I don’t believe it’s overstating the case to argue that sustainability guidelines, applied to the most common areas of our lives – such as food and health care – can literally save your life. As a Sustainability Practitioner, you’re not leaving these concerns to fate.
Hospitals nationwide produce over 6,500 tons of waste per day. Hospital waste includes solid waste, regulated medical waste, hazardous waste, pharmaceutical waste, universal waste and recycled waste. Organizations need to hire a sustainability director to coordinate the multiple streams. “Most employees live in the community,” says Linda Lee, health care solutions operations director for Waste Management Inc., Houston, “so garnering support is not very challenging.” Yes, we want to keep our families safe!
This is a major concern for Houston where medical research and healthcare delivery is the 2rd largest industry after oil and gas from exploration to production.
Clean fishing and agriculture combined make up the 6th largest industry in Houston. Maybe that is why there are a dozen urban gardens and markets in Houston. The list includes research projects, fresh delivery to urban centers, organics, native plants and close adherence to USDA guidelines for “certified naturally grown.” A uniting concept is to grow food everywhere, rooftops, vacant lots, parks – increasing access to nutrition and urban self-sufficiency in the face of unforeseen crisis.
On the fishing front, Houston is helping its own recovery and that of the Gulf Region after recent hurricanes with the push to consume sustainable Gulf seafood. Whether sold in grocery stores, restaurants or the local food truck, Gulf-sourced seafood can help fisheries worldwide. Only 10% of fish and shrimp sold in the US come from US waters. Imagine the difference in quality, not to mention transportation and other supply chain considerations, when sustainability, such as the Principles for Investment in Sustainable Fisheries, are added to the mix.
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The urgent challenges of managing health care and providing clean food are integral to sustainability. The next CSE Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program (Advanced Edition 2018) will be in Houston, Sept. 27-28, 2018. CSE is a boutique sustainability consultant and trainer with an international presence and over 10 years’ experience. For more information, visit www.cse-net.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.