Learn how sustainability efforts can improve your business or non-profit organization. Sustainability goes far beyond just recycling to examining environmental practices and their impact. There's a lot to understand, so we're bringing together three great guests to enlighten you, our audience:
Christopher Juniper of CORE,
Kara Peck of YR&G and
Stephanie Welsh of RAFT Colorado.
Christopher Juniper is the Executive Director at CORE, an organization dedicated to helping companies understand and implement sustainability practices in their operations. The key is to align your business with your values, and do the best for the environment at the same time.
Juniper says, "Sustainability implies protection of the next generation from this one. It really is a multi-generational concept. We need to respect the next generations need to inherit from us, enough ecological and social health and capital that they can meet their own needs. We have a consensus amongst humanity that we should protect the next generation from this one. The question is how do we do it."
You can find out more about sustainability practices through CORE at www.COREColorado.org, they help to provide practical experience for small companies that don't have the bandwidth to do it on their own and don't have the money to pay for consultants.
The 8th Annual Sustainable Opportunities Summit is coming up soon, April 9, 2013 at History Colorado Center - where you'll be able to celebrate and learn from Colorado's sustainability leaders. Featured speakers include; Shawn Mills of Greenhouse Data, and Phil Washington of RTD Denver... people who are doing things no one else is doing.
If you're interested in the summit, start at the CORE Colorado website to learn more. It will be a great opportunity for networking, inspiration and education. spend time with exhibitors, speakers, panel discussion.
Kara Peck, Business Development Manager at YR&G - has an interesting perspective on how to approach sustainability and drive value at every level. Their approach is to align sustainability with a company's strategic goals and values rather than as an additional business requirement.
"We see it as something at is going to align with an organization's goals and objectives and then figuring out how to tie sustainability in there so that it's not, "Lets figure out how to make this project energy efficient on the back end.", or figure out how to use recycled materials but figure out how sustainability can drive increased value." Peck says.
A prime example is the ability to identify how sustainability plays into healthy living. In one case, working with Denver Housing Authority to create communities that emphasize active design, like prominent staircases that promote movement instead of elevators - and creating community gardens to encourage people to come together in community and to promote healthy eating.
When sustainability efforts align with a company's goals and values, that when things really come together. Find out more by visiting www.yrgxyz.com
Stephanie Welsh, the Executive Director of RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching), an organization that inspires hands-on teaching by unlocking the magic of materials. Although at it's core, RAFT is about education, sustainability factors in by partnering with other organizations to up-cycle their unwanted materials. In order to stock the RAFT warehouse with items for every conceivable project, they ask us all to look at things we no longer have a need for and find a use for them beyond their intended purpose. Teachers then transform those items to hands-on activities for students.
If you're wondering what they could use, the answer is everything! They'll take anything from paper tubes, fabric, foam core to scratched CDs, jewel cases, water bottles and file folders... any standard items that are easily duplicated and sorted. Welsh says, "We haven't met many things we can't use."
As part of her job, Welsh visits various companies and organizations to determine what might be useful...
She says, "When I go out to different companies to see what they could donate they say, "Oh no, we don't have anything you would want." and I say, "Well can we just look around your warehouse? Would you mind giving me five minutes? ... People think I'm crazy when I come out, they're like, "Really? Are you that excited about our trash? I say, "Oh yes! I am!" because it's not trash. It's something that has great educational value. We just have to step back and take a different look at it. "
With these assorted supplies, RAFT has created more than 600 activities to inspire teacher and students. RAFT also offers classroom space for professional development, and their mission is to support teachers in common core standards.
That's meaningful sustainability.
Any educator in the state of Colorado can shop the RAFT warehouse and purchase items at 80% - 90% all the time. Membership is $25 per individual per year, Groups of ten or more registering at the same time can join for $20 each. A day pass for those uncertain if they'll be back in Denver is $15. Reasonable pricing, considering most teachers spend at least $500 of their own money on classroom supplies each year.
Learn more at www.RAFTColorado.org
Listen to the entire Connect & Collaborate program this Saturday at 10:00 AM on KNUS 710 – or listen to our podcast – you’ll find it at the top of this article.