SBC was delighted to attend and speak at the Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) this past week, where over 600 attendees came together to share insights on how to create a sustainable future. We left feeling inspired and here’s what we learned about sustainability in 2019.
- Millennials won’t let people ignore Equity and Inclusion. It’s a non-negotiable part of sustainability work.
Throughout the conference, students stood up and made a point of emphasizing the importance of equity and inclusion in corporate sustainability efforts. Companies are making clear commitments to sustainability, but in the past haven’t paid enough attention to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is the corporate responsibility sector’s sleeping giant that shouldn’t be ignored as millennials and centennials are demanding it!
- Be intentional with spending with your dollars
Laura Clise, Founder and CEO of Intentionalist, an online guide that supports intentional spending to support local communities, offered an insightful keynote address about spending intentionally and the importance of voting with your dollar. Every financial decision you make, from investing in a home to buying a cup of coffee, has ripple effects within your community. Being thoughtful and mindful of where you put your money is one of the easiest ways to make an impact every day. This is only amplified when businesses, organizations, and corporations adopt this approach for intentional investments and spending that matters.
- Corporate responsibility requires an entrepreneurial spirit
Finally, the conference emphasized the need to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to any career in corporate responsibility. Kevin Wilhelm, Sustainable Business Consulting CEO, participated in a panel on navigating the CSR landscape, and this key theme emerged. There is no one clear path or one perfect job for a career in sustainability and you will have to be resourceful in how you enter the space. Persistence is key, but also is understanding how to build bridges and find common ground with others in the company to get support, resources and open doors. And when you meet with people, always consider how you can help them and add value first. Then once you’ve proven yourself, they will help you navigate around whatever roadblocks are in your way.