Babson Center Welcomes Cook Lecture on Nov. 17


John Cook, director of sustainability, Niagara Bottling, LLC, will be the Babson Center’s Bryan Viewpoints Speaker for the 2022 Advent semester. He will offer his insights into the growing influence of sustainability directors in businesses given increases in regulatory oversight, climate change risks, activist investing, and consumer and employee social and environmental awareness.

During his visit, Cook will meet with students and faculty. He will deliver a public presentation, “Planting a ‘Green’ Seat in the C-Suite: Sustainability Leadership,” at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Torian Room at duPont Library. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, Sewanee Environmental Institute, and the Department of Natural Resources.

Prior to Cook’s role at Niagara Bottling, he served as the first director of sustainability at the University of California Riverside where he certified the first LEED Building on campus and installed the first campus PV solar array, among many accomplishments. He also worked as a consultant with Domani Sustainability, re-establishing a corporate recycling program for United Airlines. He started his career in academia and ultimately left for administration and then the for-profit business world, always with a goal of looking at consumption and growth through a sustainability lens.

Since 1963, Niagara Bottling, LLC, has been a family owned and operated company with 47 locations on three continents. It is the largest manufacturer of bottled water in North America and sells a range of products from spring to sparkling water, tea, vitamin enhanced water, and protein nutrition shakes. Niagara Bottling also manufactures private label bottled water for other companies, such as Costco and Safeway.

During an interview in 2018 with the International Society of Sustainability, Cook admitted that, “working for a bottled water company may seem a bit like an oxymoron for a sustainability officer, or like greenwashing at best. But it is not! At Niagara Bottling, I am working to drive sustainability in all aspects of our operations, our company culture, and our product.”

Building on 15 years of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he recently oversaw the installation of more than 65 megawatts of renewable electricity at Niagara that immediately made a positive financial return. After overcoming some internal resistance, Niagara achieved LEED Gold certification for their new headquarters in Diamond Bar, CA, and received support to obtain TRUE Zero Waste certification for 33 of their manufacturing plants.

Cook began his college career at Texas A&M in marine science and as a cadet in the Merchant Marines. He graduated with an honors BA in fine arts studies from York University in Ontario, Canada, and then earned a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and an MBA in Sustainability Management from Presidio Graduate School. Cook holds accreditation from the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, Alliance for Water Stewardship, TRUE Zero Waste and LEED.

The Bryan Viewpoints Speaker Series is sponsored by the Babson Center for Global Commerce and is made possible by a generous gift from Peggy and J.F. Bryan IV, C’65. For more information about the Babson Center for Global Commerce and our events, please visit: <babsoncgc.sewanee.edu>.

All are welcome to attend.

2022 November
2022 October
2022 September
2022 August
2022 July
2022 June
2022 May
2022 April
2022 March
2022 February
2022 January
2021 December
2021 November
2021 October
2021 September
2021 August
2021 July
2021 June
2021 May
2021 April
2021 March
2021 February
2021 January
2020 December
2020 November
2020 October
2020 September
2020 August
2020 July
2020 June
2020 May
2020 April
2020 March
2020 February
2020 January
2019 December
2019 November
2019 October
2019 September
2019 August
2019 July
2019 June
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 September
2018 August
2018 July
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
2018 March
2018 February
2018 January
2017 December
2017 November
2017 October
2017 September
2017 August
2017 July
2017 June
2017 May
2017 April
2017 March
2017 February
2017 January
2016 December
2016 November
2016 October
2016 September
2016 August
2016 July
2016 June
2016 May
2016 April
2016 March
2016 February
2016 January
2015 December
2015 November
2015 October
2015 September
2015 August
2015 July
2015 June
2015 May
2015 April
2015 March
2015 February
2015 January
2014 December
2014 November
2014 October
2014 September
2014 August
2014 July
2014 June
2014 May
2014 April
2014 March
2014 February
2014 January
2013 December
2013 November
2013 October
2013 September
2013 August
2013 July
2013 June
2013 May
2013 April
2013 March
2013 February
2013 January
2012 December
2012 November
2012 October
2012 September
2012 August
2012 July
2012 June
2012 May
2012 April
2012 March
2012 February
2012 January
2011 December
2011 November
2011 October
2011 September
2011 August
2011 July
2011 June
2011 May
2011 April
2011 March
2011 February
2011 January
2010 December
2010 November
2010 October
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May