Meet Elizabeth (Liz) Girardi-Schoen, the Vice President of Global Environment and Sustainability at Teva Pharmaceuticals.
- Share your favorite energy factoid.
Only 26% of the electricity generated by the power plant makes it to the plugs in our homes, buildings, and offices. That’s terrible! We can’t control that efficiency, but we can control the plug! Our impact on climate change is how we use energy in our every-day tasks and we have to be more efficient.
- What energy conservation campaign would you start in your office or want to share with other offices?
Always start with the simplest things – Turn off the lights, turn off the power strips, and turn off your computer! If you’re not using it, turn it off! A campaign to encourage this behavior would be so easy and not a large capital investment. At my former companies, we had posters around the office and sent out email blurbs and newsletters to remind people through different mediums. We calculated the total energy conserved and compared it to units that people could visualize, like how many houses we could have powered or how many cars we could have taken off the roads. An office, where most people can understand and impact energy use, is a perfect environment for a campaign like this.
- What are you reading right now?
I read a variety of articles on Twitter, LinkedIn, the New York Times, Environmental Leader, and CSR Wire. I really like Environmental Leader because they do a great job consolidating information. Their articles are well prioritized and summarized. I often find that on Twitter feeds, information is not curated as well. CSR Wire and the NY Times also focus on social and environmental articles, but more on the social aspect. It’s interesting to read through them and understand different perspectives.
- What are some ways you reduce your carbon footprint at home?
Well, first off, my license plate on my hybrid car is “GRN QUN.” So that really primes you for what my home is like. I have four kids, and our electricity bill is less than $100 a month. Our home has rooftop solar panels, efficient lighting and appliances, ceiling and attic fans, and no central air. We’ve been living at this house for 15 years and are always looking to improve. I would love to upgrade our insulation but that’s a very challenging project. We also try to do as much as we can to reduce our carbon footprint – opting to walk or bike than to drive when possible, composting in our backyard, and recycling everything possible. There’s a really fun and engaging calculator that shows how many Planet Earths are needed to support your lifestyle. I’ve used this calculator in public schools to show students their impact on our planet. They usually get around 5+ planets. When I do this for my family, we’re a little over 1.2 planets. I suspect this lifestyle and my work has had a great influence on my kids; they’ve grown to be very sensitive to the environment.
- What is your personal superpower?
My superpower is my enthusiasm and my ability to express my passion for the environment in a way that is accessible to a wide-range of people. People may think I am a bit of a “green nut” yet they understand that it is my priority.