Saving the planet could save you money

Protecting the environment and making money are usually thought of as mutually exclusive. 

You can either make money or you can help the environment. But what if you could do both?  

The 2018 Dallas Community College District (DCCCD) Sustainability Summit explored that option at Richland College. This year’s summit made going green more attractive than ever.

Kevin Wilhelm, CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting, inspired students and faculty during the lunch session at the event on Nov. 9. He explained how protecting the environment can put more green in consumers’ wallets. 

 Matt Grubisich, right, leads a tour of the tree farm during the Sustainability Summit Nov. 9.

Matt Grubisich, right, leads a tour of the tree farm during the Sustainability Summit Nov. 9.

“My firm works [with] a lot of different businesses on how to incorporate the U.N. sustainability development goals into their business operations, but also how to do it from a profitability standpoint,” Wilhelm said. “A way that makes good business sense that helps them realize their business goals and objectives while achieving the sustainability goals at the same time.” 

Wilhelm works with Fortune 500 companies to find creative ways to protect the environment while increasing their profits, from turning cow manure into energy to reducing the air conditioning bill. When it comes to going green and making money, innovation is the name of the game.

The Sustainability Summit reflected Richland’s attitude toward the environment. From planting trees to testing the water in the lake, environmental experts from all over Texas demonstrated effective techniques to keep our community sustainable. Volunteers from the Student Green Team played a crucial role in making the event run smoothly. 

Avery Self, a volunteer for the event, expressed his concern for sustainability. 

“I think that it’s overlooked a lot how much we impact our environment on a daily basis,” Self said. 

Other students emphasized the importance of events like the Sustainability Summit that educate the community about its environmental impact. 

Richland strives for excellence when it comes to protecting the environment. Wilhelm praised Richland for its achievements in sustainability. 

“What separates Richland is the way that they’ve not only incorporated sustainability on campus in terms of their general facility operations, which is what a lot of organizations do, but reaching out with their partnerships in the community, using their outdoor living labs and classrooms to engage their students and also doing things like becoming a part of Tree Campus USA,” Wilhelm said.  

“They found a way to actually make the campus more sustainable while making it more beautiful at the same time. And I think just being in the area of the greater Dallas Metroplex [Richland] really stands out as a college that really stands behind what they claim about sustainability.” 

Richland is a leader in sustainability, not only in the Dallas area, but in the country. Last year Richland became the first college in the Metroplex to earn the Gold Level Green Business Certification. 

Richland continues to pursue the sustainability goals suggested by the United Nations, especially goal No.17: establishing partnerships. 

For more information about the sustainability summit go to www.richlandcollege.edu/aboutrlc/sustainability/pages/default.aspx