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MPower Showcase Reflection: Everyone Can Accomplish Sustainability

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Posted: 7:39AM January 27th, 2016 | Comments

On January 22, 2015 Sustain Dane held the 7th Annual MPower Champion Public Showcase where 12 representatives from the MPower Business Champions spoke about the projects they worked on during the 2015 program year. Through the research I've been doing on the Madison State of Sustainability, I knew the basics of the MPower program but this was my first opportunity to hear directly from participants and as I sat listening to their stories, two things struck me. 

The first: the huge variety of businesses and organizations represented: a newspaper, a city, two restaurants, a church, a real estate company, an online retailer, a university office, a sewerage district, and even more that aren't as easily pigeonholed. This wide array of businesses was impressive not just in sheer number, but in that it demonstrates just how relatable sustainability is, no matter the industry. This relatability leads nicely to the second thing that stood out to me: the surprising amount of overlap among projects at the showcase. Despite being from different fields, a number of groups had implemented similar projects, namely encouraging bike commuting, focusing on sustainable purchasing, and reducing water use and waste production. Each group was able to tailor the projects to fit their individual needs without losing the original intent. To riff off a popular quote, sustainability for all and all for sustainability!

If I had to name just one takeaway from the showcase, it would be that sustainability is an attainable goal for everyone. Even starting with projects as simple as a Turn It Off Campaign (encouraging people to turn off lamps, computers, and other electronics when leaving the office) or a plastic-free kitchen (eliminating single-use kitchenwares in the office and buying glassware/ceramics and dish soap), anyone and any business can work towards sustainability. Whether you're an MPower business (apply here) or not, anyone can be a sustainability champion!

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