We were so pleased to have had Sam England as a summer 2014 intern with the Center for a Sustainable Future. Sam worked with Inovateus Solar and she is doing wonderful work with Inovateus – here are some of her thoughts about solar energy and sustainability during her internship.
My role with the Sales and Development department at Inovateus Solar is contributing to sustainability in a variety of different ways. Our team looks for leads in the commercial, industrial, and residential areas that are interested in installing solar panels. We also approach various commercial, industrial, and residential areas demonstrating how solar energy will benefit their return on investment, which essentially will help them make a profit. Even with just this portion of what we do, we are contributing to the environment by helping the industrial bubble that we are in now, become a new green revolution by lowering carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions being used, and overall helping our Earth now and in the future. Our team also is contributing to people by helping and educating people to understand the importance of solar energy and how it helps our environment and society not only on a global, but on a local level as well. On an economic level, we are helping commercial and industrial companies switch their usual uses of energy use to an environmentally friendly use through solar. Our team really focuses on explaining how companies are going to be making a profit, and how they are helping towards sustainability.
Systems condition #2 from the Sustainability Primer says, “In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of substances produced by society.” One concentration of substances that has been produced by society includes CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions cause many threats to our environment including global warming, which leads to deforestation, desertification, weather changes, human health problems, etc. My role in my internship is helping make those changes of continuous energy uses of CO2 emissions, and switching to renewable energy sources. All in all, every team member has an important role towards contributing towards a sustainable world.
The first Seven Practices of a Sustainability Champion is to “get credible, stay credible”. This means that in order for you to be a successful leader, people must put their trust in you. Once they trust you, they will believe in the things that you believe in and will hopefully thrive towards a more sustainable society them selves. “Dialogue” is the second practice of a sustainable champion. You must be able to be persuasive in a healthy way, rather than in a forceful way where people would get turned off from what you are saying. To be a leader, it’s important to think before you say things, so they don’t get miscommunicated. It is also important to really listen to what others have to say. Once you take the time to listen to others, you will then take on the third practice of a sustainable champion, “collaborate, educate, and network”. You cannot create a sustainable environment, society, and economy just by your self. You have to spread the revolution with the help of others. With other’s ideas and thoughts, you will be able to innovate some creative ideas that will help the necessary revolution to take place. “Meet them where they are”, the fourth sustainability champion practice, means to help others find the path towards sustainability rather than just pointing your finger at them. The fifth sustainability champion practice is “piggyback existing initiatives”, which means to uplift other’s imagination and creativity. The sixth sustainability champion practice is to “influence the influencers”, which means to share your ideas with others who are listened by societies, such as politicians artists, writers, etc. The last sustainability champion practice is to “practice ‘planful opportunism”. This means to act on every opportunity that you have towards making the change. Even when you don’t think there is opportunity, you should still take it as one.
Inovateus Solar does a terrific job by demonstrating all of these practices. The team as individuals share these practices as well, which really makes the company, stands out as a whole. I personally believe that I’m practicing all of these practices, but one in particular is “collaborate, educate, and network”. I have been able to open up many doors to the solar industry, and work towards renewable energy. Overall, I feel like the company is only going to help me grow and use the “Seven Practices of a Sustainability Champion” effectively.
PEOPLE, Plant, Profit
According to the fourth requirement for the System Conditions of a Sustainable Society, “in a sustainable society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs”. At Inovateus Solar, we are helping people meet their needs. We are sponsors and also volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Joe County, Rebuilding Together, and WVPE. Inovateus has also donated solar panels for the Bee Hive Sponsorship for Unity Gardens and to Norte Dame University’s engineering program, where solar engineering will spark the interest to students. Along with our donation and volunteer work, being a part of the renewable energy industry is systematically improving society meet their needs by providing green jobs, a healthy environment, and lowering CO2 emissions.
In the reading “Bridging the Green Divide”, Van Jones explains why people who live and experience poverty are the biggest victims of a non-sustainable society. Jones also talked about connecting the economy, those who are in poverty, the middle class, and sustainability together. People that live a rich or even middle class lifestyles, have to find the balance between needs and wants, and realize how indulging in a luxury lifestyle can be toxic to those in poverty and the environment. There should not be this huge gap between the poor and the rich. That is just not a sustainable society. My personal opinion is if we create more green jobs, there will be a potential increase in jobs which will allow people in poverty to work and receive an income to meet their needs. All in all, Inovateus Solar is creating those green jobs that are apart of Social and Environmental Justice with renewable energy and is allowing the present and future generations to meet their needs.
We are so happy for Sam. She is employed by Inovateus Solar and doing really great work!