Introducing GreenBiz.org, a new nonprofit for BIPOC professionals

February 16, 2021 by  
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Introducing GreenBiz.org, a new nonprofit for BIPOC professionals Joel Makower Tue, 02/16/2021 – 02:11 Last week, during GreenBiz 21, Jarami Bond — a new colleague but an old friend — announced the launch of a new nonprofit “that exists solely to nurture and empower BIPOC professionals to accelerate a just transition to a clean economy,” as he described it. It was a moment of deep pride for all of us. The nonprofit, spun out of the for-profit GreenBiz Group as an independent entity, was born of our longstanding efforts to counter the overwhelming whiteness of the sustainable business profession — and sustainability overall — but was energized by the events of last summer, as the topic of racial justice burst from the margins to the mainstream across the United States and beyond. GreenBiz.org is the response to a range of confounding challenges so many of us have voiced in both public and private settings. Among them: Why aren’t there more Black, Indigenous and people of color — BIPOC, in today’s argot — working in sustainability? Speaking on behalf of the predominantly white corporate sustainability movement, how can we, individually and collectively, better engage, serve and learn from communities of color, the tens of millions of our fellow humans who may not look like us? Where are the opportunities to lift BIPOC voices, to elevate and amplify the ideas and proven solutions from communities outside our sphere? Perhaps we need to create a bigger sphere. I believe that in light of the empathy that exists at the core of our work, we as sustainability professionals must continue to be linked arm-in-arm with BIPOC communities. I’ll let Bond describe the purpose of this new organization, pulling from his moving and passionate presentation at GreenBiz 21. (You can watch his entire 10-minute talk here . Click on the Tuesday keynote, starting at 41:00 on the video.) Bond began by sharing his own story, as his childhood love for the environment turned into a career path, starting at Interface, the iconic flooring company. Along the way, he said: I recognized that something huge was missing, something that I felt was integral to our field accomplishing the big, bold goals it was chasing after. And that missing link was people that looked like me, Black- and Brown-melanated souls. Throughout his time in both college and Corporate America, Bond said, “I grew used to being the only Black person in my class or on my team — the face of the race, navigating microaggressions and flagrant assumptions, wrestling with double consciousness, challenging those who wanted me to conform to majority culture, and trying to posture myself constantly to defy the stereotypes, even challenging those who tried to suppress my blackness to make themselves more comfortable, or make a caricature of it for their own entertainment.” Jarami Bond speaking to the GreenBiz 21 audience. Amid his personal struggles, Bond saw an opportunity to align his profession with his passion: I believe that in light of the empathy that exists at the core of our work, we as sustainability professionals must continue to be linked arm-in-arm with BIPOC communities, with the stakeholders at the front of the march advocating for equity and justice. We need all hands on deck. In parallel, as my colleagues and I at GreenBiz Group began to sketch out the vision for a new nonprofit, I knew exactly who to enlist to help. As a strategic adviser to GreenBiz.org, Bond is leading the efforts to stand up this organization and to articulate its purpose, as he did so eloquently last week: We envision a vibrant ecosystem of individuals, organizations and communities working symbiotically to transform our field culturally and dismantle environmental injustice. We will convene companies, nonprofits, activists and community stakeholders to bolster the resilience of disadvantaged and marginalized communities. We will foster belonging and support the career development of BIPOC sustainability professionals. We will help fund BIPOC social entrepreneurs spearheading startups and small businesses focused on innovating toward a clean economy through an intersectional lens. We will support creators of color telling stories about the emerging clean economy through that same intersectional lens. We will also create spaces for BIPOC sustainability professionals to build community fostering deeper connection and support. He concluded, as he began, on a personal note: “I am over-the-moon excited because I’ve been working to create what I and so many in our space have been dreaming of for so long. … I truly believe that our field will be different because this nonprofit exists.” We are over-the-moon excited, too — about the potential for this new organization to open the sustainability tent far wider than before to include voices and faces not traditionally heard and seen within the mainstream business community. And to — finally — harness a far broader swath of knowledge, wisdom and experience about what it means to live in a sustainable world. And how we can all get there together. Much more to come as GreenBiz.org takes wing. For now, we welcome interested parties: funders; strategic partners; and professionals excited about the new entity’s vision and goals. Sign up for updates here , or email Bond directly: jarami@greenbiz.org . I invite you to follow me on Twitter , subscribe to my Monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzz , and listen to GreenBiz 350 , my weekly podcast, co-hosted with Heather Clancy. Pull Quote I believe that in light of the empathy that exists at the core of our work, we as sustainability professionals must continue to be linked arm-in-arm with BIPOC communities. Topics Social Justice State of the Profession Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Introducing GreenBiz.org, a new nonprofit for BIPOC professionals

How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game

January 21, 2021 by  
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Climate change has remained a central topic internationally for some time. Although a few non-believers still dismiss the idea, science has repeatedly shown the damaging effects of human activity on the  environment . The Sunrise Movement represents a growing force that encourages all citizens to work towards better balance for the planet at an individual, governmental or corporate level.  It’s a grassroots movement with feet on the ground across the nation. Members attend organized events, talk with people on the street and even spread their message door to door. The group’s ongoing efforts lead to a continued increase in numbers, which has helped publicize their mission to advocate for the environment. This membership allows the Sunrise Movement to make a statement in large groups, which proves especially powerful since one of the group’s guiding principles is to remain non-violent at all times. Related: Kids are hungry for books about eco-activists, in what publishers call ‘the Greta effect’ The Sunrise Movement is unique in several ways, the main one being that most members are under the age of 30. Youth, passion and concerns for their futures as citizens of the planet drive the group of teens and young adults. Members unite to educate citizens, but also take activism to a political level by encouraging the election of leaders willing to work towards the health and well-being of the planet and its citizens. They regularly organize campaigns for candidates who support the cause and demonstrations against representatives who don’t. Most recently, members contacted over 6.5 million voters to drive the largest youth turnout in history. Additionally, the Sunrise Movement presented president-elect Joe Biden with a comprehensive climate mandate that includes specific candidate recommendations for cabinet picks. Members also outlined the installation of a new executive called The Office of Climate Mobilization to focus on reversing climate change as a national project. Although the Sunrise Movement originally endorsed Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election, the group shifted behind president-elect Biden after his primary win. The organization also targets fossil fuel executives to draw attention to and eliminate their influence on policy. Members refuse to step away due to pressure or fear of retribution. Instead, they make their voices heard in one-on-one scenarios as well as at very public events. For example, in February 2020, middle and high school students demonstrated in the U.S. Capitol Building. Twenty of them, one as young as 13, were arrested during the event. Those not arrested stood, arms linked or holding signs, peacefully addressing lawmakers who have failed to implement action to heal climate change. Specifically, that group at the capitol and the movement as a whole are focused on implementing The Green New Deal , a set of principles aimed at reversing climate change, eliminating poverty and creating sustainable jobs for working Americans. Although the group applies direct pressure at the governmental level, an equally-important mission is to encourage the masses to push through legislation in alignment with The Green New Deal at a local, city, county and state level. Although some members aren’t even old enough to vote, their message shines through conversations within classrooms, churches and communities across the country. Tapping into the youthful members’ energy and focus offers a unique opportunity to empower the voices people often disregard. The movement provides youths with a chance to share their ideas and speak out for policies critical to their futures. By coming together as a larger unit, they not only create a bigger vision and louder voice but also create a tidal wave of energy that continues to gather momentum. Members proudly display this energy via banners that read, “Our Time to Rise.” Their mission is focused, and they are determined to rattle the doors of every politician failing to take action. Although peaceful, the Sunrise Movement refuses to be ignored. As stated on the Sunrise Movement website, “Our generation is done asking nicely.” Even with members in every state and Puerto Rico, it’s sometimes difficult to be heard. This difficulty motivated the group to adopt a tactic from the past century, inspired by the Wide Awakes, a pro-abolition mass youth movement in the 1860s. The group began gathering at the doors of politicians and shouting, chanting, and singing to wake them up both physically and to the reality of the world’s climate crisis . Since there is no formal membership, the Sunrise Movement’s number of activists is estimated at around 80,000 who have participated in some way, from making phone calls to sending mailings. Around 15,000 members are estimated to have attended events in person. Not a bad beginning to an army that only began forming three years ago. Perhaps more powerful than the number of members is the strength of the mindset. The Sunrise Movement is wholly dedicated to the mission of forcing open the eyes of politicians who refuse to see the same future they see for themselves. Where some young adults their age look forward to a decade of career building, the Sunrise Movement sees a closing window of opportunity. As the deadline set by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outlines, 2030 represents the point of no return for the world to drastically lower emissions or suffer the effects of a climate catastrophe. + Sunrise Movement  Via Vox and Teen Vogue   Images via Hailey Asquin, Nelson Klein, Evan McEldowney, Ken Schles, Kell Schneider, Rachael Warriner and Josh Yoder

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How the Sunrise Movement is changing the climate activism game

Reindeer herders in Norway take a wind farm to court

January 21, 2021 by  
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Reindeer herders of the Sámi Indigenous community have moved to a court of appeals in Norway to challenge a proposed wind power project. The Øyfjellet wind farm is one of the largest onshore wind projects in Norway and is expected to help the country move away from traditional fossil fuels. But reindeer herders have maintained that the project will negatively impact their animals and cultural practices by illegally blocking reindeer migration paths. “The Sámi people are not the ones who have contributed the most to climate change, but we seem to be the ones who have to carry its greatest burden,” said Gunn-Britt Retter, the head of the Arctic and environmental unit at the Sámi Council. “That’s not climate justice , that’s climate injustice.” Related: Hydropower demand is damaging Indigenous lands The Sámi community lives in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Russia. They traditionally made their living through herding reindeer, and this practice is now protected by law. Only about 10% of the Sámi people still practice reindeer herding full-time in Norway. Even so, herding remains important to the community. Members of the community lament that if wind farms are built on their lands, the turbines will greatly affect the available area for herding the animals . “Studies and Indigenous knowledge show that reindeer don’t go near wind turbines,” said Áslak Holmberg, the vice-chair of the Sámi Council. “These areas are lost from use to the herders.” In September 2020, a court ruled against the reindeer herders, giving the project the green light. The herders have now opted to take the case to the court of appeals, with the hope of stopping the project or having some aspects revised. “From our client’s point of view, it seems that the government will go far to protect the construction of a wind power plant that has been given concession and that this trumps the rights of the Indigenous people,” said Pål Gude Gudesen, the lawyer representing the reindeer herders. Both Tony Christian Tiller, state secretary of the Energy Ministry in Norway, and Eolus, the company behind the proposed wind farm, have said they hope to see that the reindeer and the wind turbines can coexist. But the Sámi community said that both the government and energy companies are not taking Indigenous concerns into account. “It’s a paradox, really,” Retter said. “You are squeezed between the impact of climate change and the impact of green energy , which is the answer to climate change.” Via The Guardian Image via Bo Eide

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Renowned landscape architects unveil designs to save the Tidal Basin

November 20, 2020 by  
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The National Mall Tidal Basin — also known as “America’s front yard” — is home to some of the nation’s most iconic landmarks such as the Jefferson Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. But the beloved Washington, D.C. public space is under threat from daily flooding and is in urgent need of critical repairs and improvements. In a bid to save the celebrated landscape, five prestigious landscape architecture firms — DLANDstudio, GGN, Hood Design Studio, James Corner Field Operations and Reed Hilderbrand — have been tapped to reimagine the future of the Tidal Basin and National Mall. Keep reading for a preview of all the designs. In 2019, the National Trust for Historic Preservation banded together with the Trust for the National Mall, the National Parks Service, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM) and American Express to launch the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab , an initiative seeking proposals to save the 107-acre Tidal Basin site in Washington, D.C. After months of preparation, the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab recently unveiled visionary proposals from five award-winning landscape architecture firms including New York City-based DLANDstudio, Seattle-based GGN, Oakland-based Hood Design Studio, New York City-based James Corner Field Operations and Cambridge-based Reed Hilderbrand. Each proposal not only responds to the pressing issues plaguing the area’s infrastructure but also examines ways to heighten the visitor experience through improved environmental and cultural considerations. Due to the pandemic, the proposals are presented in an online-only, museum-quality exhibition co-curated by New York City curator of design Donald Albrecht and Thomas Mellins, an architectural historian and independent curator. The public is invited to learn about the Tidal Basin’s history, which was completed in 1887 as a major hydrological feat as well as the ongoing challenges and comprehensive proposals. The public will also be able to give feedback and offer ideas on saving the Tidal Basin. “As part of ‘America’s front yard’, the Tidal Basin is home to some of the most iconic landmarks and traditions in the nation’s capital,” said Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Yet current conditions do not do justice to a landscape of such significance. With this new digital exhibition, we are excited to share and engage the public with creative thinking from five of the best landscape architecture firms in the world. These ideas explore ways to sustain this cultural landscape and its richly layered meanings for generations to come. This isn’t preservation as usual: this is preservation as innovation.” Related: BIG unveils sweeping overhaul to Smithsonian Campus Master Plan True to its name, the Tidal Basin Ideas Lab will be focused on cultivating bold ideas and promoting dialogue between designers, stakeholders and the public rather than choosing a single winner as is typical in design competitions. The exhibition will supplement the National Park Service’s mandated environmental review of the Tidal Basin as well as master planning and detailed design, which have not yet been completed but are integral to securing funding for construction and implementation. All five creative concepts, revealed late last month, celebrate and raise awareness of the Tidal Basin’s long history and have reimagined the cultural landscape to better meet modern safety and accessibility needs while addressing critical infrastructure repairs and improvements. DLANDstudio’s proposal makes bold steps of introducing extensions to the landscape in both the Tidal Basin and the Potomac River to reorient circulation. A long land bridge would connect the Jefferson Memorial and the White House, while a new jetty to the west would branch off of the Lincoln Memorial to house the relocated memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. Flooding would be mitigated with sponge park wetlands , a reflective weir and a green security wall. GGN’s vision is an adaptive plan phased across three stages to conclude in 2090. The design uses ecological solutions to protect the landscape from forecasted sea level changes and also the potential adaptation and relocation of existing monuments. James Corner Field Operations has proposed three ideas for combating rising sea levels : Protect & Preserve, a scheme to keep the existing landscape intact with improved maintenance and engineering; Island Archipelago, in which flooding would be accepted as an inevitable reality and monuments would be elevated and treated as islands within the Tidal Basin; and Curate Entropy, another design where the site is allowed to flood and a careful balance is maintained between the Tidal Basin’s existing layout and the new landscape. Hood Design Studio focuses on reshaping the Tidal Basin with underrepresented narratives, from the stories of how wetlands were valued by Indigenous and enslaved peoples to promoting dialogue on rebuilding urban ecologies. Reed Hilderbrand’s design draws on the 1902 McMillan Plan, a comprehensive planning document that strongly influenced the urban planning and design of Washington, D.C., particularly with its proposal for a “Washington Commons,” a diverse and connected regional park system. The plan also encourages new interactions with the landscape with an uplands Cherry Walk, a Memorial Walk, a Marsh Walk and a new landform called Independence Rise that would accommodate rising water levels and connect back to the city with a pedestrian bridge. + Tidal Basin Ideas Lab Images via Tidal Basin Ideas Lab

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Earth911 Reader: Your Weekly Sustainability, Business, and Science News Summary

November 14, 2020 by  
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This Air Duster Is a Better Alternative to That Canned Stuff

November 14, 2020 by  
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We live in a world where it’s very easy to … The post This Air Duster Is a Better Alternative to That Canned Stuff appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: Your Quick Dose Of This Week’s Sustainability, Business and Science News

October 31, 2020 by  
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The Earth911 team combs news and research for interesting ideas … The post Earth911 Reader: Your Quick Dose Of This Week’s Sustainability, Business and Science News appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: Your Quick Dose Of This Week’s Sustainability, Business and Science News

7 Ingenious Upcycling Ideas You’ll Fall in Love With!

August 31, 2020 by  
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There are so many amazing people in this world who … The post 7 Ingenious Upcycling Ideas You’ll Fall in Love With! appeared first on Earth 911.

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We Earthlings: 4 Good Ideas for the Earth

July 21, 2020 by  
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7 Father’s Day Gift Ideas That Truly Pay It Forward

June 15, 2020 by  
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