[Georgeann Moss]: Good afternoon everyone, welcome to the managing for sustainability webinar with Dr. Gemmy Allen, and welcome to our wonderful sponsor, EarthX. EarthX is doing a lot of important work around sustainability in Dallas and throughout the nation, and so I would encourage you to check them out at their website, which is earthx.org. My name's Georgeann Moss, and I'm the executive administrator of sustainability outreach and initiatives for Dallas County Community College District, soon to be called Dallas College. There are three ways to communicate with us today, the first is through chat, the second is through Q&A, and the third is through polls. So all you have to do is scroll over to the bottom of your screen and a navigation bar will pop up, and in it, you'll see a little circle that has three dots in it, if you click on that you'll see the Q&A and the chat. Chat is for comments, if you just want to make a comment as we're going along, saying hey, that's great, I like that, or hmm, I've never thought about that before, and anything that doesn't require a direct answer goes into chat. If you have a specific question that you would like one of the hosts to ask Dr. Allen, you put that in the Q&A, or if you have technical difficulties, please use the Q&A and we'll get back to you that way. Third way is through polls, this way allows Dr. Allen to learn more about the audience and their experience, and that's just gonna pop up on your screen, you click your answers and then submit. So we will email you a link to this video after the webinar has been captioned and transcripted, and so look for that in about a week or week and a half. Also, there's gonna be an evaluation popup at the end of your – at the end of the webinar, if you will please fill that out for us so that we can continue to improve these as we go along. So now just a little bit about DCCCD, Andy, will you scroll? Okay, and the next one, please? Next slide, thanks, okay, next slide, all right. Little bit about DCCCD, all of the work that we do is grounded in research and practical strategies, these strategies have been tested and we know that they work. Our job is to transform people's lives through higher education, and we prepare students for higher paying jobs. Next, please? My department's job is to be a catalyst in the organization, teaching employees, students, and community members about how to incorporate sustainable practices into their personal and professional lives. Next slide, please. And we use the 17 sustainable development goals as our teaching and learning tools, so a lot of the things Dr. Allen talks about today are really gonna be in alignment with the 17 sustainable development goals. We here at Dallas County Community College District, we make sustainable decisions that are in support of our board's mission and vision. So now it is my honor and great pleasure to introduce to you my friend, my colleague, my mentor, Dr. Gemmy Allen.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Thank you, Georgeann. I've got my video on here just to say hello to everyone and to welcome you to this webinar. As Georgeann said, if you have any questions, comments, just fill them in. If you think of something after the webinar, just send me an email and I'll put up my email at the end here. So I'm just gonna turn off my video so that we can get started. A little bit about who I am, I'm working from home, just like all the rest of you, but I've taught for 40 years, 25 at Mountain View before coming to North Lake College. I teach management, marketing and business. I have a husband at home, two grown children, my son lives in Puerto Rico, and my daughter and her family live in Nacogdoches. It is a challenge working from home, but my mantra now is to make a positive difference where I am needed or where I am asked. I hope with today's session, we will be able to bring something positive to all of you. Next. But there's an elephant in the room, the situation we are in. Volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It is a VUCA world. We don't have just one thing going on right now, we have many, including COVID-19, pervasive unemployment, major protests demanding social justice, and a climate crisis that worsens every day. They are all interrelated, and each one is specifically addressed in the 17 sustainable development goals. We are in volatile times, it is uncertain. We don't know what is fake news, what is real news, is it bad, is it conspiracy, is it airborne, is it droplets? It is complex. Our work arrangements are complex, things that need to be done, we can't see each other, it is ambiguous. It is not clear what to do sometimes. Do we wear a mask, do we let kids go to school? What can we do to end social injustice? Who should we listen to, what should we be doing? How do I do it? Next. The solutions most of us know and are aware of, we know we need to have vision, to have understanding, clarity, and agility. We need a different kind of VUCA. Vision we know is foggy, understanding is hard when our emotions are in the air, clarity about what we are unclear of and confused about, agility, we need it to jump right in and are being flexible, but is that enough? Is that sustainable? How do we ensure that our vision, understanding, clarity, and agility gets translated into the workplace? Most organizations have implemented these COVID-19 plans fast, quick, and rightly so. Next. So the situation that we find ourselves in is that we are not able to see each other face to face. Most of us are working from home, or sporadically in the office. None of us would deny the impact of working from home. Some of us are feeling isolated, lonely, and there is no end in sight. Before we delve into this, I'd like to stop and invite you to share the impact you are either experiencing, or that you have experienced, in this very VUCA situation. Stop and think about yourself, and choose three in the box that appears right now. Thank you to everyone for sharing. You can see across the board, and I myself have been through all of these feelings as well, but we have safety, fear for self and family, anxieties, all of that. All right, thank you. All right, next slide. We can say that this has added far more stress on our coworkers than we thought. Work processes have been interrupted, social interaction has disappeared. People say, I feel isolated, I'm really anxious about my job. There is a decrease in key trust because of lack of communication and face to face interaction. At the core of social sustainability and responsibility is the recognition that business is intended to serve the needs of those who participate in it. The principle of human dignity, that every human being is innately worthwhile and worthy of our respect, demands this. Employee welfare is one of the purposes of a business, as is shareholder return. People are not means to an end, but rather, the end that business is the means of. So what we will accomplish in this session is we will define sustainability, explain the relationship between prosperity, planet, and people, and engage employees so that they can choose to improve sustainability purpose. Next slide. Organizations have the potential to do good, which is referred to as corporate – social responsibility, or sustainability. McKinsey and Company, one of the world's leading business consulting firms, defines sustainability as the management of environmental, social, and governance issues. Traditionally, business has been measured by a single bottom line: profits. Today, business is measured by the triple bottom line: an organization's impact on the social, which is people, and planet, environmental, as well as profits, which are financial. You might see this referred to as environmental, social, and governance factors, such as McKinsey's definition, and Georgeann's department uses 5 P's. People, planet, prosperity, partnerships, and peace. But has sustainability taken a backseat since the virus started spreading? Sustainability has not taken a backseat. Buying into companies based on environmental, social, and governance factors was growing in popularity before the virus started spreading, but the focus was largely on how companies were dealing with climate change and overly generous executive pay, the planet and the profit, rather than social issues such as the wellbeing of staff, but social responsibility that focuses on people has climbed into the front seat and is at the top. Despite the social distancing measures put in place to confront the coronavirus, this pandemic has only re-emphasized the importance of community to the social good. We have seen reminders of it in the form of neighbors applauding healthcare workers from their balconies, coworkers coming together to discuss and meet their professional goals, and a heartening number of relief initiatives, big and small. Investors are attracted to companies who have a stronger social awareness. Companies that do right by the community perform better. There is a growing understanding among institutional investors that sustainability is a proxy for good management, including reducing current and future risk to operations, supply chains, and customers. Companies want to be seen as good by employees, job seekers, customers, and communities, to demonstrate effective leadership. Funds with above average or high sustainability ratings outperformed comparable funds with lower ratings in sustainability. But how do we – how do I do it? Next slide. To build a sustainable organization, top management must go beyond financial performance to meet goals that center on people. Employees, students, communities, and the environment. Walmart founder Sam Walton once said, there is only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else, just as our students can choose to go to other colleges. While change starts at the top and requires vision, everyone has a role to play. Everyone must perform with the same purpose and at the same time. Customers care about sustainability. For example, they press restaurant chains to offer meat produced without antibiotics. Employees, particularly millennials, strongly prefer employers that make a sustainability commitment. Insurance companies now take sustainability efforts into account as they underwrite policies for business, and industries that fail to take steps towards sustainability face increasing regulation. But what are the skills needed to manage this triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit? Next. Competencies identified and in research about the social connection is at the very beginning. That is critical, it really helps us shift perspective from a shareholder orientation to a social purpose and a stakeholder orientation. Systems thinking is seeing the interconnectedness of all things and understanding how things unfold over time. Systems thinkers understand the context behind a problem and its relationship to broader trends. They have the capacity to consistently integrate mentally the social and environmental connections with the financial bottom line. Leaders must be willing to collaborate with entities beyond their organizations. They can welcome contributions from many different perspectives. This collaborative leadership style is well suited to fast changing, unpredictable conditions that require flexibility and innovation. Social innovators find ways to redesign processes that create organization and social value. Sustainability-literate leaders understand the changing role of their companies in society, how peer organizations are responding, and available methods to revise organization models. A leader with active values is mindful of emotions and motivations, and sensitive to those of others. Mindful leaders can view themselves and their work as part of a larger purpose, motivating them to improve society. The district's job is to give our students the sustainability knowledge they need to be successful in today's workplace. These five competencies are highly interwoven. One set of behaviors reinforces another set, creating a virtuous cycle whereby one competency enables and enhances the others in a mutually beneficial fashion. But how do we acquire the skills to manage the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit? Steve Shane says that a hallmark of sustainability leaders is an awareness of and commitment to environmental values. He calls this an ecocentric worldview. They see themselves as not only members of their community, company, or country, but as global citizens, and in some cases, as human beings among many thousands of species on Earth. In other words, minimize our own negative impacts and think about making a positive impact on our community. Stop and think about yourself, and choose in the box that appears right now. What did you experience growing up? Thank you to everyone for sharing. You can see that most of us spent a lot of time outside. So the ecocentric worldview expresses a belief that human beings are dependent on and literally embedded in the Earth's ecosystem. This view develops over time, and often it starts with a powerful experience dating to childhood or young adulthood. Some sustainability leaders spent a lot of time outdoors as children, farming or in the wilderness. Others served in the Peace Corps or a similar setting, where they witnessed the ravages of extreme environmental damage or extreme poverty. From these early experiences, they developed values and a sense of identity that inspire their work in business today. The purpose of leadership is to make others successful. It's the leader's job to set expectations, then leave it up to each person to decide on how to go about it. Many employees will need training and competency development to understand how sustainability relates to their job, role and function. Few employees receive sustainability education in their formal schooling. So explain the connection between the organization's services and the society at large, and their value to the local community. Also, identify ways in which employees can get involved in appropriate projects that would sustain and direct these initiatives, then recognize departmental efforts. Use signage to reinforce a culture of sustainability within the organization, and explain to employees that practicing sustainability will ultimately make their lives much more safe and secure. What small changes can we make as individuals? Determine the amount of CO2 you produce through your daily routine is the first step to fixing it. This is one of those things you can't un-know once you know. Warning, the results come with a little side of guilt. Georgeann, tell them about the sustainability class?
[Georgeann Moss]: Gemmy, I'm sorry, could you say that again?
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Yes, tell about our sustainability class?
[Georgeann Moss]: Yes, DCCCD is working on a sustainability scholar program that allows students to take a certain number of classes that are associated with sustainability and come away with a special designation when they graduate.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: All right, next slide. Yes, we all know to wash our hands, but you can conserve a lot of water while washing your hands. Just turn off the tap for those 20 seconds you're scrubbing with soap. Did you know we can save up to 8 gallons of water a day just by shutting off the faucet when brushing your teeth? Also, we can save water by putting an aerator on faucets which can cut annual consumption by half. This one's a simple fix, replace your regular, single use plastic bottles with reusable water bottles, reduce packaging waste. Researcher Euromonitor International says that the COVID-19 pandemic has halted interest in reusable products. Initially, they had predicted more circular business models that aim to promote sharing, reusing, refilling, and renting to avoid waste, but now, concerns over health and touching products that have previously been used have led consumers to again embrace disposable products. Clean comes before green. Recovery of this trend will take time, but it will come back, adding that sustainability still ranks high on consumers' agendas. Companies will need to educate consumers about the safety of reusable products, and clearly instruct them on how to clean them. Next slide? Turn off the lights, computers, and printers after work hours and on weekends to reduce energy consumption. Switch from a desktop to a laptop computer. Did you know that laptops consume up to 90% less power? It's worth noting that your electrical devices are wasting energy even when they're not turned on. The best way to maximize your energy efficiency is to totally unplug and shut down. Other actions that reduce energy consumption, subsidized transit passes, riding a bike, carpooling, staggering staffing to allow after rush hour transit, working remotely, and teleconferencing, rather than on site meetings and trips. The cheapest and most environmentally sound heat and light source is just outside our window. Open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let solar energy warm and brighten your home and office naturally. Take the stairs, cuts down on the energy use required to power the elevator. Plus, it's good exercise. Consider a whole month of minimizing your waste production. Each day presents a new challenge for you to take on. It will make you rethink your whole lifestyle and the amount of garbage you're creating. I've participated in recycle mania, but I found that I was bringing my trash home when I should've been doing something to reduce my trash, such as using reusable bags, cups, bottles, and composting. Before the current shelter in place took hold, I never would've guessed how easy it is to do without so many modern conveniences. Now that shopping at the mall, getting my hair done, or popping into the grocery store for a single ingredient has become almost impossible, I've realized that I'm surviving just fine. It's pretty clear that we don't need so much stuff, or as many conveniences, as we've become accustomed to. The basic essentials, food, clean water, and good health, for example, are much more important than having a manicure or buying the newest computer. Given how many of these consumer items and activities negatively impact the health of the planet, it makes sense to rethink our priorities and consider skipping some to allow everyone to have the basics for survival. People can't even sell their recycle, they can't even give it away. It's important to ensure we are more diligent about what we buy and bring into our homes, or we end up with an endless cycle of purchasing and disposing that is incredibly wasteful and frustrating. You may say that you are making efforts to reduce your carbon footprint, but there will almost certainly be a point where you've done all you can, but are still leaving a mark. The concept of carbon offsetting is one way to mitigate the environmental impact of many facets of modern living. Unlike a lot of environmental science, the concept is extremely easy to grasp. [audio cuts out] A bunch of gasses into the atmosphere, plus plant a tree that can chew up those gasses, equals a zero sum total. You can buy carbon credits. An example is air travel. For every mile you travel, or rather, every ton of carbon dioxide your mode of travel causes to be released into the atmosphere, you pay a fee to enable other folks to work on solutions to mitigate the damaging ecological effect of your travel. You still get on the plane, it still flies, and there are still CO2 emissions, but somewhere else in the world, an action is taken to offset them. Carbon offsetting has its critics, but it's likely to play a major role as part of wider local emissions reduction strategies. Ideals can become goals if they are consciously decided. You can determine your role as a manager for sustainability. Even if you do just one or two of these things, you can make a difference for our environment. So we have another poll here, just choose one thing that you will do differently.
[Speaker A]: And you should now see the poll results.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Buy less stuff seems to – it's between that and no answer, but yeah, buy less stuff is good, and I even teach marketing, so that's a hard one. But okay, next slide. Thank you to everyone for sharing on that. Let's just kinda have a look over the things that we've already talked about, these are just good management tips here to help create a culture of sustainability. We will – you know, encourage sustainable transportation, educate employees with classes, signage, and reminders, make energy use dashboards for all to see, offer incentives and rewards, and model sustainable behavior yourself. So the tools, let's sum it up, let's talk about heart and mind first. Know the mission, vision, and definitions, create understanding, empathy, and clarity. What makes purpose real is following through on its implications and letting it guide the choices you make. Technology allows us to be more agile, to think about using different platforms. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the shift to digital, it is reminding companies of the importance of using facts and insights to drive decision-making. To be agile is to understand, to act, understand differences, and behave differently but authentically. So in summary, next slide, before I open the floor to questions and answers for the next few minutes, we would encourage you to reach out and express appreciation for everyone on the team who are managing a new set of challenges in their own way to provide a concrete support and flexible options by listening to what they need, to ensure that all voices are heard and that the meeting is inclusive so that you can continue to think creatively as a team and be innovative and feel safe with each other, so that colleagues can pivot on that, convert this very isolated situation for all of us into a learning opportunity and a team-building opportunity. We can preserve the connection. Before we end, I'd like to ask for questions and answers, and look at any questions that we have.
[Georgeann Moss]: We don't have any questions right now.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Well as I said before, if you have any questions, if you think of some after this, just send me that or send it to Georgeann, you know, whatever, and I guess – oh, let's see, I said I would turn my video on here at the end as we end to thank all of you for coming to our webinar today, and think about ways that we can all help. Here's a question. Muriel wants to know if there's a club, is there gonna be a student club?
[Georgeann Moss]: Yes, absolutely. Several of our colleges already have student green clubs, and once we make the transition from seven independently accredited colleges to one college, Dallas College, we're gonna start up student green clubs at all of the colleges that don't have them right now. So yes, thank you, and student green clubs are a really good way for students to meet other students and connect with them, and we just had an experience where one young man got an internship through his work with the student green club, and the internship is gonna help him when he moves back to his home country, so clubs are a really good thing to participate in, good way to get that connection that makes you feel at home at your college of choice.
[Speaker A]: A question was sent in, it says, what is being done to improve recycling efforts in Dallas county, if at all? I know it's a tricky topic and I've seen stories lately how our recycling can sometimes end up as trash in other countries.
[Georgeann Moss]: So Gemmy, if you'd like, Lori Delacruz Lewis is on the phone, she's one of our hosts, and she has great expertise in recycling, so after you answer, if you would like Laura to jump in, I'm sure she'd be happy to.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: I just read a book, it's called Secondhand, and I thought it was great. It's not true that our – or I should say this, a lot of countries, they're really happy to get our recycle, even though we see a lot of terrible looking things about how it works, it is good for them in a lot of ways. Of course, the main thing is, quit buying cheap things and replacing them, and I always say this, when I was growing up, a long time ago, you know, but all of our clothes were very expensive, and you didn't – you know, you had play clothes and you had dress clothes and you really took care of your clothes. But now, we just seem to have a throwaway society, we replace everything, and because it's so cheap, and of course, that's what we all have to stop and think about, and also with furniture, and Patty sent me an article today about Ikea, but they always talk about Ikea because now with Ikea, people want to buy throwaway furniture and not keep the big heavy stuff, you can't even give it away. So I think it's always good to do that research, and of course, Laura, now, give us your knowledge on that.
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: Would you mind repeating the question?
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Was it about –
[Speaker A]: The question was, what is being done to improve recycling efforts in Dallas county, if at all?
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: Oh gosh, so yeah, that's a huge issue right now. The biggest concern that I'm seeing is contamination rates are through the roof, and what's happening is, people are wish-cycling. So they really wanna recycle, but they're just not sure how to do it right, so the region has – well, the North Central Texas Council of Government brought in an organization to help the entire region develop a regional recycling campaign to help educate everyone about recycling, and we've really taken it back to the basics. So remember back in the '90s when the only things you could recycle were clean paper, aluminum cans, steel cans, plastics 1 and 2, glass, brown, clear, and green. Boom, that's what we're going back to, so we're trying to get rid of the people who go, oh, my garden hose is busted, that should be recyclable, shouldn't it? And they throw it in there, and so that's where the big problem is coming in right now, if we could just get more people to concentrate on recycling the basics, I think that it would solve a lot of the recycling problems we're seeing.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: I read some research many years ago, but it was, if every city – you know when they pick up your trash, if you had your recycle and you take care of your own compost, and they actually weigh your trash, that that would be an incentive for everyone to have less trash. I've always thought that was good, but I don't know any city that has adopted that, and that's pretty old research.
[Speaker A]: There's some other questions that have come in, any ideas for suggested jobs or employers? I don't know if that was in reference to something in a slide.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Almost every company now that's doing this has a – it's like their annual report, and it's on what they're doing in these areas, you know, for the environment. So check companies – you know, scroll all the way down to the bottom where it says about us, or something like that, and then look for that type of report. But there are all kinds of reports out there of the best companies in these areas, and yesterday Georgeann and I were looking at an article, it was about jewelry and how they're – it was Pandora, and they're – by 2025, all their jewelry will be made out of recycled metals, so I thought that was very interesting.
[Speaker A]: What is DCCCD doing to address food waste? Can students learn how to compost? Where does the food waste produced on campus go, and are there any gardens that students can use and learn in at any of the campuses?
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: I'll answer this and then I'll let Georgeann, because we had really a good webinar on that, but I know at North Lake in our biology department they do this, and you can even – well, at least you could – anyway, you could even go there and get your worms, you know, they have the worms to help you with that. But they teach it and they also have that available there. Okay Georgeann, talk about our agriculture?
[Georgeann Moss]: Yeah, well I wanted to say that first of all, we really don't have that much food waste at our campuses because we have – Subway is at every college, and they – we have worked with them and they already are doing an excellent job about minimizing their food waste, so but we continue to work with them, and yes, we're gonna have gardens at all of our colleges also, and so we can put compost there, but it sounds like that's something that you have an interest in and so definitely we can work toward that goal of making composting courses, activities, whatever, available to our students and to the public so that they can learn how to do it.
[Speaker A]: There's a comment, thank you for mentioning the Peace Corps in your lecture, I was a volunteer in Guatemala '91 and '93, I have followed all of your points since I have returned from overseas and I teach the same in my science classes.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: There you go. I think a lot of it's taught in science classes, and someone else asked about the public –
[Speaker A]: Yeah, we have programs for the public to attend as well.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Yes, the public can sign up for any of these webinars. Right, Georgeann?
[Georgeann Moss]: Correct, and we're gonna continue to do these next year, they've been tremendously successful, and so I welcome anyone to send me ideas for topics, just email me at email@example.com, I would love to have your ideas. Also, I wanted to mention a question that was several ones back, you were asking about what companies are doing a good job with sustainability so that you could know how to get a job there. I would also encourage people to be a catalyst for change wherever you work, so even if your company is not yet – has not yet embraced sustainability, you can be the catalyst that opens their eyes and makes them aware and you can help them take small baby steps towards becoming more sustainable, and so we need everyone in an organization to be committed to sustainability, not just the people who work in the sustainability department, and that's why at DCCCD, we consider ourselves catalysts and change agents in the organization. We work with facilities to help them do an even better job than they're already doing with energy efficiency, we work with purchasing so that we can learn how to do more sustainable purchasing, we're working with the education area so that we can infuse sustainability into all of the classes, no matter what class it is. As you saw from the 17 sustainable development goals, there is not a course that we teach that does not touch on at least one, and usually more, of those 17 sustainable development goals. So that's what we're doing, is we're just trying to make sustainability a cultural thing with us, that we think about it all the time and we support each other in becoming more sustainable.
[Speaker A]: This said, I live outside of the city but within Dallas county, I have not found – I have found no recycling locations in the area that are not tied to a city. I am near Ferris. Any possible expansion or options for drop-off locations?
[Georgeann Moss]: I'm gonna throw that one over to Lori, do you know?
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: There are not. Well, specifically because of COVID, most drop-off sites have been closed, and with the turmoil in the industry right now, a lot of them were being closed prior to COVID. So I don't know of any opening, you're not gonna see any kind of drop-off available, I think, for at least another two years.
[Georgeann Moss]: Wow, and Lori, again, for those who don't know why the recycling industry is in turmoil, can you give us just a brief update on that?
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: Because China, two years ago, stopped accepting our recycling because we weren't sending them recycling, we were sending them our garbage, and we were warned and we ignored, and so it has – it just kept going, and China said, we don't want your garbage anymore, which I think is fair, which is why, as Dr. Allen noted, we've been sending so much of our recycling to other countries, to third world countries, and again, we're not sending them our recycling, we're sending them our garbage, and they're sending it back. It has really thrown the entire industry into quite a fit. So we're trying to fix things now, we understand where the problems are, and I think that in our region, in the DFW region, I think that we have done an exceptional job here. We still have markets for our materials, I don't believe that anything is going to the landfills at this time, so but there's always – we just need to improve what's going in there. The reason why we're sending our trash is because that's what we're putting in our recycling. It really all comes back down to reducing the contamination that we put into the recycling at the curb, and that's where it needs to start.
[Georgeann Moss]: This is Georgeann again, and I would encourage you, if you have never toured a recycling facility, or what's called a MRF, it is really interesting, and once you do it, it will change the way you recycle forever, because you will see what great work goes into separating all that stuff, and then if – and then you find out what happens if just one plastic bag gets in there and gets wrapped around all the gears and gets caught up in there, they have to stop everything and somebody physically has to go down into that dangerous equipment and unravel that plastic bag and take it out and start the whole thing over again, so it's really really interesting, and when we get to the point where we can take students on tours again, we're gonna start taking tours to the recycling center so they can see that.
[Speaker A]: One came in, have we considered reaching out to the Chamber of Commerce to educate local businesses about sustainability and the benefits for their companies, and then to piggyback on that, are there businesses looking for professionals that know about sustainability?
[Georgeann Moss]: Gemmy, you wanna take that one?
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: Oh, I don't know the answer about the Chamber of Commerce.
[Georgeann Moss]: Ok, well I do know that the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce has a sustainability program and some of the chambers are interested in it. I know Irving is very active in sustainability issues, and some aren't, so that's a really good question and that's one of the things that my department, we work very closely with the city of Dallas on many, many issues, and we're gonna start reaching out to the other, smaller cities and chambers as well. So yeah, good question, and yes, Dallas is 100% committed to sustainability, as evidenced by they recently passed their climate action, comprehensive climate action plans – I can't remember the exact title, but it was – it took a couple years of work and it's a good start. It's not perfect, but it's a good start, and that's what we need is to start.
[Speaker A]: This person says, I came in late, can you please explain the connection to EarthX [audio cuts out] EarthX ocean conference?
[Speaker A]: There's other comments about the wish-cycling that we were discussing earlier, and then some people who are – there's one comment, due to the pandemic, I have had time to get rid of books, toys, furniture that my 7 year old has outgrown. Thankfully, a young couple moved in next door with a 2 year old that can use it. The couple went from a one bedroom to a three bedroom apartment, I was able to give them quite a bit and I'm so happy they were open to receiving secondhand items.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: I think that's fantastic, I think that's fantastic, and that's a great way to recycle is by sharing the things that we sometimes would have thrown away. The good news is that some of the donation drop-off areas have reopened, most of them had closed down due to the pandemic, but a few have reopened, so if you are looking to clean out while you're stuck at home, then some of those are available now. So please, yeah, don't throw away anything that can be reused by someone else.
[Georgeann Moss]: I see here in the question area that James Orenstein, he's one of our good partners with North Texas Renewable Energy Group and the DFW Solar Tour, he says he thinks there's a recycling drop-off in Midlothian, so you might check that out. Do we have anything else?
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: I think he has a question about smart cities and popup – [audio cuts out]
[Georgeann Moss]: Okay, I can't see the question –
[Speaker A]: Can't see the question.
[Dr. Gemmy Allen]: He says, comment on the connections between sustainability and smart cities?
[Georgeann Moss]: So I mean yes, in my mind a sustainability city is a smart city, so I'm not sure – James, would you like me to bring you into the conversation? Let me see if I can pull you up. Yeah, there you are. Okay, no, I'm not able to do that, I guess that's because you're the host right now. But yes, smart cities –
[Speaker A]: [inaudible]
[Georgeann Moss]: Oh, thank you. James, we'd love to hear what you have to say on this.
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: This is Lori. While you're getting James on there, there is a website where you can go to check recycling locations, it's called timetorecycle.org, so they will have the most updated list for the region of recycling locations if you'd like to check that out.
[Georgeann Moss]: Great, and George Twyman is asking, he says, I know our campuses do make some small revenue from our recycling, so would it be possible for campuses to be community recycling centers? I think that'd be a Lori question again.
[Lori Delacruz Lewis]: We do not make revenue off of our recycling. We may have in the past, but we have not since I've been with the district for seven years, we have not made money on what was sold. We've tried to put that in the contracts in prior years, and it has not been part of the final contracts. So and the possibility of the campuses being community drop-off sites, I think that risk management would have a lot to say about that and the fact that our campuses are not open all the time, that they do close the gates and lock them. I think that that would be a discussion for risk management to get involved in.