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Sustainability Today: A Concordia Event in Partnership with Rubicon

JUNE 23, 2021  |  DIgital

9:30 Am – 3:00 Pm ET

Read the Report

Featuring senior leaders from across sectors and industries, this half-day digital event will focus on advancing important conversations on environmental sustainability. The event will highlight innovative sustainability efforts that are underway through the use of technology and other practices, while accelerating collaboration on numerous key dimensions of sustainability, including smart cities, the circular economy, net zero and carbon solutions, ESG reporting, and renewable energy. 

Since our founding 11 years ago, Concordia has grown into the premier global platform for engaging the world’s most influential leaders in politics, business, and social impact around solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.

As leading experts in sustainability, we are excited to partner with Rubicon to support action around achieving a more sustainable future. Established in 2008, Rubicon is the global leader in providing cloud-based waste and recycling solutions for customers in the business, government, and non-profit sectors. With the goal of making the waste and recycling industry more transparent, Rubicon’s cutting-edge software empowers their customers around the world to make data-driven decisions, leading to more efficient and effective operations that drive more sustainable outcomes.

Event Agenda:

  • Partnership Accelerator (Invitation Only): 9:30am – 12:00pm ET
  • Main Stage Programming (Open to Public): 1:00pm – 3:00pm ET

In Partnership with:

Partnership Accelerator Sponsors


Net Zero and Carbon Solutions

Looking towards global emissions target deadlines, industries and companies must now make good on their corporate commitments and find ways to place net zero practices at the heart of their business strategies. Shareholder, consumer and political pressures are accelerating moves toward net zero innovation and collaboration. But at the heart of this fundamental corporate shift is an increasing awareness that sustainable business practices are good for business – and achieving carbon neutrality is an integral part of that formula.

This table will bring together leaders from different sectors who are responsible for delivering upon corporate net zero commitments. Sharing insights from their unique industry perspectives, they will examine the programs, technologies and methods that are proving successful (or unsuccessful) as they tackle the challenge of reaching neutral and negative emissions As COP26 approaches, we hope to answer this question: What are the most critical net zero solutions to achieve full decarbonization by 2050?


Smart cities and Gov-Tech

In recent years, global development, especially in our cities, has been hastened by rapid digital transformation. Despite the budgetary shortfalls cities now face due to the current pandemic, there is a recognition that digital technologies are more essential than ever before. And where such technologies were already implemented, they have, in many cases, helped cities navigate the pressures of COVID-19, environmental disasters and economic disruptions. Today, our cities are on the cusp of embracing broader digital adoption in hopes of realizing sustainable recovery. Investing in technologies that help all levels of government improve the equitable and sustainable delivery of public services is no longer optional.

This table will have the participation of city leaders and technology innovators to advance conversations around how cities are using digital technologies to become data-driven and proactive, and save tax-payer dollars. Bringing different perspectives, the participants will explore the evolving role of technology in public works and fleets, infrastructure development, and sustainable, equitable public services.


ESG Reporting

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives have gained increasing importance in corporate strategy, business development, and consumer messaging. However, the lack of consistency between ESG reporting strategies and standards can make it difficult to benchmark progress or compare success between departments or industry verticals. Regulators, investors, and stakeholders are driving businesses to enhance their reporting and disclosures, and there have been many recent calls for a single, global reporting standard.

This table will examine existing leading reporting frameworks and how they can be successfully deployed. Experts will discuss the challenges and opportunities in integrating ESG fundamentals into everyday business operations, and will demonstrate how operationalizing through policy, KPIs, and other evaluation tools can highlight entities’ contribution to sustainable development.


Reverse Logistics and Repurposing

The transition from today’s linear economy to a future circular economy presents an opportunity for companies to become more sustainable and resilient in both their products and practices. Many answer this transition by incorporating reselling, reuse, recycling, and restoration of natural resources into their initial supply chains, but there lies an additional challenge in the area of repurposing the more than $1 billion worth of merchandise in daily returns. What if all of this returned product could reenter the marker rather than be disposed of? Some companies have already begun working with retailers and delivery platforms to optimize the value chain and capitalize on the cultural momentum of purchasing gently or never used returned products.

This table will bring together thought leaders to talk about key challenges and opportunities presented by companies adopting cyclical returns management. This discussion will take a particular focus on the design of processes that allow players at all stages of the value chain to participate in repurposing returns, consumer protection and quality assurance measures, and how these learnings can be applied and scaled to create entirely new and profitable circular economies.


Private-Public Collaboration in Building Climate Smart Cities

By 2050 there will be twice as many people in cities than in rural areas. With a growing economic and infrastructure crisis, many cities are struggling to capitalize on their growth and adopt climate commitments while maintaining quality of life, health, and economic opportunities for their inhabitants. Exacerbating these challenges is the giant budgetary shortfall facing cities after a year of pandemic and natural disaster-related crisis management. How can cities hope to evolve for the better with frozen budgets and aging municipal assets? And how, amidst competing immediate and real priorities, can future climate needs rise to the top of the budgeting agenda? Fortunately, the rise of public-private partnerships offers a model for successful co-innovation and resource sharing. Additionally, advances in procurement processes are breaking down past barriers to entry, technology innovations are uncovering efficiencies and cost savings, and the digital, data-driven nature of these partnerships is providing actionable insights that drive sustainable improvements for smarter, advanced cities.

This table will focus on discussing intersectoral collaboration as a core part of the partnership model for smart city innovation in line with climate goals. It will highlight successful initiatives and alliances, and will promote an open dialogue on co-innovation, where the expertise of the private sector, NGOs, and academia can complement and advance the work of municipal governments in creating smarter, more sustainable cities for all.

Rubicon, working in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, will plant one tree in honor of every “Sustainability Today” attendee. The trees will contribute to reforestation projects in the state of Georgia, specifically in the wildlife management areas of Ohoopee Dunes WMA, Cabin Bluff Preserve, Chattahoochee Fall Line Preserve & WMA, and Dugdown Ridges & Paulding WMA. 

The loss of longleaf and shortleaf pine trees have led to a decline in local wildlife and a decline in area watersheds. Replanting these trees will help restore the natural ecosystem and return wildlife habitat for many species including the gopher tortoise, white-tail deer, fox squirrel, and eastern diamondback rattlesnake. These tree donations will directly contribute to Arbor Day Foundation’s commitment to plant nearly 290,000 trees in these beautiful, unique and vulnerable Georgia wildlife areas.

One of these trees planted in this area will: sequester 1.39 metric tons of CO2 over 40 years; reduce air pollution by .0050 tons over 40 years; intercept 13,587.34 gallons of rainfall over 40 years.

If you are interested in learning more about the Sustainability Today event, please contact Madeline Garnett at mgarnett@CONCORDIA.NET.