by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing
This week our story comes full circle. We started with the Sustany® grant to Dana Pounds and Nature’s Academy some years ago. Then the Lightning Foundation grant to Nature’s Academy this past March. And then Dana Pounds’ donation of $20,000 back to the Sustany® Foundation shortly after that.
What will Sustany® do with the funds? Plans are to ramp up several programs to benefit Tampa Bay. Spread the word and sign up for the one(s) you’d like to participate in. Each will result in a stronger, greener community.
1. Volunteer Matching Program
Sustany® will create a website to match people who are interested in sustainable projects with companies that need help. Ultimately these volunteer opportunities will be available to all ages. But initially they will be targeted to high school students who need community service hours to graduate. They will also provide experiences that burnish a college application or job application. The plan is to have the service up and running within a year.
This program launched in 2009 in collaboration with the City of Tampa. Businesses within the City of Tampa that meet rigorous standards for sustainable practices receive this designation. This achievement provides operational benefits to the business, as well as new marketing opportunities, a competitive edge, and greater employee engagement.
With the additional money, Sustany® hopes to greatly expand awareness of and applications to this program. Many businesses already implement sustainable practices. They deserve recognition for that. So the goal is to triple the number of businesses sporting the Green Business Designation logo in the City of Tampa.
3. Green Business Certification Program
This new program will be an 8-week educational program for businesses and City of Tampa employees alike. Participants will learn to view their business activities through the “Compass of Sustainability.” They will develop sustainability measures and inventories for their own businesses. They will also identify a sustainability project for their business to execute when done. At the end of the 8 weeks, participants will receive a Green Business Designation Certification.
Which one will you choose?
Each of these programs combines education about sustainable practices with actions that will benefit the Tampa Bay community. While developing a more sustainable business is not rocket science, it is more fun, effective and rewarding to do that with the support of other businesses doing the same.
For further information about any of these programs, contact Janet Harrison at 813-470-5055.