We Say It, But Do We Mean It?
We hear it all the time, and we repeat it just as often: “The Triple Bottom Line.” “People, Planet, Profits.” “Ecology, Economy, Equity.”
Talk is cheap, methinks.
Action speaks louder than words. And I think the words to actions ratio is way too high.
And when I look for the real truth of the People/Equity piece of this equation – what has come to be called “Social Sustainability,” I hear a lot of resounding silence.
We all – and I don’t see Brightworks as any exception – need to do a better job at attending to the human dimension of sustainability. Else sustainability will remain the province of what detractors gleefully call the work of latte drinking elitists.
Yes, we at Brightworks have had the privilege of working on two LEED-certified affordable housing projects (here and here). And we spend a lot of time internally exploring how we can meaningfully integrate social sustainability considerations into our work more effectively. And we have a long way to go.
In fairness to ourselves and others striving to make real inroads into the arena where social equity and ecological conservation align, this is one of the newest fields within the broader sustainability landscape, and the thought leadership is really just beginning to take meaningful shape.
And let us know what you think. And let’s move this forward together. Or we’re not going to make the meaningful lasting change to which we aspire.