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Companies Laying Groundwork for Global Circular Economy

Key Updates on the Progress toward Circular Business Models at SB’19 Detroit, June 3-6


A growing number of companies across multiple industries are finding business opportunities in eliminating waste from their operations and keeping products and materials in use. Finding new life for existing products, implementing extended producer responsibility initiatives and redesigning products to virtually eliminate waste from the onset are giving innovative companies the edge.

SB’19 Detroit will be one of the largest gatherings of business leaders who are transforming brands through sustainable innovation in the world. From June 3-6 in Detroit, corporate executives will provide updates as to how they are changing their business models to align with circular economy practices.

“Market signals and tangible research indicates that now is the opportune time for brands to move their environmental and social initiatives from the sidelines into the core of business and brand strategy,” said KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder and CEO of Sustainable Brands. ”We are starting to see how the companies implementing and executing a sustainable circular strategy are succeeding and making an impact and we can’t wait to share their story at SB’19 Detroit.”

Sustainable Brands brings creative and technical experts together for lively conversations on systems and design thinking, geared to help brands succeed while accelerating the shift to a sustainable, flourishing, and regenerative global economy. The annual Sustainable Brands flagship conference, this year held at the Cobo Center in Detroit, June 3-6, will feature 10 sessions on the circular economy, including:

  • A Bold New Vision for the Collection, Processing, Circularity and Productivity of Plastic Waste William McDonough, Chief Executive, McDonough Innovation. McDonough, a world renowned leader in sustainable design and cradle-to-cradle circular thinking and who was also recently featured in FORTUNE’s 2019 World’s Greatest Leaders list, will offer a bold new vision for the collection, processing, circularity, and productivity of plastic waste.
  • The State of Circularity: Key Updates on the Progress toward Circular Business Models Kate Heiny, Head of Global Sustainability, C&A; Mike Newman, CEO, Returnity Innovations; Jay Hunsberger, VP, Sustana; and, Stephanie Devine, CEO & Founder, The Very Good Bra, will talk about their progress in creating and enabling circular business models.
  • The Future of Packaging: An Inside Look at the Loop Reusable Packaging Scheme Anthony Rossi, VP, Global Business Development, TerraCycle, Inc.; Simon Lowden, President, Global Snacks Group, PepsiCo; Virginie Helias, Vice President & Chief Sustainability Officer, The Procter & Gamble Company, will provide an update on the future of packaging and give everyone an inside look at the loop reusable packaging project, launched earlier this year at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
  • Inspiring Consumer Desire and Demand for a Circular Economy Faith LeGendre, Sr. Circular Economy Strategist, Cisco; Carmen Gama, Renew Designer, EILEEN FISHER; Lisa Boyd, Senior Director, Corporate Responsibility, Target; Raphael Bemporad, Co-Founder and Principal, BBMG, will explore leading-edge consumer engagement tactics and technologies aimed at making circularity both attractive and user-friendly in the eyes of consumers.
  • A Survey of Bold Commitments and Initiatives Tackling Plastic Pollution Matt Bondlow, Director, Integrated Media, Scientific American; Mary Draves, Chief Sustainability Officer, Dow; Richard Gerstein, CMO, Unifi; Saskia van Gendt, Sr. Director, Sustainability, People Against Dirty; Ellen Jackowski, Global Head of Sustainability Strategy & Innovation, HP Inc.; Jane Abernethy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Humanscale; Gabe Wing, Director of Environmental Health and Safety, Herman Miller David Lear, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Dell; John Caturano, Senior Sustainability Manager Packaging, Nestlé Waters NA will discuss how their companies, campaigns, and collaborations are dialing up in efforts to meaningfully move the needle on reducing, reusing, reclaiming and recycling plastic.
  • In Pursuit of Breakthrough Innovators: Getting Ahead by Incentivizing, Funding, Incubating, Accelerating and Acquiring Purpose-driven Startups James Sullivan, Vice President, Sustainability Management & Strategy, SAP; and, Alicia Enciso, CMO, Nestlé USA, will look at some of the most effective ways major brands are supporting environmental and social entrepreneurs, this includes exploring the Circular Economy 2030 Contest, co-sponsored by SAP and Google Cloud.
  • Innovation Inspired by Nature: Design Principles and Applications of Biomimicry Nicole Hagerman Miller, Managing Director, Biomimicry 3.8 will breeze through decades’ worth of pioneering biomimicry research and find out what nature can teach executives about effective purpose-driven leadership and product design. This includes learning to translate’ the 3.8 billion years of R&D experience nature carries and add this essential tool in your arsenal for building circular business models.
  • Biomaterials: Evolution, New Markets, Future Prospects Renee Henze, Global Marketing Director, DuPont; Damien Perriman, Senior Vice President, Specialty Products, Genomatica; Joe Jankowski, Commercial Bio-based PE, Braskem America; Dimitri Deheyn, Marine Biologist, Ecotoxicologist, Biomimicry Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego will orient you with respect to the evolution of biomaterials and bioplastics with a variety of applications, and participate in an informed discussion about market drivers and expectations for the foreseeable future.
  • Scaling the Living Building Challenge: How Big Brands are Leveraging Regenerative Principles to Transform Real Estate Portfolios James Connelly, VP, Products & Strategic Growth, International Living Future Institute; Jacob Arlein, Principal, stok; Andreas Gyr, REWS Sustainability Program Manager, Google will take you on a transformative journey through their corporate real estate toward regenerative and healthy workplaces. This includes using biophilic design, the Living Building Challenge and Zero Carbon Certification, to transform the definition of what good corporate real estate looks like.
  • Innovating Together: Embedding Personal Wellbeing, Ecosystem Health and Strong Community Values in All Aspects of Product Development Shane Wolf, GM, Worldwide, REDKEN, Pureology, Mizani & SEED PHYTONUTRIENTS, L'Oréal USA; Danielle Azoulay, Head of CSR & Sustainability, L'Oreal USA; and, Julie Corbett, President & Founder, Ecologic Brands will share insights from one of L’Oreal’s latest brand launches featuring Seed Phytonutrients, which set out to make every aspect of its skin and hair care products as sustainable as possible. This session tracks the entire process along with key partnerships that enable and empower the end product – from exemplary farming practices all the way to the first shower-friendly paper bottle, made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper with a post-consumer recycled liner.

Sustainable Brands is proud to recognize the many sponsors already committed to showcasing their brand leadership in Detroit, including Presenting Sponsor BASF and Lead Sponsor National Geographic. Additional sponsors include SAP, Procter & Gamble, Vinyl Sustainability Council, Caesars Entertainment, Cone Communications a Porter Novelli Company, Braskem, Cox Automotive, Danone, Detroit Convention Bureau, DTE Energy, EY, Kellogg Company, Nestlé, Salterbaxter MSL, UNIFI, The Dow Chemical Company, Alaska Airlines, Keurig Dr Pepper and others. Newsy and Huffington Post are Premier Media Partners. Arizona State University and the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan are Premier Affiliate Partners. Additional media and affiliate partners include: 3BL Media, Scientific American, Guardian, Innovation & Tech Today, Wharton IGEL, The Sustainability Consortium, UN Global Compact and others.

For further information on the conference program, a growing list of confirmed speakers and sponsors or available sponsorship opportunities, please visit the conference website at or call (415) 626-2212. Registration is now open and global business leaders with innovative solutions are encouraged to participate.


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