Supply Chain Sustainability and Social Equity: Q&A with Jeffrey Garza Walker
A purpose-driven, impactful approach to your People and the Planet
As Senior Vice President, Jeffrey Garza Walker focuses on expanding Cresa’s capabilities in global portfolio services through key industrial clients with requirements in Mexico and Latin America. Additionally, he assists companies in Mexico and Latin America seeking to place operations within North America. His background as a Senior Director of Corporate Real Estate in North/Latin America with a top tier 4PL logistics company provides a capable skill set and 15 years of experience in commercial real estate brokerage/development.
Jeffrey was recently asked to speak on Supply Chain Sustainability + Social Equity at the Supply Chain Execution 2022 Conference hosted by Reuters Events. After the presentation, he did a Q&A session, his answers are listed below.
How is Cresa helping drive ESG in the Logistics Industry?
We believe in a logistics framework that aligns companies with a social mission.
For example, Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) a non-profit organization providing debt financing, helps companies and gives back to a mission and purpose.
On the sustainability front Footprint is a client of ours. We are aligning them with other providers because they're replacing single-use plastics with packaging that is 100% biodegradable and leaves no footprint.
Being able to connect these companies and being able to do it in a way that is authentic is an amazing place to be in.
Is ESG relevant in the supply chain industry right now?
Absolutely, it’s relevant.
We have sought to provide a framework that addresses questions like: How are you using the environment? How are you addressing the social and governance aspect? Investors are asking these questions. They are saying, what are you doing to address these issues, because that's going to dictate whether I invest.
And as we have also heard, millennials and gen Z are taking over the planet in the next few years. They also want to know what you are doing for the people and the planet.
We're aligning companies that are absolutely changing the framework of being sustainable and giving back to people in a way that allows these companies to do that without having to create another step in that process. And it’s great to be part of that.
What would you say to the companies that see ESG spending as too costly?
Well, that's the beauty of it. This is a spend that you are going to do anyway. Companies are going to go out and get real estate for their facilities. So why not use an organization like Chicanos Por La Causa for financing where when you utilize that debt, that return goes back to the organization allowing them to provide services to people in need? It’s an action you are taking anyways, so why not just redirect the impact?
And when it comes to sustainability when you talk about a spend, I mean I think to get an electrical truck that self-drives itself is a lot more expensive than aligning with a company such as Footprint that's providing that and doing it at a price point quite frankly, that's just as much as you're going to spend on plastics, only now you're removing that from our environment forever.
What excites you about working in this space?
On a personal level, my grandparents came from Mexico and CPLC provided services for them. I was the first person in my family to get a college education, let alone a master’s degree, so being able to have those resources available, it's meaningful, impactful, and it helps rise all tides. Then being with a company like Footprint, just makes you feel like part of something that's really making a true difference for our planet.
And I think that's what we all want, to leave a legacy that says, while I was here, I tried to do better and I tried to be better, and that's what gets me excited about aligning these types of companies.
Three questions to ask yourself.
• How is your company positioned to take action?
• Is your brand purposefully driven to create a healthier community, environment, and planet?
• Are your partners supporting the execution of a sustainable + socially equitable supply chain?
For more information reach out to Jeffrey at firstname.lastname@example.org