As I reflect on 2020, I felt incredibly grateful for being able to work on issues core to making the world better for people and our well-being. I am fortunate to think about circularity, climate and sustainability daily and how they intersect with and can drive more equitable outcomes for all. A big part of 2020 included listening and learning for myself and the Sustainable Growth Coalition regarding how we can be part of more equitable solutions. I learned that this could mean stepping back or admitting when we don’t have all the answers to complex issues while learning from the wisdom of others, especially those who have been historically excluded from these conversations. I have been inspired and encouraged by the leadership that Coalition members have shown, helping drive solutions for a more resilient and equitable economy, such as through the release of tools and case studies and by learning from those working at the intersection of community and sustainability. I look forward to continuing to collaboratively advance progress in 2021.
I have also been reflecting on just how much we accomplished in 2020. In a year that none of us predicted, we learned new ways of working and interacting with one another – reflecting, prioritizing, and adapting. As I began listing the Coalition’s plentiful 2020 accomplishments, the new ways of working together stood out to me as keys to our successes.
Thinking about all that we have accomplished in a year filled with constant change and uncertainty, I am incredibly proud of 2020 and certain that 2021 will be filled with even more progress toward using our collective voice and action to advance circularity and equity.
Key 2020 accomplishments include:
(organized by our Coalition objectives, which the Steering Committee finalized early in 2020 – another accomplishment!)
Objective 1: Align around the evolving role and value proposition of the Coalition in the circular economy .
- Explored the intersection of circularity and equity with guest speakers at membership meetings, during small group discussions, and members-only social hours.
- Established long-term goals for the Coalition with our Steering Committee.
- Hosted a public webinar with over 80 attendees, highlighting a range of practical and innovative solutions for organizations to drive and expand their sustainability practices.
Objective 2: Advance impactful circular economy initiatives centered on community.
- Expanded state and regional partnerships with entities such as the Midwest Governor’s Association, MN Governor’s office, MN House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division, and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.
- Highlighted member expertise in our case study on Utility/Customer Collaboration on Uniform Greenhouse Gas and Renewable Energy Reporting.
- Showcased the value of and how to better an organization’s greenhouse gas and renewable energy reporting at a public webinar with 75 attendees.
Objective 3: Ensure members are prepared with tools and insights to successfully advocate for the Coalition’s vision, mission and programs within their organizations.
- Showcased how organizations are advancing circularity during the COVID-19 pandemic by closing the loop on material flows, meaningfully engaging executives, and advocating for policy solutions to systemic barriers at a members-only webinar, reaching many employees new to the Coalition.
- Published the Coalition’s Circularity Toolkit with member case studies demonstrating different ways to create systems change across different business models.
Objective 4: Equip and employ Coalition members and staff as effective ambassadors of the Coalition’s vision, mission and workstreams.
- Launched our first C-Suite event with 25 executives attending in partnership with GREATER MSP to explore the intersection of circularity and equity.
- Hosted a legislative breakfast to showcase the business case for circularity and sustainability with over 90 attendees.
- Highlighted Coalition leadership in articles published in the Star Tribune and Finance and Commerce.
Greatly increased our presence and reach on social media to share the business case for sustainability, highlight members and promote Coalition webinars, case studies and milestones.
- Published 17 blogs to share Coalition successes and member thought-leadership, including three written by member leaders.
- Showcased Coalition and member’s leadership at over 15 conferences/events.
- Welcomed three new member organizations.
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