Practitioner Spotlight--Meaghan McNaney

Practitioner Spotlight--Meaghan McNaney

August 6th, 2019

Name:

Meaghan McNaney

Office:

Greater New York

Practice Area:

Sustainability

Area(s) of expertise:

Corporate Reporting and Disclosure, Water Stewardship, Benchmarking, Data Management

About Me in 140 Characters:

Optimist, conservationist, adventurer, and lover of the simple life. Happiest when running, painting, fishing, and exploring mountains with my husband and dog.

Favorite Thing about Being a Sustainability Practitioner:

The variety of clients that we support! Sustainability is applicable to all companies and sectors, from food and beverage to oil and gas. Developing customized approaches and enabling clients to tell a sustainability story that reflects their organization in an accurate and impactful way will never get old. There’s never a dull moment and I learn something new each time!

What trends do you see in your practice area?

Climate change and water stress are some of the most pervasive issues that companies face today, and investors and consumers are taking note. Within my five years of corporate reporting, I’ve seen sustainability reports and disclosures transition from “nice to have” to “need to have.” Reporting platforms and NGOs are consistently driving toward more detailed disclosures, with increased pressure to provide the data and analytics to back them up.

What is the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

There are too many to choose from! One that stands out was a source vulnerability assessment that I supported for a remote distillery in India. The region had been in a state of serious water stress for several years and competition for fresh water sources was a highly-contested issue. After countless hours of research and expert interviews, the optimization opportunities that we presented to the client enabled the distillery to continue production while decreasing their water footprint. Knowing that our solutions resulted in business continuity while saving jobs and making a palpable impact on the local community is something I will cherish forever.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

The commonality of a shared goal. On any given day, I can speak with colleagues and clients all around the world – and although the approaches, scale, and impacts may vary, everyone is working diligently to leave the world a safer, more sustainable place. I think there’s something very powerful in that.

What surprises people about your job?

The facilitation work we do for the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) is a project very near and dear to my heart… and as such, I tend to talk about it a lot! People are always surprised to learn that the world’s largest beverage companies (and true market competitors) are actually collaborating with one another to tackle complex sustainability challenges. We benchmark their collective and individual progress and members voluntarily share insights and best practices amongst one another. It’s truly a joy to just be in the room and see them in action.

Is there something unique that people might not know about you?

I’m the daughter of a Marine Corps Officer and a therapist (how’s that for a mix!?) and moved many, many times growing up. I like to think that my curiosity and sense of service to others is hereditary.

What is on the top of your bucket list?

Strange bucket list item… but becoming a farmer! Farming and gardening runs in my blood and I think there’s something very cathartic about getting your hands dirty, caring for animals, and living off of the land. I’m open to anything, but goats, sheep, and bees are a top priority.

What is your most treasured possession?

I wear a pair of Claddagh and eternity knot rings that I never take off – they were given to me by my grandparents who immigrated from Ireland with nothing but each other. It’s my personal reminder to work hard, be kind, and stay humble.

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