April 22, 2021
In this episode of the MedtronicTalks Podcast, host Tom Salemi speaks with two of the principal architects of Medtronic's move to reduce i's impact on the globe.
Ginny Cassidy, director of the Enterprise Sustainability Program at the company, explains why executives and investors at companies need to understand their TOTAL impact on the environment. She also shares ways Medtronic devices can help others reduce their own impacts.
Nate Pommier, senior environmental, health and safety manager for the EHS Services department, details how changes in packaging and other efforts are making a difference. He also explains why environmental awareness can help draw better talent to the company.
Tom Salemi (00:00):
Hey, everyone. This is Tom Salemi of DeviceTalks. Welcome to our newest member of the DeviceTalks podcast family. It's called MedtronicTalks. Our constant search to find new ways to bring you insights in the med-tech industry led us to the fine, fine folks at Medtronic. They've agreed to make their senior leaders available to us and to you. In each episode, we'll discuss the opportunities and challenges facing one of med-tech's clear leaders. So you'll have an inside view on what makes Medtronic go. We'll ask the questions. Medtronic will provide the answers and our great network of sponsors makes it all possible. So sit back, hop on a treadmill, take the dog for a walk, whatever you do when you listen to a great podcast, and let's listen to how Medtronic is getting the job done. Let's go.
Tom Salemi (00:43):
Hey, everyone. This is Tom Salemi. Welcome back to the MedtronicTalks podcast. Happy Earth Day! We're going to talk about the environment today. And we're going to talk about it with two great folks from Medtronic. Ginny Cassidy is Director of the Enterprise Sustainability Program at Medtronic. Nate Pommier is senior environmental health and safety manager for Medtronic's corporate global EHS Services Department.
Tom Salemi (01:12):
Together, they're working with other Medtronic employees to reduce the company's impact on the environment. We're going to talk today about extending product life cycle, about managing resources, about finding new ways to deliver products with less packaging, lots of important efforts underway at Medtronic to ensure that they, again, reduce their impact on the environment. They're working toward a lofty goal of being carbon neutral in 2030, and Nate will talk about that later on. So it's great to have this opportunity to talk to these two folks about a very important issue on a very important day like Earth Day.
Tom Salemi (01:46):
But before we get into this conversation, I want to do two things. First, I want to ask you to subscribe to this very new Podcast series. We're going to be delivering at least two of these per month. You're not going to want to miss any of them. Go to any of your Podcast players. I'm talking Apple, Google, Amazon, Spotify; we're on them all. Find the MedtronicTalks podcast, push subscribe, and future episodes will be sent directly to you. The second thing I'd like to do is introduce you to Shon Anderson, the CEO of B9Creations. B9Creations is our sponsor of this episode of the MedtronicTalks podcast. Shon Anderson, welcome to the Podcast. Tell us a bit about B9Creations and what makes it so unique.
Shon Anderson (02:26):
B9Creations is a provider of additive manufacturing, or some people would say 3D printing solutions. Industries, such as the medical industry, where you guys live, but also aerospace, consumer products, and other precision manufacturing industries all around the world. We do that uniquely because we talk about having powerful technology made accessible and then delivered with phenomenal customer experience. And the feedback we get from customers is it's that focus on making the technology accessible that really differentiates us.
Shon Anderson (02:57):
Sometimes that takes the form of minimizing or eliminating user maintenance and calibration. That may take the form of a simplified user interface. But in our industry, there's a lot of companies throwing technology at people, but you have to be an engineer to get the most out of it. We tried very hard to make sure that, of course, a lot of our customers are engineers, but we want the marketing department using additive. We want the other parts of your company using additive to bring new products to market faster or serve their customers better. And you don't have to have an engineering degree to get the most out of it.
Tom Salemi (03:29):
We'll hear from Shon Anderson a little later in the program, but now let's begin our conversation with Ginny Cassidy and Nate Pommier of Medtronic. Well, Ginny Cassidy and Nate Pommier, welcome to the podcast.
Nate Pommier (03:44):
Thanks. Glad to be here.
Ginny Cassidy (03:45):
Tom Salemi (03:47):
So this is an important conversation going on today, Earth Day. I want to just sort of talk about the importance of Earth Day in general. It's something that corporations have been lining up behind for a long time. I know, for over the past year, it seems like corporations are becoming more and more focused on larger social issues, global issues. We saw inequities addressed last year and continue to be addressed this year. We're seeing corporations stepping up into voting questions, and I know Geoff Martha had posted something on LinkedIn that got a lot of traction. So it would seem to me that environmental concerns may get a boost. Corporations may step up even more as a result of this new energy. I'm wondering, Ginny, are you seeing more attention being paid to this issue, if not over the past 12 months, over the past few years?
Ginny Cassidy (04:39):
Most definitely. I would say Nate and I have been at this for a long time at the company, 10 plus years, closer to 15, I think, in terms of Nate and environmental goals and so forth. But we are definitely seeing from our stakeholders, particularly investors, increasing interest and expectation around how we operate in the world. Whether it's related to environment, social, or governance, ESG has become a huge term in the investor world. And we're getting evaluated on how we manage those things, how we manage our impacts on the world, both positive, and negative. And that goes to some of the issues you just spoke about in terms of racial justice and gender and ethnic representation at the highest levels of companies. And a huge movement around carbon and climate. And it's sort of a two-sided coin, as I see it.
Ginny Cassidy (05:37):
It's what are you doing to help stem the tide and correct the problem? And we announced our goal to be carbon neutral in our operations. And Nate can speak more to that, but that's one side of the coin. What are you doing to help out? The other side is, a particular interest to investors is, do you know your related risks? Do you know what kind of risks your company is facing from climate change and what are you doing to build resilience? That's very much a business-driven decision, but it's really become apparent that climate poses risks to just about every industry and business.
Tom Salemi (06:20):
That's a great point. And I want to follow up on a lot of that. Nate, just the continuation of the general question to you. I mean, we do, I think all of us as individuals, look at how we can recycle more, compost, drive less, fly less, perhaps. How important though, is it for corporations like Medtronic to be leading the way in this? It seems like that's where a greater impact will be done then. I mean, certainly, a lot of individuals make a lot of impact, but the corporations really seem to be the ones who would benefit most from seeing a change.
Nate Pommier (06:53):
Every corporation tends to benchmark with their industry. So you tend to get some of the corporations that take the lead. And others see that and they don't want to be left behind. So it's good to be on the forefront of that. One thing I would add to what Ginny was talking about, too, is this is really the environmental process or progress that a company is really an attraction to new employees. We're seeing this, especially in the younger generations. So this is really something we need to do to attract that top talent. It's becoming more and more of a passion with employees.
Tom Salemi (07:25):
Before we get into the conversation. I'd love to know a little bit about yourself. And, Ginny, I'll ask you next, but you're the senior environmental, health, and safety manager for Medtronic's Corporate Global EHS Services Department. And most of the people I talk to, I would define as med-tech people, this is a med-tech podcast. Are you a med-tech person or are you an environmental person working at a med-tech company? And how did you come to work at Medtronic?
Nate Pommier (07:47):
Yeah, that's a great question. I'm definitely an environmental person that came into med-tech. So right after college, I started my career, I wanted to really get involved in department and natural resources-type activities. Well, I ended up moving into the hazmat arena. So I was working for a company that does hazmat emergency response. And you see a bunch of different industries across and helping them out. And you're seeing these huge environmental disasters and helping remediate those or clean them up. But at some point, you spend enough time in the trenches.
Nate Pommier (08:19):
So you start to realize, instead of cleaning up the spills, let's get with the company that we can help prevent the spills, do the right things, and drive those better behaviors. So I navigated through a couple of different industries in semiconductor. It's pretty high tech compared to med-tech. So within Minnesota, Medtronic's got a huge footprint. So I was able to keep working towards Medtronic and ultimately get into med-tech.
Tom Salemi (08:47):
Interesting. And, Ginny, how about yourself? You're an environmental person as well. And how did you come to work at Medtronic?
Ginny Cassidy (08:54):
My title is Director of our Enterprise Sustainability Program. And what that really means is the broad spectrum. We define sustainability by environmental, social, governance, the ESG moniker that I mentioned before. I surprisingly have a degree in journalism and I spent 25 plus years working in journalism and corporate communications. And when I came to Medtronic, we had just gotten a shareholder resolution to do our first nonfinancial report. We had that withdrawn because we agreed to do it. And at the time, this was back in 2008, a lot of companies, there were some companies in the US reporting, but not that many. And I think the executives who agreed to do it just thought it was a backwards-facing report on certain issues. What I learned in doing the process is that the report is an important outcome, but the more important part of non-financial reporting in understanding your risks, things, and new areas of environmental and social and governance, and where you have gaps, and what you might be doing to close them.
Ginny Cassidy (10:04):
And that reporting wasn't just the whatever report you put at the outset. It was the whole cycle that you go through annually to understand where you stand, where you can improve. To be able to be transparent about that. And so in doing the first report, just like the skies opened up, and I thought, "Wow, this is really important stuff." I could sense that it would become bigger. It's taken longer than I thought it would, but it's been just a terrific ride. And I've learned so much about what the expectations are from our various stakeholders and what's expected particularly, not only in performance but transparency.
Tom Salemi (10:47):
Ginny Cassidy (10:48):
And so that's sort of my role. I understand the external expectations and I work with internal stakeholders across the company to make sure that we're aware of the bar that's been set and understand where we stand and what might be needed to close any gaps.
Tom Salemi (11:07):
Let's drill down a little bit on those related risks and sort of how those are measured and how they should be viewed. I mean, are they merely numbers or bullet points? Or are there dollars and cents assigned to things that can be easily measured and can be corrected or accounted for?
Ginny Cassidy (11:27):
I would say in the environmental area that Nate manages, that's probably the best place we have to really put dollars and cents to things, but it starts at a higher level. Part of corporate sustainability reporting is you're following international or global guidelines is that companies need to know what their most important issues are. And so you do something called the materiality assessment, and that gives you sort of the parameters of what issues you report on. And the recommended disclosures are a really great start for understanding how to measure your performance in those areas. And in some areas, it is very quantitative and others it's more qualitative.
Tom Salemi (12:13):
And now we're back with Shon Anderson of B9Creations. Shon, what makes B9 such a unique company?
Shon Anderson (12:19):
So really, it's the priorities that we set as an organization and our values. So I talked a minute ago about powerful technology made accessible, delivered with phenomenal customer experience. And that last piece, the phenomenal customer experience combined with our core values in win-win business. Being the enemy of it can't be done is something we have a lot of fun with here. When customers bring us problems that they haven't been able to solve. Our team gets fired up in a big way about finding a way to do that. That is great for the customer and great for us. Those success stories that we have and the outstanding references and testimonials we have from customers give me the confidence to tell you that without hesitation.
Tom Salemi (13:02):
Great. And I know you're biased, but what do you love about B9Creations?
Shon Anderson (13:06):
Well, I am biased. You've probably picked up on that, but really it's our team. We've got a phenomenal team that we've been blessed to put together. We have one customer in particular that referred to us as the Chick-fil-A of the additive manufacturing industry. And anytime somebody wants to compare us to Chick-fil-A from a customer service standpoint, I will take it. When I can see our team working collaboratively with customer teams to grow and develop as people, solve problems for each other, and for the customer, our business grows, the customer's business grows, and you get this virtuous cycle of you help people figure out how to achieve success and success breeds success. And that's really, what's driven us from a three-person company several years ago to be in where we are today. I saw, we just made the Financial Times list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America. That's not because of me. That's because of the great things our team does for customers.
Tom Salemi (14:02):
Thanks, Shon Anderson for joining us on this episode of the MedtronicTalks podcast. For more information about B9creations, go to b9c.com.
Tom Salemi (14:14):
Interesting, Nate. Well, let's carry that to med-tech. This is an interesting industry. You mentioned earlier on that folks that are looking to join companies with purpose. For some, the idea of creating life-saving technology is a wonderful purpose and often purpose enough. But obviously, if you can double that up with being environmentally responsible, that's even more powerful. But how do you, you've worked in other industries, how is the commitment to environmental responsibility, different in med? Because you've got this purpose of creating life-saving technologies. And on top of that, you're putting a purpose of making sure you don't harm the globe while you're doing it. Both are vitally important, but it seems like there needs to be a balance achieved between the two.
Nate Pommier (14:57):
Yeah, I don't think it's any less important in med-tech. I would say med-tech overall probably has a lighter footprint in terms of comparing to some industries like transportation, logging, mining, and things like that. With that said, there's, one of the things I think we need to keep considering and working on is when we think in terms of our customers being hospitals. We have a lot of hospitals out that have the same type of sustainability goals that we have that they want to improve on. And in a hospital, every patient, every bed is going to consume X amount of waste or water or energy, depending on how long they're staying there. And that's going to add up over time.
Nate Pommier (15:42):
So when we tie it back to their products, one of the things I'm excited about is as we come up with new products and therapies that can reduce the time that the patient stays in the hospital, that can help our customers achieve their sustainability goals as well. So I think we need to explore that more and to help our customers understand how that can reflect against their internal goals.
Tom Salemi (16:06):
That's really interesting. Ginny, to your point about measuring these with dollars. I mean, we talk about shorter stays in hospitals as a economic issue. And as something that's going to save payers money and save patients money, but that's right. You can layer on environmental impact as well onto that. Is that part of the equation?
Ginny Cassidy (16:28):
We've had times in the past where there's been some calculations around that to try to figure that out. We don't do it. It's a systematic basis when we doing those sorts of analysis, but it's definitely... One of the challenges is to have a standard that everybody uses. We could come up with our own methodology to do that, and that's another thing I see movement in this whole field is that there's a lot of external push to standardize some of the measures so that you're really comparing apples to apples. And to do things like impact valuation. So where you put a dollar sign on carbon emissions, so that you can say, you can try to weigh out the worth of manufacturing, a certain product based on the environmental impacts.
Ginny Cassidy (17:17):
I'm not sure, how accurate it's going to be, but people are trying. If we put out this product, what was the social value versus what might be the negative environmental impacts? That gets a little dicey when you're talking about life-saving products. I don't think people would argue that. That's more perhaps applicable to other industries. However, it is still important for us to know about those environmental impacts of our products and try to factor those into our design. At least be considering them. If there's ways we can make our products and the materials we use more eco-friendly and have different opportunities at end of life to reduce the environmental impact.
Tom Salemi (17:58):
Two questions about new product development. I mean, number one, you're always looking to create a device that does a better job than the previous one. And to do it maybe through a direct therapeutic benefit or it's connected better, but all of this move forward requires new technology, new digital technology. We're using cell phones so that sort of technology that requires certain precious metals. Are new medical devices becoming more sort of resource-dependent and perhaps are making a greater environmental impact than earlier ones that may have had simpler electronics? As devices get more complex, are they having a greater impact on the earth?
Ginny Cassidy (18:39):
I don't know that I can answer that, but it's certainly an interesting concept and it gets back to how do we figure out how to measure that? Because one of the things that we know is that miniaturization of a lot of devices has been good for the patient. It's been a technological advance and smaller products use fewer materials. Likewise, if you get into remote monitoring or remote... The pandemic taught us a lot about how we can shift to remote doctor visits and things like that.
Tom Salemi (19:14):
Ginny Cassidy (19:14):
But there's impacts. There's trade-offs. And I don't, I am personally not aware of a really good or standardized methodology for being able to figure that out, but it's a noble cause I think.
Tom Salemi (19:29):
Nate, how about from your perspective? You've seen it from other industries, and Ginny raises a good point that maybe you can dress as well, or come back to Ginny to get it. But if you are creating a device that saves someone from going to the doctors, that's a car trip that has been saved, and that's another benefit. So first of all, the question of innovation, new technologies requiring new resources are our new medical devices becoming a greater burden on the environment because they require sort of more precious metals, perhaps and more digital techniques
Nate Pommier (19:57):
In general terms, Ginny mentioned miniaturization, in theory, that's going to use a lot less raw materials. So in general, that's a good thing. One of the areas that we make a lot of progress in is packaging improvements.
Tom Salemi (20:09):
Nate Pommier (20:10):
So it's not directly our product, but it's our packaging. So we're always looking at ways to shrink our packaging, use more recyclable materials. And in terms of transportation, if you shrink that package, you can put more on a truck and you're having less weight, less air being shipped. So we're making some nice improvements via packaging improvements.
Ginny Cassidy (20:34):
We're on the cusp. I think, at Medtronic of maybe being able to really calculate how packaging improves our Scope 3 emissions because we're transporting more per truck, so fewer trucks to get the same amount of product out. And there are other companies in the industry and in other industries that are calculating now, already. And I think that's, it's part of a larger trend of again, coming from our investors, but knowing what our Scope 3 emissions are. Medtronic has a long history of knowing the track record of managing Scope 1 and Scope 2 and putting public targets out there and meeting them. But Scope 3 is a big deal for most companies because it's all through your value chain. And how do you even wrap your arms around what that means?
Tom Salemi (21:23):
Ginny Cassidy (21:23):
So you can take baby steps with things like what we just described. If your packaging is less and you can put more product on a truck and send fewer trucks and you can calculate what that emission savings is, then you can start to try to think of how we're influencing your Scope 3.
Tom Salemi (21:41):
Just last question about devices — we're seeing a rise, and this isn't Medtronic's necessarily play — but single-use devices don't require sanitization and are disposable. Is that a concern to you as someone who's tracking environmental impacts, that we're building things, more things to throw out? Is that something that you consider when you're developing new devices, that you want to be able to reuse them and you want to be able to clean them effectively? How does that play into what you're trying to achieve at Medtronic?
Ginny Cassidy (22:12):
Product development is really happening at the business or operating unit level and our operating units have a lot of autonomy. And so we don't have an overarching corporate approach just to say, we want to address that issue, but we do have some products that have realized the opportunity there and have done some take-back and reprocessing. And so that they're not single-use, our pulse oximetry sensors, we have a recollection in the processing program. And so we're not, there used to be single-use; we're doing something to address that, but I think there's plenty of additional opportunity. And our product development as Nate, I think said earlier is really done within the businesses, as we start to feel more pressure, however, from our customers and even our investors are asking this about product stewardship, in the sense, I think it may lead to a more comprehensive principle around that and how we might address that moving forward.
Tom Salemi (23:21):
Nate Pommier (23:33):
Overall, I'd like to talk about our environmental goals that we communicate externally. So we've been doing this for quite some time since FY 07, I believe, was the first set. So what's nice is we've always had something to point to. We've always said, okay, for all of our sites and all of our operations, we've communicated, we want to hit these goals. External, this is an expectation for customers, shareholders, and things like that. So with that said, having those external goals has allowed us to drive internal programs. So we have an annual process where we look at the goals; we look at how much impact can each of the sites or the operations have. And then we really focus our projects on where do we want to put our time and our money and our resources in to make the biggest impact and move the needle the most.
Nate Pommier (24:25):
So we've got a nice combination. It's really a tiered approach. The most important, in my opinion is reducing the energy, reducing the waste, reducing the water organically at a site. There's a lot of different ways to do that. And in addition, the corporate engineering group will look for some big projects, big alternative energy re-installs that can happen throughout the year. So really, when we combine those organic improvements at the site, plus those select few big projects during the year, that's how we kind of get the bigger results. So, project terms, a lot of these are renewable alternative installs, facility infrastructure type equipment, the HVAC equipment, chillers, and stuff like that. So it's managing those, making sure they're running optimally and replacing when needed with the most efficient type of equipment.
Tom Salemi (25:19):
And do you have standards that are applied equally to every plant, or does everyone come up with their own sort of ways to try to achieve these larger goals?
Nate Pommier (25:28):
We do. We do have corporate standards around the energy guidelines that also help identify the right equipment for it. We also have a sustainability standard within the company that defines how to walk through and how to think about this.
Tom Salemi (25:42):
Ginny, let's circle back and talk a bit about the carbon-neutral goal. How do you get that done? It's such a big entity you're working with. It seems almost impossible, but you sound-
Ginny Cassidy (25:56):
Most definitely, I think the collaborative effort to get there. I think that's required, it started with fate and then we have global energy manager really putting together a good business plan that then we could bring in front of our sustainability steering committee, which I helped manage to get exposure. And then, they went back to the drawing board with some feedback and advice and came up with a business plan that they could get their capital allocation requests approved to see it through. So I'll start with that, but then I'll let Nate talk about how they actually did it.
Nate Pommier (26:33):
So we've been thinking about this for a couple of years, how do we get to carbon neutrality? So first we wanted to find what does that mean for us? So as of right now, we are limiting that to our Scope 1, Scope 2 emissions. So that means our owned and operated facilities and our operations within the company. So as we were walking through the process, we're looking at different milestones annually over this 10-year journey. So again, the most important one is going to be that organic energy reduction. Our global energy manager often says the best kilowatt-hour is the one that's never used. And there's definite truth to that. So that's one of the biggest ones. The second is going to be continuing to install renewable and alternative generation technologies at our sites where they make sense and they have the business case for it.
Nate Pommier (27:25):
The third one is utility partnerships. So we're seeing different states, different countries have goals for their utility providers to achieve the same type of net zero emissions by a certain date. So they're all working on this, too. So with that, there comes up a lot of unique opportunities. So we're always evaluating where we operate facilities, what type of programs those utilities have in place. And there's been some great ones today.
Nate Pommier (27:50):
The next one is investing in the renewable energy credits and the carbon offsets. So these are market-driven throughout the globe where we're basically buying green energy, right? So we're helping the grid get greener, and then you get to claim some credit for that. And really the last key to this is we're looking at doing a virtual power purchase agreement. So in the next couple of years, not to get too technical, but essentially working with a large installer to build out a renewable-type project that is big enough to produce as much energy as Medtronic consumes. And then we become under a long-term contract with that company for the difference in the price. So it's really us investing on getting the grid greener because it's so hard for companies to do carbon neutral on your own. You just don't have enough land, you don't have enough roof space. So those are the five aspects of our carbon neutrality plan and we'll reevaluate each year and report out those pockets.
Tom Salemi (28:53):
What is the date you'd like to be carbon neutral? And is that possible to achieve?
Nate Pommier (28:58):
Yes, it's the fiscal year 30. So it's a 10-year plan for us. We do think it's feasible. A couple of unknowns. The VPPAs are a little bit tricky, but we think it's entirely doable.
Tom Salemi (29:10):
Great. So I want to also ask about two things, two final questions. The last question will be on the EHS Sustainability Awards, but I also, going back to just products for a second. One thing, I talked about creating new products to put out into the field, but are you doing work to extend the life of existing products? So they don't have to be replaced and they don't have to be disassembled and thrown out or whatever. What is the work like in extending the life of current products and are you undertaking campaigns to collect all devices and maybe dispose of them in a safer manner?
Ginny Cassidy (29:46):
I mentioned just earlier pulse oximetry sensors that we are doing reprocessing, take back, and reprocessing. We also have a product called CareLink™ monitor, it's a remote monitoring product, and they're actually bringing those back and refurbishing them, which is a win-win; it's cheaper to refurbish one and put it back out into the market than to build a new one. So it's actually been a huge cost savings for the company. And we also have a, it's not necessarily extending the life, but it's helping to prevent additional landfill. We do have a take back program in surgical operating suites for surgical tools that then goes to energy from waste program. There's additional opportunity. We operate with our implantable devices. There's not necessarily, you can't necessarily process them with a chip being implanted, but we're certainly, I think, continuing to look for opportunities for some of those products, like our sensors or our monitors, where we can extend the life.
Tom Salemi (30:52):
Really interesting. And yes, let's close up with the EHS Sustainability Awards. What is this? And are you measuring how the different businesses are doing in this effort?
Nate Pommier (31:05):
So this is something I'm really proud of. Many years ago, Medtronic won an external award for a huge waste reduction initiative that we did in the Minnesota region. So that got our leadership to thinking we're a big enough company. Why can't we do something similar internally? So that spawned the idea. So we've been presenting the sustainability awards within Medtronic for the past 12 or 13 years now. And it started out opening up the nominations to our different sites like, "Hey, what is your site doing to improve your environmental metrics?" So we came up with the nomination process and they would submit their progress. And since then, every year it's gotten bigger and bigger. So now it's expanded to teams, we're seeing sustainability teams from packaging, reductions, waste reductions, refurbishment programs, kind of the classic, the energy reduction, the water reduction, renewable installs.
Nate Pommier (31:59):
So just to put it in perspective, it's a big award within Medtronic. We have an executive present these every year, last year, I tallied up the nominations. We had 31 different nominations and environmental impacts between all of those nominations were massive. We had like 46 million kilowatt-hours in energy reduction.
Tom Salemi (32:20):
Nate Pommier (32:21):
Three million gallons of water, 43,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, almost three-quarters million pounds of waste reduction, and an annual cost savings of $8.6 million. So this is just a way to showcase all the great stuff we're doing in Medtronic, and it's also promotes the best practice sharing. So a lot of other sites can harvest ideas and start to implement them across the business.
Ginny Cassidy (32:48):
Terrific employee engagement endeavor. And as Nate mentioned, it's really expanded from being just what were, I think, predominantly site-specific projects around energy or waste or water to, as he said, being things like packaging teams and even a green meetings team. So how are they making our meetings, our internal larger meetings where people came together from across the globe, more environmentally friendly? So it I think, had a terrific impact on employee engagement in this area.
Tom Salemi (33:25):
I know that was my last question, but I just want to, it just occurred to me. And we're all moving back into the realer world, I suppose, where we may get back to going in our offices and is environmental impact having a role in sort of deciding how much do we go back to, if everyone goes back to the office, because we're obviously not driving to work. We're reducing our impact on the earth that way. I'm just curious, as we reintegrate, are environmental questions, and concerns factoring into any decisions.
Nate Pommier (33:57):
Yes they are. We're not there yet. I can tell you my vice-president had asked me that question directly. So we're trying to understand the impact of having people work at home. And when we figure out the return-to-work plan, or is it going to be a hybrid approach or primarily work-from-home. We're going to try and capture that data and the impact and use that as a decision point going forward.
Tom Salemi (34:24):
Excellent. Well, fascinating stuff. And as I said up top, this is one of several important issues that corporations must face. So it's great to talk to you and learn how Medtronic is taking it head-on. So thanks for joining us on the podcast.
Ginny Cassidy (34:39):
Well, thank you.
Nate Pommier (34:40):
Tom Salemi (34:44):
Well, that is a wrap. Thank you, Ginny and Nate for joining us on this episode of MedtronicTalks. Thank you, our listeners for tuning in, this is episode number two. I am Tom Salemi. I'm editorial director of DeviceTalks. You can find out more about our programs at devicetalks.com. You can find me on Twitter. I am @MedTechTom. You can find me on LinkedIn, Tom Salemi. So please connect with me there. And yes, please do subscribe to this podcast. As I said, we're going to be putting out a bunch of these, at least two a month. They're going to be coming directly to you. If you subscribe, they're going to contain great insights, information and stories from Medtronic leaders. You don't want to miss a single one. So again, look for us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon, Google, you name it. We're there. We'd love to have you along for the ride. So please do subscribe and we'll talk to you again on our next episode of the MedtronicTalks podcast.