sustainability: a way forward
September 26, 2014 // by Allison Hooper
On Sunday, September 20 Vermont Creamery co-founder Allison Hooper joined over 400,000 concerned citizens gathered in New York City to participate in the Peoples’ Climate March.
Designed to raise awareness and center attention on the issue of climate change, the march in New York City was just one event among 2,700 others spanning more than 150 countries.
Last Sunday, I had the good fortune to march in the Peoples Climate March in New York City. We woke at 3 am to meet one of 17 busses traveling south from Vermont. Thanks to Ben and Jerry's largesse, Vermonters could spend this historic day together for just $15. My husband Don insisted that our three sons join us.
Miles was our "bus captain" making sure that we all were where we were supposed to be including elderly, single women who left Vermont and marched with the masses. I hope that I will continue to march when I am in my late 70's. Thankfully, our twins, Sam and Jay, organized a bus from Connecticut College and many colleges were well represented. The streets were filled with a diverse crowd – crossing boundaries of age, race and socioeconomic status. There was an atmosphere of hope and a general sense of relief that there were so many Americans who shared concern about this issue. As we marched, it was clear that climate change is not an esoteric fringe issue that only a few of us are thinking about.
For me, this feeling of solidarity gave me a renewed sense of purpose and reminded me that we each possess the power to make a difference. Though the issues we confront are daunting, the crowd in New York City did not despair. The energy was inspiring and we left confident that our efforts did not go unnoticed. As a family, we can reduce our carbon, change our light bulbs, recycle, drive a Prius, install solar panels, grow a garden, insulate our home, and ride our bikes to work. Those are the easy changes – they are not intrusive to others. As a business owner, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to take a leadership role to show that we can invest in sustainability and be profitable. We can run a business that is part of change rather than leaving our problems to be solved by others. Imagine for a minute if each of the 400,000 marchers were business owners and had the liberty to decide to set a goal of reducing carbon in all of our businesses. Imagine the example to all of our employees and our policy makers. We could change the world.
This is why we are a Certified B Corporation. It is why we spend time and money investing in sustainable solutions to our everyday business challenges. This is the way we choose to move forward. Join us?