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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?”