Think and Drink: The Journey to Embedded Sustainability

A candid interview with International Paper’s Sustainability Manager, James McDonald

In the first installment of our Think and Drink series, thinkPARALLAX Co-Founder and Chief Creative Strategist Guusje Bendeler sits down with James McDonald, Director of Global Citizenship at International Paper, in beautiful, sunny San Diego. Over the city’s best fish tacos and local beer, they talk candidly about the evolution of sustainability at International Paper, the world’s largest producer of packaging, pulp, and paper.

James shares insights on the 20-year journey from a siloed, risk-based approach to one that’s now clearly linked to the business’ long-term growth strategy. Here, he talks about:

  • The evolution from risk mitigation to value creation
  • The shift to talking about global citizenship more inclusively—including not only people and planet, but also how it drives product innovation and business strategy
  • Engaging their diverse 55,000-employees workforce worldwide
  • Getting internal buy-in
  • Breaking down internal silos to create company-wide alignment with their strategy
  • The return on investment, and measuring tangible vs. intangible
  • Figuring where and how to invest capital to address challenges and continue make the greatest impact

Enjoy the video. If you’d like to learn more about our Think and Drink series, we would love to hear from you – will@thinkparallax.com