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NFBPWC's Environment & Sustainable Development (ESD)

We, as humans, cannot survive beyond three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. In addition to their availability, their quality is as important, since toxic air, water, and food can be lethal. How we manage our environment is directly related to their quality, and, in turn, our livelihood.

Our goal at NFBPWC is to support our Members to become stewards of the environment and sustainable development in their communities. And, as NFBPWC is a founding member of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW), which holds UN Consultative Status, our initiatives and programs are in support of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Why are we focused on the environment? As Business and Professional Women, we care deeply about the well-being of the communities in which we live and work. Our members work within their communities to identify the specific environmental issues that affect them, which are often related to social and economic factors. Together, we think through the root causes and inter-dependencies to find tangible solutions. We help connect the overarching threat of the changing climate and increasingly severe disasters to their impacts on our daily lives and what we can do as a group.

Why are we focused on sustainable development? Sustainable development promotes economic growth without compromising the ability of the environment to continue to provide the natural resources our economy and society depend on, not only for our current generation but also for those that come after us. The impacts of the rapidly changing climate, erratic weather conditions, and extreme disasters on our economy and livelihoods are increasingly clear. Only with sustainable development that includes local community inputs will we have a chance to ensure the availability and quality of essential resources for everyone to thrive, including the next generation. As leaders and contributors to our communities, we are committed to leading the charge.


    What the ESD Committee does:

      Through educational programs, issue-based gatherings, and publications, the ESD Committee provides a knowledge base, support network, and platform to advocate and collaborate with professionals and community leaders on environment and sustainable development issues, especially those disproportionately affecting women.

      We engage with our members to share knowledge on the environmental, social, and economic risks and opportunities their places of residence and business pose.


      Upcoming ESD Events

      • More events coming soon!


      Meet the ESD Committee

      • Hyon Rah (Committee Chair) is a Washington DC-based sustainability and resilience planner active in real estate, renewable energy, and hotel/resort development sectors. In addition to her consulting practice, she teaches courses on sustainability and climate resilience that she developed at two DC-area universities.
      • Daneene Monroe Rusnak is a Registered Nurse and a life/supplemental health insurance expert based in Cleveland, OH. As the VP of Advocacy for NFBPWC, she serves as the bridge to other related organizations / initiatives and brings valuable health-related perspectives, while promoting the “little” things we can do in our daily lives to help make a positive impact on our environment.

      • Laurie Dameron is a musician and an activist who promotes zero waste and conservation through a multimedia environmental presentation, Space Earth: What Can I Do? She was the Founding Chair of NFBPWC's Environmental Committee (now the ESD Committee) and currently serves as Chair of BPW/Colorado's Environment & Sustainable Development Committee.
      • Marikay Shellman owns and manages a 40-acre organic ranch on which she raises beef cattle, grows apples, and keeps bees in Durango, CO. As a member of Xerces Society, she promotes the preservation of pollinators and developing carbon sequestration solutions through healthy soils. Her ranch is within La Plata Open Space’s conservation easements (meaning it cannot be developed in perpetuity) and contains seven ponds dedicated to Colorado Parks & Wildlife as wetlands. Marikay is also an accomplished artist and a children's book author.
      • Sue Oser is a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) -certified teacher and an editor who pioneered teaching online long before it became the new normal. As a native of the Detroit Metro Area and an involved member of her community on environmental and equity issues, she has had close encounters with environmental challenges and their impact on people's livelihoods.


      Equal Participation of Women and Men in Power and Decision-Making Roles

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      NFBPWC is a national organization with membership across the United States acting locally, nationally and globally. NFBPWC is not affiliated with BPW/USA Foundation.

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