Smart Energy Voices- Episode 61

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 61

The Next Chapter: Reflections from an Industry Leader

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host John Failla introduces a keynote speaker from the recent Renewable Energy Forum. As Mary Curtiss transitions from her role as HP's Global Energy Head of Energy and Sustainability to a new role at the company, she reflects on key lessons learned during her tenure as a senior leader in the field, as well as more than 20 years of related industry experience. Listen in to hear more about Mary’s amazing career and her work at HP. 

 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • Mary’s motivation [03:19]
  • Measuring climate success [08:22]
  • Strategy for 2025 goals [11:42]
  • Lessons from smaller projects [16:44]
  • Something about Mary [19:27]

HP’s sustainability goals

In 2030, HP established its vision to become the most sustainable and just technology company and is well on its way to achieving that objective. Newsweek announced the company to be the most responsible company in the industry across all sectors for the third year in a row. Part of that success is due to ambitious goals, but also transparency. HP believes that transparency with data is necessary for justice.  HP has also established a goal to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2025, which applies to all of the organization’s sites globally. Many countries, and even U.S. cities, don’t have composting available, and single-use plastic is prevalent. Some of the most complex waste streams are in an office space, and COVID did not help. Employees will need to re-learn best practices as they return to their offices.

Measuring climate successes

HP measures its effectiveness in climate action based on carbon emissions, forests, and circularity. By 2040, HP’s goal is to be net-zero across the whole of its value chain. Mary’s team has established an additional goal to have operations carbon neutral by 2025 and achieve 100% renewable electricity. 

HP is actively seeking out projects to move away from its current heavy reliance on unbundled RECs. The organization is excited to move towards more additionality and target its highest carbon sites. Unfortunately, these sites are also where there are more challenges in getting projects going. HP has analyzed its markets to make sure they’re targeting the most impactful sites first. 

Solar in Barcelona

Barcelona’s large campus is HP’s headquarters for its EMEA business. Currently, the energy supply in Barcelona is fed by hydro, which isn’t the best source of energy. With water issues, companies need to move away from hydro. Technically, HP receives credit for hydro as green energy, so the Barcelona site was lower in priorities than other sites. 

The strong youth employee network in Barcelona is what made the difference. The employees were relentless in their desire for solar on-site and started calling vendors themselves rather than going through the organization! Mary and her team quickly had to slow them down and re-evaluate for the most effective plan. As a result, HP ran an RFP and is covering its entire campus on-site with solar. Getting in touch with all those local employees was a fantastic example of the importance of employee engagement with community and company goals.

 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Mary Curtiss

Mary Curtiss has more than 20 years of experience in the construction and sustainability industry. She is now Director of Sustainability for HP Personal Systems Services. In her previous role as HP’s Global Head of Energy and Sustainability, she was responsible for developing and driving the strategy for all matters related to renewable energy, sustainability, and energy efficiency in the global portfolio. She has also been involved in a number of industry-leading forums in the San Francisco Bay Area to drive improved efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Before HP, Mary was the National Director for Enterprise Efficiency at Siemens, where she worked with clients on energy program solutions. Mary also spent time at JLL, where she led business development and program execution for their Sustainability business and managed a team of 30 Energy and Sustainability professionals to optimize corporate portfolios. During her time there, she also helped establish JLL’s Women’s Network.

Mary received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Santa Clara University. She is also on the Board of Directors for Save our Shores with a mission to protect the marine habitats of Monterey Bay.

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