I think a great way that this school could manage and lower the carbon footprint of the students could be to lower the amount of meat products offered in the dining halls. After learning that the amount of water and natural resources needed to produce meat products for people to consume is unbelievably high, I realized that cutting back on meat would make a very large impact on our environment. For this reason, I think the school would benefit from using $25,000 to offer more vegetarian options and perhaps some meals on some days without meat at all. The school could use the money to invest in other protein sources, such as tofu and bean products, so that students are still attaining protein in their diet, minus the environmental impact.
The huge corporation, Unilever, whose company mission statement states, “We meet everyday needs for nutrition, hygiene and personal car with brands that help people feel good, look good and get more out of life” started a sustainability campaign in 2010 due to increased distaste from the public with regard to Unilever products. Every year the company conducts a “Sustainable Living Plan” progress report and in the first year of the campaign the company’s greenhouse gas intensity fell 16% from 118.31 to 99.97 kg per metric ton of production, as seen in the pie chart. According to this chart which was included in the progress report the highest amount of greenhouse gas emission comes from customer use of soaps, shampoos and shower gels. As of 2018 the company has set a target to double its business while halving the environmental footprint of its products across the value chain, and sourcing 100% of agricultural raw materials sustainably, all by 2020. This goal was set in 2010 so the 2020 goal seemed lightyears away but with 2020 right around the corner, data analysts have criticized Unilever for not providing the whole picture with regard to their sustainability progress. Specifically in the 2011-2012 progress report there was no data to back up this chart, there was only the chart. On the Unilever website, the company claims that that it is on-plan for every individual sustainable sourcing target thus far. I suppose we’ll find out in two years.
Before discovering the wonderful world of Political Science, I had always found myself looking at things in a more pragmatic way than others. I’ve grown to understand that sustainability means more than just maintaining a balanced rate of our resources, to avoid depletion for our future generations. I now know that sustainability is bigger than the human existence and that we should work to not only sustain our resources but find renewable alternatives to them as well. In doing so, we take a step back to remember that we share these valuable resources with all other living beings on Earth, and that life will exist long after human extinction. I believe that we should think sustainably beyond our natural resources, but also to our fellow species that inhabit this beautiful planet that we all share. There is much conversation on how to sustain human life on Earth, though I believe we should use our knowledge to sustain all life on Earth, even after the human race is gone.