Green Focus for CEO Forum

This year, the CEO Forum examined the issue of sustainability in business. GM’s Mike Robinson served as keynote speaker, and a panel of CEOs joined the discussion. USF professor Joe Steensma served as panel moderator.

USF’s 19th annual CEO Forum, "The Future of Sustainability: Impact on Efficiency, Innovation and Profit," featured as its keynote speaker General Motors Vice President for Sustainability and Global Regulatory Affairs Mike Robinson. The CEO Forum, sponsored by the Keith Busse School of Business and Environmental Leadership, was held in the North Campus auditorium.

According to Robinson, GM is in the forefront of manufacturers in terms of sustainability, not only employing recycling to produce no-landfill production facilities but also using other companies’ waste for cleanup purposes and the production of auto parts. He cited waste from the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill as an example.

Robinson also shared statistics that showed GM has had a green impact in the Fort Wayne area, with its "reduce-reuse-recycle" practices applying to the Allen County GM plant. The plant does not send waste to landfills and is now using 28 percent less energy that a few years ago. Twenty-one percent of the plant’s energy comes from landfill gas, making it the country’s second-largest user of landfill gas.

A panel of CEOs from businesses noted for their sustainability efforts joined Robinson in examining the topic of sustainability in business. Serving as panel moderator was Dr. Joe Steensma, USF biology graduate and professor in USF’s school of business. In 1999, Steensma founded Industrial Solutions Group and within 10 years as owner-manager developed it into one of the most well-known and respected environmental health and risk management companies in the United States.

Panel members included Paul Chodak III, president and chief operating officer for Indiana Michigan Power; Tom Horter, president and CEO for Alexin LLC; Tom Huntington, CEO of WaterFurnace International Inc.; Dave Mathis, senior vice president for sales and marketing for Golden Heritage Foods LLC; and Dave Steiner, environmental attorney and partner in Barrett & McNagny.

For more information on the CEO Forum.

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