Hannah Johnson, 26, earned a Bachelor of Science from Miami University in Ohio with a major in marketing and minor in urban and regional analysis. She started at resin distributor M. Holland Co. in 2018 as a sales and business development intern, joined full time in 2019 as a commercial development associate, advanced to a strategic planning analyst in 2020 and was promoted to a senior strategic planning analyst in 2021.
"My greatest achievement has been guiding M. Holland's annual strategic planning process. I have been given the opportunity to work with the leadership team to help create a five-year plan and define the company's vision," Johnson said. "Moving into my current role and facilitating parts of this process led me to realize that corporate planning is a passion of mine."
Johnson is responsible for providing insights from the American Chemistry Council's Resin Report to include in M. Holland's strategic vision and plan. "Recently, I led a project between our organization and Mastio, a top research company for the plastic, chemical, energy, utility, transportation and logistics industries. Together, we were able to complete a prosperity customer and supplier value loyalty study for M. Holland," she said.
Johnson is a member of Women in Manufacturing in Illinois and recently joined the group's Rosie Readers Book Club. She was also accepted into Chicago Innovation's Women's Mentoring Co-op, where she was able to network with other women in the Chicago area and connect with a mentor. Within M. Holland, Johnson helps to organize events with the community committee.
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Q: What is your philosophy related to plastics and sustainability? What steps have you taken to improve plastics' sustainability, either in work, your community or personal life?
Johnson: I believe increased sustainability is essential to the future of the plastics industry. I work on a variety of ESG-related initiatives at M. Holland. I lead M. Holland's annual EcoVadis survey. … EcoVadis is a third-party corporate social responsibility rating platform that evaluates a company's environmental, human and labor, ethics and sustainable procurement performance. This effort takes collaboration with every department in our organization to implement policies, set goals and identify the areas where our organization can improve its performance.
I also lead our Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire submission. M. Holland submits emissions calculations and sets targets in this program annually. Specifically, the CDP has a goal of holding organizations accountable for the continual improvement of GHG emissions. M. Holland's current focus on GHG emissions are scope 1 and 2 emissions.
Q: What emerging technology or market most interests you?
Johnson: An emerging market that interests me the most is sustainable packaging. At M. Holland, packaging in general is a market we are strongly focused on serving. With a team of experts and a packaging-specific line card, it's no surprise sustainable packaging has come up in strategic conversations at our organization. Across the globe, there has been an increased interest in sustainable packaging, and I believe even those outside of our industry can see that through changes in consumer product packaging. As OEMs continue to make large commitments towards sustainability goals, and consumers trend towards using recycled materials, I am interested to see how this market continues to grow.
Q: What should the plastics industry do to expand its efforts in diversity and inclusion?
Johnson: The plastics industry has an opportunity to expand its efforts in diversity and inclusion. Ideally, there needs to be more representation from various age groups, genders, races/ethnicities and backgrounds at all organizational levels across the industry. I have been lucky enough to work with M. Holland's DE&I team, who have set benchmarks for our organization against the industry in diversity and inclusion. Transparency is a key first step plastics organizations can take, which can include publishing the demographics of employees. Once the current state of D&I at various organizations is shared, a conversation can take place around the goals organizations should have.
One way I recommend doing this would be to use a third-party CSR [corporate social responsibility] platform that will ask for specific metrics around, for example, the number of minorities in leadership roles. At M. Holland, EcoVadis rates us on our human and labor performance and initiatives. We use this rating to increase external transparency of the talent we have at our organization.