Cool Choices alumni continue to practice the sustainable habits inspired by our engagement program long after the program ends. Often, alumni will send us stories to tell us the green steps they are continuing to make in their daily lives.
This month, we spotlight Mary and celebrate the sustainable vehicle choice her family made.
This is a busy time of year for sustainability professionals. Earth Day is THE holiday for advocates promoting environmental sustainability, whether as part of a corporate sustainability program or in a community-based setting. That means that green-themed lectures and sustainability fairs abound this time of year.
Ultimately that creates two challenges: First, the efforts occur just once a year. Second, in many cases, these efforts do not engage people, as we like to say, beyond the choir – people who are already trying to live an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle.
Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) hosted its 2018 conference, Community Driven Clean Energy, March 27-28, 2018, in central Minnesota. The event showcased the many Minnesota communities where clean energy investments are paying off. The event also highlighted ways CERTs staff is helping communities become part of the solution.
Cool Choices alumni continue to do amazing stuff after participating in our workplace and community sustainability engagement programs. Our program encourages individuals to make lifestyle changes in their daily activities that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other waste. The lasting changes participants make continue to persist for years to come. In fact, the changes they make not only affect themselves, but they share their new behaviors with friends and family to inspire even more sustainable action.
Cool Choices recently completed a tenant sustainability engagement program at six Gerding Edlen multi-family buildings in Boston and Chicago.
Gerding Edlen is a national leader in real estate investment, development, and asset and property management. Founded in 1996 and headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Gerding Edlen has built or renovated over 75 LEED certified properties.
As we’ve noted before, corporate sustainability is becoming the new normal. More and more companies are issuing corporate sustainability reports. In 2016, 82% of the S&P 500 issued corporate sustainability reports, up from just 20% five years earlier.
Similarly, more and more communities—red as well as blue—are committing to green goals. Reducing waste saves money and increases resilience—benefits that appeal to everyone.
Every sustainability advocate can envision an ideal world: a place where everyone recycles and composts appropriately. Where stakeholders don’t waste energy or water resources, and communities where sustainable practices are just what folks do.
Ultimately, it’s not that hard to envision the ideal end point. The challenge is creating a viable path from today’s realities toward that vision. A path that meets stakeholders where they are, and then engages and inspires them to become more sustainable versions of themselves.
Ultimately, creating sustainability strategies that work are about aligning practices in support of a triple bottom line—outcomes that benefit people, planet, and profitability. Entities thrive when sustainable strategies and practices are embedded within an organization’s culture, i.e.: when the sales team makes sustainable choices just as do their peers in accounting and facilities. Too often, though, sustainability professionals are stuck in a silo, talking to themselves and a small group of die-hard enthusiasts.
Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, spoke at Women In Green, a celebration for International Women’s Day 2018, which was organized by USGBC Wisconsin, WSBC Women in Sustainability, Evolution Marketing, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, and Milwaukee Talks Green on March 8, 2018. Emphasizing the connection between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and gender equality, Kathy urged women to lead their communities to a more sustainable and equitable future.
Going meatless – on Monday or any day of the week, and as often as you’d like – is not only good for your health, but for the health of the planet as well. In fact, going meatless on Monday is something Cool Choices program participants can earn points for in our sustainability engagement programs. Some participants earn points just by eating less meat—opting for plant-based meals some of the time. While others adopt a vegetarian lifestyle. Recently a 2018 alumna, Judy, reported that she’s switching to a plant-based diet so she can create a greener footprint for herself. Here’s more information on the benefits of going meat free.