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Mad River Solid Waste Alliance
 

 

8th Networking Conference Call Series
October - December 2009

 

Communicating with Consumers on a Score or 1-10:
Emerging Developments in Sustainability Rating Systems

    Thursday, November 19th, 2009
    1:00 - 2:30 PM EST
    COMPLETED
   

If you are already registered, access call materials and recording here

   

Interested in purchasing the call recording and materials?  Click here

     
Overview   Consumers and retailers are becoming more aware of the importance and complexity of social and environmental issues related to the products they buy and sell, but most people do not have the information they need on the spot -- or in the grocery store aisle -- to make informed purchasing decisions. This call will explore the opportunities and limitations of sustainability rating systems and share experiences developing systems for different audiences. What data do you need to describe “sustainability” in a single number, and where do you get it? How do you decide what to include among the many environmental, social, and health issues associated with products? How are rating systems being used by companies and consumers, and what are the current and anticipated impacts? How can complex technical information be easily conveyed to a consumer who makes split-second decisions on product purchases, and how can it compete with advertising? How can government officials and environmental advocates assess the quality of rating systems they may recommend to their constituents?
     
Moderator   Sierra Fletcher, Product Stewardship Institute
     
Presenters  

Dara O’Rourke, UC Berkeley & GoodGuide.com
Rand Waddoups, Wal-Mart

     
    Click on speaker to view full bio below
     
   

Sierra Fletcher, Product Stewardship Institute
Sierra Fletcher is Associate for Policy and Programs at Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), where she serves as project manager for PSI’s work on pharmaceuticals, fluorescent lights, and medical sharps. Prior to coming to PSI, Sierra worked for 10 years on environmental and consensus-building efforts with diverse stakeholder groups in Alaska, Cambodia, the Middle East, and New England. Sierra has a master’s degree in environmental policy and conflict resolution from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and an undergraduate degree from Yale University.

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Dara O’Rourke, UC Berkeley & GoodGuide.com
Dara O’Rourke is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the co-founder and CEO of GoodGuide, Inc. Dara has spent the last 20 years researching the environmental, labor, and health impacts of global production systems. He has recently applied this research to a social venture startup – GoodGuide – which has built a revolutionary suite of tools that provide information about the environmental, social, and health performance of products and companies to consumers at the point of purchase (through web and mobile applications), and that empower people to screen and compare products based on their personal values and concerns. Dara’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Economist, Business Week, Newsweek, Time, CBS, ABC, NPR, and even O – the Oprah Magazine. Dara has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and a wide range of non-governmental organizations. He was previously a professor at MIT.

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Rand Waddoups, Wal-Mart
Rand Waddoups is the senior director of business strategy and sustainability at Wal-Mart.  In this role, he joins a small team dedicated to building sustainability into every part of Wal-Mart's global business strategy and culture.  They are doing this by focusing on three aspirational goals: 1) to have zero waste, 2) to use 100% renewable energy, and 3) to bring sustainable products to our customers. Before working in sustainability, he spent several years as a buyer/category manager where he worked on a broad spectrum of food products; from frozen Brussels sprouts to flaming-hot cheese puffs.  As a buyer, Wal-Mart recognized him as a Buyer of the Year and the food manufacturing community voted him one of the nation’s Top 5 Buyers of Frozen and Refrigerated Food.  Rand is a father of two, a husband, and an active youth leader.  He has a background in public service including two years in the Philippines.  Additionally, he has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Arkansas and an undergraduate in Economics from Brigham Young University.  As a former boy scout, Rand is working to leave both the environment and the P&L better than he found them.  Indeed, he believes that sustainability is the greatest business opportunity of our time, and it is a tremendous opportunity to make small changes that make a big impact.

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