JohnWhalen John Whalen, a partner at Blu Skye Sustainability Consultants talks about his career, his company, and how Blu Skye is helping to transform business models to address today's societal and environmental issues.
Wednesday, April 1st 6pm
SHDH 350 (Steinberg-Dietrich Hall), UPenn
3620 Locust Walk Philadelphia, PA 19104
John Whalen is a Principal at Blu Skye Sustainability Consulting, where he focuses on helping companies use the lens of sustainability to discover new sources of business value. Corporations today exist in a fast-changing world where environmental and social factors increasingly shape the basis of competition, and Blu Skye believes that this matrix of factors – broadly defined as “sustainability” – represents the single biggest business opportunity of the 21st century. But taking advantage of this opportunity requires seeing the world, seeing business, and seeing opportunity through an entirely new lens. It requires a “whole systems view” that is very different from the traditional view of business. Blu Skye’s specialty is bringing together business executives, their value chain partners, and a broad range of social and environmental stakeholders to create a “whole system” perspective that illuminates new opportunities for collaborative innovation that creates value for the business and value for society. Applying these tools, John and his colleagues at Blu Skye have helped companies realize radical efficiency improvements in materials and energy use, ensure sustainable supply of essential resources, build more transparent and responsible supply chains, and create better, healthier products that differentiate them in the marketplace. Integrating this perspective into the company’s strategy and operating model creates multiple benefits, including attracting and retaining top talent, building a more resilient and efficient supply chain, and creating brand value. As part of the Blu Skye team, John has worked for four years with Wal-Mart on their pioneering sustainability effort, is supporting the US dairy industry in developing a 10 year sustainability plan, and has supported the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas in becoming one of the preeminent academic centers of applied research in sustainability. Prior to working with Blu Skye John was a founding partner of Sustainable Value Partners. He has over 20 years of management consulting experience in strategy, operations, and organizational change, working with dozens of companies across a variety of industries, including Verizon, American Express, Pfizer, Lucent Technologies, Cable & Wireless, and Target.