Making Big Goals Achievable
Published April 19, 2018
The Sustainable Development Goals, devised by the United Nations as a way to help the world end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change, can feel a bit daunting. While it’s clear that we want to achieve these Goals, it can be tough to understand how individuals or groups can take on such massive challenges. But what’s important to remember is that for most of us, the best way we can contribute is to focus on the ways we can make change in the places where we already spend most of our time—our homes, our workplaces, or our neighborhoods and cities. And when thousands or millions of us make those changes, the results are going to have a significant impact around the globe.
In the videos below, you’ll meet a few people who have taken this idea to heart and are using the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve serious results.
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.
Academy Member Margo Mosher has always had a strong individual interest in sustainability and the environment. After receiving a Master’s in Environmental Management and teaching environmental field studies, she was looking for ways to increase her impact. That’s when she decided to shift her focus to the business community and joined the team at SustainAbility. Now she spends time working with businesses across industries helping them think about how to expand bottom-line thinking to include the triple bottom-line, which focuses not only on building monetary value, but also increasing social and environmental value. And as you’ll learn in this video, which also features Sarah Hill, the Associate Director of Sustainability at BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), there are many upsides for businesses pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.