Acting Locally to Achieve a Global Impact

Published April 10, 2018

How Can You Help Tackle the Goals?


Academy Member Laurie Kerr works with others to address the Sustainable Development Goals in a local context.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can seem lofty and abstract when you read them on paper or on the internet. But the best way to approach them is often by looking at how you can apply them in your own home, workplace, or neighborhood.

Long-time Academy Member Laurie Kerr is an architect and policy-maker who has spent a lot of time thinking about how to make cities more sustainable. Now serving as the Director of Policy at Urban Green Council, in the past she has worked on sustainability policy for the City of New York as well as the Natural Resources Defense Council. She’s also someone who understands that policy isn’t just something that lives on paper or in the halls of government. That’s why she decided to use the place where she lives, Greenwich Tower, a masonry building in Lower Manhattan that is over 100 years old, as a testing ground for these policies.

Enlisting the help of Jennifer Davis, the building’s Superintendent, and the support of the building’s Board, Laurie and Jennifer managed to help cut Greenwich Tower’s energy consumption by nearly half. Watch the video to learn more about what they did to achieve this impressive result.

Wondering how you can start tackling energy consumption in your own home of building? Here are a few resources:

You can also work with the Academy to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more here.