Climate Rising

Climate Rising

Climate Rising is about the impact of climate change on business. It brings business and policy leaders and Harvard Business School faculty together to share insights about what businesses are doing, can do, and should do to confront climate change. It explores the many challenges and opportunities that climate change raises for managers, such as decisions about where they choose to locate, the technologies they develop and use, their strategies with respect to products, marketing, customer engagement, and policy—in other words, the full spectrum of business concerns.

Episodes

September 21, 2022 39 min

In this special episode produced jointly with the Degrees podcast, Jenny McColloch, McDonald’s Chief Sustainability Officer, shares the challenges of meeting decarbonization goals at one of the world’s largest food service companies. She talks about how their climate action has evolved, and the critical role of their suppliers and franchisees, who operate 90% of McDonald’s restaurants. Jenny also offers advice for those interested ...

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Victoria Mills, Managing Director of Environmental Defense Fund’s EDF+Biz program discusses how some companies are starting to advocate for more stringent climate policies as they see climate change affecting their operations, supply chains, and communities. She also describes how EDF acts as both advisor and catalyst to their engagement, shares some challenges and opportunities of working with companies on climate policy, and ...

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Paul Dickinson, Founder Chair, CDP, shares how CDP works with investors to drive companies toward greater transparency by disclosing carbon emissions and other environmental indicators. He talks about how CDP is evolving in the face of new disclosure regulation, corporate disclosure trends, including expanding CDP’s reach to include water and forestry. Paul also offers advice for those interested in careers in business and climate ...

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Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, shares how Ceres works with corporate boards to facilitate systemic change in private sector climate action, including why boards are a critical part of the equation. He also talks about how the recent proposed SEC disclosure rule could change boards’ roles on climate change, and offers advice for those interested in careers in business and clim...

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Jules Kortnenhorst, CEO of RMI, shares how RMI works with companies in the transportation, cement, and steel sectors to encourage the rapid energy transition necessary to mitigate climate change. He also talks about RMI’s global partnerships, innovative energy programs, and accelerators—and describes how his experience in the HBS MBA program shaped his career journey, and offers advice for those interested in careers in business an...

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Carter Roberts, President/CEO of World Wildlife Fund-US, shares what successful climate collaborations between companies and environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) look like in practice, and how ENGOs can help by sharing their expertise and even pushing companies to take bolder action on climate change. Carter also talks about how being an HBS MBA student shaped his career in the private sector and nonprofit space, and...

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Katie Wallace, Chief ESG Officer of New Belgium Brewing Company, and Adam Fetcher, Senior Director of Communications and Public Engagement, discuss how climate change’s impacts on their operations and ingredients led them to engage with policymakers and take their climate message to their beer customers. They share how the company has integrated climate action into its operations and supply chain, how they encourage customers to ho...

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In this bonus episode, sustainable footwear brand Allbirds co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger, Prof. Michael Toffel, and Cold Call host Brian Kenny discuss the growing environmental impact of the fashion industry, and how Allbirds is balancing a critical tension between sharing its know-how and material innovations with competitors to scale its efforts to decarbonize fashion, while also retaining brand differentiation. This was ...

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Marcius Extavour, XPRIZE’s VP-Climate and Energy, discusses how his organization designs competitions to spur innovations for carbon removal and carbon utilization (converting greenhouse gasses into products). In discussing the Carbon XPRIZE and Carbon Removal XPRIZE competitions, Marcius explains how the prize model fosters solutions that address certain climate problems. He describes what makes for a successful climate-tech pitch...

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Jaclyn Olsen, Associate Director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, and Erin Craig, Vice President of 3 Degrees, a climate solutions firm hired by Harvard, discuss the University’s goal to be fossil-fuel neutral by 2026 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. Jaclyn and Erin discuss Harvard’s carbon footprint, its efforts to reduce emissions and realize health benefits, and its emerging strategy on carbon offsets. And they share with us...

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Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Net Zero initiative, discusses the controversy over carbon offsets and how the Oxford Offsetting Principles can help organizations reduce risk and improve transparency in their use of carbon offsets to support their net zero goals. Myles also talks about what the University of Oxford is doing to address its own emissions, and shares t...

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Ingrid Irigoyen, Director of the Aspen Institute Shipping Decarbonization Initiative, discussesthe importance of decarbonizing global maritime shipping, the opportunities and challenges, andhow the Aspen Institute is working with Amazon, IKEA, Unilever, Michelin, and othercompanies to accelerate the effort. Ingrid also talks about how her background in mediationhelps her convene and collaborate with diverse stakeholders, and she re...

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Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Office at Walmart, Inc. and President of the WalmartFoundation, discusses how Walmart plans to achieve its goal to avoid a gigaton–a billion metrictons–of greenhouse gas emissions in its global supply chain by 2030. She shares some of thechallenges and opportunities of operating on such a large scale and offers advice for thoseinterested in working in the business and climate change space.

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February 9, 2022 44 min

Donnel Baird, founder and CEO of BlocPower, a climate tech startup, describes why decarbonizing the buildings sector is both a challenge and an opportunity, why he chose this corner of the climate tech space, and how BlocPower is working with the city of Ithaca to electrify its entire building stock. Donnel shares lessons learned on his journey as an entrepreneur and a few recommendations for launching climate tech startups.

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    January 26, 2022 34 min

    Ellen Jackowski, HP’s Chief Impact Officer, describes the company’s climate targets and how HP is shifting its business model to respond to climate change. She explains how HP is both engaging their employees in the effort and meeting customer demands for increased climate action. 

    For transcripts and other resources, visit climaterising.org

     

     

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    In early 2021, a severe winter storm knocked out Texas’ power grid for days, leaving millions shivering in the dark and killing hundreds of residents. Other states have also been caught off guard by extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change. This episode of the Deep Background podcast features , Alice Hill who led the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s effort to develop its first-ever climate resilience plan, being i...

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    Climate change poses two very different challenges to the U.S. Navy. First, the Navy has to buttress its billions of dollars of shoreline assets against rising sea levels. Second, it has to plan to be called on more often to address both military threats and humanitarian crises caused by climate change. In this episode of HBR Idea Cast, Climate Rising host Harvard Business School professor Mike Toffel and his colleague Forest Reinh...

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    As the impacts of climate change mount, questions have arisen about whether the capitalist economic system we have in place is able to adequately address them. But what if, rather than upending the system, we recognized the power capitalism offers when it is properly regulated? In this episode of the Ask a Harvard Professor podcast, Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson talks through her own efforts to reconcile the c...

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    Many of the innovators we’ve spoken with this season are launching technologies or business models that produce less carbon than status quo approaches – leather made from mushrooms instead of cows, for example, and vehicles that run on electricity instead of fossil fuels. Other guests are finding new ways to finance those new technologies or business models. In this episode, we meet Steve Oldham, the CEO of Carbon Engineering, who ...

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    David Brand is founder and CEO of New Forests, a business that manages forests for long-term returns for institutional investors. He has an unusual climate vision. Right now the forestry business, together with agriculture and land use, is responsible for about one-quarter of the emissions that cause climate change. By unlocking the value of the carbon sequestered in forests, in conserved land, and other real natural assets, Brand ...

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