BIER Member Spotlight: Julie Starr
Name: Julie Starr
Company: Taiga Company
Welcome to our series aimed at spotlighting the individual leaders within BIER member companies and stakeholder organizations. Learn how these practitioners and their companies are addressing pressing challenges around water, energy, agriculture, climate change, and what inspires each of them to advance environmental sustainability in the beverage sector and collectively, overall.
Briefly describe your role and responsibilities and how long you have worked with your company.
The traditional roles and responsibilities of a small business owner apply to my position as Managing Partner of Taiga Company.
However, I prefer to see myself as not only the owner of a professional consulting firm helping clients to powerfully engage sustainability communications on the social web, but as a contributing influencer in the overall business sustainability and CSR conversation. While I work with individual clients, my primary role is to promote the positive change occurring in the business world today. Leading by example, I like to leverage the Taiga Company social profiles to be a contributor to the space and a voice for the future.
Taiga Company has been in business for 13 years; additionally, I've been active in the sustainability field through various employment opportunities throughout my entire professional career.
As the Director of Communications for BIER, I work closely with the Communications working group to implement the annual work plan. Additionally, I lead the social media marketing and blog publications; spotlight and member interviews, press releases, and work product campaigns.
What are your impressions of BIER and what do you feel has been the group’s impact on private sector environmental sustainability?
Collaboration has been a sustainability buzzword for years and while there are meaningful examples of collaboration, I feel that BIER truly embodies the collaborative approach to developing expert guidance for calculating, tracking, reporting, and innovating on carbon, water, and energy impacts within the beverage sector.
What is encouraging to me are the work products, guides, and toolkits produced by the BIER members. These resources offer guidance to the beverage sector but are also applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises as well - including sectors outside of the beverage industry. While continuing to advance their industry is important, BIER members have embraced the reality that in order to address global and regional challenges ALL industry needs to accelerate efforts and so BIER aims to open source all of their work.
Years ago, it was far more challenging to identify environmental impacts and develop clear actionable, and measurable recommendations to reduce those impacts. However now, with BIER’s guides and toolkits, those organizations new on the sustainability journey, as well as those already on it, have access to reliable best practices which help cut through the noise so to speak, and provide a clear path forward. I feel this is especially important to newcomers on the sustainability path. Having access to best practices and actionable guidance to generate results supports the business case for sustainability and builds momentum to continue.
In addition to the tangible work products and outputs that are noticeable, it is also the more indirect influence BIER has had on the private sector in terms of demonstrating pre-competitive collaboration for nearly 15 years. This leadership has no doubt triggered other sectors to look at collaboration differently and likely move faster to keep up.