I was so happy to see that Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director of the Environmental Defense Fund recommended my book in a recent interview with Josh Prigge and his Sustainable Nation podcast.
She was asked: “What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?”
Elizabeth Sturcken’s answer:
“I recommend a brand new book that I just got. It was written by Bob Langert who ran sustainability at McDonald’s for years. It’s called The Battle to Do Good and it’s excellent. I heard that you interviewed Bob for this podcast so I’m putting a plug in for folks to listen to that podcast. Bob worked at McDonald’s for over 25 years and he was the person that EDF partnered with when we together created the model of corporate NGO partnerships. It really takes you through the journey of one person’s attempt to change a whole company and who he partnered with and how he did it.”
Hard to believe I’m been invited by TED to give a talk at their global conference in Scotland toward the end of July.
I’m going to talk about how working with critics is a good thing. That in today’s world, where shutting down critics is common practice, we should instead reach out, collaborate, assume best intentions, and work to compromise for practical solutions.
Sound interesting, I hope!!
I am preparing for 12 minutes, about 1600 words, and preparing a lot. TED has high standards, and some great people helping out. I can’t wait.
I was the keynote speaker ending the American Feed Industry Association’s Supplier and Ingredients Annual Conference. They are wrestling with sustainability. I presented “8 Hard Knock Nuggets” and had a great Q&A session.
8 Hard Knock Nuggets for AFIA:
- Critics as Allies
- Play Offense
- Acknowledge and Act
- Integrate into Supply Chain
- Sustainability is Pre-Competitive
- The Brand and Business are Inextricably Linked
- Leadership vs. Risk: Take Smart Risk
- Share (Communicate), Humbly
Keynote speaker at American Feed Industry Association conference in Orlando, Fl.
Nothing better than being interviewed by someone passionate about “Disrupting For Good”–the motto of Mrs. Green’s World. Gina Murphy-Darling digs deep into my book; Listen to the interview and read her “Insights” summary below.
- How did Bob get involved with sustainability at one of the largest American corporations ever? McDonalds was under attack for their waste generation in the 1980s and Bob stepped up to discover solutions. How does one go from a stance of defensiveness to proactiveness? Great journey shared on this podcast – join us.
- The Environmental Defense Fund helped to lead the way – amazing partnership and story of true leadership to discover on this show.
- What was the first question McDonald’s asked when addressing the issues of sustainability they were facing? The answer may surprise you. Learn more on this podcast.
- How did McDonalds partner with Greenpeace to address the issues surrounding soy and its impact on the Amazon? We can find win/win solutions for all…together – learning a lot on this podcast!
- Temple Grandin worked with Bob to develop an animal welfare program for McDonalds. Their work ended up being the standard operating norm for the animal industry across the board – Dr. Grandin has stated that until she worked with McDonalds, her work had not made the impact in the 25 years prior that she wanted it to. Her partnership with McDonalds made all the difference in the lives of animals.
- What is the role of consumers in the changes that McDonalds has made and the changes they continue to make? Important information shared on this podcast – our choices really do matter.
- 70 million people go to McDonalds every day. McDonalds sees themselves as their consumer’s voice – and consumers want them to do the good thing with the power they have.
- We need energetic, hopeful leadership that turns our attention to the solutions for climate change and global warming – not just focus on communicating information about the problems.
Today I engaged with my neighbors in the broader community of the Amelia Island Plantation Community Association. I had a ball. My favorite part is always the Q&A. This session’s Q&A was amongst the best. Here are a few of the questions and a very brief answer to them:
Wages at McDonald’s: Hard to defend the low starting wage, but in the context of growth and development, I still think McDonald’s is a great place to start to work for those with no experience. You can go places at McDonald’s! Most jobs at McDonald’s are part-time. Most jobs are not meant to provide a family living.
Are franchisees involved? Absolutely. McDonald’s believes in the three-legged stool, truly. Franchisees, company people, and suppliers comprise the three legged stool where all have a stake in the business. Owner-operators have committees and get very involved in company decisions.
Was it hard to get company support for sustainability efforts? No harder than any thing else int eh business. In fact, when we faced big issues, and I was brought to the C-suite, the questions I always was asked was, “What is the right thing to do?”
Promotional piece for my talk about corporate responsibility at my home community: Amelia Island Plantation.
The week of April 9th I travelled to Amsterdam, and eventually The Hague, at the invite of Shell. They wanted me to share the Hard Knock Nuggets of McDonald’s journey. They felt they could learn from McDonald’s experience. Shell is wrestling with many societal, mostly centered on climate change.
I was impressed with the Government Relations team, and their External Relations team, too. They are smart, sophisticated and dedicated, so I expect them to be successful in addressing their energy transition.
Notice the crooked windows. All building are anchored to the canal bottom and this shifts over time.
I biked with my Amelia Island biking jersey, representing my biking buddies back home in Amelia. What a day, 70 and sunny.
I learned about “bike fishing.” Some 15,000 bikes are thrown into the canals, that are fished out each year. I gather most of the bikes are thrown in by drunks.
This is The Hague area, 45 minutes southwest of Amsterdam, where I met with Shell executives.