Longtime GreenBiz good friend Bruce Klafter died July 18 after a brief and intense bout of pancreatic most cancers. Bruce most not too long ago was a vp of sustainability technique and outreach at Flex in Silicon Valley. GreenBiz co-founder and President Pete Might displays on his interplay with Bruce over time. And beneath, we offer reminiscences of Bruce from lots of his mates and collaborators within the sustainability neighborhood.

In the midst of a enterprise profession, you meet colleagues who’re sensible, or sort, or simply actually good at what they do. Bruce Klafter was all of these issues. 

I first met Bruce in 2007. Joel Makower and I had simply based GreenBiz Group (then referred to as Greener World Media). I used to be very actively getting out to fulfill practitioners in what was then the rising discipline of sustainable enterprise. Bruce at the moment was managing director, company accountability and sustainability at Utilized Supplies — then and now a large participant in supplies engineering for the semiconductor and photo voltaic photovoltaic industries.

Bruce was participating, heat, considerate and method farther alongside the journey in sustainability and environmental, well being and issues of safety than most individuals I spoke with again then. (Learn his 2013 interview, when he “retired” from Utilized Supplies, by which he recounts his skilled journey to that time.)

Over time, I acquired to know Bruce and I thought of him a good friend. We even acquired collectively to play tennis as soon as and he roundly thrashed me. He was in good condition however, extra tellingly, he was strategic in how he performed — simply as he was in his day job. In typical Bruce trend, he provided no trash-talking after; he as an alternative recommended me on my recreation and famous what I wanted to work on. 

Bruce left his handprints all around the trade, a hand that was all the time advancing good.

Bruce was all the time a giant fan of GreenBiz — our web site, our crew and our occasions. He was all the time diplomatic however he didn’t shrink from giving detailed, measured and constructive suggestions. I can nonetheless hear him, along with his Chicago accent, saying, “Yeah, that article on LCA was good, however I believe you may have gone deeper on …” Or “I assumed the convention was good this yr, and your crew all the time does knowledgeable job, however I assumed the mainstage audio system may have been higher.”

Or with out conceitedness, “I assumed a few of the classes have been too 101.”

Suggestions from Bruce was all the time helpful, by no means trite, by no means superficial and by no means a stroke to at least one’s ego. I all the time walked away pondering “Yeah, we will actually enhance on this or that space.”

Partaking with and giving again to the neighborhood all the time got here simply for Bruce. He was current at most each sustainability gathering within the San Francisco Bay Space and infrequently farther afield — as a speaker or simply an attendee. He lectured on the Presidio Faculty of Administration and was integrally concerned with Acterra, SASB, GRI and different sustainability management organizations. Bruce was current at main conferences reminiscent of GreenBiz, VERGE and BSR. He all the time had time for early profession professionals who sought his recommendation. 

In 2013, Bruce joined Flex, the enormous multinational electronics contract producer, the place he most not too long ago was vp of sustainability technique and outreach.

Over time, we’d meet up recurrently at Flex headquarters in San Jose, the place Bruce would share insights in regards to the firm and the trade. After I noticed him in January, we spent a while within the cafeteria. We talked about work and he gave me recommendation on how GreenBiz ought to cope with Flex. After I requested him about his household, he lit up, talking so proudly of his youngsters. 

By that point Bruce was coping with a problem method greater than any problem in his profession: pancreatic most cancers. And he was doing it with braveness, in his personal quiet measured method, 

Bruce attended our GreenBiz 20 in Phoenix in February. He later confided in me that that was the place the most cancers remedies actually began to have an effect on him.

I final noticed him at our VERGE Host Committee assembly at Cisco Techniques in late February, simply weeks earlier than the world shut down for COVID-19. He participated actively, passionately describing Flex’s work within the round financial system and different matters. Throughout a break, he expressed a quiet confidence in how he was coping with his sickness. 

From the calm method he described it, I by no means imagined that was the final time I’d see him. However it was. And that hurts. 

Bruce was personally heat and fascinating, clever, blessed with a humorousness and devoted to the work of constructing bridges and bringing change.

On July 21, his household held a lovely and transferring ceremony. With greater than 200 mates and colleagues tuning in by Zoom, the officiating rabbi, together with Bruce’s partner, son and daughter, described a caring father and husband identified for his humble, caring and unassuming method. 

Most cancers is merciless. It usually takes the very best amongst us. Like Bruce Klafter. 

Bruce, you have been cherished and will likely be sorely missed by the crew at GreenBiz Group, and by the sustainability neighborhood throughout us.  

The Klafter household has requested that any donations in his title go to the Pancreatic Most cancers Motion Community, devoted to preventing the world’s hardest most cancers.

Under are a handful of reminiscences from members of the sustainability neighborhood who Bruce touched.

Eric Austermann, Vice President, Social and Environmental Accountability, Jabil

Deepest condolences to Bruce’s household. I’ve identified Bruce for the reason that early beginnings of the Accountable Enterprise Alliance (EICC after we first related). Bruce was an excellent particular person, with contagious impression. Bruce left his handprints all around the trade, a hand that was all the time advancing good. 

Evident by our respective corporations, Bruce and I have been direct rivals. Bruce’s mind, light (however very efficient) ardour and total management at Flex impressed a wholesome competitiveness that, frankly, raised the bar for all. 

Peggy Brannigan, International Senior Program Supervisor, Environmental Sustainability, LinkedIn

I additionally need to share my appreciation for Bruce. I labored with him on the Acterra Enterprise Environmental Awards program, and from the primary time we met, I benefited from his beneficiant welcoming spirit and his kindness. He was purposeful and had a huge impact however all the time delicate to taking excellent care of the relationships with individuals.

Bruce Hartsough, former director of sustainability, Intuit; Board Chair, Bay Nature

I used to be deeply saddened to listen to that Bruce Klafter had handed. I met him after we have been each members of the GreenBiz Govt Community (GBEN) on the time that he was main Sustainability at Utilized Supplies whereas I used to be doing likewise for Intuit. Bruce was personally heat and fascinating, clever, blessed with a humorousness and devoted to the work of constructing bridges and bringing change. He was one of many nicest those who I met throughout that point, and afterwards I used to be all the time glad to meet up with him at a few of the nonprofit occasions that we have been each concerned in. I am actually sorry that he has left us.

In a scenario the place some would resort to divisiveness, aggression, preconceived opinions or dedication to outshine all others, Bruce did none of these issues.

Ellen Jackowski, Chief Sustainability and Social Influence Officer, HP Inc.

Bruce was among the best in our enterprise and his legacy will reside on for generations. He contributed to so many options, co-developed necessary pathways ahead and did every little thing with such intention and openness to create change inside our trade. I’ll miss Bruce’s friendship, and can always remember him or his ardour to create a greater world.

Cecily Joseph, Board Chair Web Influence; former vp, Company Accountability, Symantec

My coronary heart aches for Bruce’s household. Bruce was a mentor and good friend to many within the sustainability house together with me. He was all the time so sort and gracious. After we final met, I recall him talking so very proudly of his kids. He will likely be missed.

Mike Mielke, Senior Vice President, Surroundings and Vitality, Silicon Valley Management Group

Bruce was my first skilled mentor upon my arrival in Silicon Valley. I had heard a lot about him earlier than our assembly, and I used to be nervous that first time. Bruce, though he provided me some actually useful and point-blank recommendation, did so with such perception, thoughtfulness and kindness, that I knew proper there after which I needed to work nevertheless and every time I may with this sharp, skilled, sort and witty man. I have to confess I used to be overcome with grief once I discovered of his passing. However I’m comforted by the information that Bruce positively touched and affected the lives of so many individuals — greater than he may presumably know. Life is brief and valuable, and we must always attempt our greatest to make the most of the time we now have to make an actual distinction nevertheless we will. That’s what he taught me, and I consider Bruce tried to reside each day that method.

Adam Stern, former director, Acterra

Many individuals discuss company environmental sustainability. Bruce lived and breathed it and made it occur. He was an excellent strategist and an inspiring chief for all of us within the discipline. Might his reminiscence be a blessing.

Kathrin Winkler, former chief sustainability officer, EMC; Editor-at-Giant, GreenBiz

In a scenario the place some would resort to divisiveness, aggression, preconceived opinions or dedication to outshine all others, Bruce did none of these issues. He was considerate, sort, open to others’ views, prepared to pay attention and along with his calm demeanor, in a position to deliver peace. 

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