Communities across the world are committing to sustainable practices. Here in the US, cities large and small are pledging to reduce their emissions, to fulfill the terms of the Paris Climate Accord, and to achieve 100% clean energy.
As we showcased in the first installment of our Sustainable Communities webinar series, communities large and small across the Midwest are doing great work around sustainability. A challenge is expanding and accelerating that work by involving everyone and delivering change at scale.
Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, recently talked about behavior change strategies as part of a panel discussion in an environmental economics class at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
On May 1, 2018, Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, presented a session at the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) IMPACT Conference in St. Paul, MN titled, “If It Works Here…Green Lessons from a Very Red Place.” In her presentation, Kathy spoke about the affect of behavior and social norms as the applied to our 2017 Waukesha County program. Waukesha County is considered to be the most conservative county in Wisconsin. Here is a recap of the USGBC IMPACT 2018 event and Kathy’s presentation.
More and more, companies are making a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, alongside increased profits. In fact, diligence with the first two can have significant influence with consumers. How entities prioritize and measure the performance of all three is known as a triple bottom line accounting framework. Ultimately, entities want sustainability and social solutions that benefit the triple bottom line—solutions that deliver value to people (customers, employees, and stockholders,) the planet (wise resource use,) while also increasing profits.
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.
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.