Last Friday, October 19, marked the exciting inaugural meeting uniting three influential organizations building the Impact Economy in New Orleans: the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, the Green Collaborative, and LifeCity. Leveraging networks and expertise, this new partnership will continue to grow the “better-business” or “green” movement in New Orleans and put forth policy initiatives that support its growth.
The first ever zero-waste event of the Chamber of Commerce took place over lunch, with delicious catering by Liberty’s Kitchen, donated cupcakes by Cake Cafe, and coffee provided by PJ’s Coffee. NOLA Green Roots provided composting services.
Our own Liz Shephard kicked off the meeting with an inspirational introduction showcasing LifeCity members who are already making a positive impact in their communities through creative partnership solutions.
Linda Stone, Global Green USA and the Green Collaborative, discussed the history of the green collaborative, emphasizing its growth throughout the past five years. Stone emphasized the importance of creating policy and how we must come together to promote environmental prosperity.
Sandra Lindquist of the Green Committee of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce discussed how New Orleans has the potential to become a sustainability leader nationally. By showing organizations they can save money through socially and environmentally conscious initiatives, and even increase revenue at the same time, the Green Committee works to loop in an integral part of the Impact Economy, businesses.
The highlight of the event was a presentation on the Community Capital Framework followed by a group discussion. Brennan Lowery, a New Orleans native and Master’s student at Simon Fraser University, presented his research on community-based indicators that can be used to measure the success of sustainability initiatives within a community.
The Community Capital Framework argues that sustainable development occurs by maximizing six forms of “community capital”, including social, economic, natural, cultural, physical, and human capital. The approach asserts that the planetary threats to environmental sustainability are often compatible and even dependent upon local strategies to social and economic development, and the best way to attain global sustainability is to implement and monitor small-scale initiatives administered by governmental, private, and non-profit actors.
Such small-scale citywide efforts can be accomplished through our collaborative efforts. Our initial meeting sparked an important discussion about sustainable development in New Orleans and we are eager to continue our partnership that coordinates and leverages individuals and organizations working towards a common vision.