Humana had published previous corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports in accordance with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)'s G3 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and wanted to publish its 2014 - 2015 CSR report in accordance with the new G4 Guidelines. Humana asked its PR firm, Golin, for help, and Golin engaged Nancy as GRI expert and CSR report writer, to support all aspects of developing Humana's CSR report.
Qualitas Health makes Omega-3 out of algae, instead of relying on marine sources. Though the company's marketing efforts addressed sustainability, the company needed to update its sustainability messages and develop a marketing and engagement plan that would include and amplify new sustainability messages. Qualitas Health engaged Nancy to do this work, plus to write an authoritative report ("white paper") on the sustainability of their Almega PL product.
Bernstein analysts covering U.S. food and U.S. foodservice were increasingly being asked difficult questions on corporate responsibility and inquiring how CSR impacted corporate valuations. Nancy developed a program to educate the analysts, investors, and companies regarding the importance of sustainability, the myriad of sustainability rankings, and sustainability reporting issues. Attendance on the conference call and subsequent transcript reads were 3x expected numbers, and Nancy continues to provide information on CSR developments and best practices.
Very few restaurants in the U.S. were certified under existing green restaurant standards, so the University of Chicago set up the Green Restaurant Research Team (GRRT) to consider ways to improve existing standards and also tailor them specifically for Chicago restaurants. As Assistant Director of the GRRT, Nancy helped guide undergraduate and graduate students to develop recommendations for new standards, through secondary research and recruiting and interviewing expert advisors.
Solo Cup had made commitments related to sustainability, particularly with its Bare® line of disposable products. But the company did not know if the initiatives were producing business benefits that justified the resource spend. Solo Cup retained Nancy, together with communications firm Dix & Eaton, to assess public recognition, perceptions, and financial impacts of the company's sustainability efforts.
Williams-Sonoma, Inc. always had a reputation for beautiful products, but was not focused on sustainability, causing it to miss opportunities to enhance its brand and risk critique from activists, customers, investors, and employees. Nancy did not have a budget or executive support for a sustainability program, but she worked at a grass-roots level to create and launch "small green steps" to "help the business by helping the environment. Successes included programs for composting at the corporate cafeteria; "green" specifications for store builds; collaborations with other retailers to reduce environmental impacts of freight transport; and packaging reductions. The initiatives had staying power and gained executive support -- they proved the company was paying attention to sustainability issues, which notably positioned the company to respond to specific activist attacks on catalog companies.
Global nonprofit business network and sustainability consultancy, Business for Social Responsibility, had done minimal food waste work and wanted to identify new opportunities for businesses to help reduce food waste. Knowing that consumer food waste is the biggest problem, Nancy was retained to research and author a report on strategies for businesses (supermarkets and restaurants) to reduce consumer food waste. BSR used Nancy's research in its published report.
Start-up provider of sustainability performance reporting solutions (www.mcgindex.com) was focused exclusively on the hospitality industry. It saw a need and an opportunity to move into the foodservice industry, but lacked industry expertise. Nancy developed the business plan, product and go-to-market strategy for a new Foodservice Division. She led business development efforts, including initiating client pipeline and forming strategic consortium of foodservice companies, producers, and processors to address their sustainable sourcing needs.
The City Council of Highland Park, IL, appoints residents to provide recommendations and support on sustainability policies, initiatives, and public engagement. As Vice Chair of the city's Natural Resources Commission, Nancy helped to establish themes and strategies for the city's sustainability plan, developed award-winning schools programs, and led initiatives for regulating polystyrene food ware and plastic carry-out bags. These and other proactive efforts caused Highland Park to be regarded as a sustainability leader and a model for other suburbs in North Shore Chicago.
The UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability wanted to expand its Corporate Partners Program and raise visibility. Nancy helped clarify the program positioning and messaging, and made introductions to foodservice operations and food retailers, thereby adding to the pipeline of potential members.