Greentrepreneur: Urban Conservancy

The Urban Conservancy is a New Orleans-based nonprofit that’s been around since 2001, focused on catalyzing equitable policy and practice related to our land use and local economy through research, education, and advocacy.  ‘ A lot of our focus with regard to land use right now has to do with our city’s changing relationship with water, and educating the public about the things we can all do to protect our community from excessive street flooding and subsidence.  Our Front Yard Initiative is an example of how we are taking that message to the public. StayLocal, Greater New Orleans’ independent business alliance is an Urban Conservancy initiative, and so of course the health of our place-based business community is always top of mind.

What are some of your proudest moments as executive director of the Urban Conservancy?

I am very proud in our role in raising public awareness around our mission, but perhaps most proud of the fact that we have been able to create 4 full-time jobs and countless internship opportunities that have led to meaningful professional opportunities,

How does your organization go about improving your social and environmental impacts?

We work hard to put our money where our mouth is and patronize our local independently owned  businesses whenever possible.

What partnerships have you formed in order to leverage sustainable impact as an organization?

We’re a LifeCity member and a founding member of the Greater New Orleans Water Collaborative.  These organizations do a good job of connecting practice to policy work, and creating channels for change.

If you had a magic wand to change one thing that would make it easier for your company or other New Orleans businesses to go green, what would that thing be?

Glass recycling would be great. What advice would you give to other businesses who are trying to improve their internal practices to benefit their city and state? Take small, manageable steps consistently.  Seek advice from knowledgeable partners such as LifeCity.

Anything else you would like to tell our community of Green Card members and Green Businesses such as upcoming events or promotions they should look out for?

Regular staff check-ins where this question is asked can help develop internal practices that wouldn’t occur to me and that, by eliminating unnecessary waste, save our organization money.  One small recent example comes from our annual fundraiser.  Rather than redesign banners every year for our annual event, we’ve developed some designs that can be used over and over.  (We’d love to talk to a maker about repurposing some of those old banners taking up space in our storage space, if anyone’s interested!)

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