You can’t have lasting sustainability without social inclusion

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Solar panels that only the rich can afford. Urban bike-share programs that limit participation to those using credit cards. Pricey organic grocery stores for communities where many people rely on SNAP benefits. No matter how well-intentioned, if a solution isn’t appropriate for part of the population, then it is not truly a sustainable solution.

In the five videos below, all produced at GreenBiz events, we hear a constant refrain: If we want sustainability solutions to be effective and lasting, and sustainable in their own right, they must address diverse interests. This involves reaching out to low-income communities and communities of color as bases of knowledge and experience. This also makes business sense — companies that consider these communities with their sustainability strategy have the opportunity to grow their customer base and markets.

If nothing else, these videos entreat us to stop for a moment when we hear a proposed solution, be it a new city policy or a new mobile app, and to ask ourselves, “A solution for whom?”

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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