David Y. Smith, Principal
A globally recognized business sustainability leader, David has over 20 years of business leadership and P&L experience with blue chips and start-ups in operations, marketing, general management, business development, and sustainability in USA, Canada, EU, Middle East and with global supply chains (with a focus on Asia).
In his previous roles, including VP Sustainability for Sobeys (a $24 billion annual sales Canadian supermarket company with global supply chains), VP Marketing for Whole Foods Market (USA), and VP/General Manager growing a new division of small urban stores to $100 million in annualized sales, he has reported to CEOs, managed C-suite committees and led cross functional (operations, purchasing, merchandising, product development, marketing, communications, government relations, finance, legal, IT, real estate, construction, human resources) and cross cultural teams to align on common directions and to integrate sustainability to achieve impactful business sustainability results – in sales growth, cost reduction, improved operational efficiency, and increased profitability.
Unique among sustainability business practitioners, in addition to comprehensive business sustainbility expertise, he has both:
(1) P&L experience, and
(2) is adept at creating authentic brands, “greening” product development, and driving consumer awareness, demand and sales for “greener” and healthier products. He has created new product categories and sub-categories while driving consumer adoption from niche to mainstream for emergent trends including WiFi, organic/natural, health & wellness, and “green”. His consumer insights are informed by over $2 million of relevant, longitudinal consumer research.
David has led teams to deliver improved sustainability results for companies’ direct operations (offices, retail stores, warehouses, fleets/logistics, factories, extraction and processing facilities) and their domestic and global supply chains.
David has extensive leadership experience as a leader on trade association and government – industry committees in North America, EU, and globally. He has engaged with governments to help inform policy development and regulations in Canada, US, EU, Middle East, Asia, and South America.
He has an undergraduate degree in biology and environmental studies and a Master of Business Administration. He has lived in USA, UK, and Egypt, and currently resides outside of Toronto, Canada.
Orion GBSC has an extensive global network, which allows it to customize consulting engagement teams specific to the needs of the client. Specialists include standards, auditing, and assurance; forestry, mining, agriculture, seafood; analysts, operational, financial, government relations, regional and country-specific experts, etc.
We have vast business sustainability experience. We are not learning while engaging on your assignment, as many consultants do.
We have P&L experience. We know what it is like to have to deliver quarterly financial results. We have driven significant sales growth, cost reduction, and return on capital through business sustainability initiatives. Our experience in general management, business development/ sales/ marketing, and procurement / supplier engagement informs and enables our high performance on business sustainability and integrating sustainability into the business.
We have an Action-oriented mindset. Talk is cheap (and expensive when you are paying consultants). Our deep experience allows us to get to our recommended actionables for you quicker so that you can drive impact sooner and more efficiently.
We have demonstrated expertise creating authentic/credible brands, leading “greener” product development, leveraging our deep consumer insights and expertise segmenting and targeting high potential customers and consumers, and developing impactful integrated marketing plans to drive awareness, sales and profits.
We are keen and lean implementers with strong cross functional and cross cultural project management skills and effective communication capabilities. We know how to integrate sustainability, through piggy backing on existing processes and kpi’s rather than creating onerous new ones, how to reduce complexity rather than add to it, and how to efficiently capture required but previously not captured data.
We provide big consulting company outcomes at a fraction of the cost, through lean overhead and customized use of our virtual global partner network. You pay for only what you need.
We know how to save you significant money and accelerate your business sustainability progress by plugging you into relevant industry collaborative initiatives.
We provide you the ability to attain the level of business sustainability leadership appropriate for you, from leader to fast follower. Regardless, you will have a fact-based, credible, and defensible proactive plan and execution timeline that enables you to define the agenda rather than reactively respond to some other stakeholder’s agenda.
Like travelers at night using the North Star (Polaris) or constellations like Orion for directional guidance, we use sustainability as our beacon to drive businesses’ financial growth responsibly.
Because businesses of all sizes operate in complex and competitive situations, “Global” refers to:
Globally-recognized: David Smith is globally recognized for leadership on driving business sustainability
Geography: across borders for owned facilities, supply chains and customers; we have experience on all continents except Australia (our network includes it)
Sectors/ Industries: proven approach in numerous sectors and adaptable to all
Business Scope: integration across all functional areas and across the value chain
Impacts scope: covering energy / climate change, water, waste / toxicity / human health, biodiversity, stewardship, fair labour practices / social compliance, and animal welfare
Stakeholder Engagement: internal (employees) and external (customers, suppliers, partners, investors, governments, NGOs, academics)
Our Values: Because we believe that businesses should take reponsiibility for their entire value chain, from raw material producers in their supply chains to the impact of their products and services used by their customers.
We start with a deep set of core business functional expertise (such as operational efficiency, P&L responsibility, business development, driving sales, product development, marketing, reporting to CEOs and managing C-suite committees), which enables our effectiveness improving business sustainability. We focus on driving reductions in businesses’ environmental and social footprints while increasing sales and profitability. We also work with NGOs and governments to help them understand how they can facilitate businesses’ progress on sustainability, and with trade associations to identify and activate appropriate collaborative initiatives among members. “Business” to us means:
From blue chips / multinational corporations to start-ups and SMEs (small and medium enterprises)
From Boards of Directors and C-Suites to Executive Teams and Middle Management
We help clients achieve high impact on all three element of the “Triple Bottom Line” (profits, social, environmental) through a balanced, fact-based, proven and action-oriented mindset, with reasonable but aggressive timelines for phased, integrated implementation. A sustainable business is profitable and demonstrates proactive leadership in addressing its key business impacts.
The large green circle wrapped in the blue “sheath” suggests planet earth.
The 3 smaller blue circles (inside the large green circle) represent the Triple Bottom Line: Economic, Environmental, Social.
The 4 smaller blue and green circles “escaping” from the large green circle represent the 4 planet earths we will need to support the 3.1 billion new middle class consumers globally (there are only 1.8 billion now) by 2030 if we do not succeed in dramatically decoupling economic development from environmental degradation.