What makes something sustainable? It’s fulfilling the needs of today without compromising the potential of tomorrow. That can be businesses reducing carbon footprints; rethinking talent pipelines and governance strategies to build a workforce and leadership more reflective of the communities being served; it can be eschewing short term gains and the cheap wins in the market in place of long term returns for shareholders and stakeholders. CNBC Sustainable Returns looks at how business leaders and investors can make sustainability a fundamental part of their strategy, not just for the greater good, but for greater profit.
Lone Fønss Schrøder is CEO of Concordium. With extensive executive experience ranging from large-cap companies in aviation, biotech, retail, automotive, oil & gas, and shipping to banks and capital markets, Fønss Schrøder is also co-founder of the bank-fintech company Cashworks, Vice Chairman of Volvo Cars, Director at IKEA and former Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse. She spent 22 years at A.P. Moller-Maersk — the world’s largest shipping company — serving as Senior Vice President and founding Maersk Procurement and Star Air. In 2005, she was appointed President of Wallenius Lines, a leading provider of global factory-to-dealer transport solutions and terminal facilities for the automotive industry. Fønss Schrøder holds an MSc in Business Administration and Economics from Copenhagen Business School and a Master in Law (LLM) from the University of Copenhagen and Blockchain Technologies program from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Steven Williams is the Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Foods North America. He is a 24-year veteran of PepsiCo with strong leadership experience across the food industry. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $86 billion in net revenue in 2022, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
As the CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America, Steven Williams oversees all aspects of PepsiCo’s nearly $21 billion snack and convenient foods business in North America, including Frito-Lay North America (FLNA) and Quaker Foods North America (QFNA), with a diversified portfolio of iconic brands, including: Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Tostitos, Ruffles, Fritos, Stacy’s Pita Chips, SunChips and Quaker Oats. In this role, Steven is accountable for more than 65,000 associates and over 500 locations across the United States and Canada.
Steven, a 24-year PepsiCo veteran, has served as CEO since March 2019. Prior to this role, Steven served as senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Frito-Lay’s U.S. organization, setting strategy and overseeing all commercial activities for the U.S. field sales and customer organization, in addition to leading a large multi-functional sales organization, spanning all Frito-Lay retail customers, sales channels and go-to-market systems.
Steven also previously served as senior vice president and general manager for Frito-Lay’s East division where he was responsible for the overall business and performance management for the six geographic regions in the Eastern U.S.
Earlier in his tenure at PepsiCo, Steven led the company’s global Walmart business, managing the PepsiCo portfolio of products across all aspects of the Walmart Business worldwide, including: Walmart U.S., Sam’s Club, and Walmart International Divisions. In this role, he built strong strategic partnership and delivered significant retail sales and share growth in Walmart.
Steven joined PepsiCo in 2001 as part of PepsiCo’s acquisition of the Quaker Oats Company, which he joined in 1997, and has held leadership positions of increased responsibility across PepsiCo in sales, general management, customer management, sales planning and shopper marketing, gaining deep experience and building a proven track record of strong results.
Steven is a member of the board of directors of State Farm Mutual Automobile Company and is very active in the community, serving on the executive advisory board for the Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business, the president’s advisory board for University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in addition to being a current Board Chair of United Way in Dallas; and 2024-2025 Campaign Chair during United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ Centennial year.
Mr. Grabel manages the multibillion-dollar defined benefit pension fund on behalf of LACERA's active and retired members. He also oversees the investments for the LACERA-administered healthcare benefits program.
Prior to LACERA, Mr. Grabel was the CIO for New Mexico PERA, where he oversaw the investments for the agency’s $15 billion defined benefit fund and the associated PERA SmartSave deferred compensation plan. Previously, he was a general partner at a private equity firm focused on growth-stage investments in technology, networking industries, and digital communications. Earlier in his career, Mr. Grabel was an investment banker and licensed CPA (inactive). He received his Bachelor of Science in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Dr. Sadek Wahba is Chairman and Managing Partner of I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure investment manager based in Miami, Florida. He was previously at Morgan Stanley where he was the CEO of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, a global platform for infrastructure investments.A former economist at The World Bank, Sadek is an advocate for transformative approaches to infrastructure investment and a frequent commentator about the need for more investment in infrastructure to promote sustainable economic growth. He was part of the expert committee on the World Economic Forum's first report on global infrastructure investments and was named Global Infrastructure Personality of the Year twice, as well as Global Infrastructure Personality of the Decade, by Private Equity International (PEI). He appears regularly on national networks including Bloomberg and CNBC. In September 2022, President Biden appointed Sadek to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, which advises the White House on reducing the physical and cyber risks and improving the security and resilience of critical infrastructure in the U.S.He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University, an M.Sc. in economics from the London School ofEconomics (LSE) and a B.A. in economics from the American University in Cairo. He is a published author on economic research and one of his publications was selected by MIT as one of their 50 most influential papers in the last 50 years. Sadek is a Senior Fellow at the Development Research Institute ofNew York University, a Foundation Fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford and a trustee of the American University in Cairo. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is also a member of the national cabinet of the Wilson Center, and chair of the steering committee of the Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition at the Wilson Center. He resides inMiami, Florida where he is a member of the board of directors of the Baptist Health Miami Cancer Institute and a trustee of the Everglades Foundation.
Jim Greffet has led ESG efforts at Lilly since September 2020. In this capacity, he oversees implementation of Lilly ESG strategy, has responsibility for coordinating ESG-related communications, and organizing and leading ESG stakeholder interactions. In a significant advancement of Lilly’s approach, Jim led the development of Lilly’s ESG portal, a comprehensive source for ESG strategy, goals and results. Jim also chairs the ESG Governance Committee at Lilly, which is a central body for development and execution of ESG priorities and communication to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.
Prior to his current role, Jim spent two years as a loaned executive to Elanco Animal Health, which was spun out of Lilly in an IPO in 2018. Jim served as the Vice President of Investor Relations at Elanco. He was responsible for leading all interactions with Sell-Side Analysts and Buy-Side Investors, including preparation of Earnings materials, participation in Investor Conferences, Non Deal Roadshows and investor visits to Elanco Headquarters. He conducted investor outreach and targeting to build understanding of the Elanco investment thesis. He worked closely with External Communications to provide consistent external dialogue and to prepare Elanco Senior Executives on key topics and messaging on relevant issues. In 2020, Jim was ranked the number one IR leader for mid-cap pharmaceuticals by Institutional Investor.
Prior to the role at Elanco, Jim spent 18 years at Lilly, holding numerous positions of increasing responsibility, including an assignment in Corporate Business Development, managing Lilly’s Venture Capital portfolio. Jim has also served as the Chief Financial Officer of Lilly Canada, Senior Director of Finance for Lilly Research Laboratories, Manager of Investor Relations, Manager of Treasury Planning and Strategy, Senior Human Resources Representative and Senior Financial Analyst.
Prior to joining Lilly, Mr. Greffet was a Consulting Manager for KPMG Consulting in Indianapolis, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri.
In 2003, Jim earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and in 1991 received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Indiana University. He passed the CPA exam in 1991.
Logan Duran is a sustainability management professional who helps organizations measure, reduce, and communicate their ESG impacts across the value chain. His experience covers several subject areas including circularity, product and supply chain responsibility, traceability, carbon mitigation, renewable energy, and reporting.
Originally from Chicago, IL, he holds a master’s degree in sustainability management from Columbia University in New York City and a joint BA in Environmental Studies and Geology from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Dr. Gayle Schueller is 3M’s Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. Gayle started in 3M’s corporate laboratory as a product development engineer and has over 29 years of technical and business leadership experience. Her career spans a broad range of businesses from electronics to healthcare to consumer industries. She has led technical and business teams from around the world including Europe, Asia, Latin America and North America.
Gayle’s previous assignments include Vice President of New Platforms for Growth and Commercialization, Directora General for 3M Mexico, Vice President for Global Sustainability, and Vice President of Research & Development and Design for 3M’s Consumer and Office Business.
She is passionate about making a positive impact in the world through science and technology.
Williams handles 30% of the natural gas in the United States that is used every day to heat our homes, cook our food and generate our electricity. Williams works closely with customers to provide the necessary infrastructure to serve growing markets and safely deliver natural gas products to reliably fuel the clean energy economy. With interstate natural gas pipelines and gathering & processing operations throughout the country, we reliably deliver value to our employees, investors, customers and communities by running our business with authenticity and a safety-driven culture, leading our industry into the future.