Clinton Global Initiative creates a unique opportunity to channel the capacities of individuals and organizations to realize change. To fulfill the action-oriented mission of CGI, all members devise practical solutions to global issues through the development of specific and measurable Commitments to Action. (www.clintonglobalinitiative.org)
President Mitchell Thomashow encouraged a number of students interested in sustainability at Unity to apply for the Initiative in February of 2009. Two classmates and I applied with the ideal goal of supplying a Vendor Code of Conduct for Unity College. Our initiative was accepted and we were invited to participate at the conference. We originally intended that the Code of Conduct would ensure companies who signed to have both high environmental and human rights standards. At a college where sustainability efforts are only increasing, it is important that we teach about consumer awareness: Where do our products come from? What does that entail? Are there alternatives?
Many hours have been spent on this initiative, but it has been difficult as one of my classmates has graduated, and the other will this spring. Also, the initiative has slightly changed, while a Vendor Code of Conduct is still doable, time has been restricted due to contracts already in place. There is still a lot of research to do however: studying Vendor Codes of Conduct of other institutions, finding alternatives, and perhaps most importantly, educating the public. This is an important issue that I know many of our students find interesting. If you would like to volunteer time to be a part of this initiative or if you have initiative ideas for the April 2010 conference and would like to know how to apply, please contact Kayla.