Sunday, May 19, 2024

Reducing Environmental Impact: An Interview with Joy Arnold, Chief Compliance Officer at Clincierge

Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Navigating AI’s Impact On Business
Today, we had the opportunity to interview Joy Arnold, J.D. who is a Chief Compliance Officerat Clincierge.

Welcome to our interview with Joy Arnold, J.D., Chief Compliance Officer at Clincierge. Joy shares her backstory and how she transitioned from a career in patent litigation to her current role. We also discuss Clincierge’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact, including their decision to be a remote-first organization and their participation in Digital Cleanup Day. Joy also shares the challenges they faced in implementing sustainable practices and how they overcame them. Join us as we dive into the world of ESG reporting and sustainability at Clincierge.

Interviewee Name: Joy Arnold, J.D.

Company: Clincierge

Joy Arnold, J.D.’s favourite quote: Black women are always imitating Harriet Tubman—escaping to become something unheard of. Alice Walker

The Interview

Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?

Joy Arnold, J.D. : I am a former intellectual property lawyer who spent a couple of decades doing patent litigation with a focus on the pharmaceutical sector. Like many middle-aged people, I found myself needing to provide caregiving support for my elderly parents, and I eventually stepped away from a career that was not optimal for work-life balance. During this period, I learned about Clincierge and was impressed by its mission. Clincierge was looking for someone to fill a senior compliance role, and after both of my parents passed away, I found I no longer needed to prioritize work flexibility.

My past experience was not perfectly aligned with the job requirements for a Chief Compliance Officer, but Clincierge’s CEO, Scott Gray, appreciated the soft “patient support” skills I had obtained from caregiving. He took a chance on my passion and potential. I became CCO in 2021, and two years into the adventure, my team has grown from three to eight. We are juggling a wide swath of responsibilities, including taking the lead on Clincierge’s ESG reporting.

In what ways has your company worked to reduce its environmental impact, and what results have you seen from these efforts?

Joy Arnold, J.D. : Clincierge’s most significant environmental impact to date likely has come from our decision to be a remote-first organization, thereby eliminating commuting time and diverting office-related waste from landfills. In 2023 we will be quantifying this effort in granular detail.

As of this writing, we do know, however, that being untethered to an office resulted in Clincierge relying on digital processes that do not require paper. Those processes resulted in a savings of 35,943 pages of paper, equating to:

• 5,508 pounds of carbon emissions reduced
• 6,909 gallons of water conserved
• 2,346 pounds of wood saved, and
• 381 pounds of waste eliminated.

In addition, during the first quarter of 2023, Clincierge participated in Digital Cleanup Day, making a concerted effort throughout the organization to eliminate digital waste. To date, the company has realized a 10% reduction in its data. This process has several environmental benefits, including less of a need to add hard drives and associated toxic chemicals to the waste stream.

Clincierge’s ESG sustainability metrics utilize the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard classification to categorize greenhouse gas emissions associated with Clincierge’s carbon footprint. GHG defines three “scope” categories—distinctions used to indicate the level of control an organization has over an emission. Scope 3 emissions are all of the indirect emissions that arise as a consequence of an organization’s activities but which are not under the organization’s direct control. Given that Clincierge’s participant support services include air travel (commercial and chartered flights), ground transportation (sedan, WAV, ambulance, and RV/car rental), rail travel, and sample shipments, it is not a surprise that Scope 3 accounts for the most significant portion of Clincierge’s carbon footprint.

In 2022, not every vendor was able to provide Clincierge with up-to-date sustainability metrics, but based on the information Clincierge did obtain from its vendors, our understanding is that 88.9% of our emissions are Scope 3 (tCO2e). Our understanding of our emissions breakdown by scope continues to inform our desire to find additional sophisticated partners with the capacity to offer our clients hybrid vehicles or other sustainability-friendly transportation service options.

What challenges have you faced in implementing sustainable practices, and how have you overcome them?

Joy Arnold, J.D. : Collecting ESG data can require an enormous contribution from people outside our organization who do not own our ESG processes. Persuading those people to contribute the necessary effort requires convincing them that ESG is an intangible asset critical to us and our clients. We recently revisited that conversation with one of our significant vendors. Understanding the importance of ESG to Clincierge helped that vendor move beyond its 2022 skepticism and agree to weigh the effort differently in 2023.

Sustainability outcomes generally come with a cost, and resource allocation can be challenging. Finding the proper balance between the commitment to sustainability and the investment in ESG initiatives requires a bit of creativity. Clincierge has utilized the fact that our ESG effort lives within our Compliance & Risk Management Department. By driving sustainable value inextricably intertwined with privacy, data security, and other compliance responsibilities, our organization has learned to appreciate sustainability as a competitive differentiator while simultaneously investing in compliance and ESG efforts. At Clincierge, sustainability has not been siloed as “the transformation that costs too much.”

Leaders Perception would like to thank Joy Arnold, J.D. and Clincierge for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

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