Energy and Supply Chain Leaders Gathered for Prologis' GROUNDBREAKERS 2022 in NYC
NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ - Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), the global leader in logistics real estate, today hosted its annual GROUNDBREAKERS thought leadership forum featuring leaders in global commerce, energy, logistics and supply chain transformation at The Shed in New York’s Hudson Yards.
To kick off the day, Prologis Co-founder and CEO Hamid R. Moghadam and Dave Clark, co-CEO of Flexport and former CEO of Amazon Consumer Worldwide, engaged in conversation with Susie Gharib, anchor and senior special correspondent, Fortune. The three examined the once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a customer-centric, transparent and high-performance global supply chain, and discussed the current economic environment.
Clark shared insight on successfully managing a company while facing challenging economic headwinds: “You really have to focus on the thing that’s most important to the customer and most important to future growth so that when you come out the other side, you’re ready to take an outside share of whatever the new world is going to be. For us, that’s a big technology investment over the next year or two.”
Going beyond the economy, conversations focused on the supply chain’s role in the global climate future. Multiple companies and countries have committed to climate action over the next three decades with pledges to get to net zero emissions before 2050 – including Prologis.
With this as the backdrop, Annette Clayton, CEO North America of Schneider Electric, Moghadam and Gharib had a wide-ranging discussion about the impact of these climate commitments as well as the opportunities, challenges and progress energy transformation holds for today and the future.
“Our customers are serious about ESG and the larger ones have very sophisticated approaches to it. But the vast majority of our customers are small and medium with one or two locations,” said Moghadam, reflecting on the customer value of sustainability. “They don’t have a chief sustainability officer, they don’t have big enough staff to do this, so they really look to us and other players in the supply chain to provide it to them.”
Clayton was clear that she views sustainability as a business imperative.
“If you’re on a board or an investor at a company that’s not working on decarbonization, what does that really say about the resilience of your particular enterprise?” Clayton asked. “I would contend if we cycle out 10 years, maybe 20 years, that enterprise may not be viable if they don’t have some sort of decarbonization plan.”
As companies look to bridge economies and upskill their workforces, technology continues to be a driving force in their capital investment, human resource and supply chain strategies. Companies are exploring creative ways to use automation, artificial intelligence-driven predictive analytics and drones to enhance visibility across the supply chain, agreed the group of experts discussing the future of fulfillment at Tuesday’s forum. Moderated by New York Times contributor Ben Ryder Howe, the panel featured Beta Technologies COO Blain Newton, Fort Robotics Founder and CEO Samuel Reeves, and Kyslinger Consulting CEO Ron Kyslinger.
“We see automation clearly as a future opportunity, but we think the [opportunity for] technology now is to create efficiencies in throughput and build capacity in the network,” said Newton.
Wall Street Journal logistics reporter Liz Young moderated a conversation about powering a sustainable future with Exelon President and COO Calvin Butler, AlphaStruxture CEO Juan Macias and National Grid New York President Rudolph Wynter. The group talked about importance of ensuring equitable access to clean energy and how partnerships with utilities can help progress towards the clean energy future.
“We have to make sure this energy transition is clean, fair and affordable…how do we make sure no communities get left behind in this transition?” Wynter said. “It’s the end of 2022, and we’re still talking about some people who don’t have broadband access. We can’t have the same thing happen on the energy transition.”
Innovation was the theme of Bryan Walsh’s, editor of Vox’s Future Perfect, discussion with Carl Haney, The Estee Lauder Companies EVP of Global Research & Development, Innovation; Adam Grosser, Up.Partners Chairman and Managing Partner; and Lesley Slaton Brown, HP’s Chief Diversity Officer. Consumers and the global workforce are the drivers behind a new era of innovation, they agreed, and companies are making significant investments to remain at the forefront.
“Innovation requires diversity. That is looking at things from multiple angles. You have to be able to welcome all perspectives into the thought process, into the conversation,” said Brown.
World-renowned chef and founder of World Central Kitchen, José Andrés, and star of the Emmy-nominated documentary, “We Feed People,” wrapped up the event. Andrés, in conversation with Tracy Ward, managing director of global marketing at Prologis, entertained and inspired the audience with stories of how his family and childhood set him on his path to change the world through food. The chef said innovative thinking and partnerships with local restaurants, farmers and community leaders play a huge role in the success of his work responding to major world disasters – and emphasized those same strategies can help strengthen the supply chain.
He told the crowd that decision making is a key aspect of impactful leadership: “The worst decision we ever make is the one we don’t take,” said Andres. “When you are making a decision, you are moving. If you realize that that’s not the perfect [decision] its’ okay, because you’re moving, you’re able to change course and you can achieve whatever you want. If you don’t make the decision, my friend, people will go hungry.”
Hundreds gathered in-person, and thousands virtually, for the forum, which included additional LinkedIn Live half-time and post-show commentary.
Prologis, Inc. is the global leader in logistics real estate with a focus on high-barrier, high-growth markets. As of September 30, 2022, the company owned or had investments in, on a wholly owned basis or through co-investment ventures, properties and development projects expected to total approximately 1.0 billion square feet (97 million square meters) in 19 countries. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to a diverse base of approximately 5,800 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment.