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Investing in Sustainability Webinar Series

South Carolina

Green leaves emerge from a container of soil.
Green Plant A green plant grows in a metal container. © iStock/Ivan Bajic

Overview

Ten years ago, “corporate sustainability plan” was often a dressed-up term for “recycling program.” Today, employees and investors are demanding more from the companies they support.

Global powerhouses like Microsoft, Amazon and Volvo have announced ambitious plans for carbon neutrality or made nine-figure commitments to combat the effects of climate change.  But what can you do if you’re not a Fortune 100 company?

Can smaller businesses really make a difference and help change the future of our planet?  Let’s talk about it.

The Nature Conservancy is working with strategic partners around the world to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent in the next 10 years. Here in South Carolina, we’re working with businesses to better understand their goals and challenges and to offer support with their next best step.

Investing in Sustainability is a three-part webinar series featuring business and thought leaders having an honest dialogue around corporate sustainability. We invite you to join for one, two or all three!

Register for upcoming webinars at the links listed under each event below. You must register to attend — information on how to join the webinar via Zoom will be provided upon registering.

Check in often to watch previous webinar recordings at the links listed on the next tab.

We hope to see you online soon!.


UPCOMING WEBINARS

March 2 at 11 am EST
Getting Started and Why It Works
*Visit the PART I RECAP tab for a recording and more information.*

April 15 at 11 am EST
The Value of Carbon Forests
Join us to hear from Bridgestone and Norfolk Southern about how their companies use carbon forests and the voluntary credit market to reach sustainability and carbon-reduction goals. Staff from The Nature Conservancy will explain how carbon forests work and the co-benefits for investors.
Register today!

May (Date and Time TBD)
Economic Impact and the Competitive Edge
How does South Carolina recruit businesses and support their sustainability goals? What tools are available and/or needed to stay competitive? Plus, learn the triple benefit of carbon forests. (
NOTE: Registration link to come.)

PART I: Getting Started & Why It Works

On March 2, more than 300 professionals from businesses around the globe joined the kickoff webinar in our Investing in Sustainability series. The event was co-hosted with the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance and sponsored by Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund. Leaders from Dominion Energy, Milliken & Company and Sonoco shared sage advice and lessons learned from their own experiences with sustainability planning. Professor Weston Dripps of the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities at Furman University moderated the discussion. 

Follow up on some additional Q&A with the panel.

Getting Started and Why it Works The first webisode, "Getting Started & Why it Works" is co-hosted by The Nature Conservancy and the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. The series is sponsored by Bridgestone Americas Trust Fund.

Big Takeaways:

  • On sustainability: “It’s caused us to look not only what we’re doing, but what others are doing around us. Whether it be upstream of us, where the challenges are or opportunities. How what we do helps those that are downstream from us achieve their goals, whether it be environmental or other sustainability goals. And even looking across sectors. For instance, if you think about transportation decarbonization or trying to decarbonize the agricultural community. One of the great benefits I see around this is it’s an opportunity not only to change the nature of energy as a sector of the economy, but also other sectors of the economy.” - Rodney Blevins, President & CEO, Dominion Energy
  • “One of [Sonoco’s] founding fathers had a guiding principle which the company lives by today: ‘People build businesses by doing the right thing.’ People want to work for a company they believe is doing the right thing. [Sustainability] helps attract and retain good employees.” - Ed Harrington, Global Environmental Director, Sonoco
  • “One of our greatest challenges is: how do we hit scale? If manufacturing is roughly 31 percent of emissions, we also know that manufacturing is the heart of innovation. We’re going to come up with many of the solutions to drive the change to make net zero achievable.” - Maurie Lawrence, Sustainability Director & Associate General Counsel, Milliken & Company
  • “However you view it -- corporate responsibility, environmental stewardship, or even just good business sense that helps the bottom line -- sustainability is impactful in many, many ways. South Carolina manufacturers employ over 300,000 people and the industry has an estimate economic impact of $200 billion annually to South Carolina. When we think about that presence, it is amazing to consider what the total impact of the sustainable practices of these companies contributes to our state.” – Sara Hazzard, President & CEO, South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance