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Sustainable Nation

The Sustainable Nation Podcast delivers interviews with global leaders in sustainability and regenerative development three times a week. Our goal is to provide sustainability professionals, business leaders, academics and anyone interested in joining the sustainability revolution, with information and insights from the world's most inspiring change-makers.

Oct 28, 2021

Chris serves as Global Senior Principal for Sustainability and ESG where he is responsible for leading Cardno's corporate sustainability initiative and in particular, providing ESG support to institutional investors. In addition, Chris supports Cardno's Science and Environment division by delivering great project outcomes for our clients, developing new  business, growing existing client relationships, fostering staff development, and aiding in strategy and planning. Chris also chairs Carno's Sustainability Task Force and has over 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors working on environmental and sustainability issues. 

Chris Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Cardno's services and clientelle
  • Internal vs. external ESG work at Cardo
  • ESG challenges and opportunities facing the solar and natural gas industries
  • Defining sustainability vs. ESG
  • Institutional investors' focus on EGS and sustainability 
  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Chris' Final Five Question Responses

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

Some advice that I got when I was getting started in this game from a Congressman named Jim Cooper who's a centrist from Tennessee. I was a general generalist coming out of college and he said "That's okay, it's okay to be a generalist. But get really good at one topic or one thing. Become an expert to the extent that you can in one topic and become indispensable." That I think can apply to ESG. It's very much potentially a generalist field because you need to be able to think broadly. But there also is that element that you need to be able to dive in pretty deep so that you're not just a mile wide and an inch deep. So that's my advice: get really good at one thing where people can count on you to know how to navigate that one thing. Then obviously keep your eyes open for other changes in the industry.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

We kind of touched on it. It's this investor shift into ESG factors. I think that has fundamentally altered the landscape. The fact that now these investors are looking for solid advice, science-based advice. That's where I think the opportunity is for not only for Cardno but for lots of other companies as well.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability professionals read?

A lot of this is about communication, and a book that really changed the way that I think about how to interact with people is a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. The people that were awarded the Nobel Prize for economics earlier this week are students of Kahneman. This idea of behavioral economics and how people make decisions in the real world is essentially what behavioral economics is all about. Kahneman was the foundation of that. It's a fantastic book; it will change the way you look at the world.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

In terms of resources, the newspapers of record are part of my daily reading; The Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post. Axios and their various newsletters are also becoming part of that regular daily read for me. Industry specific; the Canary Media's a fairly new entity out there. I find them really interesting on energy issues. Corporate Eco Forum, GreenBiz, Cypher; there's a number of ESG specific streams that are out there that I really depend on.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and your work at Cardno?

I have a LinkedIn page course, but certainly go to and there's a sustainability link there. I'm happy to talk to anybody about it. I enjoy talking with colleagues and other professionals with people who are just getting started in this space; I think it's exciting.