Cultivating Sustainable Food and Fuel for America
Sustainable America was founded in 2012. Our unique approach to improving the sustainability of our country’s food and transportation fuel systems calls for us to:
· Educate: raising awareness of the food and fuel issues facing our country;
· Engage: working with the public to change their behaviors to be more sustainable; and
· Invest: supporting new innovations in sustainability that can transform the marketplace.
We work to not only identify actions that can be taken, but to emphasize that all actions–however small or large–make a difference and that individual decisions do matter.
Our Areas of Expertise: Food
As the global population increases and demand from growing middle and upper classes in emerging nations rises, the amount of food needed to feed the world will continue to grow. This growth will need to be met by the world’s food production systems, which face many challenges stemming from the availability of arable land, questions over whether crop yields can continue to grow fast enough and increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather.
Sustainable America is working to improve the food situation by implementing two specific programs.
Food Waste Management in Stadiums, Hotels and Restaurants
In this program, we focus our food waste efforts on sport stadiums, hotels, restaurants and food retailers. We work with these institutions to reduce food waste at its source, and to divert otherwise wasted food to food rescue organizations or to other valuable products like compost or natural gas. We educate patrons about these issues, and give them information to reduce their food waste at home. We work with restaurant owners to help them save money on their food costs. We also work with community leaders to help them launch their own programs to advance this important cause. The stadium aspect of this effort, known as Greening the Field, is pursued in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, which works with major sports stadiums across the country.
Zero Waste Event Support
We have a range of services to organizations to help them run their events in a more environmentally responsible manner–approaching zero-waste. These services include identifying and helping to procure compostable materials, securing and training volunteers, separating waste streams, working with a hauler to carry the waste streams to the right destinations and identifying a compost or anaerobic digestion facility to receive it all and turn it into valuable products. We have implemented this program at events throughout the country, including SXSW Eco Conference, LiveGreen Connecticut and the Kentucky Derby Festival.
Our Areas of Expertise: Fuel
Americans consume almost 19 million barrels of oil every day, and fully 70 percent of this oil is used for transportation. Globally, spare capacity is less than 3 percent, meaning the ability to produce more oil in response to potential crises is extremely limited. Much of this oil comes from politically volatile regions in the world, and indeed, recent events in places like Russia place uncertainty on global fuel supplies.
Sustainable America is working to improve the transportation fuel situation by implementing two specific programs.
Anti-idling in Vehicle Fleets
The Department of Energy notes that Americans waste 200,000 barrels of oil every day idling their car and truck engines unnecessarily. Each of us can do a few simple tasks to save $50-100 in gas per year. That’s a free tank of gas. Multiplied by all Americans, we can reduce our dependence on oil, improve the air we breathe and save money.
We are expanding our anti-idling campaign work to larger-scale users of fuel in vehicle fleets. We are working to help companies recognize the fuel savings and environmental benefits of reducing engine idling, and to give drivers of company fleet vehicles the tools to reduce their own fuel use. We saved one partner $5,000 in fuel in just over a month, and will work with other fleet managers to help them find similar cost savings.
Sustainability Improvements in Universities, Colleges and Municipalities
Universities and municipalities have the ability to influence a large number of drivers, including professional drivers (piloting dump trucks, buses, police cars, maintenance equipment and shuttles) and private drivers such as parents, teachers, students, commuters and government employees. Our engagement in this program considers vehicle use across this fleet of different vehicles and drivers. We have made inroads on this project in universities throughout New England.
Our Areas of Expertise: Investments
Sustainable America believes in investing in companies that are developing new advances in sustainable technologies to bring these ideas to market and make sustainability more attainable and more economical. We identify promising companies through our own due diligence and through partnerships that we have developed with a number of incubators, universities and accelerators in various parts of the country. Our investment approach follows four principles:
1. Focus on opportunities that support our food and fuel sustainability mission;
2. Scalable companies that can grow and make a wide-spread, systemic difference;
3. Measureable products that can impact food or fuel sustainability; and
4. Profitable enterprises that can eventually provide a financial return, so that the proceeds from an investment can be re-invested into other ventures.
Sustainable America is a non-profit environmental organization. We serve an important goal, but we can’t do it without your support. Make a tax-deductible donation to support our work in improving the sustainability of our nation’s food and fuel systems.
Sustainable America is working constantly to make America’s food and transportation fuel systems more resilient. You can follow our activities by signing up for our weekly email newsletter. Sign up. Stay informed. Stay engaged.
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