Hi, I’m Heather Dantzker, Past Chair of AEA’s Sustainability Working Group, serving as Chair 2015-2017. I currently serve as Program Co-Chair of AEA’s Environmental Program Evaluation TIG.
AEA’s environmental sustainability working group has been implementing recommendations from the Green Audit that AEA commissioned in 2015. The Green Audit provided a road map for moving forward to reduce AEA’s environmental impact and leverage its influence as an organization. The Green Audit was also conducted, in part, as a response to AEA’s Guiding Principles, which emphasize that evaluators have an obligation to honor the public good in our work.
AEA’s sustainability working group has worked on the dual goals of how AEA can practically address sustainability challenges as an organization and also how AEA’s members can act as catalysts for sustainable action in their own organizations and in their work as evaluators.
The AEA sustainability working group co-sponsored an AEA Coffee Break last fall with the Environmental Program Evaluation TIG to discuss these goals and efforts. One outcome provided AEA annual meeting participants with the opportunity to purchase carbon offsets for travel to the meeting via Native Energy.
Results of the Green Audit showed that AEA annual meeting travel is the single largest contributor to AEA’s ‘carbon footprint.’ Results from a post-meeting survey conducted by AEA found that while a majority of survey participants did not purchase or plan to purchase carbon offsets, over one-third of respondents (38%) either had purchased, or stated they would consider purchasing carbon offsets for travel in the future. This is a good baseline starting point for AEA members to achieve real change as AEA members have additional opportunities to learn about sustainable actions they can make and take action to reduce our collective carbon footprint.
Hot Tip: Learn more about carbon offsetting at https://nativeenergy.com/.
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