The E+E 100 are the VPs, directors, managers and engineers who are making significant strides in driving our industry. See the complete list here or download the report for more detailed information about these leaders. And stay tuned for the Call for Submissions coming later this fall, when you can nominate your favorite sustainability or energy management professional!
Now, meet Adam Gordon, engagement director for Global Compact Network USA, which serves more than 500 local members of the United Nations Global Compact, and senior director of FrameworkESG, a management consultancy that helps corporate leaders create value by engaging new social, environmental, and economic realities.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the last year or two?
My job is to build up a local network. The challenge is in a global organization or community where you have other local networks with governmental support. In the US you have a wide variety of companies on different levels of maturities. How to build a cohesive community of best practices under the UN global compact is the challenge — how to bring diverse stakeholders together for a common goal.
There’s a good amount of US leadership on sustainability issues. But how do we highlight that in the UN context? And how do we bring the rest of the country along?
How have you addressed that challenge?
We are addressing it through a lot of listening and a lot of relationship building, understanding what the UN Global Compact wants from US companies and vice versa. There are a lot of people involved. We try to be that connector and be of service to them.
In terms of creating a strategy for the US, we try to figure out the role the UN Global Impact should have on the US, which is such a dynamic and large country. Just the size of the US can present a problem. There’s also the political diversity around sustainability issues. We have to find the US voice and how can we respectfully represent it.
What advice would you give other professionals as they try to accomplish their sustainability or energy management goals?
It’s not enough to be a topical expert; it’s about how you leverage that in your relationships. Sustainability is about making connections across silos and across organizations. It’s so important to invest in those relationships that can help deliver in those goals.
It’s important to develop relations both internally and externally. You have to understand where external partners should be and understand when an external partnership will further your ambitions for the organization. That could be the UN global compact, or it may not but understanding how to build those relationships will help us get to where we need to go to change the world.