We spoke with Neil Greco, one of our Partners in the U.S., to ask about his upcoming Thanksgiving holiday plans…

I had the good fortune of attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a child and to this day still flash back to those memorable moments.

On Thanksgiving morning we still have the parade on the TV, but I have to admit, it’s more on in the background and we glance at it from time to time. It’s not as prominent as it used to be, but still present. Same is true for the football game - it's on in the background.

I think in these days, we find time is precious, so parking ourselves in front of the TV for a day doesn’t fit our lifestyle.

How do you usually spend Thanksgiving?

We have scaled back in recent years - perhaps because of COVID, but also because as our children get a little older we tend to spend time with them. It used to be a big extended family gathering, but less so in recent years.

We like to find a family in our community that is less fortunate than we are and bring them dinner for their family.

We spend the balance of the day in our kitchen - turkey is optional, but good food is a must.

What’s your favourite (or most unusual) Thanksgiving tradition?

Breakfast. We start with something fresh baked - it makes the house smell good and sets the tone for the day. My wife makes killer cinnamon rolls!

But not all Thanksgiving traditions are quite so mainstream...

For example, in 1947, the tradition known as the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation was founded under the Truman administration.  Ronald Reagan was actually the first present to formally "pardon" one of the turkeys given to him whereas Truman, Eisenhower, and several other presidents actually ate the turkeys presented to them! It wasn't until 1988, that George H.W. Bush instituted the turkey pardon as a national tradition while he was in office.

Looking back on 2021, was it a good year? 

Ironically yes - it was a good year. I spent an inordinate amount of time with our kids which was great, but also a challenge. Think back about home schooling, juggling Zoom calls between two working parents, masks, InstaCart and home food delivery...it was a mess for a while, but all-in-all, it’s hard to complain. We were fortunate to have been able to stitch things together.

What are you most looking forward to in 2022? 

Health. As long as we’re all healthy, we can make anything work.

Neil Greco
Partner, Boston MA

Climate Change is our Global Responsibility

Last week, global leaders met in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss action required to curtail climate change (COP26).

Many have differing views on the effectiveness of UN directives how best to combat climate change – from carbon sequestration to energy efficiency measures to the accelerated growth of renewable energy sources and an increasing interest in EVs.

This is not a new phenomenon.

In 1992, the United Nations established their Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Largely driven by Green House Gas (GHG) emission of industrialized nations, this initiative was reinforced by the Accord de Paris in 2015 (COP21). For years, coal fired (electric) generation has been the culprit followed closely by the refinement of oil and the harvesting of natural gas. Certainly, the mining and automotive industries have their fair share as well. Then of course there’s...the cows!

In 2019, investment heavyweight Goldman-Sachs made a statement by pledging $750B US for investment in sustainable finance. This not only increased visibility for “sustainability”, but it also accelerated the need to attract talented individuals to lead this charge – whether a Chief Sustainability Officer for a global industrial or a Chief Executive Officer for an early-stage disruptive technology provider or a Chief Technology Officer needed to spearhead a new automotive platform that (over time) will completely pivot an industry – leadership is required.

As a firm we have been working in this space on a global basis.

While many believe Green House Gas is the focal point, our experience suggests emission curtailment comes in many ways and extends well beyond (direct) carbon management.

For over a decade, we have been working on both sides of the emissions challenge – along-side of major industrials and Utilities helping them recruit “corporate sustainability” executives to navigate new business models and sustainability measures:

For those organizations responsible for ensuring there is power, we have been working to implement new ways of doing business – from carbon capture to modifying their generation fleets.

On the other side of the equation, we have been actively recruiting for companies delivering “new” forms of energy technology – from digital energy networks to solar and wind to battery energy storage to electric vehicle infrastructure – some of which has been instrumental in electrifying parts of the world where electricity is a luxury.

One thing remains constant, as industry continues to pivot and address climate change, organizations need a fresh perspective: new leadership. Whether evaluating supply chains to ensure they are “climate conscious” or attracting expertise from adjacent industries to propel advancements in technology, we have been at the forefront of this change. Why does this matter?

Now that Sustainability as come of age, the competition for leadership has accelerated.

The difficulty in attracting A-Players to your business has increased exponentially. Knowing where to look and how to recruit talent has become increasingly important.

This is where we thrive.

Leveraging years of experience, understanding the industry shift and being able to not only attract - but also assess- top talent is a key differentiator for Friisberg & Partners.

Neil Greco
Partner, Boston MA

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