Global Business Leader to Speak about “Circular Economy”Print

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) is pleased to announce a series of events featuring Staples Vice President of Environmental Affairs, Mark Buckley. Mark will deliver a free public lecture on Tuesday March 17th at the UM School of Business Administration about the dramatic changes occurring in business as usual due to the implications of an interdependent global supply chain, including:

Corporations coming to terms with the reality that we don’t have enough materials on earth to continue consuming at current rates.
Extended responsibility laws in Europe, Canada, and some parts of the US that require companies to take full life cycle responsibility for everything they produce.
The end of waste management and the rise of resource management— seeing everything that goes in and out as a resource.
The “circular economy” as an emerging trend that adds accountability to traditional business thinking about economic value.
Like most companies, Staples started by looking at sustainability practices within its own walls. But a company footprint analysis revealed that only 7% of Staples’ environmental impacts are internal. The rest come from the actions of suppliers and customers. “Just because you sell something doesn’t mean you can wash your hands of it,” said Mark. “This led us to ask ourselves, ‘How do we think about community?’”

Mark lives in the same small town of 3,000 where he grew up, yet he manages global environmental and sustainable business practices for a $23 billion

company with 80,000 employees in 26 countries. He said, “As big as we are, we need to think about how each decision we make in Massachusetts affects a community half a world away. To do that, we need a design perspective.”

Mark will provide specific examples from Staples and other global companies during his talk on “The Circular Economy: Waste As a Resource” at the UM School of Business Administration on March 17. The lecture will be followed by a Business Reception.

The next morning, on Wednesday March 18, Mark will be joined by two local entrepreneurs for a Good Morning Forum panel discussion. James Stephens of Blue Marble Biomaterials and Patrick Collins of Montainer will provide Missoula- based case studies of the global principles that Mark will address in his talk.

SBC Executive Director Jenny Mish, PhD, says “Mark Buckley is a stellar example of the kind of business leadership that is needed for a sustainable future. It’s inspiring to hear directly from someone who is tackling sustainability design issues on an enormous scale. We’re very pleased to bring Mark to Missoula, and to feature him alongside two of our own Missoula-based exemplars.”

For event times, registration information and more details, please click here!

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