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Free Online Brown Bag Sustainability Webinars

Enjoy Your Lunch Break With Us, Our Brown Bag Webinars are Back!

brown bag webinar graphic used by earthshift globalOur renowned Brown Bag Webinars provide a 40-minute presentation on a variety of industry related topics followed by a 20-minute Questions and Answers Session.

If you’re an LCA practitioner (technical), student, researcher, or a sustainability director, sustainability consultant, or a packaging and product designer, please bookmark this page and look for our emails to alert you on new webinar topics.


Upcoming Brown Bag Webinars


Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT

Paths to Carbon Neutrality Panel

Compass of Carbon Neutrality


Climate change is an urgent sustainability challenge and organizations of all types and sizes are engaged in planning and action to attain carbon neutrality. But what does carbon neutrality really mean? How does a company realistically and practically attain carbon neutrality?

In this webinar, we will explore the experiences of three companies at different points along the path of becoming carbon neutral or even carbon negative. The first company, Navitas Semiconductor, is completing their first LCA, carbon footprint and Organizational LCA (O-LCA) this year. Anthony Schiro, the company’s VP of Quality and Sustainability, will share some misconceptions and learnings through this process. Next up will be HP, Inc. With its long time application of LCA, the company has learned much and is farther along in its journey toward carbon neutrality. Alexandra Degher, the company’s Carbon Neutral Implementation Lead and 21-year sustainability expert, will discuss HP’s goals and the steps the company is doing to achieve them.

Last, and definitely not least, is Interface. Long a leader in sustainability and LCA, the company reached its Carbon Neutral goal in 2019 and is now working on Mission Drawdown to sequester more carbon than their products emit. Connie Hensler, Interface’s Global Director of Environmental Management and Product Stewardship and long time LCA practitioner, will discuss some of the practical aspects of getting to net zero and beyond.

Moderated by EarthShift Global’s Lise Laurin, the panel will explore the philosophies of carbon neutrality and sustainability more broadly, consider how offsets play into carbon neutrality and how to achieve neutrality without them, and answer your questions around how your company can get from here to there.

Register Here!

Previous Brown Bag Webinars


Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT

Sustainable Water Management For Decarbonizing Fossil Power Generation

Big Bend Power Station

Wknight94 talk, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Water use intensity is projected to increase for many of the leading decarbonization pathways for fossil power generation. These include fuel switching (e.g. biomass, hydrogen) and carbon capture and storage (CCS). In many parts of the US, water scarcity is already a key consideration both for management of current systems as well as for planning of future investments. This motivates additional effort at reducing power plant water intensity through operation improvements, technology selection, and sourcing of non-traditional waters. This webinar will focus on understanding the water consumption and global warming potential of various power production routes today and tomorrow to meet future energy demands.

Presenter: Timothy J. Skone, P.E., DOE National Energy Technology LaboratoryTimothy Skone is a Senior Environmental Engineer with the DOE

Mr. Skone is a Senior Environmental Engineer within the Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Systems Engineering and Analysis Directorate. He leads Life Cycle Analysis Research efforts within the Office of Fossil Energy on carbon utilization technologies, methane emissions from the natural gas value chain, alternative transportation fuels, advanced power generation systems, and energy water impacts. He is the primary author on multiple natural gas and coal related life cycle analyses published by the Department of Energy. He also leads research on energy resource availability, water scarcity, integration of biomass and fossil energy resources, and strategic energy concepts for new programs. Mr. Skone is an elected member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North American Life Cycle Analysis Interest Group, SETAC liaison to the American Center for Life Cycle Analysis, member of the University of Michigan Global CO2 Initiative Advisory Board, and founding organizing member of the Federal LCA Commons. Mr. Skone has 21 years of experience in the field of energy analysis and is a graduate of the Penn State University.


Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT

An Anticipatory LCA Approach to Evaluate & Improve the Climate Benefit from Emerging Carbon Capture & Utilization (CCU) Technologies

Diagram Captured CO2


The capture and utilization of carbon dioxide to generate products such as concrete and chemicals is an economically and environmentally promising approach to address climate change. There has been a significant increase in R&D expenditure and efforts to commercialize carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies. With CCU operations expected to increase in scale globally, there is a vital need to combine the technology development with environmental assessments to ensure that only those emerging CCU technologies which generate a net climate benefit on a life cycle basis are commercialized.

This talk will demonstrate the application of the anticipatory-LCA approach to evaluate and improve the climate performance of 20 emerging CCU technologies which produce concrete, chemicals and minerals. Using the anticipatory-LCA approach, a novel climate return on investment (ROI) metric is applied to rank the 20 emerging CCU technologies based on the net life cycle climate benefit. The results show there is no conclusive evidence that CCU concrete generates a net life cycle climate benefit, which contrasts claims in the scientific literature. The production of formic acid, carbon monoxide and concrete through CO2 mixing are the CCU technologies with the most significant climate promise. The anticipatory-LCA approach also identifies the most effective R&D strategies to improve the climate performance of the 20 CCU pathways.

Presenter: Dwarak Ravikumar, Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Dwarak Ravikumar, NREL

Dwarak Ravikumar is a scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Dwarak’s research focuses on evaluating and improving the environmental and economic performance of emerging circular economy technologies for CO2 and renewable energy systems, advancing methods in LCA to better evaluate emerging technologies and using multicriteria decision analysis to integrate LCA and Techno-Economic Assessment. Prior joining NREL, Dwarak completed a 2-year Research Fellowship at the University of Michigan on developing LCA standards and improving the sustainability of carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technologies. Dwarak has a PhD in Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University.
[email protected] and [email protected]

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Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 1:00pm EDT

Taking LCA One Step Further:
How Do Business Models Impact Environmental Outcomes?

DaaS image


The value of LCA in helping us understand the environmental impact of products is well established. What’s less well-established is how a business’s approach to making those products available to their customers may affect their impact over life. For durable goods such as technology products that expect to have a relatively long life in a customer’s hands the business models a company uses to make the products available can have a substantial impact on the products’ lifetime impact. In this presentation three examples will compare traditional buy-use-dispose business models with product-as-a-service models to show that product-as-a-service models can yield substantial environmental benefits, be they through avoided manufacturing, reduced distribution impacts, or optimized product usage. These ideas support the move to a circular economy and show how LCA can be used to help guide circular business models to reduce environmental impact.

Presenter: H. Thomas (Tom) Etheridge, PhD

Tom is an expert in the application of life cycle assessment, life cycle thinking and carbon footprint analysis in support of business strategies, corporate sustainability, and sustainability reporting.  He recently retired from HP, Inc. after a 25-year career in which, for the last 10 years, he served as Worldwide Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Footprint Program Manager.  In this role his responsibilities included helping to set the company’s sustainability strategy, calculating the carbon footprint of HP’s entire printing franchise annually, .and using LCA to drive HP’s circular economy goals.  Tom pioneered the use of LCA on business models and the use of anticipatory LCA in support of product design, improvement and market creation for new and existing products and services.  He is co-founder of Equilibrio, LLC, a LCA, carbon footprint, and chemical consulting firm, served as Director for the LCA Institute for ACLCA in April, 2021, and sits on the review board of Ecoinvent. Tom holds a PhD in chemistry from the University of Chicago.

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Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Balancing Creativity and Data:
How to Make the Heavy Lifting of Sustainability Easier

TrueNorth Collective diagram


Life cycle inventory and assessment is foundational to decision making when it comes to supporting development teams trying to make improvements to products and processes from an environmental point of view. But how do you best use data as a springboard for the creative thinking needed to solve design challenges? In this session two teammates from TrueNorth Collective will walk you through the key tools and methods they have developed as part of the Design for Sustainability program for a large global manufacturer.

Presenters: Jeff Zeman, Principal, TrueNorth CollectiveTrueNorth Collective logo
                    Theresa Millard, Chief Creative Officer, TrueNorth Collective

Jeff ZemanJeff Zeman is an accomplished Sustainable Design Engineer and strategist, spending over two decades deploying sustainability strategy in manufacturing and product development. Jeff has built global, multidisciplinary teams and led professional and industry groups in the advancement of sustainability practice. Jeff holds a BA in environmental engineering from Michigan Technological University and MBA from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.Theresa Millard

Theresa Millard is trained as an artist and has 30+ years in the corporate environment working in Design, Product Development, Manufacturing, Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. She is an experienced developer and facilitator of Design for Sustainability, and human-centered experiential learning.
[email protected]

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Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Dismantling the Green Machine:
A Critical Reflection on the Limits of Eco-Efficient Technology

Energy Diagram

Despite the widespread adoption of sustainability and eco-efficiency principles by governments and corporations, and the encouraging signals arising from LCA research on green technology, the available data suggest that environmental conditions continue to deteriorate and are poised to continue to worsen into the middle of this century and beyond. Join EarthShift Global’s Senior Sustainability Advisor Nathan Ayer as he prompts us to take a critical reflection on the role and limitations of technology in resolving global environmental challenges. Nathan will discuss insights gained from his recently-completed PhD research where he used LCA and concepts from the fields of Ecological Economics and the Philosophy of Technology to reflect on the challenges ahead. 

Nathan Ayers is a Senior Sustainability at EarthShift GlobalPresenter: Nathan Ayer, EarthShift Global
Nathan is a Senior Sustainability Advisor with EarthShift Global and is a Certified LCA Practitioner (LCACP) under the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA). Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Nathan manages and carries out LCA and sustainability assessment projects for EarthShift Global’s wide range of clients, with particular expertise in forestry, aquaculture, and bioenergy systems. He recently completed an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. at Dalhousie University where his research focused on wood biomass energy systems and a critical reflection on green technology. 

[email protected]


Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Packaging LCA in the Automotive Industry

Cummins Packages


In the automotive industry, we produce products which have a significant environmental footprint. The EPA estimates that about 28% of the annual greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from vehicle use. Working in this industry means there is constant and increasing pressure to develop solutions which reduce our environmental impact. The question is, how can we be sure the decisions we are making realistically have a positive impact on our environment? In this presentation, we will review why using LCA methods for packaging design is important in decision-making and share some examples of LCA packaging work done at Cummins.

Presenters: William Murray, Packaging Engineer, Cummins, Inc.Cummins, Inc. logo
                     JJ Webb, Global Packaging Engineering Director, Cummins Inc.

William Murray is a packaging engineer at Cummins, Inc.William Murray is a Packaging Engineer at Cummins Inc., and he received his B.S. in Packaging Science from Clemson University. In his current role he has had the opportunity to learn and about LCA methodology and tools.JJ Webb is the Global Packaging Engineering Director for Cummins, In.​
[email protected]

JJ Webb is the Global Packaging Engineering Director for Cummins Inc. Her primary focus is working to establish the global Packaging Engineering function with specific aim on integrating environmentally sustainable packaging design solutions and processes through the end to end supply chain.
[email protected]

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Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 1:00pm EST

Gaining Traction with Your Sustainability Initiative

Team work


Transformational change doesn't need to come from the CEO of your organization. Any person can develop the tools and partnerships to begin the process of motivating change. But to do so, you need to be able to support your organization’s strategy, form a strong team, develop the right internal structure, and have a feasible plan and tools in place.

This webinar is about helping you build the skills to gain traction and create lasting change with your sustainability initiative. Matt will outline a five-point framework for identifying the strategies and resources you need to increase your chance of success. Then he will give you an example of a leader who used the right combination of goals, partnerships and strategy to help push Lipton Tea toward an aggressive sustainability goal. Kerri will then highlight her recent work as a sustainability leader at Griffith Foods and show how they are gaining traction with their projects.

Presenters: Matt Mayberry, Founder & CEO, WholeWorksWholeWorksLogo
Matt Mayberry is CEO of WholeWorksMatt Mayberry, Ph.D. is Founder and CEO of WholeWorks, a firm specializing in simulation-based business improvement and leadership development. Matt’s work takes a systems-oriented view of business, while also drawing on the stakeholder-oriented principles of sustainability, to stimulate creative thinking about new products, processes, and business models. Matt received his Ph.D. in physics from M.I.T. and his MBA from Stanford. He is a lecturer at the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business, teaching a course on systems thinking in their Sustainable Innovation MBA program.
[email protected]Kerri Mayper

Griffiths Foods logoKerri Mayper is the North America Purchasing Director at Griffith Foods, a global product development partner specializing in better, sustainable food ingredients. As a recent graduate of the Leading the Sustainability Transformation program through WholeWorks, Kerri is a sustainability advocate within the business, influencing opportunities and change from within Purchasing to progress the importance of sustainability cross-functionally.

Email: [email protected] 

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Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 1:00pm EST

Tackling the Plastic Pollution Crisis
Through Data-driven Corporate Action

Sea turtle in plastic

Photo © Troy Mayne / WWF, used with permission

Plastic waste is choking our planet – polluting the air, water, and soil both people and wildlife need to survive – so World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is engaging business as a critical lever for change and transforming our broken plastic systems. Through ReSource: Plastic, WWF is helping the world’s biggest companies turn their individual commitments into meaningful, measurable impact with the goal of preventing 50M tons of plastic pollution by 2030. In this webinar you’ll hear from WWF’s Alix Grabowski on how ReSource is taking an unprecedented, measurement-based approach to corporate action, and what it’s revealing about the broader challenges on data we need to we need to urgently address for success.

Presenter: Alix Grabowski, World Wildlife FundWorld Wildlife Fund logo
Alix Grabowski is the Deputy Director of Plastic & Material Science at WWFAlix Grabowski is the Deputy Director of Plastic & Material Science at WWF, where she specializes in helping companies take systems-based approaches to material sourcing and waste reduction and leads WWF’s Bioplastic Feedstock Alliance (BFA) and ReSource: Plastic programs. Prior to joining WWF, Alix was a scientist at Abbott Nutrition and research assistant at Michigan State University.
[email protected]

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Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Circularity for Packaging - How It's Changed and Where It's Headed: Past, Present, Future

3 recycling bins


This webinar will explore how packaging is moving toward the future and how it fits in the circular economy. We will explore some of the new packaging technologies and trends that are leading to this new future, as well as some of the challenges that the packaging industry will face in an effort to thrive in a more sustainable  business environment.

Todd BukowskiPresenter: Todd Bukowski, Principal, PTISPTIS Global logo

Todd Bukowski has over 20 years of experience in food and pharmaceutical packaging, in both R&D and operations capacities.  He leads PTIS projects and programs on package development process workflow improvements, packaging development strategy, and sustainability initiatives, including food waste. He also monitors and tracks consumer, retail channel, sustainability, legislation and technology trends as they pertain to packaging.  Todd is the program lead for PTIS’s sustainability initiatives and program leader at the PTIS’s Future of Packaging programs. Todd holds an MBA in Supply Chain Management and a Packaging degree from Michigan State University.
[email protected]

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Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT - 

(Rescheduled from June 18th due to Technical Difficulties)

Reconciling Values and Facts in Comparative LCA

Choosing trade-offs in an LCA

Weights in LCA are used to reflect values and priorities in a decision and can help a selection process of comparative LCAs where there are tradeoffs. Weights, and specifically, weight factors can be used in LCA to generate single scores and facilitate a decision. While there are several studies delving into the evaluation and extraction of such weight values, few study the role of weights in the single score.

This webinar delves deeper into the analysis of aggregation of indicators for comparative LCAs. It evaluates the role of weight factors in two forms of aggregation: conventional single score consisting of a linear weighted sum, and outranking, a non-linear aggregation method based on mutual differences between alternatives and inclusive of uncertainty.

Learn about the challenges of aggregation, the problems with existing practices and an alternative method that takes into account uncertainty, is independent of normalization references and is more sensitive to weights.

Valentina brings extensive expertise in developing decision analysis tools for life cycle assessments (LCA), and hands-on experience in the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) assessment methodology Presenter:  Valentina Prado, Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global
Valentina brings extensive expertise in developing decision analysis tools for life cycle assessments (LCA), and hands-on experience in the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) assessment methodology. Her research focus has been in the incorporation of decision analysis to the interpretation stages of comparative LCAs, and tackles issues of normalization, weighting and uncertainty.


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Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Energy Apportionment: Lowering the Barrier to Energy Investments

Eastman Chemical Plant


Energy intensive processing industries, such as the chemical industry, face barriers when justifying clean energy investments because costs of implementation for environmental impact reductions are too high relative to the perceived benefit. One way to lower the barrier for environmental investments within these industries is to create the business case with specialty products. The problem is that specialty products represent a small fraction of overall production, and clean energy upgrades to the company's power production are typically shared among all products, diluting the value of the new investment. This webinar will present an energy apportionment approach illustrated via a case of a chemical plant where two types of upgrades (natural gas and solar) are considered according to costs and climate change impact reduction.

Glaspie, Senior Chemical Engineer, Eastman Chemical CompanyEastman Chemical logo
Randy Way
mire, Chemical Engineer, Eastman Chemical Company
Valentina Prado, Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global

Rebecca Glaspie is a senior chemical engineer at Eastmanx.Randy Waymire is a chemical engineer at Eastman ChemicalRebecca Glaspie is a Senior Chemical Engineer at Eastman Chemical Company with 12 years of experience in manufacturing, Life Cycle Assessment, innovation and biomaterials.  [email protected]

Randy Waymire is a Chemical Engineer who has led the Life Cycle Assessment team at Eastman and is working on integration of new chemical recycling technologies.  [email protected] 

Valentina Prado is a senior sustainability analyst at EarthShift GlobalValentina Prado is a Senior Sustainability Analyst at EarthShift Global who brings extensive expertise in developing decision analysis tools for life cycle assessments (LCA), and hands-on experience in the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) assessment methodology.  [email protected]


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Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

LCA of an Innovative Shelf Life Extension Technology

image of avocado with oxygen staying out and moisture staying inside

Globally one-third to half of all food produced for consumption goes to waste1, and fresh fruits and vegetables have the highest food waste rates due to perishability2. Many existing solutions that extend the shelf life of produce, such as refrigeration technologies or single-use plastics, have significant environmental impacts3. Apeel Sciences has developed a plant-derived coating for fresh produce that slows the rate of water loss and oxidation, the primary causes of spoilage, and can keep the produce fresh two to three times longer. By reducing loss and waste across the supply chain, the Apeel technology effectively increases yields and simultaneously reduces the embodied emissions and resource consumption associated with that otherwise wasted food.

Apeel utilizes life cycle assessment to quantify the environmental impacts of incorporating its plant-derived coating into the supply chains for various produce categories. This webinar presentation will focus on a recent critically reviewed LCA study completed in October 2019. The results demonstrate that through waste reduction and other supply chain efficiencies, the lifecycle environmental impacts of Apeel Produce are 6% to 82% lower compared to those of baseline produce consumed in US homes. This presentation will also discuss how Apeel relies on LCA as a decision-making tool, highlighting how results are used to inform market entry strategies and product development that maximizes the environmental savings of technologies.

Shannon Thoits is a sustainability analyst at Apeel SciencesPresenter: Shannon Thoits, Apeel SciencesApeel Sciences logo
Shannon Thoits is a Sustainability Analyst at Apeel Sciences in Goleta, California. She conducts life cycle assessments to analyze environmental impact of Apeel’s products across various produce types and customer supply chains.​
[email protected]

1 FAO, Global food losses and food waste – Extent, causes and prevention, (Rome, FAO, 2011), 4.
2 FAO, Global food losses, 7.
3 S.J. James & C. James, The food cold-chain and climate change, (Food Research International, 43, 2010), 1944-1956.

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Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

LCA In the Sub-National Context

Life Cycle Assessment diagram

LCA is often the go-to approach for estimating environmental burdens of product, process, system, and for comparing alternatives to inform decision making. While this is a well-established practice among some companies, industries and in research, the use of LCA in government is still relatively nascent in the U.S. This presentation by representatives of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will showcase how this agency had applied LCA across various programs to set priority and guide action. Oregon DEQ has led the way with its comprehensive economy-wide greenhouse gas inventory, and work on preventing the wasting of food, assessments of built environment, packaging, and solid waste management.


Minal Mistry is the business initiatives lead at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).Minal Mistry
is the business initiatives lead at Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)Peter Canepa is the LCA specialist in DEQ’s Materials Management Program.
[email protected]

Peter Canepa is the LCA specialist in DEQ’s Materials Management Program.
[email protected]​ 


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Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 1:00pm EDT

Core Tales of Climate Change from Opposite Ends of the Earth

The Vlostok/Dome C from East Antarctica

Ice cores provide one of the best means to reconstruct climate change over hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years. The Vostok/Dome C record from East Antarctica provides a detailed record of glacial - interglacial cycles over the past 800,000 years and not only places the current elevated level of greenhouse gas in a historical perspective but provides a vivid context for the current climate crisis that humanity faces. From the opposite end of the Earth, a recently recovered and analyzed ice core from Denali National Park provides a vivid example of unexpected regional climate change in the Alaska Range.

Presenter: Cameron Wake, Research Professor, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans &Space, UNHCameron Wake is a Research Professor at the Institute of Earth, Oceans & Space
Cameron Wake is a Research Professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire and is the Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute. Cameron leads a research program investigating regional climate change through the analysis of ice cores records and instrumental data. In addition to teaching classes on global environmental change, he serves as the program chair for UNH’s Sustainability Dual Major and helps lead regional collaborative efforts to build resilient, low-carbon communities.
[email protected]

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

NASA image of earth from spaceEarth Stories and Why They Matter

In order to fully address climate change, and create an environment that is healthy and sustainable, we have to change the stories we tell ourselves about the earth. This webinar will explore our current views of the earth, how liberal and conservatives think, and to leverage our differences to address climate change. This webinar will show how the climate crisis may be the best opportunity we’ve had in years to move towards a more compassionate and healthy way of life.

Sue Inches is a teacher, planner and environmental advocate
Presenter: Sue Inches, Teacher, Planner, Environmental Advocate
A graduate of College of the Atlantic and the University of New Hampshire, Sue Inches has worked on environmental policy for over 25 years. As Deputy Director of the Maine State Planning Office, she was responsible for a portfolio of environmental issues including land use planning, solid waste and recycling, energy efficiency, public water access, and building and energy codes. In her role there she supervised policy research, designed and led public engagement processes, and lobbied in the Legislature on behalf of the Governor. Prior to this Sue worked with the seafood processing, fishing and aquaculture industries as a Director at the Maine Department of Marine Resources. Currently, Sue advocates for environmental issues in the state legislature, and teaches advocacy courses at Bates and Colby Colleges. She is also writing a book for citizen activists called Advocating for the Environment: How You Can Make a Difference.
[email protected]

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Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 1:00 EDT

Communicating Sustainability Using Storytelling

Climate change is upon us, and effectively communicating about sustainability is more important than ever.  But how do we get and hold the attention of an information-overloaded and easily distracted public?  How can we maximize our odds of informing well and motivating meaningful, lasting action?  One of the best ways is through storytelling, because everyone – even grown ups – loves a good story.

In this webinar, Carl Duivenvoorden will help you uncover, prepare and present stories that will help you connect with your audiences.  You’ll learn:  

Carl Duivenwoorden is a speaker, writer and Sustainability ConsultantPresenter: Carl Duivenvoorden, Speaker, Writer, Sustainability Consultant
Carl Duivenvoorden was raised on a dairy farm in northern New Brunswick. His diverse early agricultural career took him to over 25 countries. But from his early days in the village of Belledune, Carl always had an uneasy concern about human impacts on our global environment. In 2006, he read “An Inconvenient Truth”, the book that catapulted climate change onto the global agenda. In April 2007, he became one of the first Canadians to be personally trained by former US Vice President Al Gore to present live versions of his Academy Award-winning slideshow. Since then, Carl has been working as a speaker, writer and sustainability consultant, helping people and organizations learn how they can save money, energy and our environment. His column, Green Ideas, was published in the NB Telegraph Journal and the Fredericton Daily Gleaner for ten years, and he writes periodically for the Huffington Post. A longstanding member of Toastmasters International, Carl has acheived the DIstinguished Toastmaster designation, the organization's highest, five times.

Connect with Carl at or on Facebook; follow him on Twitter at @CDuivenv.


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Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 1:00 EDT

The Lifecycle of Building Materials and The "Other" Carbon, Embodied Carbon

Image of Embodied Carbon


The built environment as an end user of fossil fuels accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector. The current gold standard for reducing emissions from buildings is to build new, zero net energy buildings - super efficient buildings powered by renewable energy. This is an important step in getting to a carbon neutral build environment, but there is a problem with this strategy: building new zero net energy buildings still generates a lot of emissions when taking the lifecycle of building materials into account.

Research shows that greenhouse gas emissions that occur before we occupy buildings from extracting and manufacturing building materials, often termed 'embodied carbon', are more critical than commonly believed. When it comes to climate change, we need strategies that produce large savings fast. This webinar will expose the often hidden embodied carbon footprint as a critical piece in realizing emissions reductions targets and identify the steps now being taken across the building sector to calculate embodied carbon in materials and to realize the reduction of embodied emissions.

Amy Hattan is the Corporate Sustainability Officer for Thornton TomasettiPresenter: Amy Seif Hattan, Thornton Tomasetti

As the Corporate Sustainability Officer for Thornton Tomasetti, Amy Seif Hattan is responsible for "greening" the corporation's business operations across more than 50 office locations and for achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals internally and externally in the firm's engineering projects. She leads Thornton Tomasetti's Embodied Carbon Lab and is on the Board of the Carbon Leadership Forum. With 25 years experience working in the field of sustainability, Amy was an early initiator of campus sustainability efforts at the University of New Hampshire and Middlebury College, and she worked across campuses as senior staff at Second Nature, the organization that founded the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. She received a Masters of Public Administration of the Harvard University Kennedy School, where she focused on climate change policy and organizational change.

[email protected]


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Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 1:00 EDT

Environmental Impacts of the Life Cycle of Alluvial Gold Mining in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest


Alluvial gold mining activities in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest are responsible for mercury emissions and deforestation.

This study uses life cycle assessment methodologies on currently available gold recovery systems to identify the direct relationships between environmental impacts on human toxicity, freshwater ecotoxicity and climate change. Results show that human toxicity values are governed by mercury emissions in gold recovery activities, and freshwater ecotoxicity is driven by diesel engines used in ore extraction and transportation. Moreover, deforestation is contributing to the impacts of climate change. Important to note is that, beyond the environmental burdens related to alluvial goldmining, there are impacts affecting the social, cultural, and economic dimensions that will still need to be analyzed to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the system. In this study, four predominant extraction systems and three scenarios that reflect currently available gold recovery systems were modelled; the USEtox and IPCC life cycle impact assessment methodologies were used.

Ramzy Kahhat is a Professor at the Department of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica del PerúPresenter: Ramzy Kahhat, Ph.D, Professor Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú

Ramzy Kahhat is a Professor at the Department of Engineering at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. Ramzy obtained his PhD and MSE in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Arizona State University. He is a broadly trained civil and environmental engineer applying concepts and methods from Sustainable Engineering, Industrial Ecology, and Earth Systems Engineering and Management. He is particularly skilled in the use of Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessments (LCA). His expertise in these areas have been used in several research studies, such as sustainable management of solid waste, LCA of civil infrastructure, energy systems and agricultural products, MFA of electronic materials and construction materials, urban stocks, characterization of debris generated by natural disasters, others.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 1:00 EDT

The Financial Case for High Performance Buildings

Image of internal space of a buildingAn organization’s physical spaces – offices, retail stores, etc. – play a critical role in occupants’ wellbeing. Sustainable and healthy design strategies can transform buildings into tools for enhanced employee engagement and wellness, improved productivity and experience, and greater values-alignment. And now new, cutting-edge industry research compiling studies from over the past 4 decades makes the staggering business case for high performance buildings that integrate these sustainable and healthy design strategies.

This webinar will discuss the science and research behind the demand for healthy, sustainable spaces, followed by stok’s latest research that demonstrates the business case for implementing building design strategies that support greater employee productivity, retention, and health. Participants will leave ready to rethink their real estate for impact from the inside out. Equipped with a methodology for quantifying the financial value of their sustainable, healthy real estate, participants will gain tools to implement healthy, sustainable real estate as a strategy to deliver benefits to their business and occupants alike.

Presenter: Devon Bertram, Sr. Sustainability Strategist & Project Manager, Stokstok logoDevon Bertram is a Sr. Sustainability Strategist & Project Manager at stok

Devon is a Senior Sustainability Strategist and Project Manager at stok, a sustainable real estate services firm based in San Francisco. With a tested background in strategic sustainability action planning, Devon helps organizations define, develop, and implement sustainability programs for their building portfolios and align them with their broader strategic goals to achieve impact at scale.

[email protected]

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Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 1:00 ET

LCA and Biomimcry image

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) & Biomimicry

This presentation describes the creation and implementation of a sustainability approach that is an amalgam of life cycle assessment (LCA) and Biomimicry. Biomimicry is often referred to as the “conscious emulation of life’s genius” in order to solve human design and engineering challenges . This presentation focuses on the emulation aspect of the tenets of Biomimicry, which emphasizes integrating biological knowledge at the form, process, and system levels into design and engineering by identifying biological strategies and mechanisms that have evolved to survive the test of time. Printing and writing paper product life cycles are highlighted as an example to demonstrate the utility of using the amalgam to open the design space at LCA hotspots. The combined value of these eco-design tools has the potential to revolutionize how industry, analysts, and policymakers address our relationship with the built and natural environment. The quantitative value of LCA helps to make substantive assessments and measurements, while the Biomimicry approach reconnects our vision of our built environment and its place within the rest of the biosphere. It is the presenter’s hope that the amalgam can help humans raise the “sustainability” bar to not only endeavor to sustain human life but to create systems that, in the words of Biomimicry specialists, “create conditions conducive to [all] life” (Benyus 1997).

Presenter: Rebe Feraldi, M.S. Candidate in Biomimicry, Arizona State UniversityRebe Feraldi is a scientist working in Biomimicry
Rebe Feraldi, has a B.S. in Environmental Chemistry & Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, M.E.S.M. from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California-Santa Barabara, and is expected to finish her M.S. in Biomimicry from Arizona State University& the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute in 2019.Ms. Feraldi, owner of TranSustainable Enterprises, LLC, is a cross-disciplinary scientist with experience using industrial ecology tools to perform sustainability analyses. Rebe is a LCA Certified Profesisonal (LCACP) since 2010 and a Certified LCA Reviewer (CLAR) since 2016. “There is always something happening on the frontiers of science, whether we are refining existing knowledge or making new discoveries. I am passionate about working across silos to learn how systems work, bring the industrial ecology perspective to the table, and aid in communicating this work to other researchers, businesses and their supply chain stakeholders, policy-makers, and the public.”
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Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 1:00 ET

CO2 Sequestration by Methane-Eating Bacteria

Methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) are a well-characterized and significant global sink for methane. Less appreciated is their capacity to assimilate CO2, yet both capabilities have significant implications for greenhouse gas models and biotechnology. By modifying their environments, these bacteria produce co-polymers, such as polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), a biodegradable, nontoxic biocompatible plastic.Type II methanotrophs, in particular, have high CO2 requirements and multiple carboxylase activities. During periods of balanced growth, i.e., when nutrients are sufficient to satisfy requirements for cell division, these organisms assimilate carbon at the level of formate, funneling it through the serine cycle into biomass. During periods of unbalanced growth, carbon derived from methane or from both methane and carbon dioxide accumulates within polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) granules. When co-substrates such as valerate are present during this period, co-polymers, such as polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), are produced. Here we report the stoichiometric and kinetic impacts of CO2 to CH4 input ratios on cell growth, accumulation of PHB and PHBV, and the fate of assimilated CO2-derived carbon in PHA granules. To assess these processes, we evaluated the effects of initial ratios of CH4 to CO2 in batch incubations. As the partial pressure of added CO2 increased, net CO2 production decreased. The PHB accumulation (% PHB) over a 10-12-hour time was limited by the moles of methane supplied. 13C-labeled CO2 was incorporated into PHB at the C1 and C3 positions. In unbalanced growth experiments with added valerate, an increase in the initial mole fraction of CO2 increased the hydroxyvalerate fraction of the polymer. This increase came at the expense of total PHBV produced when CH4:CO2 ratio decreased from 2:1 to 1:1. These results clearly establish a significant role for CO2 during growth and PHA accumulation, and suggest strategies for efficient use of methane and production of copolymer based upon manipulation of CO2 levels in the gas phase.Wakuna Galega is a PhD candidate in Environmental Engineering at Stanford University

Presenter: Wakuna M. Galega, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
Wakuna is a PhD student in the environmental engineering program working with Prof. Craig Criddle. Her research focuses on the microbial degradation of methane in mixtures (biogas and natural gas) for the production of biodegradable polymers called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Wakuna is interested in understanding the impact these methane rich-mixtures have on microbial communities, the dynamics between the microbial interactions under certain complex conditions, while optimizing the polymer production process and bacterial growth rates. 

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Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 1:00 ET

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Applying an Anticipatory Approach to LCA

So now you know what Anticipatory LCA is all about from Valentina Prado’s webinar. But how do you apply it? In this webinar, Lise Laurin, EarthShift Global’s CEO, will share how an Anticipatory LCA approach has been applied to support new innovations and ongoing development in the areas of sustainable hydrogen production, tire recycling and 3D printing. She’ll provide a few rules of thumb to get you started quickly on your own Anticipatory study.

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Presenter: Lise Laurin, CEO, EarthShift Global

Lise Laurin, CEO of EarthShift Global

Lise is a pioneer in Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). She founded EarthShift in 2000, adopting these methodologies to support North American industries’ early efforts at sustainability. Lise continues to develop and leverage EarthShift Global’s training, simplified LCA tools and S-ROI tools to build organizational capacity and drive large-scale change. Her unique skillset and knowledge base has put her in demand globally by companies, organizations and governments alike.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 1:00 EST

Diagram of Anticipatory LCA 101

Anticipatory LCA 101

As the environmental impact of products and technologies becomes a design parameter, the incorporation of environmental aspects early in the development of products and technology is necessary. However, while the LCA framework which can quantify environmental impacts, typically this applies at the end of the design pipeline when all parameters are set. To use LCA more proactively in the design process, researchers have been working in several techniques, falling under an Anticipatory LCA, approach, which enables application of LCA early in the Research and Development (R&D) phases where uncertainty, but also potential for improvement is at the highest point.

This webinar covers the basic concept and exposes some research lines making advancement in the area of anticipatory LCA.Valentina Prado is a Senior Sustainability Analyst at EarthShift Global

Presenter: Valentina Prado, Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global
Valentina brings extensive expertise in developing decision analysis tools for life cycle assessments (LCA), and hands-on experience in the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) assessment methodology. Her research focus has been in the incorporation of decision analysis to the interpretation stages of comparative LCAs, and tackles issues of normalization, weighting and uncertainty.


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2018 Listen to Our Previously Recorded Webinars
2017 Listen to Our Previously Recorded Webinars

About Our Brown Bag Sustainability Webinars

The Brown Bag Webinar series began with Lise Laurin, when she was the founder of EarthShift, "I conceived the brown bag webinar series at a conference when I heard a number of practical and inspirational talks that I wished all EarthShift employees could hear. When I thought about it again, I knew these talks would also be beneficial for many of our clients and associates. By having the webinars around lunch time, we can offer everyone the chance to participate and learn something new and useful while eating lunch," says Laurin.

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