GreenBiz: Why city mayors are a sustainability director's new best friends

I believe that if you are a business professional immersed in driving sustainable development in our society, mayors should be your new best friends.
— Mohammed Al-Shawaf, SustainAbility

Mohammed Al-Shawaf, a manager for the Washington D.C.-based think tank SustainAbility, writes “Why city mayors are a sustainability director's new best friends.”

Al-Shawaf cites three reasons the Mayoral role is integral in leading city-wide sustainability efforts:

  1. They are employing sustainability as a framework to tackle the immense challenges facing their cities;
  2. They are decisive, accountable actors, using their administration's agility to respond to issues today in a way that is simply not happening nationally and internationally;
  3. They need you as much as you need them.

The article also highlights the work of C40 Mayors as an example of how cities can decisively lead in creating innovative sustainable development initiatives from SustainAbility’s March 2012 report titled Citystates: How Cities Are Vital to the Future of Sustainability:

City mayors have their hands on the major levers of mitigation and adaptation in their cities. Dr. Rohit Aggarwala, special advisor to Mayor Bloomberg in his role as C40 [a global network of cities committed to climate change initiatives] chair, stresses that, "Mayors control the streets in most of their cities. Half of our mayors control their transit system. Most mayors have either direct control or significant control over planning decisions...[and] at least some influence over the standards to which their buildings are built." He concludes: "At the end of the day, waste, water, energy consumption and buildings and transportation policy -- those are the jobs of mayors in cities."

To read the full GreenBiz article, click here.