David Carey is Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Hearst. As a member of the ESG leadership team, Carey recently spearheaded the development of Hearst’s 2022 Sustainability Overview. In January 2019, he joined a small group of senior executives from around the world at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, a university-wide program studying solutions to large-scale societal problems.
John Shegerian: Hey friendly listener. Are you enjoying the Impact Podcast? Then give us a thumbs up and leave a five-star review on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
John: This edition of the impact podcast is brought to you by ERI. ERI has a mission to protect people, the planet, and your privacy and is the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States, and maybe even the world. For more information on how ERI can help your business properly dispose of outdated electronic hardware devices, please visit eridirect.com.
John: This edition of the impact podcast is brought to you by Engage. Engage is a digital booking platform revolutionizing the talent booking industry. With thousands of athletes, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, Engage is the go-to spot for booking talent, speeches, custom experiences, live streams, and much more. For more information on Engage or to book talent today, visit letsengage.com.
John: Welcome to another edition of the Impact podcast. I’m John Shegar and this is a very special edition because we are so honored to have you with us today. Mr. David Carey, he’s a Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Hearst. Welcome to the Impact Podcast, David.
David Carey: Thank you, John. What an honor is. I’ve listened to so many of your episodes and people have been so articulate about what they’re doing with their companies and leading into the future. So there’s a high bar for me to be here. So I’m a little anxious, but thank you.
John: Oh, David. Well, listen. We got to chat a little bit off the air and you have a fascinating background before we get going and talk about all the important things you’re doing in sustainability with your colleagues at Hearst, can you share a little bit of your background and the David Carey journey?
David: Yeah, thank you, John. I grew up not that far from you in Long Beach, California. It’s probably a five-hour drive four-hour drive and a great loving and supportive family. My father was a cashier in a grocery store and my mother was a homemaker. So needless to say, we were not summering in the Hamptons every summer, but my parents gave me such love and support, and confidence. When it came time to go to college, though there was no plan and no money for me to go to college. But fortunately, the UC system and UCLA were just outside our door UCLA is one of the great economic elevators the UC system is in the country in terms of changing outcomes for individuals and I figured that I could pay my way through school because the tuition wasn’t that high, it’s even not that high today through a combination of work and I live with relatives. So I moved in with cousins and when I first got to school, I needed a job.
And someone had very, fortunately, told me that the job selling media for the campus newspaper. The UCLA Daily Bruin was a good job and so I started selling media to the local companies in Westwood Village it turned out, I was kind of good at it and the next year, I was the sales manager. In my junior year, I was the publisher of the newspaper which was a paid role. Sixty people staff Daily Newspaper got my deep experience in Media. And in my senior year, I had my own small Media company. So I often speak to young people about often that your greatest advantage can be your disadvantage. My parents cannot pay for my college. I needed to fund my college. I found a career track that, I then spent the next 37 years doing and so and so if my parents had paid for my college, we might not be having this conversation. My career would have been a lot different because when I finished UCLA, I moved to New York, so I wanted to work in the media business. I thought I had a reasonably good story for a college kid in terms of real-life experience. And I was hired by a gentleman named Chris Widow who owned Esquire magazine at the time, very successful, a young entrepreneur who was a college media on media executive as well. And then two years later, Esquire was sold to Hearst. And so, I ended up at Hearst and I was at Hearst for straight eight years, doing a variety of different roles. So again, fortunately, I came to the company through acquisition and had my first look then at what a special place this is. Then I spent fifteen years at Conde now. So really these two great publishing companies, family-owned businesses, half of my time at Conde Nast was spent running the New Yorker as published in the New Yorker for also about eight years. And then in 2010, I was very fortunate to get a call to come back and join the company as the President of the Global Magazine Group which I did. So a company I kind of first joined via a position as a licensing coordinator. I think that was what my title was at the time of the acquisition. I came back as the president of the group and I did that job for eight years and we did several acquisitions. We doubled the size of the company but I knew as we shared in our brief kind of chat before I knew that some jobs require constant travel, always being out there that if you did them for twenty years, they’d be tough. But if you did it fast through eight or nine years, that felt like the right time. And I was aware of this program that Harvard has called the advanced leadership initiative. It was then about ten or eleven years old, and it was a chance for executives who had the good fortune to accomplish things in a business setting to spend a year on a college campus as a cohort, looking at solutions to really complex long, kind of entrenched societal issues. And so I retired from that job. At the end of the magazine, drop the end of 18. I spent a year on a college campus.
I didn’t wear a single suit the whole time. It was a kind of jeans and a hoodie. I was trying to fit in, but the days were super interesting, and you arrive in the allied program. There are 50 Executives 40% from outside the US. So it really interesting cohort that’s together for a year, but everyone has a thesis in my thesis was business, as a force for good in a divided world. And I wanted to learn the mechanics of this quote-unquote, double-bottom-line, strategies of all the jobs that many companies are doing that are not only good for society but also strengthen their organization kind of out of enlightened self-interest. And so I spent that year focused on those examples, there’s a lot of expertise on the college campus at Harvard. And then, on the completion of that, I started a new role that has great meaning to me, which is overseeing not only our Communications but also our public affairs practice. And I guess I sum up in terms of, you know what I spent the year in the fellowship, what we’re doing now is there are three big questions that people have about their employers and companies of stature, like, cursed. One is, what is the company doing to help heal the world following this endless pandemic, which only kind of widens economic inequality? Two is, what are you doing to address long-standing inequality in terms of diversity in your halls and society at large? And three, what are you doing to lessen your impact on the environment then the employees want to know, how can I get involved, companies need to be articulate and employees want to be proximate to the solutions. And so that’s kind of a shorthand overview of what we’ve been spending our time building out over the last couple of years. The last point I’ll make is that private companies historically have not been as good at some of these things as public companies. Public companies have investor pressure, and Larry Fink writes them letters. There are regulatory issues, of course, but private companies have an opportunity to lead because you get a chance to run the company with your moral compass, you don’t have activist investors or Wall Street, putting pressure on you, and in general, you can run a more principled organization. But private companies historically don’t like to disclose data, they like the benefit of being private. So I’m, you know, thankful for the support of the company and our CEO Steve Sports because they saw that opportunity for Hearst to mix the best of public and private for us to be much more articulate about diversity now about sustainability. But to be able to do all of this within this kind of moral compass, which guides so much of what we do.
John: So fascinating, first of all, I just want to say it’s unbelievably inspiring and a huge egoless move on your behalf to become go from leadership at Hearst to then come back after the Harvard Education and experience like just call it and take on this role at Hearst, that’s both egoless and fascinating but is also unbelievably inspiring. Secondarily, Stephen over now, who is now in the leadership role at Hearst was he a line human being as well? Did he come up the line at Hearst as you did, or was he hired from outside of Hearst?
David: Yeah, the executives at Hearst tend to grow up through the organization. So, Steve Swartz our CEO. He was the founding editor of smart money in 1992, thirty years ago, and I was the founding publisher. So I’ve enjoyed a close working relationship with Steve for many years and have enormous admiration for him and how he leads the company. And he succeeded a gentleman named Frank Bennack who led the company for thirty years. So again, this is the benefit of a company that has a lot of talent and a great bench overall.
John: And you’re also working among friends?
David: Yeah. It’s a very collegial culture. We operate in nine different business verticals, but the politics at Hearst are, there never zero, but they’re as low as they can be for a multinational company and our culture is very collegial and very forward-focused. And so that makes work that we’re doing in public affairs / ESG. It makes it a little easier to advance because we don’t have to fight against the fiefdoms or anything like that. People are really on board and supportive.
John: David, what year did you come back to the Hearst after Harvard? What year…
David: [inaudible]. I was in Harvard for calendar 19 and I came back with a full head of steam, ready to rock and roll and start laying it out, and then, on March, whatever, 16th, we shut our offices. And, so we continue to do our planning, but we didn’t get as much implemented during the pandemic and partly because the business leaders were understandably distracted by everything that was happening. So, we had a quicker pace of introductions of our initiatives, and 2021, but so 2020 was really a, let’s get ready for when the world is going to be receptive to us. And then we were able to move pretty fast once, once that year changed.
John: Our listeners and viewers, if you just joined us, we’ve got David Carey. He’s the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Hearst, David and his colleagues, and all the great work, they’re doing in sustainability and other important things, you can go to www.hostgator.com
David, today, we’re going to be talking primarily about sustainability. This is the sustainability report that you just publish. This is your first one ever, and I read it. Thank you for sending it to me in advance, but now it’s been published and I want to get into that a little bit. But why upon your arrival back, was this one of your premier initiatives? Why now? Hearst never published anything like this before. Why now?
David: Well, I think four factors are driving, everyone’s interest in this phase. The first is the level of reporting among peer sets companies is now really good. Big companies are being transparent about where they are and where they’re going their goals for renewable energy and reductions and so on. So these are now things that companies are very skilled at communicating and kind of no BS terms. The second is there is a lot of brewing kind of regulatory focus, of course, on carbon disclosure, and admissions. Certainly at the federal level, the proposed SEC guidelines, which who knows what path they’re going to take, but they do require private companies to disclose and as they said, they want to narrow the public-private disclosure gap around this. And so historically you know only companies that filed 10ks that are public entities have certain reporting responsibilities. But the SEC has been explicit in impossibly including private companies because they don’t want companies to be incented to go private or to stay private to avoid any carbon emissions disclosures and California, as you say, a trend starting California, California has its bill moving, it’s moving through the, through the government, in Sacramento. That also requires companies of size to disclose regardless of ownership structure.
And that’s already the case in the UK. So the regulation is coming likely and again, large private entities will be held to the same standard as public entities. Then with the course, we have talent in that, looking at the green credentials of future employers is a very common thing for people, especially for younger individuals, who for good reason, have a lot more concern about the environment. I’m 61 years old. So, I’m unlikely to see the year 2100. Likely, however, some of our employees that are in their 20s today could easily see that. So, they’re going to have a much longer life around this, and then the final point that makes this an imperative. I think, for companies of all sizes and that is, you know, our business partners are going to be pushing more and more. And so, as we start to create, and we map our emissions, first, focus on scope one and scope two, and then focus on scope three. But of course, we are a scope three supplier to everybody.
David: And so we’re going to be we already being asked questions by national advertisers who want to be able to map the carbon emissions connected to a media by. So anyone that we do business with across our B2B and B2C franchise increasingly is going to ask us questions about the carbon emissions associated with the goods and services, we provide them. So if you add all that up that says you have to start this complex journey. So, that answer is why it’s the confluence of these four factors.
David: Of course, it’s the right thing to do, but at the same time, there are important, self-serving interests around talent around regulation, that we’re going to need, and we and others, of course, to develop a real competency, not only of course, and managing our missions, but also the reporting back to the stakeholders that are so important to us.
John: That’s fast and as I read more and more about Hearst before this interview, I didn’t know that much, except I knew the great publications that you have. I enjoyed it so much and I’m you, I’m your age. I’m going to be sixty in a couple of weeks and so I’ve enjoyed your publications from Esquires Smart Money and everything else that you have broken me, the entirety of my life. But what was fascinating, was that I learned more and more about your portfolio of companies, It’s there the obvious is the B2C, but you also have B2B businesses. So your sustainability strategy has to be not just parochial, it has to be diverse. Can you share a little bit about how you create a sustainability strategy that fits the type of business that falls under the macro Hearst umbrella?
David: Yeah. So and you’re right that you know our company is best known for our consumer media businesses. We started with newspapers in San Francisco one hundred thirty-five years ago. How many companies are you speaking with that is one hundred thirty-five years old? We know that we are in the rare company on that. And then, of course, the magazine business was built out by William Randolph Hearst our founder, and then it really in the last twenty-five years has been a real focus on diversification of businesses and specifically buying data businesses and transportation healthcare and now financial services. And so the company is brilliantly diversified across so many areas and so what we wanted to capture in our first sustainability report was the truth is, we’ve been doing a lot of things that have been focused on sustainability, but we’ve never kind of packaged this complex story altogether. One of the most interesting features of our company is we have over two hundred thousand acres of Timberland forest and ranches in the state of California. Now, this much of this was the original land, when Senator George Hearst, who is William Randolph Hearst’s father became wealthy in the 1860s. If you’ve ever been to Hearst Castle, in between Big Sur, and guess it’s San Jose is the next big city if you’ve ever been there all the land that you can see from on top of the castle, with the tassel itself, as a tourist attraction, all the land is still owned by the Hearst Corporation. Most of the land was acquired in the 1860s. We don’t have a scientific account in terms of the number of trees on our property, but some estimate it could be as high as twenty million, okay? So lots of companies announced tree planning initiatives, we have like twenty million trees and we’ve managed the forest and the ranch land and a highly sustainable manner now, for decades. And then, many of these initiatives that we talked about in our first report I would say 80% of them, we’ve been doing this for five-ten or in some cases, a hundred years, and some are newer. And so what we wanted to do initially was to help people understand everything that’s happened at the company because most companies do two or three things as the nature of their business and we do nine things. And so sometimes it requires us to walk through and so our B2C businesses are now on par with our B2B businesses and what they’re doing. And so really our sustainability strategy which we talked about is we tried again to educate our stakeholders, current employees, future employees, business partners, and every journalist is broken into three areas. The first is, you know, educating the public about environmental concerns and our newspapers are magazines, and our TV stations, reach most of the country when you add them all up together.
John: Well, David, I just want to give a little plug here on what I learned in preparing for this interview. Hearst has an audience of over sixty million digital and print newspapers/readers and reaches twenty-six media markets in thirty-nine States across, it’s just television stations. That itself is massive. That itself is massive.
David: And we do a lot, there’s a lot of content that is produced by those teams around these topics. And then the second part of our strategy, of course, is lowering our Admissions and the signature in the piece of this. And the reason we’ve been doing much of this for so long is today I sit in the Hearst Tower. The Hearst was constructed in the foundation of the original magazine building erected by William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s. And then, you know, just after 9/11, the company approved building the tower 44 stories by Norman Foster is the great architect, but the decision made and I guess the planning I wasn’t at the company them but the planning for this tower was probably 2,000, maybe 1999 and the company and the board made the decision they wanted the tower to be the first Leed certified, new build in New York City. It was designed to be the greenest building at the time when it opened. And of course, we then have a double Leed certification with and platinum certification. So you know when you make that decision that this twenty-two years ago or twenty-three years ago.
David: It’s a little less visible that you’re going to ask Norman Foster to build the greenest building in New York. That’s a really expensive statement about the values and vision which the company and, hopefully, I’ll have a chance to visit. It’s a spectacular building. Not only how it was constructed but how it’s run and how efficient it is. And so we have a great story of course, in our Global headquarters here. But we have more to do across our 500-plus facilities, some of our facilities are in great, shape, and others we have to replace electronically, replace the HPAC, we know that’s a long path. But we wanted to stick to that claim that lowering our emissions. Our emissions are an essential part of our strategy. And then finally shining a spotlight on these B2B solutions that help other corporations achieve their climate goals that are part of our suite of B2B businesses. We have a business called drop counter, that helps it’s a data product sold to municipalities that allow individuals to measure their water usage at their home and to see it on their phone, on the app. And I don’t know, we know, I don’t I’m not sure if it’s implemented in your community, John. But things that you measure are important and the data suggests that when people know how much water they’re using their better conservation than when it’s a blind number that only hits you when you get billed, once a quarter, or whatever the frequency is. We have businesses that help with Aviation and trucks that help identify when there are fuel efficiency, problems, and challenges, and how to repair those. And so we have this great kind of product Suite of products that are helping really important companies achieve their goals. And so, that’s our story. Educating the public focused on our own house, our emissions out of our 500 and 500, 500 for facilities, and then helping other companies achieve theirs. So year, one is a lot of Education about all the things we’ve been doing in some cases for a long time, and then we’re going to build on that for the future.
John: Understood. So, about the last item, the tools that you have to help other corporations achieve their climate goals. So what you’re saying is, if one of the trademarks of good ESG or circular economy, behavior is radical transparency. What you’re giving them, are these tools to help them manage their behaviors. You can help them measure their behavior. So what? Because what are measurables manageable? So that’s what you’re giving the corporations overmanages that you serve on a B2B basis.
David: Yeah. So we provide a range of solutions to our clients and increasingly more of those solutions are related to sustainability. And so it’s perfectly fine that again coming back to what I mentioned, enlightened self-interest, if you do things that are both good for you and good for society, that makes them kind of durable parts of your strategy. And so whether it’s the new Sustainable Fitch effort from our large Fitch Global rating agency, that is helping companies, that’s helping evaluate how companies do against their ESG goals. Whether it’s the information that our health business provides or the education around the proper disposal of use of old medication which you don’t want to jump into the water system. And so they’re all of them are increasingly weaving in the sustainability solutions as part of what they offer, their many clients.
John: Understood. So when you started back in early 2020, how big was the group that you were now leading? Was it just you? And then, you were then tasked with building out this group that would create this wonderful and important report and strategy, or where there are people there already working on this and you came in to lead them.
David: Yeah, so the group that I came into to work with was our long-standing corporate communications group and so we’ve added some new members in some of our areas, but I think for everyone that we’re working with their purview has widened now from what had been a more traditional corporate communications function, the advancing of corporate reputation and other media related, things to now are kind of ESG reporting. And so we produce our diversity report now our sustainability report and then our third leg of the stool will be in 2023 will publish our corporate citizenship report. And so those will be the ways that we express all the things happening across the company. So we’ve added a few members, but mostly we found so many. There were so many existing creative individuals that we had a chance to align with kind of the urgency for us to step up in this area. And we did so with the strong support of the leadership of the company.
John: Going back to talking about your younger employees, this initiative that you’re now leading, is this great, not only a great way to recruit a recruiting tool, but also a retention tool? Is that seen by leadership as the two-prong approach to employees in the future?
David: The answer to that is yes to both sides. Until I think what we found so far in the things that we’ve already built is that for those for whom it’s important. It’s a great retention tool. So we rolled out a global employee giving and company match program and we use it to tune against the new cycle. So, you have to imagine employees when they show up in our offices, they’ve read in the news of sadly of, political division, Ukrainian challenges and refugees and natural disasters, and on it goes, and then they’re supposed to come to the office and let’s be gung-ho and positive and let’s take that help. And so at times, all of us can feel a little helpless against this backdrop of so much, tumult and chaos. And so we use our Hearst back platform against the new cycle and so, following the hurricane in a few weeks that we put out to our employees. If you want to give to organizations on the relief effort there, you can do it. So, we’ll match 100%. And here are the organizations that we can recommend or follow sadly we put out notes after, the recent mass casualty shootings, at Buffalo and Uvalde, and people appreciate it when they give money and then the company doubles it. And so what we found, John is that when we looked at attrition levels, you talk about retention between those who are active on the platform, which is about 30%, after a little over a year, which were pretty happy with the attrition levels, among those who are active on Hearst Gives Back and those that are not the in terms of the people who donate their time and their money, it’s about one-third of the non-donors. And so the big question, of course, is everyone wants to know, what does the company stand for beyond just making money? And if you can be again, articulate, what is that answer? We believe that people will reward you with their engagement and their loyalty. Of course, not everyone for some people this is not a factor as to how they pick companies and and and and and how they derive pleasure from their work, but increasingly again, companies need to be pretty articulate about what they’re doing. And so I think we’re now pretty good in terms of communicating our efforts around the diversity area. Now we’re going to become better at sustainability and these are things certainly going to among younger individuals, but not exclusively that people are wanting to know. What does my company stand for? What are those values and how do I align with them? And if you can find that match, then it’s again in your self-interest to invest in to advance those programs.
John: David when you were thinking about envisioning the creation of this wonderful sustainability report, were you looking at your peer’s reports and what they’ve produced historically, or were you looking outside the industry to other industries, that you were inspired by or in the lighted by for other reasons to try to envision what you wanted to create and how you wanted to communicate it.
David: Yeah. So that’s a good question. Well, being as there are lots of companies that focus on this for a long time.
David: With lots of resources and companies, we admire. And so it started for us really by a pretty comprehensive review of what’s out there, right? And, where we could, we try to find debut reports of who kind of started their journey. And now when we made ten years from now for the 10th anniversary that will be further along. But we recognize or are not there yet and so and we see so much good work that’s out there. And so that was kind of job one but we wanted to have something that was an educational tool, you know again because of the unique and broad mix of Hearst businesses. We wanted to be very clear about our three-prong strategy and all of the examples. For us the win is and we’re not there yet, but we’re just a little into this journey, but imagine on a weekend night, when one of our team members goes out with friends and then a friend asks, “What’s your company doing relative to the environment?” Yeah, boy, our dream would be, well, there are three areas were focused on, and here are some examples and so we wanted to create an introduction in kind of a narrative that was understandable to its audiences and that could be then related by them to others. And I think we did that and I think we have a clear narrative Arc to this. I think that we have good examples that are memorable to people because listen, we have a small group in the center, and we have 23,000 employees. And so, the win for us, is that they become advocates for our story as well, but they can defend us among those who might have criticism or for those that are uninformed, they can then educate them. And so that was kind of job. Number one is having something that could be a tool to broaden. Those people are advocating for our positions, but also, as I mentioned, most of the content in this in this first report are things we’ve done for years and years and years, but we’ve never put them into one easy-to-understand, kind of package. And so, the good news is we started with great substance and so it was more of an editing process, we didn’t have to invent anything. And so, I think we had it easier than most companies given that we’ve done a lot, but we haven’t communicated it and so that therefore the effort was let’s make sure that we can tell the story in a way that people can understand and appreciate.
John: What do you make of the, your soul will travel because of your historical leadership roles and you’ve been around the world in so many different countries and you’ve gotten to see how far Europe was ahead of us on sustainability and ESG issues and even other countries in Asia, such as South Korea and Japan, again, they were geographically challenged, it couldn’t be in the linear economy as long as we hung out in it. So they were able to almost a generation and a half ago, start moving from a linear or circular economy and they made it part of their DNA, but now that it’s come to America, there’s it seems like an undeniable, unstoppable trend, but they’ve been recently a little bit of backlash with some states and other Pension funds, say, hey, we’re not, so all in on this, he is the stuff, is that just normal fits and starts of new trends coming to life and taking over pushback is just part of that process or is that something that concerns you on a macro basis?
David: Well, we live in some of the most politically divisive times John that, you and I have seen in our lifetime. So it’s, anything that is done in California, or New York is bad in other states, and conversely, anything done in, big red States will be considered bad in the blue States, right? So there’s no easy answer to that.
David: The end is when these things are good business…
David: With these things have strengthened a company that cuts through politics.
John: That’s right.
David: And so that’s why, we set aside any virtue signaling, any spin, purses, a company where we mean, what we say, we plan our work, and we work our plan. I do think as companies are looking at opportunities, the things that are done or just for spin purposes and press purposes.
David: Those things will fall by the wayside those things that become integral parts to driving profits and performance organization. They be, that’s great, and there’s nothing wrong with that and so I think that will triumph over all is that the companies who are skilled at, this will be stronger entities than those that are not. And so I know, the Business Roundtable, redefined the statement of corporate purpose and the fall of 2019 about other stakeholders. But if you go back to this debate around Milton Friedman and the company’s role is to make money. Well if you just think that companies can use this to be profitable and to attract better talent who can contribute more, I put a lot of chips on that bet that that’s what will net out and the politics will recede when it’s clear that it’s in a company’s economic self-interest to be articulate and to execute well against this.
John: Understood. How about the voluntary carbon market sees? You know you are excited about carbon emissions trading in terms of as so many now corporations are racing to their net zero goals, is that something good for the marketplace and how do you perceive that? And how do you value that? And what your goals and your efforts are?
David: Well, John, so many of the other guests are so much more sophisticated about cap and trade policies, and are they being an effective tool? I can say that for us one of the things which we haven’t fully measured we mentioned in the report is again the carbon sequestration benefits out of our 200,000 acres of land in California.
David: That’s so be double-checked, and triple-checked between now, and next year, we’ll talk about it more. So we potentially have a fairly meaningful offset that happened to be acquired in 1868.
John: (laughing) [inaudible] trees potentially, that’s huge.
David: Yeah, so that’s an interesting part of our future story is how these ancestral properties were acquired by the father of the founder of the company, will provide valuable mitigation in the current world and no one can say that I can tell, you know, when you’re in talk to, you can say, one of the original assets of the company, almost 200 years ago.
John: David, that’s one of the most impressive stats I’ve ever heard. But you know, I like to think of myself as a young sixty, you’re very young, sixty-one, I know you have a lot of gas in the tank left. Yeah, I know you’re also a planner. You don’t get to do what you’ve done your whole life and not plan. What does Hearst’s sustainability journey look like in the next year, two years, and three years ahead? What are you most excited about the tackle in twenty-three, twenty-four, and beyond?
David: Yeah, good question, John, thank you. Well, as I mentioned, job one for this year is to educate our broad employee population and beyond to get everyone on board with what we’re doing as well as what we’ve done. We also are we retained a firm called corporate citizenship that helped us obtain the underlying electricity and gas usage across our offices. And we learned a lot, 500 plus facilities. Everything from the warehouse is the TV studios to offices to television towers. We ended up with what’s in our report as we have actual data for about sixty-five percent of electricity usage, and about seventy-five percent for gas. Not a bad place to start, but we need to build more infrastructure in terms of direct metering. So that taught us a lot. And so as we know, there’s a multi-year progression to move into lower your amount of estimated data. And so there’s that piece of it and then it also involves this really kind of looking at the high emitters in our portfolio. So you want to begin any project, where can you get the biggest return on your initial investment we’re still getting through all that, and this will be how we’re going to spend the next year. We’re looking at every individual facility. We’re going to compare it to others. And then where do we go in the future? Will you know that every grid has its different carbon emissions factors, right? Sometimes we make decisions about where to locate a facility. We’ve historically paid no attention. Is this a drill? Going to draw electricity from an area that has a lot of hydro and maybe some nuclear so, therefore low or is it an error that’s mostly coal? So we’ve never had any of these kinds of environmental factors enter into our decisions around real estate. We now start that journey. So we’re beginning a lot of new initiatives. So, we hopefully will accomplish a lot of our education objective now but then we have to start drilling into the details, hopefully, a year from now we’ll be in a better position. If you asked me today, what’s our emissions reduction target by year five, we don’t want to make it up. We said that we’re not going to enter into the vs world, we have to set that but we don’t know what that is yet and so that’s one of our goals for next year. As we’ve looked what can we do meaningfully in a short period? And we want to answer this between now and next November or December.
John: That’s awesome. David, it’s just so incredible. What you’re doing again for our listeners and viewers out there to find this amazing sustainability report, the first one, ever, by Hearst, you can go to www.hearst.com. David Carey, it’s just an honor and a joy, and a pleasure to meet the young guy from Long Beach who was a broom who now became one of the leaders in sustainability on the planet. And Hearst thanks for joining us on the Impact Podcast and thanks for making the world a better place.
David: John, a real honor to be here to share our story. We look forward to checking in from time to time and telling you how we’re doing and how we’re progressing.
John: This episode of the impact podcast is brought to you by closed-loop partners. Closed-loop partners is a leaving circular economy investor in the United States with an extensive network of fortune five hundred corporate investors, family offices, institutional investors industry experts, and impact partners. The closed Loops platform spans the Arc of capital from Venture Capital to Private Equity, bridging gaps, and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. To find Closed-loop partners, please go to www.closedlooppartners.com.
John: This edition of the impact podcast is brought to you by the Marketing Masters. A marketing Masters is a boutique marketing agency offering website development and digital marketing services to small and medium businesses across America. For more information on how they can help you grow your business online, please visit themarketingmasters.com.