CSR Green BusinessGreenCSRSupply Chain

Supply chain meets CSO at McDonald’s; big hires at WRI, SolarCity, RFX Global

by Lauren Hepler

Clockwise from top left: Francesca DeBiase and Jennie McColloch, McDonald’s; Kevin Moss, World Resources Institute (WRI); Marco Krapels, SolarCity; Caitlin Welby, RFX Global.

It’s that time again. From food to trucking to solar, sustainability executives are on the move — and we’re here to report back.

The GreenBiz people column covers moving and shaking in the world of sustainable business, from the private sector to NGOs and beyond. We recap the noteworthy hires, promotions, awards, honors and other news about the people behind the sustainability headlines.

Supply chain guru to sustainability chief

McDonald’s has big shoes to fill in the field of sustainability following the recent retirement of 32-year veteran Bob Langert. As the fast food giant forges ahead on major initiatives related to sustainable beef and reducing antibiotics in chicken, the company is looking to an in-house supply chain expert to steer the sustainability ship.

Francesca Debiase McDonald's

Francesca DeBiase has been promoted to senior vice president, worldwide supply chain and sustainability — an expanded role where she will be responsible for further embedding sustainability into the McDonald’s global operation, which serves some 69 million customers per day.

DeBiase, who is based in the Chicago area, has held multiple positions in finance and supply chain management at McDonald’s and Ernst & Young. She was also a co-creator of McDonald’s first ever global corporate social responsibility and sustainability framework.

“I am excited about applying my business experience to McDonald’s sustainability priorities,” DeBiase told GreenBiz. “Our Sustainability Framework is an important starting point for us as we continue to push ourselves to set and achieve increasingly higher targets that grow our global business.”

DeBiase’s move comes as companies across industries delve deeper into their supply chains to both mitigate financial risks and better hone in on major environmental issues often embedded in complex supplier networks, like carbon emissions, deforestation and raw materials sourcing.

“This is a really good move,” DeBiase’s predecessor, Langert, told GreenBiz. “Francesca is maintaining her role as head of global supply chain, while adding on sustainability — a unique way to leverage a bright business leader who has successfully led the integration of sustainability into a complex supply network.”

Who’s news

Jenny McColloch, McDonald’s

It’s not just DeBiase on the move at McDonald’s; Jenny McColloch, the food company’s former global CSR & sustainability manager, was recently named director of global sustainability.

McColloch, who has been with McDonald’s for three years, previously served in the Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps with Nestle Waters. She is based in the Chicago area.

Kevin Moss, WRI

Kevin Moss is switching gears from British telecom company BT to the World Resource Institute (WRI), where he started this month as Global Director of the WRI Business Center, which aims to accelerate private-sector adoption of sustainability strategies, such as renewable energy.

Moss, who will be based in Washington, D.C., was most recently the head of BT’s Net Good Programme — an initiative similarly focused on finding new models to help organizations to hit sustainability goals.

Caitlin Welby, RFX Global

Quick, when was the last time you met a CEO of a trucking company best described as a “yoga-loving, punk rock, tree hugger“?

While you’re pondering that one, meet Caitlin Welby, who was recently named president & CEO of the Massachusetts-based RFX Global Companies. Welby, who previously served as senior vice president of strategy, becomes her family’s third generation leader of the company.

Marco Krapels, SolarCity

Marco Krapels, one of the mainstage speakers at VERGE 14, is going from cleantech funder to the front lines of solar. His new role is senior vice president of structured finance and strategy at Solar City, as the renewable energy leader known for innovative financial models targets a new phase of growth.

Krapels — a co-founder of The Solutions Project, a nonprofit aiming to accelerate adoption of clean energy —  was previously a partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors and executive vice president at Rabobank.

On the move

– From wind to solar: Bruce Davis, formerly the COO of the European Wind Energy Association, has been named COO of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA).

– The Environmental Protection Agency has named its annual Climate Leadership Award recipients, with 2015 winners including: The City and County of San Francisco, Clorox, SC Johnson, Sprint,UPS, Capital One, CH2M Hill, EMC Corporation, Bank of America and Tiffany & Co.

MaryEllen Ettien, former executive director of the Reuse Alliance, is moving on to take the helm of the nonprofit Reuse Institute, which promotes waste reduction and reuse through educational events, training services and research projects.

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