VERGE Energy Conference (VERGE 20) will take place on October 26-30, 2020. This online event can be attended from anywhere, The central theme at VERGE 20 will focus on how energy systems can be decarbonized, decentralized, digitized and democratized. It will specifically explore systemic solutions to the climate crisis focusing on clean energy, electrified, transportation, the circular economy, carbon removal and sustainable food systems. VERGE 20 will be attended by more than 15,000 leaders, it will feature 300+ speakers. 400+ sessions. Participants at this conference come from the private and public sectors, utilities, solution providers, investors, and startups.
There will be abundant networking opportunities allowing attendees to connect with like-minded participants for interactive virtual discussions around a curated clean economy topic. Attendees are invited to bring their own challenges, questions and ideas to these free-form conversations.
Climate change is the most significant global threat we face today. It also represents an unprecedented opportunity to build a clean economy by electrifying and decarbonizing our world, equitably and profitably. Momentum is building as businesses and governments transform their organizations to be more efficient and resilient.
VERGE Energy Tracks:
- Renewable Procurements
- Scaling Renewables
- Utility Engagement
- Distributed Resources
- Climate Resilience
- Deep Decarbonization
This year’s conference integrates the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance fall program into the VERGE Energy conference. By bringing the two events together, we will better serve both the REBA and VERGE Energy communities by offering both cross-sectoral content and deep conversations about how to uplevel organizations’ clean energy strategies.
The list of speakers is composed of professionals in energy management and procurement from corporations and
governments, as well as allied service providers, innovators,
developers, financiers and utilities.
- Sujatha Bergen
Health Campaigns Director
- Julian Brave-NoiseCat
Vice President of Policy & Strategy
Data for Progress
- Erin Callahan
The Climate Collaborative
- David Ceasar
- Alexis Cureton
California State Lead, Clean Energy and Equity
- Stephan Dolezalek
- Lisa Dyson
- Nicholas Eisenberger
Pure Energy Partners
- Dr. Saskia Feast
Vice President, Western Region
Natural Capital Partners
- Katie Fehrenbacher
Senior Writer & Analyst, Transportation
- Lisa Jackson
Vice President, Environment, Policy & Social Initiatives
- Brian Janous
General Manager – Energy & Sustainability
- Shayle Kann
Energy Impact Partners
- Emily Kirsch
Founder & CEO
- Bill McKibben
- Patty Monahan
California Energy Commission (CEC)
- Cristine Morgan
Chief Scientific Officer
Soil Health Institute
- Carla Peterman
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs
Southern California Edison
- Maria Pope
President & CEO
Portland General Electric
- Varshini Prakash
Executive Director & Co-Founder
- Gitanjali Rao
Young Innovator and Promoter of STEM
- Debbie Reed
Ecosystem Services Markets Consortium
- Stephen Ritz
Founder / Author / Chief Eternal Optimist
Green Bronx Machine
- Philip Saunders
Deputy Division Director, Green Fleet Program
City of Seattle
- Tim Searchinger
- Jigar Shah
President & Co-Founder
- Erin Simon
Head, Plastic Waste and Business
World Wildlife Fund
- Angie Slaughter
VP of Sustainability, Logistics, SVC & Capabilities Procurement
- Rebecca Sternberg
Vice President, Power Marketing
BayWa r.e. Solar Projects
- Matthew Walker
- Bill Weihl
Founder, Executive Director
- Dawn Weisz
Marin Clean Energy
- Amy Westervelt
Founder, Executive Producer
- Christine Weydig
Director, Environmental and Energy Programs
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Ashley White
Senior Manager of Fleet
- Andrew Zolli
VP, Global Impact Initiatives
How Alternative Proteins Will Reshape the Food Industry (Panel Discussion): The growth of alternative proteins is one of — perhaps the — most important trends in food over the past few years. Protein is being sourced from an increasingly long list of plants, synthesized from carbon dioxide sucked from the air, and extracted from insects. Meat substitutes built from these proteins are starting to taste like the real thing, and cuts of actual meat are now being grown in the lab. This revolution will impact almost every part of the food system, from agriculture and ingredients to supply chains and workforces. In this session, we will ask alternative protein experts to look into their crystal balls five to 10 years and answer a question: How will these new developments have changed the industry?
Foundations of the Circular Economy (Panel Discussion): Much of the work in the circular economy to date has centered on deep analysis of the broader economic opportunity. This tutorial will help translate the theory into practical opportunities for colleagues working in various functions within an organization and value chain. We’ll explore the basics of the circular economy, from theory to action, from guiding principles to case studies spanning products, business models and system-level innovations.
Energy Procurement Fundamentals (Workshop): This session is designed to help you to develop foundational understanding of U.S. energy markets and renewable procurement.
Strategies from the Greenest Fleets (Panel Discussion): Government, municipal and commercial fleets are adopting low and zero emissions fuels and vehicles in an effort to meet climate goals, state and city regulations, and in some cases lower fuel costs. Hear from the leading low and zero emission fleets on tactics and lessons learned.
Buyers Guide: An Introduction to Purchasing Carbon Offsets (Workshop):Offsets can help companies reduce their carbon footprints and drive much-needed investment to projects that lower emissions or draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But not all offsets are created equal. Before investing, it’s critical to understand the pros and cons of different kinds of projects and how to build a portfolio of offsets that delivers impact and reliability. In this session, leaders with extensive experience of evaluating offsets will demystify key concepts, such as additionality and “avoided” versus “removed” emissions, and explain the roles played by offset developers, brokers and verifiers.
Meet the Innovators Creating a Sustainable Food Sector: Startups working in food and agriculture raised almost $20 billion in funding in 2019. Headline-grabbing projects in alternative proteins and indoor agriculture dominated the news, but there were also less-noticed yet exciting developments in tracking and traceability, aquaculture, sustainable fertilizers and carbon farming. This session will feature a panel of investors and entrepreneurs followed by the opportunity to have one-on-one discussions with panelists about how to propel the food industry toward a more sustainable future.
The Fundamentals of Circular Packaging (Workshop): An increase in consumer awareness, corporate engagement and regulatory action has led more companies to set ambitious goals to reduce and reimagine their use of plastics and packaging. This deep-dive workshop will explore circular packaging best practices alongside trends and innovations, offering attendees a comprehensive look into their circular packing opportunities. Speakers from leading brands, packaging producers, material innovation labs and NGOs, will discuss a variety of topics including how to set and achieve packaging goals, reusable packaging opportunities, scaling new materials, and the implications of biodegradable and compostable packaging.
Introducing the Food Microgrid: A Decentralized and Resilient New Food System (Panel Discussion): The coronavirus pandemic disrupted food supplies and reminded us again that our food systems are ever more centralized. So what does realistic reform look like? Is there a way of retaining the benefits of the current system, including wide variety year-round and low prices, while also engineering a supply chain that is more resilient to shocks and less damaging to the environment? Meet the food microgrid, a new system that combines local farmers, digital distribution and high-tech production technologies to safeguard supplies and reduce impacts.
The Rise of City Zero Emission Zones (Panel Discussion): Following cities in Europe and Asia, some U.S. cities are drafting plans and testing out developing zero emission zones in downtown areas, banning fossil-fuel-burning vehicles and developing progressive pricing signals. What can we learn from these early implementations?
The State of the Carbon Economy in 2020 (Panel Discussion): To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must build a new carbon economy: an ecosystem of companies, capital and policies that work together to remove billions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year. That economy is now taking shape. In this session, leaders of the Circular Carbon Network (CCN), the organization that has assembled the sector’s definitive dataset, will present an overview of key trends: Who is investing, where those funds are going and which areas are poised for the biggest growth.
I Procured Renewables and It Wasn’t That Bad (Panel Discussion): Procuring renewables is getting easier, inspiring new companies – both small and large – to take the leap. This session features first-time renewables buyers who will share their journey to that first transaction. Because you never forget your first.
New Green Revolution: How to Cut Pollution without Sacrificing Yields (Panel Discussion): Increasing yields often means using more fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. But more chemicals generally means more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution. A new generation of crops and agricultural inputs help avoid this trade-off. Plant breeders and biotechnologists have created new varieties that require fewer inputs. And entrepreneurs have launched startups selling fertilizers based on microbes rather than chemicals. This will explore how these and other new technologies may help feed a growing global population without doing further damage to the environment.
Carbontech: Understanding the Market for Carbon-Sequestering Products: The market for products made from captured carbon is worth an estimated $1 trillion a year in the United States alone. Everything from plastics to jet fuel can be manufactured from carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere or diverted from industrial emissions. Thanks to new regulatory incentives and technologies, the carbontech market is now taking off. In this session, entrepreneurs, policy experts and investors will forecast the future of the market and explain how your company can capture a part of it.
Second Life Batteries Get Serious (Panel Discussion): The ecosystem enabling organizations to tap used electric car batteries for stationary grid storage continues to mature and grow. Automakers that make electric vehicles are starting to take the market seriously, and utilities are deploying pilot projects to test results. But what does the sector need to take the market to the next level?
How Utilities Can Accelerate EVs, A Conversation with Portland General Electric’s CEO (Panel Discussion): Oregon utility Portland General Electric has been at the forefront of accelerating electric vehicle adoption for residents and companies. Learn how EVs are being used a grid benefit in PGE’s footprint and why utilities need to be more aggressively embracing EVs.
How to Scale Regenerative Agriculture and Draw Down Carbon (Part 1) (Panel Discussion): Regenerative agriculture has the potential to draw down billions of tons of carbon dioxide while simultaneously restoring soil health. Yet interest in the approach from producers, food companies and legislators has not translated into widespread adoption of regenerative methods. The good news is that a slew of new initiatives from entrepreneurs, policy makers and technologists looks set to take regenerative agriculture mainstream over the next few years. Come to this session to hear from the leaders behind the projects and learn how your company can get involved.
Building Resilient Circular Supply Chains for Electronics (Workshop): From tenuous sourcing capabilities in a pandemic to the $62.5 billion in lost value from the e-waste discarded globally each year — the expansive, dispersed nature of electronics supply chains has revealed diverse risks for a variety of industry players. Circular principles including repair, refurbishment, asset management, and material reclamation may secure much needed resiliency in the electronics supply chain, but these principles do not come without their own challenges. Navigating complex international regulations, proprietary concerns, and the management and traceability of reclaimed materials, this workshop will convene actors across forward and reverse supply chains. They will discuss best practices to lower barriers and optimize circular logistics in service of more efficient, sustainable, and resilient supply chains.
Meeting Electricity Demands in an Increasingly Electric World (Panel Discussion): As communities and companies move to electrify everything – from transportation options to buildings and indoor agriculture – we’re discovering the ways the current utility infrastructure isn’t always up to the challenge. In many places, utilities are able to keep up with the requests for upgrades, and installations of on-site renewable energy still need to navigate substantial interconnection challenges. This session will explore how industries can keep up with increasing electricity demands, taking a look at several growing markets that are expected to be the largest new consumers of electricity: indoor agriculture, server farms, electric transport and buildings.
Next-Gen Microgrid Deployment Models (Panel Discussion): With more companies exploring microgrids, more models are emerging to make them accessible — and to get them up and running more quickly. This session will feature companies and service providers that are deploying microgrids in multiple locations, using a “fleet” model, to increase resilience and save money. It will also look at how standardized, out-of-the-box options are making it easier and cheaper to deploy a microgrid as a product.
Enchanté, renewables! (Panel Discussion): The European market for power purchase agreements (PPAs) is growing quickly, with clear policy signals and market innovations leading more companies to explore energy procurements across the European Union. Hear from companies that are expanding procurements to Europe, and how those procurements fit into their broader energy strategy.
The Keys to Scaling Electric Vehicle Charging (Panel Discussion): The US will need more than 13 million chargers to support EV drivers by 2030, but today there are just 200,000. The sector requires a rapid deployment of charging infrastructure for companies and consumers.
How to Scale Regenerative Agriculture and Draw Down Carbon (Part 2) (Panel Discussion): Regenerative agriculture has the potential to draw down billions of tons of carbon dioxide while simultaneously restoring soil health. Yet interest in the approach from producers, food companies and legislators has not translated into widespread adoption of regenerative methods. The good news is that a slew of new initiatives from entrepreneurs, policy makers and technologists looks set to take regenerative agriculture mainstream over the next few years. Come to this session to hear from the leaders behind the projects and learn how your company can get involved.
Buyers Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Forest Offset(Workshop: Investing in forests is about more than offsetting emissions. Successful forestry projects can bring benefits to ecosystems and economies. Yet forest projects come with challenges. How can you be sure that the trees won’t be harvested? And what happens if the forest absorbs less carbon than expected? Come to this session to hear from an expert panel with deep experience developing and maintaining forest projects, and to understand how your company can get involved.
The State of Vehicle-Grid Integration (Panel Discussion): The vehicle-to-grid market is finally about to kick off in earnest. California is in the process of setting important policy targets that will help stimulate the positive benefits of using electric vehicles for the power grid. Within the next five years EVs will regularly act as backup home power, and will be able to be dynamically charged during off peak grid times. How will this market unfold?
Circular by Design: Considering Criteria for Circular Products (Panel Discussion): When prioritizing the circularity of products, businesses face a daunting task: They must balance design, product performance, health and safety, regulatory compliance and cost, to name a few of the countless considerations — and frequent barriers. With an ever increasing demand to deliver products to market with speed, effectively evaluating and prioritizing these attributes is a critical yet challenging hurtle. This panel will help attendees learn how to weigh these considerations, select better materials and design more circular products. Evaluating design principles, this session will help designers and non-designers alike assess the resources and best practices to effectively make circular products at scale.
How Lessons from the Pandemic Can Create a More Sustainable Food System (Panel Discussion): The coronavirus pandemic is bringing to life previously abstract threats. Supply chains are straining under changing patterns of consumer demand and producers are struggling to keep their workforces safe. These are immediate challenges but not new issues. As the pandemic evolves, long-standing questions about the resiliency and sustainability of our food system are getting more attention. Join this workshop to hear a panel of experts explain how to leverage lessons from the pandemic to boost sustainability efforts, and to share experiences on how your sector of the food industry is coping.
Leveraging Blockchain, AI and Machine Learning to Create Sustainable Fisheries (Panel Discussion): Global consumption of fish and seafood has more than doubled in recent decades, but more than a third of the world’s assessed fisheries are thought to be overexploited. And while the rise of aquaculture has helped take demand off wild stocks, the process brings with it new environmental impacts. In this session, the innovators behind new fishing technologies will chart a course to better ways of managing wild and farmed stocks. Discover how blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help create a truly sustainable future for an industry that is playing an increasingly important role in meeting global protein needs.
How The Oil Majors are Building Businesses in Carbon Removal (Panel Discussion): Much of the investment in carbon capture and utilization is coming from the oil industry. Major players are funding the infrastructure needed to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide and turn it into valuable products, or safely store the gas deep underground. What’s the long-term play here for the industry? And how can other companies collaborate with the majors to accelerate their carbon economy projects? In this session, leaders behind some of most important projects funded by the industry will explain their strategies and the options for collaboration.
Clean, Smart Charging: Pairing EVs with Renewables (Panel Discussion): As the number of electric vehicles on the world’s roads grows, the movement to charge these with clean and smart energy is rising, too. What policy, technology and collaborative steps do we need to take to make sure that EVs are being charged with clean, efficiently-moved electrons?
The Complicated Potential of RNG (Panel Discussion): It seems that everyone wants a piece of the nascent renewable natural gas market.RNG, which is created through capturing methane that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere, is attractive to every sector looking to decarbonize, since the emissions are considered to be carbon negative. But there is a limited supply of RNG, and industries are competing for what little exists. This session will look at how California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard is shaping this market nationally, and what that means for electricity generation, natural gas companies and industrial thermal loads. We’ll take a realistic look at the potential and limitations of this resource.
Can I Do That In My Service Territory? (Panel Discussion): One challenge to developing strong clean energy strategies is how much variation there is between different electric power service territories. This session walks through the clean energy incentives, programs and partnership available in regulated and deregulated markets, and gives you the tools for navigating state-level opportunities.
Beyond Financials: Prioritizing Social Responsibility in Renewable Energy Partnerships (Panel Discussion): Renewable energy procurements often involve long-term relationships between off-takers, suppliers, and local communities. What type of partnership are you entering? Learn from buyers who are utilizing renewable energy procurement as a vehicle for delivering on the same corporate social responsibility principles that guide their operations, and the material impacts these have on diverse project stakeholders.
The Tipping Point for Commercial Zero Emission Vehicles (Panel Discussion): The electric truck and bus market is growing rapidly, with dozens of medium and heavy duty vehicle models available by the end of the year. But it’ll still take broad partnerships and collaboration to accelerate the transition of trucks and buses to zero emissions. This session will use CALSTART’s Global Drive to Zero program as a framework for looking at how to accelerate the adoption of zero emission commercial vehicles.
Buyers Guide: What to Know Before Buying a Soil Carbon Offset (Workshop): Investing in farming practices that draw down carbon dioxide is an exciting new option for companies interested in using offsets to reduce their carbon footprints. In this session, you’ll be introduced to the key points to consider before doing so. Leading experts will explain how soils store carbon, why soil sequestration delivers much more than carbon reductions and how your company can access this rapidly growing segment of the offsets market.
On-Demand Food Delivery and Low Emissions — Can We Have Both? (Panel Discussion): Just a few years ago, a hungry consumer who wanted food delivered quickly often had a single option: pizza. Then came the delivery apps, providing ready access to almost any food imaginable. Demand for online grocery deliveries also has accelerated, in part due to coronavirus and social-distancing orders. These options are great for consumers, but what impact are they having on urban air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions? Models show that it’s possible to build a food delivery system that lowers emissions, but the trend toward faster delivery may make that impossible. Hear from the food retailers, delivery companies and transport modelers who are trying to build a modern delivery system that benefits both consumers and the environment.
How Innovative Financing Can Scale Zero-Emission Trucks and Buses (Panel Discussion): One of the keys to accelerating the adoption of commercial zero emission vehicles is the emergence of new financing models, from all-in leases to climate funding. What new financing tools are companies and financiers adopting that can unlock more rapid scaling of zero emission trucks and buses?
Decarbonizing Industrial Heat (Panel Discussion): We’re still waiting for market-ready options for renewable thermal energy, especially for applications that require high temperatures — such as processes for making steel, cement, glass and chemicals. This session takes a look at the emerging technologies and policies that may lead to new options for electrifying and decarbonizing thermal energy. This panel of corporate energy managers companies and subject matter experts will discuss the potential for abating emissions in these stubborn sectors.
New Tech, Old-fashioned Collaboration: Making Food Supply Transparent: Food supply chains are notoriously hard to monitor. Meat and produce is aggregated and passed between multiple intermediaries. Supplies sometimes come from remote farms in poorly regulated countries. The side effects of these challenges range from fraud to deforestation to public health threats, prompting consumers and shareholders to demand more transparency from every player in the supply chain. There is no silver bullet for a problem this complex, but progress is taking place on multiple tracks, including blockchain technologies and more openness between supply-chain partners. Get up to speed on the latest projects — and learn how your business can get involved.
Our Companies Set a Price on Carbon. You Can Do the Same. (Panel Discussion): You’ve measured your company’s carbon footprint and set targets for reducing it. Now you have to do the hard work of implementing emissions cuts. How do you motivate employees across the company to join the effort? One solution is to set an internal price on carbon. It’s a method that’s been shown to accelerate progress, but it can also be a bureaucratic headache for everyone involved. Hear from people who have navigated this challenge inside major corporations and are successfully reducing their companies’ emissions.
Tracking, Traceability, Transparency: The Future of Connected Goods (Panel Discussion): From QR codes and blockchain to Circular ID and the IoT, future-forward tracking devices hold the promise of simplified reverse logistics, frictionless user experience, and efficient management of reclaimed materials. Is the wide-spread adoption of these innovations the key to an effective circular economy? What will it take to bring these technologies to scale, and what role should they play in your company’s circular strategy? Join this session to discuss the promise and implications of emerging tracking technologies in building the circular economy.
How Companies Can Address Energy Poverty (Panel Discussion): How can companies make energy decisions that support underserved communities, too? Hear about new energy options that make it possible for your company to make clean energy decisions that uplift the community.
Protein from Air: Using Microbes and Carbon Dioxide to Make Meat (Panel Discussion): As billions of dollars flow into alternative protein startups, an intriguing new technology has joined the race to shape the future of food: microbes that transform carbon dioxide, energy and other inputs into proteins that can form the basis of many foods. Come to this session to learn how this new approach will compete with other alternative proteins and to understand how it could propel our food systems towards a more sustainable future.
Building Back Aviation Sustainably (Workshop): The global pandemic has thrown a wrench into the aviation sector’s decarbonization efforts. How will the industry build back while prioritizing sustainability and meeting carbon emission reduction targets?
Clean Energy All Day, Every Day (Panel Discussion): Many companies are setting — and achieving through a variety of approaches — 100 percent clean electricity goals on an annual basis. The next frontier: going beyond matching consumption of dirty grid power with renewables procurements and striving for real-world consumption of 100 percent clean energy where and when it’s needed. Cracking that nut will require diverse energy generation assets, energy storage options, demand response initiatives and shifting energy loads. Achieving this goal is also key to reaching 100 percent clean energy goals for utilities and states — and right now corporations are leading the way. Come hear from companies tackling this problem today and how your organization can take the first steps to match its clean energy supply and demand.
Insetting: Using Supply Chain Collaboration to Cut Carbon (Workshop): When it comes to zeroing out emissions, the best practice is usually to eliminate what you can, then offset what you can’t. That’s a useful rule of thumb, but it omits a potentially beneficial middle step. Over the past few years, an increasing number of companies have begun helping their suppliers to reduce emission. Known as insetting, this can be a win-win that leads to lower emissions and stronger supply-chain relationships. Come to this session for a practical introduction to the process, delivered by the industry leaders who pioneered it.
These Technologies Could Transform the Fight Against Supply-Chain Waste: Around half of all food waste occurs in the supply chains that link farmers to retailers and restaurants. The complexity of these systems poses a formidable challenges to waste reduction efforts, but over the past few years a roster of new technologies have begun to make a dent in the problem. In this session, you’ll hear leaders at the companies behind these technologies and the industry heavyweights that they are partnering with. Come to learn how new methods for storing, moving and distributing food can lead to radical reductions in the amount of food that we waste daily.
Investing in a Clean & Equitable Future (Panel Discussion): Every two minutes, a new solar array is installed in the United States. Yet many Americans, especially in low-income communities and communities of color, are excluded from the development and ownership of clean energy and mobility technologies. Throughout the system as a whole, the benefits of clean energy are not distributed equally. In this panel, Powerhouse Founder & CEO Emily Kirsch discusses how companies and investors can enable affordable clean energy for all.
Values-Driven Consumers Are Changing the Food Industry. Are You Ready? (Workshop): The Millennial and Gen-Z generations say they prioritize sustainability — and are willing to pay extra for it. The demand from these younger shoppers is opening up opportunities for new products and putting pressure on established brands to minimize the negative impact of existing products. So how should food companies respond? Do consumers care about organic and fair trade and regenerative labels? If not, what does prompt sustainably minded individuals to change their buying habits? This session is your chance to quiz experts in consumer behavior and the forward-thinking entrepreneurs who have built brands that cater to the new generations of sustainable consumers.
Carbon Removal Moonshots: Introducing Radical Drawdown Technologies (Panel Discussion): As the need for drawdown becomes clear, the roster of carbon removal technologies is beginning to grow. Some, such as direct air capture, are now relatively well known. Coming up fast behind those more established technologies are a host of exciting new options, some of which will soon be ready for market. In this session, the entrepreneurs and inventors behind three of them — enhanced weathering, deep ocean storage and geological storage of bio-oil — explain how their technologies offer unique advantages, and how interested companies can partners to accelerate development.
The New Accounting Methods that Reveal the True Environmental Cost of Food (Workshop): What impact is your company having on the environment, communities and public health? The interconnected nature of food businesses makes such an assessment daunting. Enter True Cost Accounting (TCA), a road-tested and practical method for conducting holistic impact evaluations. This session combines insights from leaders at major food companies that have used TCA with group activities designed to introduce attendees to the power of the process.
How to Value Solar + Storage (Panel Discussion): Your energy assets are worth more than the kilowatts they create. Communities and companies are increasingly aware of the importance of energy resilience. Extreme weather is becoming more frequent and severe, causing planned and unplanned power outages that impact local economies and disrupting lives. But how can we actually calculate the value of technologies that keep the lights on? This session features the best thinking on the true value of solar plus storage, both during power outages and when the electric grid is flowing. Hear how companies are working with energy providers to prepare for future disruptions, and how the global pandemic is changing how we value resilience.
Sustainable Transportation Strategies for Companies (Panel Discussion): Corporations around the globe are looking at transportation-related emissions — across Scopes 1, 2 & 3 — and looking at creative ways to reduce them. Hear from leaders that have taken the plunge and made progress.
Why Deforestation Remains Part of Food Supply — and How We Can Fix That (Panel Discussion): Destruction of old-growth tropical forests presents a profound threat to the planet — a threat that the food industry has recognized and pledged to eliminate. Yet, food sourced from newly deforested land remains part of global supply chains. In this session, experts with inside knowledge of sourcing and supply will talk frankly about why it has proved so hard to address this problem. They will be joined by leaders from the NGOs working with food companies to finally remove deforestation from supply chains, and the technologists building tools to help them do so.
When Climate Resilience and Business Resilience Is a Trade-off (Panel Discussion): Are business resilience goals at odds with climate resilience? While microgrids have come a long way, those that are being deployed at commercial sites are mainly powered by fossil fuels – either by diesel or natural gas. This is a real look at the considerations and tension between keeping the lights on and embracing clean energy technologies.
Leveraging Market-Based Incentives to Decarbonize Transportation (Panel Discussion): Market-based incentives play an important role in accelerating transportation decarbonization for organizations in many industries across the country. In this session, we will discuss current and planned low carbon fuel incentive programs, how to leverage the incentives these programs provide, and key insights surrounding emerging markets and technologies.
Beyond Zero: Introducing Next-Level Corporate Climate Commitments (Panel Discussion): It’s not so long since going carbon neutral was considered ambitious. But in little more than a year, a handful of companies have announced new carbon targets that have redefined what ambition looks like in this arena. Some firms are investing significant sums in carbon removal. Others are committing to going carbon negative, or even to paying back the company’s entire carbon debt. Many of those involved freely admit that they are not certain how they will achieve these goals. One thing is clear: Doing so will require collaboration across supply chains and the sharing of best practices. Come to this session to hear from the carbon program managers who are figuring out how to take corporate commitments to the next level.
How to Estimate Scope Three Emissions. (Without Losing Your Mind.) (Panel Discussion): No one would say it’s easy to measure Scope 1 and 2 emissions. But doing so can seem easy in comparison to the often daunting task of accounting for Scope 3. In this session, you’ll hear from industry leaders who have successfully navigated that challenge. In part one, panelists will share the strategies and tactics that worked for them — and the mistakes they have learned to avoid. In part two, attendees will have the chance to quiz the panelists in small groups.
What’s Your Climate Risk? (Panel Discussion): It’s hard to understand how to become energy-resilient before you understand your level of risk. What is the true cost of business disruptions, and how can your organization quantify the cost of not acting? This session walks through the current best thinking on how companies are calculating the quick-changing world of physical risks associated with climate change, along with their financial impacts.
Optimizing Energy Assets to Work for You (Panel Discussion): Are your energy assets working for you or are you working for them? With the proliferation of distributed energy resources and smart devices, there are opportunities to optimize how your buildings’ energy assets work together to reduce your energy consumption — and bills. This session looks at how artificial intelligence and the internet of things can help you get deeper savings and reach your energy goals.
Meet the Chefs and Foodservice Leaders Pursuing Zero-Carbon Dining (Panel Discussion): Could your next restaurant meal be carbon-free? Could it even help draw down carbon? It sounds like a tall order. There are emissions at almost every stage of the chain that puts food on to diners’ plates, from fertilizer use on farms to tailpipe emissions during delivery to the gas burned in kitchen stoves. Yet in each link of the chain there are alternative technologies that can help reduce, eliminate or even reverse these emissions. Hear from forward-thinking chefs, restaurant owners and foodservice leaders integrating these technologies into their businesses in a bid to create zero-carbon dining.
Public Private Partnerships for Circular Cities (Panel Discussion): With a waste diversion rate of 75 percent in 2013 and a commitment to 100 percent diversion by 2022, the city of San Jose is a nationally recognized leader in effective waste management. This success is built on a 2008 comprehensive zero waste strategy that prioritized reduction and reuse, offered diversion incentives, built cross-city partnerships and invested in robust infrastructure — including anaerobic digestion, in-vessel composting and a state-of-the-art MRF. To bring circular ideals to reality, cities and regions — along with their companies, organizations and communities — will need to align and act as one cohesive system. Join this session to learn from stakeholders in San Jose who have forged new partnerships, built modern infrastructure and identified best-practices to manage materials and waste in their budding circular city. Hear about the lessons learned from implementing a comprehensive, zero-waste strategy and what it takes to establish regional circular economies.
How To Monetize Grid Flexibility (Panel Discussion): Investing in distributed energy resources isn’t just adding a new asset to your company’s own operations — it’s adding a new asset to the electric grid. As utilities work to reach deeper clean energy goals, your organization’s ability to add grid flexibility is valuable.
Circular Transportation: From Waste to Fuel Tank (Panel Discussion): Companies are working with cities to develop circular fueling systems, taking waste feedstocks — like recycled cooking oil and agriculture fats — and processing them in a fuel for local trucks and buses. How do these systems work and how can we scale them?
Can Indoor Agriculture Help Create a More Sustainable Food System? (Panel Discussion): Vertical farming can sound like a sustainability bonanza. Operating from high-tech facilities, a new generation of companies is growing crops using less space, less water and no pesticides. But there are hurdles to be overcome if the technology is to play a more significant role in reshaping our food systems. Vertical farms require a lot of energy, which if supplied by fossil fuels can generate additional greenhouse gas emissions. At least at present, the sector is largely focused on a relative niche market: selling leafy greens to urban residents. Leading entrepreneurs and policy experts will share their perspectives in this session on how the sector can both expand and become more sustainable.
New Markets and Technologies to Save America’s Forests (Panel Discussion): Decades of unsustainable management have combined with recent droughts to leave many U.S. forests dangerously vulnerable to fire and disease. Thankfully, the ingredients needed to reverse this decline already exist. We can protect our forests by thinning trees, and wood sourced in this way can be used to produce electricity, fertilize crops and create building materials. What’s needed is collaborative action by lawmakers and companies to create the incentives and infrastructure that will accelerate the growth of markets for these products. Come to this session to hear from the entrepreneurs and activists who are making this happen, and learn how to get involved.
Developing a Comprehensive Circular Strategy (Panel Discussion): The benefits of circular initiatives can ripple throughout a business and its supply chain, creating opportunity and disruption in its wake. But no matter how visionary or comprehensive, a circular economy strategy will translate into real-world impact only if it breaks through silos and takes hold across an organization. Many circular economy projects don’t scale beyond on-off pilots due to a lack of proactive cross-functional partnership, a sound business case or a realistic growth strategy. Hear from leaders who not only have established comprehensive circular economy strategies, but also effectively implemented them across their organizations. This panel will explore the structure and scope of various corporate circular economy strategies, including core focus areas, KPIs, ownership and impacts on compensation. Speakers will also share actionable insights on how they engage colleagues, assure alignment and create cross-functional initiatives without derailing existing operations.
Building a Circular Carbon Economy: Can we create a circular carbon economy that drawdowns the excess atmospheric carbon that causes climate change? A growing number of entrepreneurs and investors think that we can. In part one of this session, you’ll hear rapid-fire pitches from companies that have developing solutions for capturing carbon and transforming it into valuable products. In part two, attendees will split into smaller group for more detailed discussions with the entrepreneurs and the investors who are backing them.
Pathways to a Radically More Sustainable Food System (Panel Discussion): Our global food system is simultaneously a marvel and an enormous problem. Innovations at all levels, from farm to supply to retail, have helped to dramatically reduce the number of people who go hungry. Yet the system still fails to get nutritious food to those who need it. And too often, the food we produce comes with unsustainable impacts on biodiversity and climate. How do we transition this system — which needs to feed almost two billion more people by 2050 — to be more sustainable? In this session, you will hear from panelists who have mapped out the radical changes to diets, food waste, farm operations and many other areas of the food system that can contribute to this transformation.
Why We Need to Electrify Ride-hailing (Panel Discussion): Ride-hailing giant Lyft aims to electrify every car on its platform, including driver-owned vehicles, by 2030. This unprecedented goal will require sweeping partnerships and aggressive policies. How does Lyft plan to hit this target?
How to Tell a Successful, Circular Story that Sticks (Panel Discussion): The circular economy is becoming a centerpiece of many corporate sustainability strategies. Yet companies often struggle to translate this into stories that inform and engage employees, customers, investors and other stakeholders. If we hope to unlock the circular economy’s full potential, we’ll need to make sure that it’s understood and embraced by all — not just sustainability wonks. This session will explore how companies are learning to leverage the power of narrative to educate and inspire stakeholders on their circular ambitions, products and service offerings.
How Tenants Can Green Commercial Buildings (Panel Discussion): COVID-19 and social distancing have left commercial buildings across the country empty and commercial real estate companies worried about filling offices, factories and retail stores. As companies re-enter commercial spaces and negotiate new rental agreements, there are new opportunities to push building owners to embrace cleaner, smarter energy choices. This session will cover the strategies companies can use to encourage decarbonization in their rented spaces, and how this moment of transition is chanaging the conversation around real estate.
Electric Freight: Urban Delivery As the Killer App (Panel Discussion): The market for moving goods in electric trucks and delivery vans is rapidly emerging as more zero emission heavy duty vehicles become available and more policies are passed that support ZEV delivery.
Lessons Learned From 2020’s Clean Air Experiment: Global lockdowns from the coronavirus have delivered unprecedented clean air in urban centers and a unique experiment to view the role of auto emissions in air pollution. Discover how this historic test has led to lessons learned for cleaning up our air and setting policies after cities begin to open back up.
Your Next Construction Project Could Draw Down Carbon (Panel Discussion): Many of the ingredients needed to reduce or even eliminate carbon emissions from construction now exist, but architects and contractors do not necessarily know about these options. In this session, you will learn how to ensure that construction projects large and small can be designed to include materials and processes that minimize emissions. Leading architects, engineers and contractors will survey the world of next-gen building materials, from carbon-negative concrete to mass timber, and explain how you can dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of your next project.
More, Less or None: What’s the Role of Meat in the Future of Food? Panel Discussion): A growing number of thinktanks and environmental organizations are arguing that dramatic reductions in meat consumption, particularly beef, are needed to rein in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. So should we all go vegetarian? Or can changes to the way that meat is produced allow us to cut down on emissions and keep our burgers? And what role will alternative proteins play? In this session, experts from all sides of the debate will give their take on the best way forward.
Win-win: How Offsets Can Draw Down Carbon and Boost Development Goals (Panel Discussion) Some offset projects come with additional positive outcomes that go beyond reducing atmospheric carbon. Many of these co-benefits line up with the UN Sustainable Development Goals: To broaden access to clean water, improve indoor air quality or create new revenue opportunities for local communities, for example. In this session, you’ll hear from leaders who have helped develop co-benefit projects and the corporate buyers who have invested in them.
Own Your (Political) Power (Panel Discussion) How and when should corporations get involved with policy? While many companies are taking audacious steps on clean energy and sustainability goals, most are not. It’s clear we need policy to take the collective, precompetitive steps needed to reduce emissions across industry. Companies enjoy more political clout than ever, and time is running out to bend the emissions curve. This session looks at the responsibility for businesses to be advocates for clean energy and climate policies beyond their own operations, and why their customers and employees will thank them for their leadership.
Cities Reclaim Streets From Cars After Lockdowns (Panel Discussion): Cities around the world — from Paris to Seattle to Oakland — have seized on the opportunity of the health crisis to create programs that take back streets from cars for pedestrians and bikes. Hear from city leaders how they implemented these programs.
The Emerging Infrastructure for Capturing and Utilizing Carbon (Panel Discussion): In a fully functioning carbon economy, networks of pipelines transport greenhouse gases captured from industry facilities, or even directly from the air to commercial hubs, where an array of businesses convert the carbon into valuable products or store it permanently underground. This might sound like science fiction, but the seeds of this economy have already been sown. Come to this session to hear from leaders in carbon capture, geological sequestration and carbontech who are collaborating on the projects that will form the first-generation infrastructure for a future carbon economy.
How to Unlock Hidden Value in Food Waste: Some of the most powerful strategies for creating a waste-free food system involve methods for transforming waste into valuable products. This sessions features the entrepreneurs, government officials and waste experts who are doing exactly that. Come to hear about new technologies and partnerships that are turning waste from kitchens and farms into everything from household cleaner to grid electricity, and learn how your company can get involved.
Fuels of Tomorrow: Hear enthusiastic expert share in short, high-energy talks why they see specific technologies as the next big thing. These lightning talks will make the case for green hydrogen, nuclear and offshore wind.
All access pass $99 until September 11, 2020.
Click here to register.