Challenges like COVID-19 and extreme climate events have underscored the critical role that sustainability and resiliency play in both equitable and inclusive communities and high performing facilities. Viewing your projects through a sustainable lens helps drive social, fiscal and environmental progress, known as the “triple bottom line” of sustainability. So how does sustainability become part of every project you do?
Education and engagement
Applying sustainable principles is an activity that should not be forced. It first requires an understanding of your stakeholders—acknowledging their needs and noting gaps through empathic listening and thoughtful conversations. Starting the sustainability conversation early on in the engagement process allows your stakeholders to identify the value of sustainability and resiliency, recognize opportunities to adjust behavior, and feel a sense of ownership in advance of and during implementation.
Details and direction
Sustainability and resiliency goals can be ambitious but are made real by implementing data-driven solutions. That is why it is important to have actionable plans that drill into the details. For example, what kind of products are we purchasing, how should they be used, and how can we help our people understand why?
Philanthropy and funding
While strategies associated with sustainability and resiliency positively impact everyone, they can sometimes be underfunded. That is why it is important to build consensus and buy-in from the top down, understand existing funding resources, and seek opportunities from a variety of sources, including: utilities, corporations, private foundations, and much more. And it’s important to take the long view and understand that investing in sustainable and resilient solutions now means a return on investment later.
Introducing sustainable priorities and practices to your facility or redevelopment project might seem daunting. However, once you begin viewing your project through a “triple bottom line” lens, opportunities come into view and sustainability becomes a natural part of the project process.