Keynote Speaker

Douglas M. Baker


About the Keynote

Industrial Innovation and Mining

The purpose of this session is to highlight the importance of industrial innovation, including in the mining sector. What does innovation mean locally, nationally and internationally for promotion of sustainable production of minerals, both in the U.S. and globally?

An impressive slate of speakers will discuss their insight and perspective on:

  • U.S. and global minerals production, and the importance of the U.S. to maintain a major role in the minerals industry, both as a producer and as a technology leader.
  • What is required for Minnesota to continue to be a leading producer of minerals (e.g., iron ore, non-ferrous minerals, industrial minerals), and for other U.S. regions, the importance of developing and producing minerals domestically.
  • The role of the U.S. government in supporting innovation, particularly in research and development across industry, academia, and agencies.
  • What the minerals industry can do to increase the probability of opening mines in the U.S.

The session will include a Panel Discussion Emphasis will be placed on innovation, with respect to both technology and social responsibility, in developed and developing regions of the world. Topics will include:

  • Global innovation, and the need for dialog with “all stakeholders” for socially-responsive interaction with local and regional communities.
  • Environmental responsibility and industrial activities, including mining, in the 21st century
  • Joint U.S. government/industry funding of research and development in sustainable mining – as is now available in other countries – to ensure that the U.S. remains in the forefront of innovation and sustainable practice. What has been lost, and how can it be regained?
  • The decline of U.S. university mining engineering programs and its impact on innovation in mineral extraction technology, and recycling and substitution of materials.

About the Speaker

Doug Baker joined Ecolab in 1989 and rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2004 and chairman of the board in 2006. Under his leadership, Ecolab has become the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources.

Baker strongly believes that focusing simultaneously on social, economic and environmental performance is good for society and good for business. During his tenure as CEO, Ecolab has gained a global reputation as an innovative leader in sustainability and corporate responsibility, and shareholder equity has risen by more than 420 percent. In 2014, Baker was named Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility magazine and has been recognized as a leading CEO by several organizations and publications.

Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. In 2016 alone, the company helped businesses conserve 161 billion gallons of water, 52.4 million pounds of waste and 11.1 trillion BTUs of energy.

Ecolab ranks #10 on Corporate Responsibility’s list of Best Corporate Citizens and #13 on Newsweek’s list of the World’s Greenest Companies. The company was named to the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America and has been named to Ethisphere’s list of the World's Most Ethical Companies for 11 consecutive years.

Baker also serves on the board of directors of Target Corporation and U.S. Bancorp and on the board of trustees for his alma mater, College of the Holy Cross.