US Center For Advanced Manufacturing C-Suite Strategy Series Recap: Sustainability in Industry

Dennis Burck
March 8, 2023
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Photo by USC4AM

Photo by USC4AM


The US Center for Advanced Manufacturing held a C-Suite Strategy Series event on sustainability in Silicon Valley. The gathering saw public and private entities work together to create a road map for greater sustainability in manufacturing.

On Feb 14, 2023, the US Center for Advanced Manufacturing brought together academic, business and government experts from across the industry to Silicon Valley for its C-Suite Strategy Series. The event, hosted by HP at its Customer Welcome Center, saw dialogue, in-depth discussion and a call for the industry to work together toward the common goal of sustainability.

Chair of the California Energy Commission David Hochschild welcomed attendees to the conference and delivered a keynote address. The keynote emphasized the symbiotic relationship possible between industry and climate policies, highlighting California’s “long and beautiful history being the world’s incubator for new business.”

“Climate change is making it hard to fight climate change,” Hochschild said.

He presented several key action priorities for his energy commission:

  • Scaling battery manufacturing in California’s Lithium Valley
  • Transitioning away from fossil fuels in houses
  • Supporting tribal energy micro-grids
  • Funding direct air carbon capture methods

Moving forward, a panel discussion followed focusing on “Sustainability Driving Innovation in Value Chains” between Jackie Jung, Western Digital Vice President of Strategy & Global Operations, and Tom Clark, Strategic Supply Chain Leader. The panel was moderated by World Economic Forum Community & Initiative Lead Memia Fendri.

Key Panel Discussion Takeaways

  • The sustainability imperative calls for transformative partnerships across value chains to exchange best practices and lessons learned, build visibility across supply chain emissions, and pioneer the implementation of innovative practices
  • Driving the sustainability agenda requires a leadership-level mindset shift, acknowledging the interdependencies between business efficiency and sustainable models of production
  • Practices of sustainability stretch beyond the products in supply chains to those who manufacture them. Retaining a future-ready workforce involves investing in a sustainable model for upskilling
  • Successful upskilling and reskilling techniques involve equipping workers with data and innovative tools that enhance their capabilities, allowing them to make intelligent decisions quicker with more time to develop new ideas

Attendee Insights

“Togetherness made us become greener.” Surjit Gill - Amyris

“We have to lead and influence the dialogue on manufacturing, and show how advanced and interesting it has become.” Chris Spadaccini – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

“We are at an inflection point at which US manufacturing is changing – to truly realize this change we need to have a complete ecosystem. Without this support framework we won’t be successful in bringing manufacturing back.” Rashmi Rao – Rubic Cubed Ventures

“Today’s sustainability is tomorrow's compliance.” David Buck - HP

“Walking the shop, most frontline workers in manufacturing have not heard the term 'ESG.' We need a bottom-up approach just as much as a top-down approach, those workers can really push strategy and investment to the leadership.” Yasmin Zarabi – Parsable

“Using Lithium Valley as an example, how do we get the workforce excited before it is actually there, creating a cradle to career landscape.” Michael Karavolias – Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development

"The emergence of a vibrant Advanced Manufacturing ecosystem will require multidimensional collaborations between academia, public sector and industry. Such impact-driven partnerships will accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship, and development of a diverse and skilled workforce." Ali Hassan – Santa Clara University

“Workforce is a sustainability agenda.” Jackie Jung – Western Digital

The next C-suite Strategy Series event will be hosted by GE HealthCare May 15-16. The event will focus on supply chain transformation.

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Dennis Burck
Dennis Burck

As Automation Alley’s Digital Content Editor, Dennis Burck manages Automation Alley's Industry 4.0 knowledge center, building relationships and collaborating with various internal and external stakeholders, including Automation Alley members and partners, to develop and curate engaging content around advanced manufacturing and digital transformation. Dennis provides in-depth coverage, data-driven reporting and on-the-ground feature stories on the Industry 4.0 transformation. Dennis worked previously as a business journalist for The Construction Association of Michigan and as a reporter for The National Endowment for the Humanities.

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