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April was Earth Month but extending green habits all
year-round not only benefits the planet - it helps your organization too. The April
edition of Nonprofits Live looked at environmental policy, sustainable
practices, and nonprofit sustainability case studies.
NPLive welcomed guest
contributors Jon Lebkowsky, nonprofit
web strategist and frequent WorldChanging
contributor; Kevin Danaher
and Zoey Kroll from the City of San Francisco's Department of
Environment (SFDOE); and Jamie Henn, communications director at 350.org.
Watch the recording of the online event and read on for highlights.
Lebkowsky started off the discussion by looking at some
practices that organizations can take to help the planet and their bottom line.
Lebokowsky talked about a shift by many types of business to meet the “triple bottom line.” The triple bottom line defines
success by meeting economic, ecological, and social goals.
approach means that success isn’t confined to soley benefiting the
organization. Meeting the triple bottom line does require adopting green tech solutions. Adopting green
tech tools, like online conferencing or
using online collaboration tools, can also
improve an organization’s efficiency. However, not all green solutions are high
tech – going green can be as simple as printing
less or allowing staff to telecommute.
Danaher and Kroll spoke next about their work bridging the
nonprofit sector and government to create useful policy changes for the public.
As part of their efforts to help the public live sustainably, the San Francisco Department of the Environment has created a special website with green tips and resources. The
San Francisco Department of Environment also has a special guide, Making Sustainability Profitable, to help the
business community, both for-profit and nonprofit, operate sustainably.
also recommends the resources available on GreenNonprofits.org for nonprofit and
library leaders. Organizations that want to partner with their local
governments to promote sustainable practices need not wait for government to
contact them, Kroll advises. Kroll, who’s worked on urban farm issues before
working for SFDOE, advises organizations to share their stories to develop
relationships to promote sustainability community-wide.
Rounding out the discussion, Henn of 350.org spoke of the
organization’s founding and how it lives its
mission through sustainable business practices. 350.org has a staff
scattered across the globe, three offices, and mobilizes numerous volunteers
for grassroots actions to bring about positive environmental change. The
organization uses its website and social media to organize offline
environmental actions between staff, volunteers, and supporters.
To make this
all possible in a sustainable way the organization relies on cloud-based
technology. Cloud technology makes collaboration possible with tools for online
document storage, web conferencing, and instant communications.
that employees, volunteers, and supporters are an organization's greatest
resource for adopting green practices – something 350.org proves true.
For more green tips and
resources, make sure to check
out the TechSoup blog's GreenTech section.