Dave Stangis - Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell Soup Company

Dave Stangis - Chief Sustainability Officer at Campbell Soup Company

Dave Stangis is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Campbell Soup Company. Dave created and now leads Campbell's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies. As such he oversees the company's execution of CSR and sustainability goals,policies, programs, engagement, and reporting, from responsible sourcing and sustainable agriculture to social impact metrics in the community. Dave co-authored 21st Century Corporate Citizenship and The Executive's Guide to 21st Century Corporate Citizenship.

Dave Stangis Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Leading sustainability in large organizations

  • Linking sustainability to business strategy

  • Sustainability programs supporting an organization's purpose, vision and strategy

  • How Campbell's is using technology to advance sustainability

  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

I'll try to keep it to one. The one that I haven't mentioned is to really reach out and don't be afraid to network and ask questions of other leaders. You may not get a positive response from everybody, but we take care of our own in sustainability. It's still a fairly small circle. Look for some advice and learning outside of your sector. Don't just think you have to join food or automotive or travel or hospitality or in a government agency. I would try to reach out to somebody that's across the wall in terms of another sector and see what they can help with. 

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

I'm a fan of the life sciences as well as the technology. I grew up in Detroit, so I'm an automotive guy as well, but I think what is happening in the way we're able to deal with some of the systems out there, what is happening in terms of designing plans, people, whether it's good or bad, the ethics around some of these ethical lives, some of these technical choices and how we communicate them, help our companies understand them, and either bring consumers along or educate them enough so they can make an informed choice. I think this is really a big opportunity.

That's where you're going to see kind of the old school sustainability people focused on energy and water and waste, which we always have to focus on, but some of these new sustainability people are bringing another layer of expertise to their companies or their agencies.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

I would recommend reading lots of books. I read a great book called the Inevitable by Kevin Kelly around technology coming to bear. I read A Crack in Creation: Gene Editing, a book that Jennifer Doudna wrote about gene editing and how it comes into play out with people and in plants. I'm reading a couple of books now on artificial intelligence and algorithms. I think there's a lot of stuff to just keep reading. Force yourself and pick up something that you're interested in and study a little bit. There's a lot of great books out there. Some of the books that I read early on were some of the work by John Elkington from sustainability. Some of those were ones that sent me on my path.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really helped you in the work that you do?

I set up a lot of feeds that come to my computer and email every day. I follow a lot of different key topics and people on Twitter or Linkedin. It's really the feeds that I follow in their online newsletters. I sign up for a lot of things that compile news on topics I'm interested in. So I'll get hundreds of these newsletters every day. You just need to scan them for headlines and find stories that are interesting.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work they were leading at Campbell's?

There's a few places I would suggest. The Campbell CSR websites just launched. Its www.campbellcsr.com. We also have a Campbell CSR Twitter account. There's a lot of good news stories and what we're doing on there. The team is also pretty active on Twitter and Linkedin as well. Just searching around for Campbell and Campbell Soup, Campbell CSR on Linkedin and Twitter. You'd be able to track down some of the teams that are working on sustainable agriculture and working on our core team and follow us there.