One Student’s Net Impact

Net Impact is an international nonprofit with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. They recently ran this inspirational story about Net Impact member – Clayton Snyder – championed the cause for the Monterey Institute of International Studies to complete their climate action plan for the ACUPCC – with a target of eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2016.

“All this carbon neutrality work has been our [Net Impact] chapter’s biggest accomplishment,” Clayton says. “And personally, leading the project allowed me to manage sustainability policy for an organization. I never would have gained skills in GHG auditing or carbon planning without the Campus Greening role.”

The impact of the energy efficiency, conservation, and behavior change efforts that will help MIIS achieve climate neutrality are important – but Clayton’s experience, which he is now bringing to his professional career at EcoMedia, an organization that allows advertisers to support municipal environmental projects to make them feasible.  In the Net Impact article, Clayton goes on to encourage more students to take an active role in their campus’s sustainability planning:

“It’s a great way to gain sustainability management experience before you enter the corporate world,” he advises. “There aren’t a whole lot of people out there who have that kind of experience, so it differentiates you when you’re looking for a job in CSR.”

Active involvement from students is often essential for institution in successfully creating a climate action plan.  Of course, the process needs to be institutionalized so new students are prepared to step in as champions graduate, with support from staff, faculty, and administrators. When successful, this approach can save the institution time and money, and provide invaluable real-world experience to prepare graduates for the 21st century economy.