Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Values in Practice

Jan Sneegas and her team at the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations deserve recognition. Recognition for planning their General Assembly in complete alignment with the core values of the organization. Their planning takes into account the diversity of their participants whether that is race, culture, belief systems or accessibility issues. For example, no other organization we have worked with takes accessibility so seriously. They rigorously inspect all hotels and meetings venues to assure participants will have easy access. A statement that the facility is “ADA compliant” is not enough. They take social responsibility to an advocacy role, refusing to contract with hotels that don’t treat workers fairly.

Now they wrangle with the issue created by Arizona law SB1070. One of the General Assembly Resolutions states, “all attendees are asked to be mindful of the ways racism and oppression impact our community and the larger community that is hosting our gathering.” Yes, they have resolutions to demonstrate their commitment and they walk the talk.

This is in addition to their commitment of environmental responsibility which is rigorous as well. Are they “perfect” in all aspects, no one is. Are they transparent about the process and what they can accomplish? Absolutely. This web page is an excellent example of their resources

It is not always easy. Sometimes there are decisions we just don’t want to have to make. It is unsung heroes like Jan that are creating real change in our world. I am honored to know her.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Ready, Set, Slash!

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has announced the "Energy Slasher Challenge" competition. The winners will be the small, medium, and large property with the greatest overall savings April 1, 2010 – April 1, 2011 compared to the previous year. And they are even giving away prizes.

Applause to AH&LA not only for issuing this challenge but also for making available a wonderful Green Resource page, a glossary and even a link to a green guru who can help to answer questions!

It is exciting to see associations like AH&LA (for hotels), IACC (for conference centers), GMIC (for meeting planners) creating friendly competition to initiate real change. Sustainability continues to move into the mainstream--not just because it is the "right thing to do" but because it makes good business sense. Everyone wins!