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On Tuesday, April 27, Axios business editor Dan Primack and markets reporter Courtenay Brown unpacked how businesses are now making sustainability integral to their strategy and minimizing their own carbon footprint, featuring Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert and Ceres CEO & president Mindy Lubber. Ryan Gellert unpacked how businesses play a critical role in addressing climate change, highlighting decisions in supply chain management and utilizing recyclable materials.

  • On centering long-lasting and reusable materials for consumer products in business strategy: "Collectively we're trying to have a lower footprint in the [materials] that we use...We continue to push [this] deeper into the center of the business, partnering with our customers to incentivize them to keep their product and use as long as possible because, ultimately, the most responsible and the most sustainable jacket or pants are ones that already exist."
  • On the need for government and private sector collaboration to address climate issues: "I think that business is now begrudgingly stepping into a space that I think has been under-supported by government...Given the existential nature of the climate and ecological crisis, I think that we're going to need government."

Mindy Lubber discussed the need for CEOs and boards of directors to prioritize sustainability initiatives across their companies and consistently measure themselves against industry benchmarks.

  • On corporations responding to the threat of climate change: "There's no question that there's been a change within the corporate and the financial community. Part of that change has come from the fact that the data is just clear. I mean, let's just think if you have 20 events in the year that cost a billion dollars from climactic changes, that's telling us something."
  • On the need for businesses to support their supply chains with sustainability efforts: "They have to help their suppliers meet those [climate] goals as well. That's training. That's resources...You've got to be consistent on policy at a board level, and you've got to help your supply chain."

Axios Vice President of Communications Yolanda Brignoni hosted a View from the Top Segment with Salesforce Head of Sustainability Patrick Flynn, who discussed climate change as an equity issue and the need for companies to be transparent about their impact on the environment.

  • "Within ESG—environmental, social and governance—the most important letter is actually 'C' for the climate. Climate [initiatives] are a way to create jobs, create quality, and support human health while also supporting our environment...For companies, their climate data needs to reach the same level of quality as their financial data."

Thank you Salesforce for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Americans' climate action disconnect

Despite a widespread recognition among a majority of Americans that climate change is a problem, and a willingness to take actions to combat it, there’s a large gulf between what people say they would be willing to do and what they are actually doing.

Why it matters: This finding, from a new polling analysis conducted by climate opinion researchers at Yale University and George Mason, suggests there's considerable room for expanding the climate movement beyond current activists.

Exclusive: Poll finds bipartisan infrastructure plan has wide support

Expand chart
Reproduced from Climate Power and Data for Progress; Chart: Axios Visuals

The bipartisan infrastructure plan and many of its individual provisions, enjoy majority of support among likely voters, according to new polling from the advocacy group Climate Power and the left-leaning polling firm Data for Progress, provided first to Axios.

Why it matters: The bill, which contains billions for modernizing the electrical grid, making communities more resilient to climate disasters and boosting electric vehicles, needs at least 10 Republican votes to pass in the Senate.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent.