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Partners in Sustainability--Just a Click Away

October 29, 2014
Last week, GWG explored some recent news and developments in the environmental world that can be applied by a green team to help raise awareness of a need, add documented justification to support a proposal, or incorporated into an existing project to boost its environmental impact and/or benefit to the bottom line.  This week, we explore what some leading groups and institutions are doing and the resources available from their websites that are accessible to all of us.  Lucky, indeed, are those entities and the public agencies and private sector operations located in proximity to each other that they can actively collaborate on projects of mutual interest and benefit. 
Our first stop on our swing through the continental U.S. takes us to Michigan where the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum has dedicated twenty years “to promote business practices that demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality, and social responsibility.” It’s a diverse group of large industries to small businesses who learn, exchange information, and progress together on the path to sustainability.  Earlier this month, the Forum held a conference on Climate Resiliency to facilitate an understanding of the vulnerabilities in that region in the event of severe weather and other climate events and presented an initiative to build a framework for how businesses and organizations in West Michigan can start to improve their resilience.  The program was a joint venture with Michigan State University and the Rand Corporation, among others.  The principles and goals set forth in the initiative are generally applicable and progress on this initiative bears watching. 
Next, we stop at the League of Cities in Kentucky which is playing a lead role in theKentucky Sustainability Institute, a partnership between the NewCities Institute, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet- Division of Compliance Assistance, to promote the “greening” of the Bluegrass State through education and resources.  The Institute has published a tool kit that is loaded with information, suggested steps, and examples from across the U.S. to help offices establish sustainability policies and programs.  This is a great resource and aid to any green team seeking ideas about what to include and consider for their organization.
Our last stop this week takes us to North Carolina State University, which has a robust campus sustainability program to ignite any program.  Also, NC State is but one of hundreds of universities and colleges across the US and around the world that are excellent resources to their communities and are often engaged in research and programs involving regional and national sustainability efforts.  NC State’s “Change Your State” web page offers numerous suggestions to encourage students to adopt practices and habits that are pro-environment.  Green teams can apply these in their own organizations, too.  GWG has often written about the value of educational institutions and potential opportunities for office green teams to participate in events and activities that benefit both the work environment and the larger community. 

The message this week—we share the earth and its resources together.  And only by helping each other and working together will we solve the challenges we face.  Read more.

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