About Michelle Lapinski
Michelle Lapinski, Founding Principal of SustainBiz, has over a decade of experience working within or with Fortune 500 companies and their supply chains, particularly in the food and agriculture and consumer products industries. Her expertise spans strategy development, environmental issues, stakeholder relations, communications, social/labor issues/standards, facilitation and training. Prior to starting SustainBiz Michelle served as Director, Advisory Services (consulting) for Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), where she lead the Food & Agriculture, Consumer Products and Transportation Teams. As leader of food and agriculture industry services with BSR, Michelle advised companies on sustainability assessments, strategy development, supply chain management, stakeholder engagement and reporting. Her clients included McDonald’s, The Coca-Cola Company, Starbucks Coffee Company, Chiquita, Threemile Canyon Farms, Gap Inc., Nordstrom and HP. While at BSR developed and lead several industry working groups, include the Apparel Water Quality Working Group, Restricted Substances and Agricultural Water, as well as the supply chain-based Clean Cargo. Previously she was also BSR’s Manager of Environment and Climate Change. As an independent consultant Michelle consulted on supply chain environmental management and sustainability with The Natural Step for Bank of America and Good Deed in New Zealand.
Michelle has crucial experience developing and applying CSR programs within complex global supply chains through her work as the Global Environmental Health and Safety Manager (EHS) at Gap Inc. There she co-created their corporate social responsibility program, including standards and procedures to promote improved factory conditions and reduced environmental impacts in 3500 suppliers in over 50 countries, setting corporate environmental priorities and issues management and communication for CSR.
As Global EHS Manager she was responsible for setting environmental standards for products and suppliers, developing beneficial business solutions for emerging and public issues, leading CSR communications and managing audits and conducting training worldwide. Michelle frequently worked with sourcing and business unit executives to balance business priorities and achieve sustainability results.
Michelle is an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco where she created the masters course Strategic Corporate Environmental Management. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from USF, a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University and is a Environmental Leadership Program Senior Fellow. She is a founding Board member and National Co-Director of the non profit Young Women Social Entrepreneurs and co-founder of EcoTribe.