutions, and college and university endowments—since 1991 but began to focus exclusively on responsible and sustainable investing in 2012. Streur is a founding member of the Investor Advisory Group for the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a group of leading asset owners and asset managers committed to improving the quality and comparability of sustainability-related disclosure by corporations for use by investors. He is also a member of Merck’s Sustainability and Growth External Advisory Council.

The live stream will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 1 at allwaysforward.org/uwnow/business-shift.