Energetic speakers, innovative ideas, award-winning programs. View the two-day agenda below.

10:00am – 11:00am
Opening Session: Nature’s Value in the Supply Chain

Circular economy and supply chain initiatives are becoming increasingly sophisticated and effective at changing the relationship between customers and vendors. This evolution in corporate thinking presents an opportunity for mainstreaming biodiversity beyond operations and sites of material impact. This session will explore successful initiatives from both single companies and corporate collectives that have driven biodiversity along their value chain. This discussion will also include industry leaders sharing the challenges and opportunities for truly greening the supply chain.

Moderator: Margaret O’Gorman, President, WHC

Award Presentation: Ibis Award

11:30 – 12:00pm
WHC Awards Presentation: Habitat Projects     

1:00pm –2:00pm
Featured Keynote Speaker  |  Jason Ward: Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Join birder and science communicator Jason Ward as he highlights his journey from nature-obsessed kid growing up in The Bronx, New York, to living out a childhood dream as the host of ‘Birds of North America’. Jason has high hopes for the future of birding and conservation, but realizes that we have to improve on the current state of things in order to make it there.

2:15pm – 2:45pm
WHC Awards Presentation: Species Projects

3:00pm – 4:00pm
Trees are Having a Moment: From Urban Landscapes to Reforestation, How Corporate-Driven Initiatives Bring Benefits Locally and Globally

The benefits of trees are wide and varied. They provide clean air to combat pollution, habitat for a wide variety of biodiversity, water filtration for clean water, recreation for well-being, and much more. Ultimately, these benefits contribute to mitigating climate change and energy consumption which create healthy communities and economies. Join us in this session with representatives from companies with exceptional programs which utilize tree plantings in urban and other areas to produce measurable that drive results for business, employees and communities.

  • Lionel Bradford, President, Greening of Detroit
  • Judy Helton, PE, CEM, Environmental Engineer, Toyota Motor North America
  • Andrea Nichols, Supervisor, Forestry Operations, NIPSCO
  • Shannon Veader, Assistant Facilities Manager, CBRE
  • Beattra Wilson, Assistant Director, Urban & Community Forestry, U.S. Forest Service
  • Moderator: Josiane Bonneau, COO, WHC

Award Presentation: Gold Program Award

9:30am – 10:45am
Featured Keynote Speaker  |  Kimberlyn Leary, PH.D., MPA: Thriving in a Changing and Changed World

In this year of crises – health, economic, racial, and the ongoing twin global emergencies of climate change and biodiversity loss – we must adapt our practices and business models to ensure positive change can happen. Prominent policy expert and leader, Kimberly Leary (Urban Institute, Harvard) joins WHC Connect for an engaging and timely conversation about adaptive leadership and authority, transformative thinking, and protection of the capacity of teams and people to think under crisis.

11:15am – 12:15pm
The Great Reset: Now is the Time to Build Back with Nature for a Resilient Future

2020 was meant to be the Super Year for Nature. Global gatherings such as the IUCN World Congress and CBD’s COP15 were meant to establish platforms for calls to action and commitments from governments, NGOs, private sector entities and scientists to restore and protect our planet’s resources. But while the pandemic wreaks havoc on those plans, there now exists an opportunity for businesses to recommit to nature. This session will explore the urgent need to utilize nature as a key solution for private sector recovery. Corporate executives and representatives from Business for Nature will discuss how investment in environmental education and nature-based solutions can make a significant contribution to post-COVID, resilient future.

  • Geraldine Barnuevo, Senior Manager Environmental Strategies and Sustainability, General Motors
  • Vicente Saiso, Corporate Director Sustainability, CEMEX
  • Moderator: Margaret O’Gorman, President, WHC

Award Presentation: Corporate Leadership Award

1:15pm – 2:15pm
The Answer is Outside: Nature-Based Strategies for Employee Engagement
Sponsored by Ernst Conservation Seeds  

Driving employee engagement during times of crisis is crucial. Those who are working from home may feel disconnected, and employees on-site (especially those indoors all day) may not have the same interactions due to social distancing. Ensuring the well-being of employees is at the heart of a nature-based strategy for employee engagement. Join this conversation about our rediscovery of nature during this time, the benefits of nature for employees – both working from home and on-site, and how nature-focused employee engagement programs have helped increase well-being and work effectiveness.

  • Kristen Leforce, Staff Engineer, Environmental, DTE Energy
  • Shane McShane, P.Eng., Assistant Plant Manager, Nepheline Syenite Operations, Covia
  • Moderator: Josiane Bonneau, COO, WHC

Award Presentation: Employee Engagement Award

2:45pm – 3:45pm
The STEM Demand: Our Future Depends on Literacy in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Sponsored by Lehigh Hanson  

In a recent opinion piece in the Washington Post, Joseph Allen noted that, “for the first time in history, nearly every scientist in the world is focused on the same problem. This is starting to pay real dividends.” Allen was referring to COVID 19, but professionals trained in STEM disciplines are vital to solving the world’s other increasing challenges such as clean water, energy consumption, climate change, connectivity and more. In this session, we will discuss how corporations are using their sustainability programs to incorporate STEM education for their communities, and how they are in working to create the passionate, driven and innovative thinkers of tomorrow who are vital for progress.

  • Molly Borst, STEM Education Manager, BASF North America
  • Meredith Crouch, Environmental Engineer, OPG
  • Sita Daavetilla, Sustainability Manager, Summit Materials
  • Moderator: Rob Campbell, Senior Manager, WHC 

Immediately followed by Awards 3: Education