Post-Conference Resources

2020 Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference

IUPUI is the proud host of the Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference, made possible by the McKinney Family Foundation. The Conference is a productive, annual gathering of sustainability professionals and champions from across the state of Indiana. It is designed to showcase local successes, share best practices, engage in place-based problem solving, and facilitate collaboration to advance sustainability in the Hoosier state. 

The inaugural Indiana Sustainability and Resilience Conference, presented by the Indianapolis Airport Authority, explored the theme, Sustainability as an Economic Driver. Many businesses in our state and across the nation have found sustainability is not just a wise marketing posture, but rather a legitimately profitable and forward-looking business strategy. The Conference explored what businesses, communities and nonprofits alike can gain from investing in sustainability, including improved stakeholder relations, risk management, driving competitive advantage, fostering innovation and more.

View Event Program

Welcome Remarks

Opening remarks delivered by Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI Sustainability
Welcome remarks delivered by Todd Cavender, Director of Environment and Sustainability at the Indianapolis Airport Authority
Keynote Presentation
Audience Q & A 

Leveraging Sustainability for a Competitive Advantage

The for-profit sector has long hesitated to make up-front investments in sustainable practices, prioritizing present gains over future probabilities. This panel will dispel the common myths around corporate sustainability, providing data and case studies, demonstrating that sustainable practices can and do save money, prevent inefficiencies, and when leveraged strategically, they can provide organizations a leading edge over the competition, proving that sustainable practices are a win-win for the environment and profitability.

Panelists:

The Case for Electrification

Viable alternatives to the fossil fuel-powered combustion engine have powered onto the market with veracity, and rapid advances have made this technology more and more accessible to consumers across sectors.  This panel will showcase how the electrification of products from power tools and vehicles, to semis and heavy-duty equipment not only yields significant financial savings, but also has numerous ancillary benefits ranging from national security to improved worker safety.  

Panelists: 

Getting Started: Aligning Your Organization's Mission with Sustainability

Sustainability can sometimes be seen as an ‘add on’ or a ‘nice to have’ rather than central to organizational mission. This panel will explore how sustainability has been an effective tool by which organizations have fulfilled their strategic mission and goals, while also providing value to shareholders, customers, and the community.  Attendees will understand how four different entities have successfully made the sustainability argument to their leadership and launched their efforts. 

Panelists:

Breaking Into the Sustainability Workforce

This panel will explore the different ways in which several sustainability professionals have gotten their start in the field. With many different facets of the sustainability workforce, we will discuss how to prepare oneself for a career in sustainability. From challenges to opportunities, panelists from various stages in their careers will share their experiences with the audience before opening up the forum for a discussion.

Panelists: 

  • Emilee Brown, Green Corps 
  • Geory Kurtzhals, Sustain IU 
  • Julia Spangler, Julia Spangler Sustainable Event Consulting 
  • Olivia RanseenKentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA) 

Day 1 - Closing Remarks

Closing remarks delivered by Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI Sustainability

Welcome Remarks

Opening remarks delivered by Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI Sustainability
Welcome remarks delivered by Stephanie Goodrid Lawson, Executive Director of the McKinney Family Foundation. 

Plenary Panel of Indiana's Business Leaders

Moderator:

Jessica Davis, IUPUI Sustainability

Panelists: 

  • Brett Welch, Knauf Insulation 
  • Jeb Sloan, Clif Bar Co.
  • Karen Cecil, Cummins Inc.  
  • Todd Cavender, Indianapolis Airport Authority 

Managing Risks in the Twenty-First Century

Sustainability risks are, at the end of the day, business risks. Although they can be new and emerging, complex and longer term, issues such as climate change, human rights or resource scarcity all have the ability to impact an organization’s profitability, success or even survival. This session will feature tangible approaches of mitigating risk to the infrastructure of Indiana’s communities – including the risks of flooding, heat waves, and more frequent extreme weather – as well as how investors can mitigate their financial risk by aligning their money with their values through sustainable investing.

Panelists: 

Sustainability: If You're Not Assessing, You're Just Guessing

It’s often said, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”  As sustainability becomes more central to organizational practices across sectors, there is a need to track the impact of these efforts environmentally, economically, and socially.  This panel will underscore the importance of assessment in tracking and quantifying the impact of your sustainability efforts.  Attendees will learn about different tools and resources available to them to assist in their assessment efforts. 

Moderator:

Jessica Davis, IUPUI Sustainability

Panelists: 

Resilient Building Design for the Present and Future

Sustainable and resilient building design can reduce operating costs, increase occupant health and productivity, utilize resources efficiently, and retain human capital.  But architects sometimes face the misconception that sustainable building design is ‘too expensive.’  This panel will feature leaders in the sustainable architecture sector as they discuss the economic, social, and environmental case for sustainable building and interior design, with specific case studies from Indiana.

Panelists:

Cultivating a Sustainable Food System in Indiana

The Hoosier state is known for its strong agricultural industry – from large, industrial producers and restaurants to small, urban growers and eateries.  Across all of these organizations, there is opportunity to integrate sustainability to meet growing customer demand while also driving down operating costs to the benefit of the environment.  Hear case studies from the perspective of a farmer, local restaurant, and large agricultural company on how sustainability and resilience have offered them an opportunity to tell a new story around food, as well as advantage in the market.

Moderator: Victoria Beaty, Growing Places Indy

Panelists:

Leveraging Emerging Technologies to Meet Your Sustainability Goals

Companies are already investing in cutting edge technologies, such as robotics and data analytics, to drive business growth and maintain their competitive edge - but these same tools can be leveraged to lessen their environmental impact. Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, automation, blockchain, data analytics and sensors, allow businesses to lower resource consumption, decrease pollution and carbon emissions, and reduce waste — all while also boosting their bottom line.  

Panelists:

Funding Sustainability: What Indiana's Major Funders Have to Say

Philanthropy plays an increasing role in supporting Indiana nonprofits and other organizations focused on environmental and sustainability issues. Private grantmakers, including corporations, private foundations, and community foundations, provide grantees with key resources to drive targeted efforts in local communities, as well as regionally and statewide.This session will feature a discussion with three major environmental grantmakers in Indiana to learn more about their organizations’ specific strategies, initiatives, and processes, as well as the larger landscape of environmental funding in Indiana. Attendees should come away with a better understanding of the kind of funding available through private grantmakers, what kinds of projects or initiatives might be well positioned for private grantmaking, and strategies on how and when to connect with private grantmakers. 

Moderator:

Cory Rutz, Indiana University, Foundation Relations

Panelists:

  • David Hillman O.D., Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust 
  • Stephanie Goodrid Lawson, McKinney Family Foundation 
  • Jenna Wachtmann, Ball Brothers Foundation 

Closing the Loop on Indiana's Circular Economy

Indiana has all the assets necessary to create a robust circular economy.  Despite this, Indianapolis recently earned the unenviable title of “most wasteful big cities in the country.”  Led by the Indiana Recycling Coalition, this panel will lay out the argument for better aligning the state’s resources around the reuse economy with the benefits of good jobs and attracting new business and talent.  A case study from an Indiana architectural company will highlight how focusing on recovery, reuse, and redesign has allowed them to be part of the solution.  

Panelists:

Day 2 - Closing Remarks

Final remarks delivered by Jessica Davis, Director of IUPUI Sustainability

IUPUI Sustainability

IUPUI Sustainability
Lockefield Village, Room 4408
980 Indiana Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202
sustindy@iupui.edu
317.278.1308