The Journey to Net Zero Carbon Emissions

9 min listen

Our Impact

Intro [00:00:03] Welcome to a fresh take, where we welcome experts from all backgrounds to have mindful conversations around relevant topics, all timed perfectly to your masking experience. Sit back, apply your favorite mask and press play.

Moderator: Emily [00:00:35] Hi, I'm Emily from Storytelling here at Fresh. Today on a fresh take, we're going to welcome William Theisen, who is going to talk to us about carbon footprints, greenhouse emissions and overall climate change. William is CEO at Eco Act, who works with businesses like Fresh to help them improve their climate and carbon strategies. Welcome to the podcast, William. We're excited to have you here.

Guest: William [00:00:57] Thanks so much for having me.

Moderator: Emily [00:00:58] So what do you think are the best ways for consumers and companies to educate themselves?

Guest: William [00:01:04] So it really comes down to being curious. There is a lot of information out there and there's a lot of communication. What I look for in my team members and whenever I'm recruiting someone new is curiosity. And that goes for the general consumer. That goes for the team members in the company, because there's always more that we can do in terms of reducing our environmental impact. I think we as consumers can just be curious about is this actually the most responsible way it could do this? What are the actual alternatives out there? So when I'm making a choice on which product to kind of support or purchase, what are the alternatives that may actually be just as good, but actually have less of an environmental impact? But also in my daily choices, I actually have a little bit of a game that I've created for myself of how seasonal I can be throughout the year with my food choices in my meals can be a little bit tricky. And I'm I am also on this journey as well. But I'm always looking for to see how I can source the most local foods, which ones are the most seasonally appropriate, because then there's less transport that's trying to get that ingredient or that food product to my to my table, or there is going to be less energy usage in terms of storage for to keep that that product cool or that ingredient cool. I've really always tried to up the ante to see how seasonal I can be and actually come up with some pretty creative dishes.

Moderator: Emily [00:02:32] Well, now I'm curious, what's one of your favorite dishes that you've made seasonally?

Guest: William [00:02:36] So when I'm looking at especially during the summer, I'll kind of move over to more fruits and seasonably appropriate vegetables over in the summer and eating things like bananas. I'm having more oranges or I'm having more apples. But I'm also looking at the different fruits locally grown in New York. So when our strawberries grown, when our apples grown and trying to incorporate that and it kind of makes my summer more interesting because it's constantly changing. And then in the winter, I kind of I'm eating more appropriate because I kind of want to warm up. So I'm eating more oats and grains and stuff like that. So actually eating seasonally has in effect been more beneficial for my body. It feels like I'm eating what I'm supposed to be eating during the season when it's appropriate. So it kind of works on a lot of different ways, benefiting the environment, but also benefiting me because I'm actually eating what I'm supposed to be eating. So fresh is really taking stock of what they're doing in a really comprehensive way, so we're we're really excited to be working with fresh air, their sustainability journey as they look to assess their carbon footprint and also set their sustainability goals because they're looking to align with international kind of agreements like the Paris Agreement and really take their part in the journey, also the global collaboration in terms of reducing environmental impacts. And I think that companies like Fresh when they're looking at supporting renewable energy or offsetting in their goals, are actually inspiring other companies, not just in cosmetics, but also in other sectors to actually do their part as well.

Moderator: Emily [00:04:21] That is really exciting. Even as an employee within fresh you know, these initiatives are new, but they're real and and they're happening, which is the best part. So I heard this term recently that really stuck with me because I thought it sounded so, so great. Radical collaboration is what it was. So it was talking about how we can partner within our vertical, within our consumers and retail partners, but also across different companies. And I think the mind shift is changing. And it's going to be not only can we sell more products than this company or can we be bigger than this company, but like, can we learn from this company and what are they doing that's working and things like that? I think that's going to be a really interesting hopefully next phase of this as well.

Guest: William [00:05:05] The collaboration in the space, I think is astounding because you've hit the nail on the head. I mean, the the learnings that one company can take from another company in the similar space or in a related space is really important and the kind of sharing of knowledge. So we've really seen the emergence of a lot of sustainability coalitions where there is this cooperation that's happening on exchanging best practice and how to move the industry forward as a whole and not just looking at a company specific.

Moderator: Emily [00:05:42] Something that you touched on before is education and something that, you know, I'd be remiss to not mention covid-19 in this past year and of course, we're still in the pandemic, but the idea of empathy has become just kind of the name of any game, you know, and it's so important to have empathy and and to be educated on all different topics. So I think that feels like it plays an important role here. You know,

Guest: William [00:06:08] when we as Americans and we as consumer, we want change. We want change tomorrow and we want companies to move at lightning speed. But just because a company is at a different stage of the journey or maybe just starting out or maybe more advanced doesn't mean that they're not taking it seriously. And it is an iterative process. Right. So to not move too quickly on where to take action is also really important, because when doing your first carbon footprint, for instance, there is a lot of education that we doing to kind of build capacity because we also want the companies that we're working with to go on to better, bigger and better things. But we do a lot of capacity building and companies may have an idea that actually their emissions are happening in one area. But when we do the carbon footprint, we'll see different hotspots actually happening. And so it is also important to take a step back for companies and really see where are the low hanging fruits, where where can the innovation take place and where should the focus be?

Moderator: Emily [00:07:16] I would love to ask you what makes you feel hopeful about the future of climate change and our planet?

Guest: William [00:07:23] So the innovation that's all happening on all areas, the climate change and sustainability is really pushing companies to ask questions, but not just how they can reduce environmental impacts, but also just paradigm shifts in terms of their operations and how they work. In general, the innovation that's taking place is really exciting, and it's never a dull day. There's always new things coming out. There's always new initiatives. So I am hopeful. And in the really in the past five years, we've seen ambition really ratchet up at a very exciting level. So we're seeing engagement and action really take place where I see also in the future is really exciting. So Eagle Act actually got acquired by a company called ATUS, which is a technology company, is really how technology can play the role and data collection and making decisions across the board within a company with artosis breadth and knowledge of all systems that a company uses. I think that everything is going to be integrated. So we're already at the stage of the company and the teams being integrated. How can we bring in technology as an additional lever to get more data, real time data and really make more interesting decisions faster and quicker that are going to have a lot more impact in terms of reducing emissions for a company?

Moderator: Emily [00:08:55] Thank you, William, for being here on the podcast, this was all super insightful and helpful as I think about my carbon footprint and what I can do better in my personal life and also what we can look to do as companies. So thank you for your time and we're excited to have you on a fresh take.

Guest: William [00:09:10] Thank you for having me.

Outro [00:09:17] Thanks for listening to a fresh take and indulging in some feel good beauty for the skin and mind.

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