WCTA Breakfast: Leadership and Sustainability–New Dynamics Part II

This WCTA breakfast featured Stan Gent (President & CEO, Seattle Steam Company), Susan Hansen (Director, Amgen), Jeff Hughes (Grounds & Sustainability Manager, Seattle Children’s), and Brett Phillips, Moderator (Director of Sustainability, Unico Properties) on February 20, 2013.  It was the second of a two-part series exploring the business aspects of corporate sustainability.

Some of the comments that made the Twittersphere:

  • Seattle Children’s gives bikes to any employee who commits to biking three days a week.  The bikes are owned by the hospital and are a depreciable asset–Jeff Hughes
  • Amgen is intrigued by internal carbon pricing to influence decision making—Susan Hansen
  • Businesses like Microsoft are saying to the government, if you won’t lead on carbon, we will—Stan Gent
  • Approaching research with a sustainability sensibility is important to scientists.
  • Sustainability goals at Children’s Hospital help with recruiting and achieving mission goals—Jeff Hughes
  • If we’re making sick children well, then sending them out into a sick world, we’ll end up with repeat customers–Jeff Hughes
  • Seattle Steam biomass plant reduced its emissions by 60% and is drilling a water well that allows it to use potable water—Stan Gent
  • Amgen has clear sustainability goals directed by the CEO—Susan Hansen
  • Amgen scientists incorporate ‘green’ practices into their work—Susan Hansen
  • Does sustainability help reduce a business’s cost of capital?  Might be…

Stan Gent, Seattle Steam CompanyStan Gent has extensive experience working with district energy and other energy generation systems across North America. As CEO of Seattle Steam, he is responsible for the overall operations and financial performance of the company. Since joining Seattle Steam in 2004, Stan has been actively involved in Seattle’s engineering, building, and development communities and is a strong supporter of the city’s sustainability initiatives.  Under his leadership, Seattle Steam built a new biomass boiler that entered service in the fall of 2009.  This conversion to renewable fuel will substantially reduce the company’s carbon footprint, and that of its customers. Stan is a member of the WCTA Board of Directors, the Mayor’s Green Building Task Force, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, and the Seattle Rotary Environmental Committee.  He also serves on the mechanical engineering advisory board for the UW’s College of Engineering.  He is a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario.  A native of Ireland, Stan graduated from Queens in Belfast in Mechanical Engineering. After immigrating to Canada in the 1970s, he started his career in the design and construction of power generation facilities for Ontario Hydro and Edmonton Power.  Prior to working at Seattle Steam, Stan was President of Comfort Link, a district cooling company located in Baltimore, MD and VP of Engineering and Development for Chicago-based Unicom Thermal Technologies.

Susan Hansen, Director, Amgen:   As the Director of Facilities Operations for Amgen, the largest biotechnology company in the world, Susan is responsible for the company’s West Region including Amgen’s major biotechnology laboratories in Seattle, San Francisco, and Burnaby, BC.   One of the early industry pioneers, Susan has been with Amgen (formerly Immunex) for more than 25 years. She has dedicated her career to advancing Amgen’s goal to deliver vital medicines to patients suffering from grievous illnesses such as arthritis and cancer.  In her personal life, Susan is especially moved by the emotional needs of children in distress and shares the Moyer Foundation mission to offer children encouragement, comfort, and support.   In addition to Chairing the Moyer Foundation Board, Susan is a Member of the Seattle Chamber Community Development Round Table.   Susan received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Seattle University.  She lives in Kirkland with her husband Erik.

Jeff Hughes manages sustainability and environmental stewardship for Seattle Children’s Hospital, which he joined in 1982.  He holds degrees from UW and Cornish.  He is dedicated to the cause of making children’s lives better with whatever skill and energy he possesses.  Jeff believes healthcare, in general, needs to have a broader vision in terms of the juxtaposition between the outcomes for patients, and milieu of the larger world, they must return to, once those medical interventions have been achieved. Sustainable initiatives, and standard work infused with sustainability can achieve a more responsible and inclusive outcome.

Brett Phillips, UnicoBrett Phillips, Director of Sustainability, Unico:  Brett Phillips is the director of sustainability for Unico’s real estate portfolio, managing energy and environmental conservation projects across Unico’s 13 million square foot portfolio.  His responsibilities include reducing company-wide energy consumption, setting high performance maintenance and operations standards, instituting sustainable best practices, and promoting sustainability to industry and government leaders.  During his tenure with Unico, Brett has led property teams to achieve ENERGY STAR® awards at 80 percent of the Class-A office properties in Unico’s portfolio and LEED® certifications for over 75 percent. He had a significant role in leading the company to BetterBricks’ Property Manager of the Year Awards in Oregon and the Puget Sound. Brett’s efforts also led Unico in achieving Washington’s Green Company of the Year award as recognized by Seattle Business Magazine.  He is a sought after national speaker, sharing thought leadership on pressing topics and current trends in the green building and sustainability field.