Session Information

Supply Chain Innovation & the Value of Collaboration

Date: Wednesday, March 2

Time: 10:30am - 11:45am

Format: Panel Discussion

Supply chain disruptions can really ding performance. How are leaders collaborating with upstream suppliers to implement solutions across the full value chain? Explore how risk management processes and innovation can create competitive advantage and boost profits. The session will address global supply chain risks, such as resource-commodity scarcity, energy and fuel price fluctuations, and human rights issues. Join thought leaders as we map out the evolution of supply chain management maturity cycles and explore leading strategies in traceability, supply cost reduction, and collaboration.

Topic Speakers


John has been with Unilever Canada since 1992.  He is a member of Unilever Canada’s board of directors as well as the Canadian Leadership Team, and is also chair of the company’s Pension Committee.

John is well known for his leadership in corporate sustainability.  He is a passionate activator of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, designed to help Unilever deliver its objective of growing the business while reducing its environmental footprint and increasing its positive contribution to society.  John is Executive Chair of the Board of Canadian Stewardship Services Alliance, Inc. and is a director of Evergreen.  In addition, John is co-chair of the Partners in Project Green steering committee, a major environmental initiative of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority.  He is also director and past Chair of Stewardship Ontario. In 2013 John was recognized for his leadership in corporate sustainability by being named by Clean 50 as one of Canada’s top sustainability leaders.  Last year, John was appointed as a member of the Ontario Government’s Climate Action Group advising the Ontario Minister of the Environment on effective climate change actions that will help Ontario meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals and transition to a prosperous, low-carbon economy.

John also works closely with industry groups and other organizations.  He is Chair of the board of Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation and is director and past Chair of the Association.



Bruce Klafter is a respected leader in environmental, health and safety (EH&S) and sustainability circles. In 2013 he joined Flex, a socially-responsible, global leader in design, manufacturing, distribution and aftermarket services, to provide strategic direction to the Company's social and environmental responsibility initiatives. His role includes regular consultation with senior management on sustainability and EH&S matters, including participation in the Compliance Council and facilitation of the Corporate Sustainability Leadership Committee (CLSC). Flex was a founding member of the Electronics Industry Citizen Coalition (EICC) and Bruce recently served as an EICC Board member and as Vice-Chair for the organization.

Previously, Bruce leveraged his unusual blend of business, environmental and legal expertise to help integrate sustainability strategy into Applied Materials' worldwide operations. Among other efforts, Bruce created a safety culture initiative that helped reduce injury rates continuously over a seven-year timeframe. He developed Applied's high-level sustainability policy and guiding principles, published the company's first non-financial external reports, initiated an award-winning product energy efficiency strategy and led the formation of a social and environmental supply chain program. A highly effective communicator and team leader, Bruce served as the principal spokesperson for Applied's sustainability programs and played a key role in numerous industry and professional development efforts.

Prior to joining Applied Materials, Bruce had a distinguished legal career in public and private practice, specializing in environmental and natural resources law. Bruce began his legal career as a California Deputy Attorney General, representing various state agencies, including the Water Resources Control Board, the Air Resources Board, Parks and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife and others. Bruce also practiced law for a number of years with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, a top 100 U.S. law firm. Among his specialties, Bruce was a recognized expert in transactional due diligence. Bruce continues to be a member in good standing with the California Bar.

Bruce has been active with numerous organizations in leadership roles, e.g. Sustainable Silicon Valley (Advisor); Silicon Valley Leadership Group (Executive Advisor); Acterra (Board Member); Association of Climate Change Officers (Advisor); State Bar Environmental Law Section (former Chair and Advisor); Presidio Graduate School (Expert in Residence).

Bruce received a B.S. from Tufts University and his law degree from the University of California-Davis. Bruce has also been certified in Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (Level I) by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and as a Sustainability Associate by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals.

Vanessa Timmer is the Executive Director of One Earth, a Vancouver-based “think and do tank” focused on sustainable consumption and production.  One Earth curated the New Economies theme of Cities for People, initiated by The J. W. McConnell Family Foundation – a Canada-wide experiment in advancing a movement to create more resilient and livable cities through innovation networks.  Vanessa is also an Associate with the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University focused on innovation and holds a Doctorate in environmental studies with degrees from Queen’s University, Oxford University and UBC.  One Earth was a co-founder of the Global Research Forum on Sustainable Production and Consumption and the North American Roundtable on Sustainable Production and Consumption. She teaches sustainability and systems thinking, and co-hosts the television show, The Sustainable Region.  In 2013, Vanessa was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Top Forty under 40.  Locally, she advises the City of Vancouver as part of the Greenest City Advisory Group and Lighter Footprint Committee, serves as a Board member of the National Zero Waste Council with Metro Vancouver, and promotes eco-industrial networking through the National Industrial Symbiosis Program - Canada. One Earth is also catalyzing 'Disruptive Imaginings: creating better futures' – a global campaign to create positive and compelling visions and experiences of life in sustainable futures.