Telling the Whole Story
We have challenges ahead. We have the solutions to tackle them.
By Ash Awad, President and Chief Market Officer
The conversation about our climate crisis is amplified every April, but over the last few years it has grown beyond the month and Earth Day, and we are now more robustly engaged in the climate conversation than ever before. We are collectively exploring more ideas and solutions for decarbonization, supporting and utilizing financial incentives and collaborating on long-term planning to ensure results that stick. Good. It’s a start.
We have challenging work in front of us. But challenging does not mean unsolvable. The tools and technology to achieve our decarbonization goals exist. The problem solvers to design and deliver solutions are engaged. We have more robust funding opportunities than ever that serve all organizations and communities. And, we have organizational leaders blazing a trail showing others what is possible.
The recent story we’ve heard, with the release of the Climate Change 2023 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), depicts pending tragedy and severe harmful impacts on our planet and people if we do not immediately act to change the status quo: “Climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.”
That story has a message we cannot ignore. That story is one we must all invest in reading, understanding and interpreting. It’s a story in which all living things on Earth are collectively the main character facing an enormous challenge.
But there is more to the story. Our story tells of people acting, of heroes tackling challenging work and finding and implementing solutions. The theme of this story is clear: change is possible. Achieving our goals, even though it is hard, is possible.
Our heroes of the story are our partners…
- Our nation’s K-12 public school leaders persisting through many obstacles to transform their aging infrastructure and evolving student needs to ensure resiliency and high-quality, optimized learning environments. Salt Lake City School District is committed to carbon neutrality by 2040 with their bold Sustainability Action Plan.
- Higher education institution presidents, financial officers, and facility managers revisioning their identity to ensure meaningful student experiences in modern, efficient facilities. At Winona State University in Minnesota, leaders have implemented a cost-neutral solution to achieve significant energy savings and the ability to plan for resilient and sustainable operations.
- City and county officials across the nation dedicated to revisioning their communities in service to their residents, visitors and employees to ensure resiliency, vibrancy and health for years to come. The City and County of Denver has invested in community solar gardens to jumpstart a shift to increasing equitable access to clean energy.
- Healthcare system administrators who are boldly pursuing innovative partnerships and technology to achieve a new vision for our nation’s vital medical and medical education centers. The University of Washington School of Medicine and Gonzaga University have partnered on a state-of-the-art hub for medical and health education, research, and innovation.
I see people called to action and tackling the challenges every day. So, let’s tell the whole story. Yes, we need to recognize the challenge we all face. Let’s also recognize that we are all part of the story and that we have the expertise, innovative prowess, curiosity and resiliency to mitigate our climate crisis. We can all do small things because small things add up to a bigger thing. We can all commit to #InvestInOurPlanet.
We all have challenging work in front of us. But challenging does not mean unsolvable. And together – we are capable of solving some really big problems!