​​Keynote Sessions

Opening Keynote Speaker Sandra E. Taylor: Building Brand Equity Through Sustainability and Social Purpose​

Sunday, August 14th •​ 3:00 p.m. 

Brand reputation is one of the most influential resources of a firm with respect to value creation. Whether you are a small business or a global leader, your ability to make a difference in the social purpose space begins with a solid brand strategy. Operating sustainably has become a source of competitive advantage, but unlocking its potential relies on creating a strategy that integrates sustainability throughout the business and building strong stakeholder relationships. By operating more sustainably, businesses can deliver greater financial value in tandem with positive environmental and societal impact, meeting the desired expectations of stakeholders (employees, customers, communities, investors). In this session you will hear how successful companies in the consumer products and beverage sectors align sustainability and commercial priorities. Sustainability is a term that is bandied about and often misused by marketers. What are the distinctions between environmental sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainable development and ESG? Sandra will share best practices in sustainable agriculture, including the coffee and wine sectors. ​

Sandra E. Taylor is CEO of SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS INTERNATIONAL, a consulting business she launched in 2008 that assists organizations at various stages of environmental sustainability and social responsibility practice. Taylor’s expertise provides innovative approaches to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk analysis and strategy, including supply chain sustainability, strategic philanthropy, stakeholder engagement, and Diversity, Equity and inclusion (DEI).​ ​

Previously Taylor was senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, Washington, where she led the strategic development and day-to-day direction of all global corporate responsibility programs, including development of responsible, ethical and sustainable standards for coffee, tea, cocoa supply chains, reduction of the environmental impact of business operations and the Starbucks Foundation. Taylor led the creation of C.A.F.E. Practices, a code of conduct for coffee farmers worldwide; and also developed cause-marketing programs for Ethos Water sales in Starbucks stores, to fund clean drinking water programs in Africa, Central America and India.

Earlier Taylor served as vice president of global public affairs for Eastman Kodak Company and held senior leadership positions at top-tier organizations including CI Americas Inc. (U.S. subsidiary of London-based Imperial Chemical Industries Plc.); the United States Senate, focusing on international trade policy, and the US Department of State.

Ms. Taylor volunteers on two nonprofit boards: the Chesapeake Bay Foundation of Annapolis, MD and Island Press of Washington, DC and sits on the corporate board of directors of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Nasdaq). Taylor has a BA in French from Colorado Women’s College, a Juris Doctorate from Boston University School of Law and MBA from the Bordeaux School of Management in France. Her first book, "The Business of Sustainable Wine: How to Build Brand Equity in a 21st Century Wine Industry" was published in 2017.​​

Closing Panel Discussion: Diverse Perspectives on Sustainability - How Do We Build a Better Future? 

Tuesday, August 16th •​ 4:00 p.m. ​

This panel discussion will feature perspectives from individuals working to improve sustainability in multiple sectors of the brewing industry. Panelists will answer the question of "What are we doing now, and where do we see ourselves in 5-7 years?" Topics to be addressed include:

  • Scalability
  • Carbon Neutral Beverages
  • Carbon Footprint
  • Supply Chain Collaboration​
  • Climate-Resistant Crops
  • Packaging
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

No matter where you and your brewery or organization are in your sustainability journey, you will walk away from this session with a fresh perspective on next steps to advance your efforts. Don't miss this session that will provide the building blocks for all of us to work together to build a better future.