We had originally scheduled a piece on the future of LEED for this month’s Newsletter, but current events call for other subject matter. Following is a statement by our CEO and Founder, Chris Schaffner.
The last few months have been difficult and eye opening. We are learning a lot of hard truths about our country and ourselves, and our place in the world. We at The Green Engineer, Inc. have always been committed to creating a just and sustainable future, and recent events only highlight the need for this work. But I recognize that I view these events from a position of privilege. I’m lucky to be able to keep working in safety during the pandemic, with food on the table, and a roof over my head. And like many of us, for me, race relations in the US have been more of a theoretical concern, rather than something that affects my life on a daily basis. But we have a responsibility to do more than to sit idly by in observation as so many terrible and shocking events unfold. We cannot remain quiet. Black lives do matter – it is time to live that slogan.
If we are truly committed to a just and sustainable world, we must address the issues of racism directly. We must start by challenging ourselves - and I challenge you too. We must change the status quo by re-assessing our own attitudes and biases towards people of color, people who are different from us, and groups that have been historically and presently marginalized in our society. The hard truth is that we have not done enough to combat racism.
It’s not enough to say, “I’m not a racist”. We must do more. We must commit to becoming anti-racist. Starting today, as CEO, I am committing to making The Green Engineer, Inc. an anti-racist organization.
We have to do better. Our company and leadership do not represent the diversity of the world around us. Our policies don’t go far enough to explicitly state our anti-racism. Our projects often foster inequity and economic injustice. And we know our practices have bias because we haven’t designed them to make sure they don’t. As a business, we are coming up short.
So, I am committing to change. I will start by calling for internal, office-wide discussions and reflection. Honestly asking ourselves the difficult questions of what we assume about other people (versus what is true) is hard. As a firm, we need to start with self-reflection. We will review our internal policies to explicitly make them anti-racist. We will review our charitable giving to support worthy organizations doing work in this space. Most impactfully, we will review the work we take on through this lens and make sure our projects contribute in positive ways to a sustainable, equitable, and anti-racist society.
I regret not acting sooner and want to acknowledge my shortcomings. I am committed to change and to act swiftly. We have a long way to go, but I pledge today that I am going to work hard to get there with you. Stay tuned for updates and let us know what you are doing. Please join us in our work to create a more just and sustainable world.
CEO and Founder