The Future of Business Sustainability
[Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] for a discussion on measuring the impact of corporate climate efforts please welcome trevor hauser partner of the rhodium group and kathleen mclaughlin chief sustainability officer at walmart and president of the walmart foundation atlantic staff writer robinson meyer is here to lead the conversation [Music] thank you both for joining us uh let's dive right in i'm loving this music by the way um so trevor let's start despite the us not having ever passed really comprehensive legislation addressing climate bank the country's currently has fallen since 2005. um i'm wondering if you could just start us off by answering how did that what has the private sector done to impact decarbonization uh great thanks rob great to be here uh so while it's true that the u.s hasn't passed comprehensive climate change legislation uh the u.s has passed both
at the federal and the state level plenty of legislation that has a positive impact on the pace of technology deployment to address climate change and so that ranges from tax credits for clean energy sources like wind and solar to investment and research and development to state level programs uh driving renewables and clean vehicles uh across the country and those incentives have increasingly attracted business investment into both the development and deployment of clean energy technology so there has been no shortage of policy work in the u.s to incentivize businesses to invest in clean energy and uh we've seen a lot of that investment bearing fruit in the decline in emissions over the past few years um kathleen walmart is the world's largest retailer and last summer walmart announced a goal that it would aim for zero emissions by 2040. it also announced a conservation goal to manage protect or restore 50 million acres of land by 2030 or how did you set these goals and what do they mean yeah well first of all it's great to be with you here today um thanks for having me you know walmart has been working on sustainability since really 2005 in earnest and over these last 15 years the evidence has been mounting around not only the pace and magnitude of climate change but also the degradation of natural ecosystems and the very real impact those trends are having today we see it all around us in terms of extreme weather events uh drought and so on flooding but also in the future and um you know the latest ipcc report is just an example of something that's underscored just how widespread pervasive severe the impacts of climate change and nature loss are going to be for for all of us on the planet so um really for walmart we realized a number of years ago that we needed to raise our game so we became the first retailer to set a science-based target for emissions reduction and then last year we elevated that ambition to keep it in line with the one and a half degree warming scenario and also to set a date to hit zero emissions in our own operations which as you mentioned is 2040 and it was important for us that that be truly a target of zero not net zero but zero for us by 2040 in our scope one and two emissions and for scope three when we set the original science-based target we started to work with our suppliers on something we call project gigaton so we now have over 3100 suppliers working with us on that program which aims to avoid a gigaton of emissions by 2030. um and so for us this is just part of a need a recognition that we have to rewire the way that business gets done because all parts of society need to rewire how we live day in day out so that we can decarbonize life um you know essentially our operations and um come within that one and a half degree target and and nature it's a similar thing right the evidence is clear about the degradation of ecosystems we've lost 60 percent of animal life since 1970 based on estimates from world wildlife fund and so if you're a retailer and you're selling everything from bananas to bed sheets you know to um to seafood these things come from nature shampoo even so many of our products either come directly from nature right or rely on ingredients from nature so working on these things is critical for surety of supply for um cost structure in the future for revenue streams for the very um health and longevity of our customer communities and our associate communities around the world it's so integrated can you just walk us through what you mean when you say scope 1 scope 2 scope 3.
i i i think that's the term that we're all becoming more familiar with but folks who just got into climate change may not really recognize it yeah scopes one and two have to do with the emissions that come directly from our own operations or things we're directly purchasing you know like electricity for example scope three um are things that are outside of our control that for example as a retailer would be in our supply chain so for us scope one and two would include our electricity that powers our stores our fulfillment centers all those refrigerator cases and freezer cases it would include emissions from refrigeration so the cooling equipment and the freezer cases and so on air conditioning um it would include the emissions from our long-haul fleet which we own so how do we feel those big walmart trucks that you see on the road you know for example and it would even include things like on-site fuels so if we're using gas to cook rotisserie chickens you know that sort of thing so that's scope one and two those kinds of things scope three is everything that goes into the making and the consumption of our products so it would come from the energy used to produce products from product design itself so example for example cold water laundry detergent can get your clothes clean without needing to run a hot water cycle that's a lower emissions product um packaging waste is a source of emissions in the supply chain food waste and plastic waste and then nature itself can be a big solution for climate but it can also be a challenge if people are deforesting to provide commodities like palm oil or soy or beef or paper um agriculture also can either be an emitter uh of greenhouse gases or it can be an opportunity to sequester so that's where you know in our project gigaton we're working with suppliers to address those kinds of drivers in the supply chain and decarbonize the way that we produce and consume the products that all of us use day in day out you you mentioned nature is one but you also said walmart is trying to reach zero and not just net zero i mean our ops do offsets uh through carbon capture or through a4 station uh factor into walmart's plans we don't intend to rely on offsets for our scope one and two uh initiatives so we we believe that you know given the challenges we face as a society wherever possible that you know we can get to true zero we should do that and that's tough because you know things like long-haul transportation we don't have a solution today for our kind of transportation we have long-haul trucks that go multiple days without you know stopping to recharge and so on so that's going to be a challenge we think we can get there scope three that is something where we would say the world needs to get to net zero so there are certain things that are going to be hard just to get to zero so for example emissions from dairy cows we can reduce them but at some level cows emit so you need to look for offsets for things that are residual that can't be addressed and so for that yes um afforestation reforestation but but such projects um you know we work really closely with scientists they have to be done in a certain way to actually get the carbon benefits to actually sequester the carbon um and so there are issues around how that work gets done the permanence of it because i could do a wonderful job managing a forest for the next 10 years but if i cut it down in year 11 i've lost everything so how real is the impact on carbon is it permanent is it additive um all of those things and there are many people trying to work through what has to be in place so that we can feel confident in the kinds of projects that folks are pursuing that you know that can happen um and there's tremendous work underway you know i'll give you one example naturevest which is part of nature conservancy has been working in the cumberland forest region southeastern united states it's about 250 000 acres of forest and they have been working to better manage the forest which gets carbon sequestration they're still able to do some managed timber production and some ecotourism in the communities and so you get great biodiversity and carbon outcomes they're able to sell credits into the carbon market and so on and it helps the people who live in those communities with revenue streams to sustain their livelihoods so there are a lot of projects like that that are emerging where we're seeing tremendous carbon impact environmental impact um for climate change but also social um you know and economic outcomes too and that that's really as a society what we need to start solving for um where you have solutions that really help us take care of people and the planet thanks so much trevor you have this kind of incredible bird's eye view and you you and rhodium have this incredible bird's eye view of the energy system what in your view are the most important uh steps that companies can take uh to to get serious about decarbonization and to kind of meet their paris agreement goals or to put us on the road toward you know net zero globally by 2040 or 2050. right yeah so there's been a proliferation of net zero pledges by large companies over the past couple of years and those companies are now turning to the implementation how are they actually going to meet those pledges and i think you can get a little bit um if you look just narrowly at what share of the current 52 gigatons of emissions globally those companies that have made net zero commitments represent uh it could lead you to conclude that these types of corporate commitments are only going to really have an impact on global emissions at the margin but i think that that misses two potentially catalytic roles that corporate commitments can't play and is what we look for in assessing whether a company's internal commitments are going to have a broader transformative effect on the climate and so the first is companies for whom energy is a relatively modest cost of production compared to what they pay their staff or marketing are in a unique position to spend the money required to develop early stage technological solutions and drive the cost down so that they can be scaled beyond the four walls of those companies so kathleen was talking about long-haul trucking if companies like walmart can figure out how to drive the cost down or zero carbon long-haul trucking solutions within walmart's operations that has the potential to have transformative effects on long-haul trucking globally by accelerating the diffusion of those technologies so that early stage technology development and deployment work by companies as they look within their own scope 1 and scope 2 emissions and figure out how to reduce their own carbon footprint has the potential for an outsized impact the other is policy engagement as uh as companies look to their scope three emissions and realize that they have limited direct control uh of those emissions our preference would be not to see companies respond to that just by purchasing offsets to address their scope 3 emissions but instead engage in policy supporting the development of policy that will have an effect on those scope 3 emissions and i think as more and more companies work to implement their net zero targets and realize where the limits of their own action lie in meeting those goals our hope is that that will translate into more forward leaning policy advocacy around climate by those companies that's a great leader um trevor is so so right i want to just talk about the first one that you mentioned trevor in terms of the ripple effect and that's very much a driver behind our focus on project gigaton so by engaging 3 100 suppliers as they make changes in their supply chains and we're supporting them with various programs and tools and so on um it ends up affecting not just the part of their business that is with walmart it's their entire business so these 3 000 companies are from all categories that we sell they're in over a dozen countries around the world we're trying to drive a broad cultural change that would affect the way the products get produced across all of the lines that we sell or renewable energy um we've been quite focused on getting to 100 renewable energy for our own needs we're um just about 36 percent at the moment but we engage in ppas and community solar projects and so on that collectively have added 2.3 gigawatt hours to the grid of net new renewable capacity and we're trying to bring our suppliers along so one of the things that we did with schneider electric was put together a program that offers to our suppliers the opportunity to engage in aggregate ppas so if a supplier doesn't have a procurement team for energy they don't know how to go about it they can tap into this as a way to to you know basically get renewable energy so we're constantly looking for scale expand you know make this the norm not just for us and our own you know still wanted to that makes sense on policy it sounded like you gave a hint of this in your answer kathleen but does walmart support the paris agreement absolutely yes and then and then some right so um as i said we we had made a science-based target that was in line with the paris agreement and then we reset it to go for the one and a half degree scenario instead of the two degree scenario and we need enabling policy i'm also a trevor on this one like we're not gonna do it alone business it's not gonna solve this problem alone there's a lot we can do and have been getting on with things um and there are a number of policies that are in place you talked about some of them trevor but um we need more the world needs more walmart doing policy activism i mean is walmart engaging on the kinds of policies that it thinks we need yeah you know we're very clear um about our aspirations for our own business and needing an enabling policy environment to shift the grid to renewable energy we need to tackle refrigerants we need policies that are going to be in favor of decarbonizing transportation so yes it's a priority for us um if people want to learn more you can check out our esg disclosures on our climate strategies and advocacy and so on um you know we're part of we're still in and we mean business we're on the board of reba the renewable energy virus alliance um it's it's a very important lever we're not policy makers ourselves obviously and we'll leave this position of course yes broad principles absolutely we need it we're not going to get there as a society without strong enabling policy i want to get right back to that but i first want to say trevor you know what are some of the policies that you think are really important and would help corporations advance here and i have to ask about the most pressing policy on the table which is this reconciliation bill uh you know what would it do for climate and could it help kind of companies advance the ball here and also what would it be for the u.s
like paris agreement the u.s under the paris agreement so there's two pieces of legislation under consideration right now there's a bipartisan infrastructure framework and then there is a budget reconciliation bill and they together would be by far the single largest piece of climate legislation uh the u.s has uh ever budget reconciliation bill alone the major components of that just the six largest components would by themselves uh reduce u.s emissions by a gigaton by 2030 and would be the largest single portion of a comprehensive plan for the u.s to meet its nationally determined contribution of a 50 to 52 reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. uh the
bipartisan infrastructure framework uh is not as large in terms of its climate impact but does have some uh important and significant programs and would deliver another hundred to two hundred million metric tons of emission reductions uh if passed uh so this is really a once in a uh decade uh opportunity for legislative progress uh in the uh climate uh and uh and and would sorry go ahead no do i mean do you think the u.s could meet its climate goals if this if the the reconciliation side of this package failed especially its goals under the agreement yeah i would think about it more it will be extremely challenging the uh the there are other legislative vehicles that individual pieces that are in the budget reconciliation bill could be moved through uh but to meet the to meet the 2030 goals without any new congressional legislation will be extremely difficult doing so exclusively through executive action under existing laws like the clean air act can deliver significant emission reductions but it would be extremely challenging to meet that 50 to 52 target without legislation so kathleen i have to ask what is walmart's position on this reconciliation bill we don't have a position on the reconciliation bill writ large it's quite a broad bill with a number of things contained in it but i would say that the climate provisions in that bill in the infrastructure bill and other things that are being discussed you know for example carbon pricing um that's something that um you know we also need to look at and we need so you know i'm pretty excited by the broad range of things that are being discussed and proposed i think trevor is right the trick is okay so how do what what's the right vehicle to get things across um yes we need enabling policy environment uh we're really clear on that that's going to be to the benefit of the economy and to business so could i could i just ask like what kind of policy engagement is walmart doing here because i i do know at the same time that um you know there's lots of different options on the table walmart is a part of the business roundtable which is lobbying against the reconciliation bills running tv ads against it it is a part of the chamber of commerce which opposes the bill and i know the biggest the bill is big and complicated we're not part of the chamber of commerce i don't know why people that's great we're not well they're kind of yeah so the brt is is lobbying against the bill so and i know that's because of tax policy but is there any way to preserve these like really big climate aspects in the building what is walmart doing here on a lobbying front yeah so um you know as i said the reconciliation package it's enormous it's uh three and a half trillion dollars with a lot of things in it i i'm not really in a position to comment on on those pieces what i can say is that the climate provisions in that build the climate provisions and the infrastructure bill and other things that aren't in either that need to get on the table like you know pricing and so on carbon pricing these are all critical we've got to find a way to have them come to life um to really create the environment that will be supportive of the pace and magnitude of climate action that we need so um yeah uh that's that's really critical we're very clear on that um you know i i would say will it you i mean will walmart use its lobbying after trevor was talking about how this is kind of one of the two big things walmart can do and clearly it's doing the first with project yucatan yeah i mean we do so um you know we have a global public policy and government affairs team they're engaging constantly with policy makers in all the various markets where we operate including the u.s and our views on climate and what needs to happen are really clear it's something that we do talk about day in day out you know as we're on the hill or in other places and so yeah it's it's really important great thank you unfortunately we're gonna have to leave it right there but kathleen thank you so much for being here trevor thank you so much always good to talk and thank you for joining us thanks for having us thanks rob take care next up a session produced by our underwriter ey conversations with leading ceos on the esg transformation imperative esg is absolutely a boardroom c-suite and ceo issue ceos c-suite and board members know that they've got to engage they're going to be held accountable by multiple stakeholders whether it's regulators whether it's their investors their employees currently potential employers that they're looking to recruit suppliers and other partners maximizing shareholder value and also stakeholder value i think they're one in the same every time i've made a decision or transformative decisions i've always thought through you know how does our customer feel how are they going to feel about this how the supplier is going to feel about this certainly how our employees are going to feel about this these things all matter it's not just the end goal of making money here those things will make you money if you do the right thing and you'll have a great culture in your company we set environmental goals 30 years ago in terms of how to reduce our carbon footprint how to eliminate solid waste how to reduce water usage greenhouse gas emissions all of that we put safety metrics in place environmental health and safety to make sure that our people who came to work could be safe we started community outreach programs you know donating to the arts into education into science these are all things that we did not because we had to but because we thought they would enhance the value of the business over the long term you can't have a vibrant company without a vibrant community every leader needs to challenge themselves and to really look at their organization as objectively as possible and identify opportunities to create long-term value for all of your stakeholders we are very focused on societal value and the impact that we have on the world the communities in which we work and the people that are part of our spheres of influence as well as policy matters that ultimately endure to the benefit of our communities i think the importance of sustainability has really shown itself over the last 12 months i think what's different is now linking sustainability to long-term growth and long-term value i think companies are going to continually have to ask themselves what impact are we having on the environment the people who work with us and the communities where we operate i think that connection is going to continually become more and more important and so i think companies that link sustainability with growth are going to outperform those who do not we always say sustainability is not a nice to have it's not part of our business somewhere sustainability is our business when you think about it beer you know no water no beer that simple no farming no ingredients to brew beer that simple businesses only exist because societies allow them to exist so they have to look at you and see that you're part of the solution always and you provide something that's good for the community as well not only good for the company but for the business set the bar high that's what you got to do as a leader but you've also got to tie that uh to your purpose to your mission to your culture and to your values and that's crucial when embarking on any sort of strategic transformation you have to have courage because inertia tells you to just keep doing everything we're doing because you actually have to disrupt what we're doing and say we're going to shift our direction we're going to push innovation harder and i believe that people working together and you know working together laughing together having some fun together it's all it's all an important element of work and i think it's kind of been lost in this era so my job as a leader is to really be that glue that maintains some level of connectivity to the greater good to who we are our mission our company and we are the sum of all of us much greater than any one individual i think it's important to maintain that tie and i think that that's the one thing i try to do more than ever is to communicate that bigger mission people in culture are at the heart of most businesses and are critical to a transformation it is after all about change figuring out how to engage the hearts and minds of your employees your stakeholders your consumers your community at large is really important and culture can be an accelerator to how that change is adopted my number one job as ceo is really to to nurture the culture and the the pieces of culture that are very very important to me it's almost beyond inclusiveness to belongingness um you know inclusiveness is is inviting somebody to the table uh belongingness is about this emotional connection that people have in an organization to each other to the mission to the organization and when i think about an atrium sort of you walk in and you have all kinds of people there in in dialogue we're going to invite everybody to the table and that's core to to our brand is core to our mission i think the important thing about company culture is that it's not the ceo culture it's a company it's a groups culture so if i leave tomorrow or if i disappear tomorrow for some reason the culture will remain in place because not my culture it's my colleague's culture as well so it's everybody's culture is everybody's responsibility to keep it alive and make sure that people that are coming in will also subscribe to that same culture in same value set you know what does your company stand for what do we care about what's important to us um and your employees need to hear that that that's important to them you have to have a heart and assault in a company together healthy growing companies are really helping every constituency and every stakeholder every organization needs to constantly raise their own bar and needs to do in a way that's culturally authentic and that has certainly been the case since i've been the chair of ey in the in the u.s and the americas really looking at the strengths that we have as well as opportunities for improvement and making sure that we're informed with an outside-in perspective not only to have credibility but also to have the experience in bringing that advisory capability to our clients as they transform their own businesses for a discussion on the social and environmental impact of hybrid work please welcome chris capasella chief marketing officer and executive vice president of marketing and consumer business at microsoft and jennifer christie chief people officer twitter robinson meyer is back to lead the conversation chris and jennifer thank you so much for joining us let's go right in so chris i want to start with you you know the pandemic started uh shifted millions of people to go to fully remote work as we all know here i am at home um now we're 18 months into this workforce experiment and it seems like things have kind of permanently changed so you know christmas are you jennifer can you briefly share how the pandemic has impacted your office culture what just how you have responded to it what is your work from home status quo right now well great thanks robin jennifer nice to nice to do this with you i'm really looking forward to this thanks for having me um you know i would say that microsoft is really trying to be a student of the time in our approach to hybrid work it's been you know quite a journey that i think all of us have gone on and through all of this uncertainty our number one priority continues to be the well-being and safety of all of our people that that kind of goes without saying but it's the number one principle we have in how we're sort of approaching hybrid work we've actually been able to study a lot about what's going on and we've produced something called a work trend index which is essentially a report of research that we do of our own employees as well as tens of thousands of employees in different industries around the world and the fascinating thing we've seen over the past 18 months is really we've discovered two pretty fundamental trends that are changing the work as we see it and as we know it and the first trend is what we call the hybrid paradox where we see that people want the flexibility to work anywhere but they simultaneously really really crave a lot more in-person connection and that hybrid paradox is is sort of the big first trend we've seen over the past 18 months and then uh the folks over at linkedin have seen another trend that they call the great reshuffle and this is really you know companies all over the world sent everybody home to work from home and as they did that we've seen employees re-examining their relationship to work and it's resulting in what we think is very deep changes to employee expectations we see employees rethinking not only when and where and how they work but rob you know why they actually work and so we think we're going to see a major reshuffle of people changing jobs uh and that's going to be a huge change so the hybrid paradox where people want flexibility they want to work from anywhere but they crave in person connection and the gravy shuffle these are the two trends that we see creating fundamental changes in the labor market and we're all gonna have to navigate them and so just to confirm you are fully remote right now there's no occasional hybrid there's no people going in once a week if they want to in masks so we have people in 104 different locations around the world and based on what's happening in every one of those locations we have essentially a workplace dial where we dial up or down based on the data and local guidance and we are fully open in a bunch of countries in the world in the us we are uh not absolutely mandatory work from home and we have tens of thousands of people coming to different work sites in the us every day but they're not required to do that they're allowed to work from home if they want we're not fully back to what we call stage six anywhere in the us today um we should scroll all those 104 locations and and their various stage in front of the tv like it's an old time life you know ad jennifer um can you just give us an update on where twitter stands here are our our folks are you fully remote right now are people coming in and just what have you observed in terms of twitter's culture yeah so i i would uh thanks for being you know thanks for having me here it's great to see you both but um i i would zoom out a little bit to even 2018 because we started on this journey before the pandemic we were moving to a more flexible work culture and more flexible work options in terms of where people worked so not just if you worked from home or you worked from an office but also being able to move to different geographies and work in different places that you want it to work so we started down that path a few years before the pandemic we have pivoted to fully remote work during the pandemic as most companies have and as we're starting to navigate uh this this phase of this pandemic we do have some of our offices starting to reopen but we're leaning still into flexibility and choice and while a lot of our employees i would say the majority of our employees about 75 percent do want to split their time between an office and home some you know some three days a week some two some one we still have some people who want to be full-time remote and we have some people who want to be very few but we still have a small percentage that want to be in the office full time and people can choose and toggle between these different types of work styles once we fully reopen at this point if our offices are open they can choose those styles they can they can switch between those styles and that's ongoing um even when we're offices are fully reopened people will still have that flexibility and choice and that's what we're seeing people want they they really do lean into flexibility and choice and you know when chris was talking about you know people are re-examining uh how they work and and where they want to work you know what companies they'll work for i think flexibility and choice is a big decision point for them on that they've learned different ways of working they have different options to them now and they are asking those questions and they're looking for companies that are going to provide them that kind of flexibility and choice so i think it'll be a differentiator for companies that can figure that out and are allowing company their employees to work in in different locations or or have that choice for themselves have you seen a change from this pre-2018 or this post 2018 kind of where you were starting to experiment with remote work to the pandemic remote work regime like you were already experimenting this kind of you were out there in front of everyone else but now things are still different because we're still somewhat in the pandemic like what were the changes there what did you observe yeah so i i would say before the pandemic we definitely still had some resistors to this kind of change because it was it was a pretty big change for us we started out in that 2018 and pre-that as a very office-centric culture and we were we were driving this change not because frankly it was employee driven at that time mostly it was something that we thought would make us more durable as a company for the future we knew that this was kind of the way the world was going and more companies were coming online fully remote and more of our employees were starting to ask for it so it was definitely a trend and we knew we needed to to try to catch up with it and but we still had a lot of folks who were resistant oh i can't work that way or i can't manage my team that way and the pandemic forced change and it also forced people to recognize what they're capable of and you know they managers who like i can't lead that way have really leaned into it we leaned into them say you're on the front lines let's help you figure out how to do this so if their style was more monitoring versus managing we figured it helped them figure out a way of setting goals with their employees and in different ways and checking in with their employees in different ways and so i think this forced nature of this change really did push people to into a situation where they were able to kind of tap into what they're really capable of and so it definitely accelerated our timeline internal building capabilities around remote work for sure and it's and it's it's managers and teams that said we could never work acceptable right next to each other are now completely distributed and so as we start opening offices they're going to be working in very different ways chris how are you thinking about creating the kind of new work environment i mean you mentioned that stage six is fully open which i think implies that there are six different ways that work could be right now you know how do you approach weighing these new work environments with meeting employee needs while still kind of keeping the company productive and keeping teams productive i guess that's a that's the big question but is there a certain tool you've taken to it or a certain way of thinking that you've gone about using it yeah it is such a great question and uh just like jennifer said we're big believers that the future of work is flexibility and there really is no one size fits all approach i think we've really come to embrace that over the past 18 months and a lot of the reasons we hear from employees that they want to work from home are the exact same reasons that we hear from employees that they want to come to the office in our latest study about 58 of employees told us they wanted to work from home for better focus and about 58 told us they wanted to come to the office for better focus so there is no one-size-fits-all approach and we find that we have to really do a great job managers play a bigger role than really ever before and coming up with team norms you know it's one thing to have a policy about something but really the role of the manager to model to coach and to care for their employees and come up with the norms of the team and those norms might include every meeting having employees join the meeting via microsoft teams even if they're together physically so that remote people can everyone can see the faces of everyone in the meeting and the chat window can maintain this inclusivity that we've seen the role of the manager team agreements intentional hybrid meetings um encouraging employees really basic things rob encouraging believe it or not get enough sleep daily exercise eat well drink drink a lot of water i know it sounds basic but if managers show that level of caring we're finding that employees feel looked after in a way that makes them uh you know able to do their best work whether they're coming to the office because that's what they like or whether they're staying home because that's what they like that the role of the manager model coach and care some of these basic things are more important than ever um you're a manager so i have to ask is there one tool that you found really effective just like one small thing or really change your approach to kind of managing in this environment because i think a lot of managers are struggling yeah i mean i'll give you a couple that i really rely on now you know i'm much more conscientious at the beginning of meetings to check in with people to literally spend time first 10 minutes 15 minutes of meeting i know it sounds like a long time but do a check on how are people doing how are they feeling what's going on uh with them before we get to the sort of agenda of the meeting and creating space for that sort of mental well-being is super important the other one that i've been surprised how effective it's been is when i do one-on-ones rather than doing them with video chat i actually do them on the phone and do sort of a walking one-on-one and you know sometimes people will take their dog up for a walk or go for a walk while they're having a one-on-one and it breaks up that monotony of being in front of your screen all day long so you know finding ways to change it up a little bit creating those new norms uh i think are really important and we're learning this is uncharted territory for all of us yeah um have you seen a widened talent pool it wouldn't this switch to remote work like has it made it easier or harder to recruit and jennifer i think let's go to you yeah so actually it was one of the drivers of this change for us back in 2018 to widen the talent pool um not just to be hiring in you know a a small number of locations but we said wow there's great talent everywhere in the world and we are really narrowing where we are sourcing talent and where we think that they can work effectively and so it was definitely something that that opened up for us and now being able to post roles really you know that are remote only um or you know it's it's one of the options of a location has really opened up the the talent that we can tap into and uh who want to work at twitter which is great um and it just it expands our diversity of the people coming in uh to the organization expands the global reach that we have uh in our organization which which has been uh really great i want to add too um you didn't ask me the question about the tool but i will i will i just want to share one yes please that i that has been effective for me as a manager but for me is also just being a member of twitter you know a part of twitter is slack actually um you know it's one thing to think about getting work done but um and you can get work done on slack but we've used slack a lot uh for team engagement and for fun you know that's one of the things you know that that we always enjoyed about being around each other in the office was having fun and a little bit of the silliness and weirdness and slack allows you to kind of engage with each other in a more real-time way than maybe like an email might and not having to always be on on slack where especially with distributed global teams everyone's not going to be on a video with on this on the same at the same time so you know being able to engage when when you can and when you want to on a thread that's happening or being able to post gifs or or emojis or or videos um it's just been a real way to keep people connected and things that are not just work related which we all know happens when people are around each other in the office they sharing stories about hobbies and you know lots of different slack channels about different things that people care about so that that's been something that we've really found very effective well i i i mean just twitter think about it's so funny because i am very familiar with this from the atlantic it is does twitter think about managing those slack rooms like do you think about your role almost as a kind of moderator of those discussions this twitter devote resources moderating those discussions because i think many companies have found that slack is great you know you can get people to almost hang out there but at the same time that you have this rolling discussion feature it's almost like you have kind of a suddenly a chat room as part of the office and it has all the ups and downs of it of a chat room so just how do you think about almost your role as a manager moderator or are there moderators at twitter no i mean i not moderators per se i mean like jack has a slack channel um that he's opened up that people can kind of ask him anything um and you know i'll scroll through that and sometimes he'll tag me into it to answer a question that's kind of people related uh so i want to make sure that we're answering questions that get surfaced in that but no one's really monitoring monitoring it or moderating it in that same way and it's a lot i mean you have to it's a lot to kind of uh sort through and challenge you know make sure that you're finding time to answer everything and see everything that's going on um but we didn't see everything that was going on before you know so we might miss some things and if not someone tags me or someone attacks someone on my team um but you know twitter is about all voices twitter is about hearing different points of view um whether they're challenging things that are happening at twitter whether they're discussing things that are going on in the world are services like that you know so um we everyone we want everyone to be respectful and that's you know something that that we definitely uh pursue with our you know healthy workplace initiatives that we have but within that guideline people can ask questions people can challenge each other people can really um call to action things that they want to see changed and so it keeps us on our toes but it's it's great i wouldn't change it because it really helps us keep our hand on the pulse of what's going on in the organization and get ahead of things that are both making our employees really happy and engaged and things that might not be chris i want to ask you this obviously yeah i was just going to say i totally second that and microsoft as you can imagine we use a slightly different tool called microsoft i was going to say that takes the place of both zoom and slack which is why i think we've seen so much growth of it in the past in the during the pandemic but you know jennifer's spot on creating those fun spaces for people to do fun things with each other digitally it may not replace the you know the complete connection that you get when doing it in person but it's super helpful and super valuable and agree with her you know you do need to let people bring all their opinions and that can that can create some uh tension or debate but in in general or on balance we think it's super healthy and a great way to a great way to create culture that's that's digitally first or digital first and physical second i i want to go back slightly but also kind of move forward so you know have you seen chris this going remote or kind of allowing the possibility of remote work increasing the talent pool and i would say increasing the talent pool in like measurable ways uh ways that show up in your dei goals in your esg goals what have you observed on on paper there yeah i you know without a doubt being able to hire people and let them stay wherever they are uh has allowed us to expand uh the the pool of candidates that we're looking at and frankly more expand the number of people who say yes because it's not like we weren't recruiting from all over the world in the past but now it's just so much easier for an employee to say oh i can stay wherever i am you know being in redmond you know seattle washington you don't have a super high african-american black hispanic latino population in in seattle whereas we've been able to hire new york city miami atlanta um you know many many more cities where people don't have to relocate and that's been that's been big for us and it has really in my organization alone you know before kovid we had no marketers that were weren't in either i'd say california or in redmond and now we have marketers probably in 10 11 different states uh in the us all part of the corporate marketing team and that's obviously fantastic and it's led to it's led to great hires of talent um whether they're you know whether they're white african-american hispanic etc it's been it's just been a great unlock of talent for us jennifer have you seen kind of measurable have you been able to meet measurable dei goals through this remote work in the same way and i would do you see this show up in your emissions data i mean i i don't know how how exhaustively twitter attracts its emissions but uh do you see the fact that people aren't commuting every day show up in your scope 1 or scope 2 emissions yeah so i'll answer the first part first uh definitely we we've seen our ability to to move towards some of our very aggressive uh diversity inclusion goals uh expand by opening up the talent pool um to different more diverse talent and and as as chris said um people who uh don't wanna actually move to san francisco um and and be part of that community but you know stay with stay where they are so yeah it is um we actually even updated our diversity and inclusion goals to be the most aggressive that um that we think are in tech right now uh to meet by 2025 we think we can do that in large part because of the the way that we've moved uh in this direction with flexibility and choice um on the sustainability front um we are you know we're 15 years old as a company and uh we're still in our earlier stages of sustainability efforts but i will say we've gone aggressively uh into it as we move forward and uh you know work from home aspect of it um it's trade-offs like we actually have some training that we provide people who are working from home how they can meet sustainability goals at an individual level with their own households um because that you know we can do things at the corporate level but with everyone at home right now um what they do at home actually does matter um across the board so we give trainings and tips around that and we also have a calculator that they can use to make assessments and about trade-offs as especially as we start to reopen of you know where they live how often they'll travel um how often they commute to the office that they can kind of um look at look for themselves what kind of footprint that they actually also create um by the choices they make about how often they come in et cetera our data centers um are you know are probably our biggest carbon footprint are a significant part of our carbon footprint and and you know that's something that we're also setting aggressive goals to address right and of course they always work from home i guess because they that's they they live in the server in a data center um uh chris i would just want to ask you i mean does microsoft kind of tracking how its work from home goals affect its emissions goals um how does it integrate the many different kinds of remote work that are possible with its its clinicals yeah it's such a great question you know we we've come to realize that work settings are going to change over time but our sustainability commitment obviously can't and so we've made these very bold commitments which include becoming carbon negative water positive zero waste all by 2030 and that is there's just so much we're doing around this area probably the most important thing is to shift to 100 renewable energy by 2025 but we're also investing in a huge carbon removal tech through a big big fund called the climate innovation fund which we have a billion dollars in so when we and then as you may know we make all our carbon emissions information public through an annual sustainability report really just a small part of last year's reduction was due to the type of sort of decreased activity that the world experienced because of covid and honestly we don't know that that's sort of sustainable we don't know that we will be in this sort of covent situation forever so we have to you know take what we can get we like progress of any kind but really i think we have to make much more significant focus on more significant sources of progress and you know renewable energy for a company that has more data center regions in the world than any other company that's you know that's not going to really change so it's all it's always going to be electricity you know i think that's always going to be the biggest goal and of course it's so funny because we talk about sustainability yeah oh yeah um we talk about sustainability but we mean often mean climate sustainability but it sounds like you're also describing social sustainability and what can be maintained over a long period of time i want to ask one last question of jennifer first which is what worries you most as we continue to go into the future you know what do you feel like you haven't figured out about remote work or that we as a society haven't figured out about remote work yeah so one thing that worries me is the fact that we just don't know what we don't know and that if we learned anything if i learned anything over the courses last 18 months it's that every time we had plans you know we opened our offices for two weeks and we had to shut them down again because of delta um so it's just the ability to be able to pivot um plan but also be ready to pivot um it's just it worries me to stay ahead of that but also just um you know the people have gotten used to working remotely um but the big challenge is going to be when people are in different work modes working some people working at home some people working in offices and changing those mindsets and changing those behaviors to create a level playing field that people don't revert back to some of the behaviors that make people feel left out when they're at home you know chris mentioned some of the things we're doing those those things too like one tweet one screen um those kind of things but um it's it's it is a world we haven't navigated yet in a real way and it's gonna it's gonna take a lot of focus yeah and chris very quickly what's your biggest worry yeah i think i'll i'll just focus on mental health i i think the the stress and the uncertainty and the um just safety people feel that people are worried about it's weighing on managers heavily it's weighing on employees and uh being able to create an environment where people can take care of themselves and still professionally develop still contribute to the company i'd say the broad concern i would just have is you know is mental health of the workforce broadly in the world uh and anything we can do to help there is obviously i think well a strong a good investment makes sense well we're gonna have to leave it there but thank you both uh so much for joining us today and and thank you for for thank you for watching thanks for having us you