“Achieving sustainable development is perhaps one of the most difficult and one of the most pressing goals we face. It requires on the part of all of us commitment, action, partnerships and, sometimes, sacrifices of our traditional life patterns and personal interests.” – Mostafa Tolba, Former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
“Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract – sustainable development – and turn it into a reality for all the world’s people.” – Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General
To compete in the 21st century, organizations must commit to a comprehensive approach to sustainability. GETF is dedicated to helping organizations focus their business strategy through the development of innovative approaches and tools to maximize efficiency and promote sustainability. We have developed successful models for cooperation that support public and private sector stakeholders in achieving economic, social, and environmental gains. GETF utilizes a systems approach for managing environmental, energy, security, and safety risks to help organizations identify and prioritize their areas of concern, develop appropriate planning mechanisms, and ensure successful implementation.
GETF’s experience in sustainability includes:
- The International Institute for Sustainable Seaports (I2S2) is a nonprofit center of excellence specifically designed to support port authorities, their tenants and members of the maritime community. The I2S2 helps these stakeholders implement sustainable practices to ensure economic vitality while protecting environmental quality and community integrity.
- Greening the G8 represents a collaboration between GETF and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to conduct an impact assessment and evaluate environmental actions incorporated in the 2004 G8 Summit that was held in Sea Island, Georgia. The evaluation considered a range of activities including waste minimization; energy consumption and mitigation strategies; water resources, wildlife and habitat protection; efficient transportation and technology use pertaining to all aspects of implementing this large scale international event.
- Green Investment Screening Criteria for the Municipal Bond Market – Being a sustainable organization is increasingly important in both the private and public sectors. Sound approaches to green management offer numerous benefits which translate into lasting success. While these principles are being more actively applied in the business sector, they strongly apply to local government as well. For local governments, green management can facilitate improved fiscal management, reduced institutional risk, more effective service delivery and improved economic viability. Working with representatives from the financial sector, GETF developed criteria to help investors determine the long-term viability of local, city and state governments and the associated impact on their bond performance.
- Telework and Emissions Trading Study—(Phase II) – Many urban areas in the United States are confronted with major air pollution and traffic congestion problems. The federal government, states and local communities are working to address these challenges in a variety of ways, while also seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil imports. Telework is one strategy that can simultaneously reduce traffic congestion, oil consumption and pollution. The business community is a critical driver for implementing and expanding telework in the U.S. Through a grant with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, GETF conducted a study to determine whether emissions trading could incentivize more companies to offer telework programs by providing an additional source of revenue. Other goals included expanding awareness of telework and identifying barriers to greater adoption of telework. Local partnerships supporting this ecommute Program worked extensively with businesses to promote telework and explain best practices for implementing such a program.
- To see other examples of GETF’s sustainability work, click here.