Sustainability Summit, take 2
Headed out early to the conference venue for the Walmart sustainability event, the second in a series that started in 2010. The ribbon was cut by an extraordinary number of dignitaries, everyone ending up with their fragment. The working day started with a session with perhaps 20 CEOs listening to the Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources. Parallel sessions included people like Paul Simpson of CDP, who I would have very much liked to hear, but I was repeatedly hooked away to do interviews for business magazines and a green TV channel.
When it came to my 60-minute plenary session, I was introduced by Juan Carlos Carmago of Walmart de Mexico, who also moderated the discussion. One of my themes here has been corruption, not just for Walmart but for Mexico as a whole. I have always felt that corruption narrows vision when we want open minds, shrinks time-scales when we want people to build their Future Quotient, and skews investment in critical sectors like urban infratsructure construction.
On the upside, I was very impressed by the commitment to change of the Walmart people I met–and one of the surprises was how much renewable energy Walmart is now producing in Mexico.
in the evening, in a torrential downpour, I was driven from the hotel to the residency of the British Ambassador for a dinner including people from CDP, Walmart and PEMEX. Once I had dried out, I really enjoyed the discussion, and found myself sitting next to Daniel Zapata, an advisor to the CEO of PEMEX, who reminded me he came to see me at SustainAbility when looking for a job perhaps as long as ten years ago. Remarkable guy. A highlight of the evening was the signing of an agreement between CDP and Brazil’s Business Council for Sustainable Development.