This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ Net-Zero Carbon Summit.
TOPIC: How to build and execute a sustainability strategy within your organization
DETAILS: Building a successful sustainability program must incorporate business continuity planning and preparing for outcomes from disruption. A look at the methods behind setting and achieving sustainability goals and the importance of stakeholder engagement when building out sustainability programs.
SPEAKERS: Ray Fennelly, chief information officer, AIT Worldwide Logistics, and FreightWaves’ Grace Sharkey.
BIO: Fennelly began his freight forwarding career in 1992, before joining AIT’s sales group in
1995. In 2012, he became a co-owner of AIT as a member of the team that conducted a successful leveraged buyout. He was promoted to CIO in 2017, overseeing the global compliance, management information systems, and marketing and communications teams, while also taking a lead role in many of the company’s acquisitions. In 2021, he was nominated to be the executive sponsor for AIT’s sustainability initiative.
KEY QUOTES FROM FENNELLY:
“Most high-performing logistics companies will have elements of a sustainability program. They may have a robust compliance or regulatory policy or other elements. However, I think a well-built and efficient sustainability program is about a more dedicated commitment to a company’s culture and business quality, and just as importantly, to business continuity planning. I think that at its core, a sustainability program is a road map to how a company can create a more resilient and sustainable future while remaining true to its culture.”
“I believe we’ve reached an inflection point during the past two years, especially at the early stages of the global pandemic. COVID drew out the need for a company to have good sustainability planning — teammate safety, for example, became a paramount concern. The safety of our employees was mission critical, and companies had to figure out how to move most if not all of their employees to a work-from-home program. In some ways, COVID showed that firms with excellent foundational cultures and programs in place just fared far better than those that didn’t have them.”
“What I’ve noticed personally is that about 80% of all the questions we’ve gotten from customers about sustainability have really come in the last 15-18 months. We’re getting a tremendous amount of attention from customers on what we’re doing and how we’re going about a sustainability program for the company.”