Sustainable Minds: Exploring ESG & Corporate Brand
In each episode, we discuss how corporate purpose, vision, and values guide your behaviors, actions, and mindsets, and how they drive ESG strategies and decisions. With the help of ESG-focused guests from around the globe we will explore the intersections and impact of corporate brands and ESG.
ESG Strategies to Drive Customer and Community Value with Jacob Atalla
November 30, 2022 • 32 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Jacob Atalla joins Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White to discuss ESG and sustainability initiatives at KB Home, a leading homebuilder in North America. KB Home started its sustainability and ESG drive in 2005 before the terms became trendy, and it has built over 160,000 Energy Star-certified homes. The company works with its supply chain partners to deliver affordable sustainability to its customers. Its ESG stack includes domain leaders from academia and industry. Jacob is an ESG and sustainability professional with over twenty-six years of experience in sustainability and ESG in the housing industry. He is currently the VP of sustainable initiatives at KB Homes and has strived to increase customer value by moving the needle forward on sustainable affordability. Jacob has spent over seventeen years at KB Homes and has significantly driven ownership of ESG and sustainability across the company’s channel and supply chain partners.
How Top Banks Develop and Drive Their ESG Strategies with Olga Puntus
November 16, 2022 • 32 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Olga Puntus joins Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White to discuss banks and their ESG strategies, the biggest difference regarding social issues between emerging markets and developed economies, and the future of ESG and sustainability in the banking industry. Olga is an ESG and Sustainability professional with over twenty years of global experience in project management, environmental and social (E&S) risk management, E&S due diligence, E&S assessment, CSR activities and reporting, stakeholder engagement, including investors and shareholders, and policy development. She is currently the Executive Director of the Global, Environmental, Social, and Climate Risk Team at JPMorgan Chase. Before that, Olga worked at Wells Fargo, and the International Finance Corporation.
The Rise and Evolution of the Chief Sustainability Officer Role with Kurt Harrison
November 2, 2022 • 41 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Kurt Harrison joins Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White to discuss how the Chief Sustainability Officer role has evolved over time from a mid-level functional operational role to a top-of-the-house senior strategic business value creation role. Kurt is the Founder and Co-Head of the Global Sustainability Practice at Russell Reynolds Associates and a recognized industry leader across ESG and Sustainability. He is also a sought-after public speaker and guest lecturer, recently named a Top Voice in the Green Economy by LinkedIn. Kurt is a highly-regarded author on ESG topics, and several of his ground-breaking white papers have been published in the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance.
How the Circular Economy Can Help Achieve Our ESG and Sustainability Goals with Meagan Knowlton
October 19, 2022 • 39 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Meagan Knowlton, Director of Sustainability at Optoro, joins Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White to discuss a sustainability strategy that focuses on driving the circular economy in the retail industry. Meagan is a sustainability professional who currently drives the circular economy in the retail industry and leads cross-functional teams to develop and operationalize strategic sustainability programs. Some of her previous roles at Optoro include being part of the Leader, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee, where she co-developed Optoro's first DEI strategy and goals, and as Optoro’s Sustainability Manager. Before Optoro, Meagan worked at Swire Coca-Cola as a Corporate Sustainability Manager and as a Communications Consultant at Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment.
How Sustainable Finance Makes the World a Better Place with Ekaterina Grigoryeva
October 5, 2022 • 40 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Ekaterina Grigoryeva, Environment and Social Development Specialist (Global Lead, Financial Sector) at The World Bank, joins Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White to discuss the role the financial sector plays in addressing the global, environmental and social crises and driving sustainable initiatives. Ekaterina is an environment and social development specialist and one of the most experienced international experts and ESG integration and sustainable finance, with a track record of fifteen years. Her work has ensured full integration of environmental and social sustainability and 100 national and regional leading operations in the range of 400 to 600 million dollars across financial products.
Bringing ESG and Sustainability to the Top of the Investors' Agenda with Jennifer Grzech
September 21, 2022 • 42 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White are joined by Jennifer Grzech, Director of Responsible Investing at Nuveen, to discuss the investor perspective on ESG and how investors can ensure their companies are improving their transparency, accountability, and impact. Jennifer has tremendous expertise in ESG research and integration, investment stewardship, and sustainability reporting. At Nuveen, she is responsible for developing a strategy of engagement with companies, policy-makers, regulators, and industry organizations around important ESG issues and standards. Data gaps have always been a big problem for companies. Most of them were looking at ESG as a marketing or branding exercise. But as an investor, it couldn't be translated into something meaningful in assessing ESG risks and opportunities. The evolution of technology addresses data gaps. ESG and sustainability progress revolve around defining best practices, setting clear standards, and improving the level and sophistication of data. Scaling all these processes ensures that ESG information is finding its way into investment decision-making.
Purposeful Infusion That Creates an Unforgettable Impact on ESG Practices with Bruce Simpson
September 7, 2022 • 48 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Gary Baker and Rocket White are joined by Bruce Simpson to discuss purpose and what this means for ESG. Sustainability is definitely the new normal. A company’s primary responsibility used to be profit, and that focus has become more nuanced in recent times. In a nutshell, we are seeing a surge in corporate purpose in the age of stakeholder capitalism. With clients all over the world, Bruce has helped dozens of companies incorporate societal responsibilities into their business models and missions that are based on customers, employees, suppliers, regulators, and of course, society’s goals and desires. Keep listening to hear how Bruce unpacks purpose.
Sustainability, Professional Responsibility, and Business Ethics with Alison Taylor
August 24, 2022 • 33 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White are joined by Alison Taylor to discuss the impact of business ethics in developing an effective ESG and corporate responsibility strategy. Allison is the Executive Director at Ethical Systems, a part of NYU Stern School of Business, and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern School of Business, where she teaches professional responsibility, sustainability, and leadership. Allison has advised hundreds of multinational companies on strategy, sustainability, cultural behavior, human rights, ethics and compliance, stakeholder engagement, ESG, and anti-corruption. She regularly speaks and writes on all aspects of business responsibility and ethics.
Co-Creating a More Sustainable and Equitable Future with Chris Coulter
August 10, 2022 • 42 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White are joined by Chris Coulter to discuss why organizations should take a proactive approach to global issues to build a more sustainable and equitable future. Chris works with leaders in business, multilateral organizations, and NGOs to help them better respond to shifting stakeholder expectations, build trust with key constituencies, and exert greater influence in shaping the future. Globalization ties together all countries, organizations, and people. To thrive in this globalized world, we must address sustainability issues, like environmental problems, inequality crisis, and human rights. Chris Coulter adds another one he thinks most organizations missed. That is geopolitics and a challenge to authoritarianism. Chris believes we should take a proactive approach and understand governance and the relationship between it and the progress we can make on social and environmental performance. And it all begins with understanding your brand purpose in alignment with sustainability.
Investing in Human Capital with Sarah Bratton Hughes
July 27, 2022 • 37 MIN
In this episode of the Sustainable Minds podcast, Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White are joined by Sarah Bratton Hughes to discuss why businesses should invest in their human capital, corporate culture, and sustainable communities. Sarah Bratton Hughes is an ESG leader passionate about Quality Jobs, DEI, and Biodiversity. As the Head of ESG and Sustainable Investing, Sarah is responsible for driving and executing the sustainable investing strategy and the management of its ESG research platform and active ownership practices, in addition to leading the ESG and Investment Stewardship team. When it comes to investing in a sustainable community, Sarah thinks that we are in an environment where human capital is a scarce resource we have. And that continues to drive a significant amount of value to the investment. If you think about corporate investments and culture, it's crucial to treat your employees as an asset rather than a liability. Though it might bring additional costs upfront, over the longer term, you will get a reduced turnover, higher engagement, greater profitability and sales, and lower incidents of health and safety problems.
Creating Shareholder Value Through ESG Investment with Aaron Yoon
July 13, 2022 • 32 MIN
Aaron Yoon, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, joins the conversation to discuss his research on ESG used by investors to view and integrate ESG information and methodologies into their business operations. Before his academic career, Aaron worked as an equities sales trader and research analyst at Credit Suisse. He has received multiple awards for his research and teaching, such as Best 40 Under 40 Professors Recognition from Poets & Quants and Chair's Core Teaching Award from Kellogg. Aaron's research started from the idea of wanting to show the link between ESG investment and shareholder value and why businesses should consider potential risks and opportunities around ESG. He also presents what criteria businesses should use when choosing ESG projects that create shareholder value and some of the best practices and future trends in ESG.
Why Purpose Is the New Tech with Balaji Ganapathy
July 13, 2022 • 33 MIN
Today, we’re joined by Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head, Chief Social Responsibility Officer, and Head of Workforce Effectiveness at Tata Consultancy Services, to discuss the role of purpose in ESG and what it takes to truly be a purpose-driven company. Balaji believes that the purpose of a business should rely on building sustainable communities and driving value to its members. Every company should serve a broader societal purpose to build a sustainable business. To do that, you have to use the purpose as a sense of identity, sustainability as a set of principles to help you bring that purpose to life, and ESG metrics as indicators to understand your short-term and long-term success.
Getting Started on Your Corporate Brand & ESG Journey with Gary Baker & Roxanne "Rocket" White
July 13, 2022 • 4 MIN
It is no longer acceptable for companies just to make profits. Audiences are demanding transparency on non-financial information that they deem will affect a business's bottom line in the future. And ESG is no longer a silo department within a corporation today. The team responsible for executing an ESG report is cross-functional. Welcome to Sustainable Minds: Exploring the Interplay of Corporate Brand, Core Beliefs, and ESG by Baker Brand Communications. In the following series, Gary Baker and Roxanne "Rocket" White investigate how purpose, vision, and values can guide your company's sustainability actions, behaviors, and mindsets and discuss their impact with the help of ESG-focused guests from around the globe.