Green.org sat down with Seri McClendon, CEO of Clean Agency, where they help their clients with sustainable strategy, technical assessment and innovation and communications.
Seri, thank you for being here today. Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am the CEO of Clean Agency, responsible for running the firm since its inception in 2002. As the primary business development lead, I provide client services, business and sustainability strategy, and team leadership. I forecast market changes for Clean and our clients to provide guidance to be successful in a quickly changing business landscape. Prior to starting Clean Agency, I held VP positions at large advertising and design agencies, including Think New Ideas and Perceive. After graduating from California State Long Beach with a Masters in Geography, with a focus in Industrial Ecology and Life Cycle Assessment Training, I was appointed to the USC Center for Sustainable Cities Advisory Board and Verynice Global Design Strategy Consultants Board.
What would you do with $1 billion dollars?
If I had a billion dollars, I’d invest in a cause very close to my heart- our oceans. I’ve grown up by the sea, currently live near Ventura Harbor, and often volunteer with the Channel Island Marine and Wildlife Institute. I’d invest in cleaning up our oceans, investing in advanced tech and innovative ways to accelerate clean up efforts. I’d support efforts to protect marine life, from creating marine sanctuaries to conserving endangered species and promoting sustainable fishing practices. I’d also work with governments and NGOs worldwide to tighten up fishing regulations to help our oceans recover. Finally, I would funnel funds to support innovations in plastic alternatives and raise awareness about reducing plastic use. A billion dollars won’t fix everything, but by teaming up with experts and organizations globally, we can organize real efforts to safeguard our oceans for the future.
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
Sustainability has become incredibly important today, and it’s something I’ve been passionate about for 22 years since founding Clean. Although the term “sustainability” can often seem broad and vague, it’s heartening to see governments, businesses, and individuals aligning with shared objectives. Climate change concerns have pushed governments to take action on carbon reduction, and there’s a growing movement to find solutions in areas like eco-friendly packaging and innovation with new materials. Sustainability is especially crucial today as we see the effects of climate change first-hand. Sustainability allows us to address these urgent challenges and create a safer future for all of our planet’s inhabitants.
What do you envision your industry looking like in ten years?
In a decade, I expect that there will likely be a more advanced regulatory framework in place, streamlining reporting procedures for all organizations involved. Additionally, I anticipate widespread adoption of life cycle assessments (LCA) as a standard practice among consumer corporations. Given the high visibility of plastic pollution. I also hope to witness substantial improvements in addressing the recycling challenges currently facing the US. These developments collectively contribute to a more sustainable and efficiently managed industry landscape. Clean believes education and communication are key to process. We’re keeping clients, followers, and friends in the loop about our changing industry through our newsletter and blog, which highlights everything from big wins to challenges in the sustainability and climate spheres, and can be signed up for through our website.