DOT speaker discusses personal sustainability

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September 25, 2009

2:50 AM

Running outside, instead of on a treadmill. Biking to campus and saving $300 on parking. Hanging laundry on a drying line. Using a reusable container every day. So many ‘Do One Things to choose from — which one is best?

DOTs are personal resolutions that promote sustainability. International advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi S and the Mason School of Business believe DOTs can impact more than one’s personal well-being.

But DOT’s are not just for environmental sustainability — they can be also be economic, cultural or social in natire. These simple resolutions should make the DOTee happier, as well as more conscious of sustainable-living practices in everyday life.

Adam Werbach, the Global CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, spoke to students and faculty at the College of William and Mary yesterday at the Business School about DOTs and sustainability. At the age of 23, Werbach was the youngest president of the Sierra Club, but he felt that his leadership role did not allow him to contribute as much as he could to sustainability efforts. He moved to the commercial sector and has helped companies like Wal-Mart, HP and Proctor & Gamble become more environmentally friendly while also increasing sustainability.

“[I’m] not ideological about tactics. [I’m] ideological about ideology,” Werbach said.

Businesses are currently built to protect themselves, Werbach said, but must constantly change in their evolution. Businesses need to move beyond the Green movement, which Werbach labeled as a blip.

“Anyone who tries to tell you that Fiji water is green should be castigated,” Werbach said.

He encouraged the audience to “go blue.”

According to Werbach, going blue reaches a broader definition of sustainability in environmental, economic, cultural and social areas.

Blue sustainability strategies can be applied to all aspects of life, not just the business sector.

Strategies of increased transparency, personal engagement, and building networks outside of personal interest can be used in our daily lives.

But Werbach said starting with just “one thing” will allow you to continually inspire new sustainability practices in all parts of your life.

“I hope the students would be excited after hearing Adam’s story. At some point, everyone gets to be a leader, and we should inspire through our actions,” Director of Undergraduate Business Program Chris Adkins said.

Werbach delivered an optimistic message, challenging the audience to seize the moment and reminding the College that students are at the front of all major movements.

“We have to start small. We can’t assume big plans will be implements and so we have to work from the ground up,” attendee Peter Glowa ’11 said.

Several students have already decided how they will make small contributions to sustainability efforts by DOT.

Arwa Zabarah MBA ’13 wants to forego paper lunch bags and air-drying her hands, and Werbach’s DOT is to share nature with his kids.

The Business School has encouraged College students to participate in Saatchi’s DOT campaign by setting up a Facebook DOT page which has recorded over 200 DOTs and promoting the DOT campaign around campus.

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