How young professionals can spark sustainability
It seems that Duluth's young professional (YPro) demographic has taken over the city as of late. The young entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well with startups like Duluth Coffee Company, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Vikre Distillery and The Duluth...
It seems that Duluth's young professional (YPro) demographic has taken over the city as of late. The young entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well with startups like Duluth Coffee Company, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., Vikre Distillery and The Duluth Experience, just to name a few. Heck, even our mayor is considered a YPro, even though he did have a pretty big birthday recently.
So, what do these entrepreneurial YPros have in common? They all chose to build their businesses in the Twin Ports, even though they could have chosen any city in the country. I would be willing to bet that if you asked any of these young entrepreneurs, "Why the Twin Ports?" a top answer would be Lake Superior and our awesome natural green spaces. People want to live, work and raise their families here - I know I do. I mean, we ARE "the best outdoor city in the country" - but I don't want to brag or anything.
Another commonality of this group is that our generation really cares about the environment and sustaining our natural resources. And since most of us spend the majority of our time at work, it is natural that we will want to transition our passion for sustainability to our professional lives.
Here's where the problem lies: When you aren't developing your own business model from the ground up, it can be difficult to integrate sustainability into an established company's mission and daily operations.
For example, have you looked around your office and thought, "We could do better about recycling, reducing waste and saving energy," but you just don't know where to start? Oftentimes individuals want to make smarter sustainable decisions at work, but find it difficult and overwhelming to drive these types of conversations with their employers. Have no fear, STP (Sustainable Twin Ports) is here!
STP and Fuse Duluth, the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce's program for young professionals (targeted age group is 20-40+) have teamed up for a networking and outreach event called "Sustainable Starters: How Young Professionals Can Spark Sustainable Practices at Work." The free event will be 4:30-6 p.m., Sept. 16 at Bent Paddle Brewing Co., 1912 W. Michigan St.
The purpose of this event is to:
- Seed awareness of, and enthusiasm for, sustainable principles and practices among the Twin Port's next generation of business leaders
- Initiate sustainable conversations at the local business level "from the inside out."
- Increase awareness of STP, our Early Adopter training program and volunteer/board opportunities within the organization.
The program will include a short presentation on STP and how professionals can start the sustainability conversation with their employers and/or business partners and a presentation from the Bent Paddle Team on their sustainable initiatives, followed by informal conversations and networking. Information on the 2015 Early Adopter training will be available. Appetizers will be catered by the Duluth Grill along with a cash bar and prize giveaway. To RSVP to this event, please visit www.sustainabletwinports.org .