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Gloria Johns headshot

How One Firm Makes Sustainability Planning a Reality for Businesses

By Gloria Johns

A wind power installation near Stockton, CA

A self-described serial entrepreneur, Alex Lassiter founded the climate technology company Green Places in order to make sustainability a reality for businesses that are serious about investing in renewables and emissions reductions, but need help with that first step or the next step in the process.

Green Places offers its clients a four-step sustainability plan, including suggestions for creating a "green team" — an internal group of employees that would shepherd the plan. Lassiter described his product as an unduplicated offering in the industry that simplifies the importance practice of climate consciousness.

“Green Places is an all-in sustainability software,” Lassiter said, “and we act as an extension of a company’s sustainability team. We serve as a holistic sustainability team for companies. Our innovative platform provides companies with all the needed tools to address climate change in a simple and accessible way. We know the best practices to reach climate compliance and help your business get there to ensure you’re on the right path.”

In practice, the company’s sustainability plan folds out like a roadmap for any business to follow and consists of four steps: measure, reduce, remove and communicate.

“Green Places helps companies measure their carbon footprint, reduce their emissions, remove carbon from the atmosphere, and communicate their progress internally and externally,” Lassiter explained.

“Our tool serves as the central record of truth for a business’ sustainability claims, ensuring that every business we work with is documenting all of their initiatives in one simple place,” he continued. “This makes it easy for reporting out to stakeholders like customers, employees and investors. We also offer our clients a variety of materials they can use to showcase and communicate their sustainability efforts including a ready-made sustainability webpage.”

For many businesses, it’s that first step in the process which is unknown and cause for consternation. Green Places takes the question out of where to begin.

First, we calculate your carbon footprint to understand the sources of your emissions. Once we know that, we can help you set reduction goals. This can be done within the platform and included on your sustainability profile that we create for you,” Lassiter told TriplePundit. “If your goal is carbon neutrality, we can also help you source third-party verified carbon offsets. Over time, our software will track your progress and our team of sustainability experts will assist you along the way.”

He added: “You would have full access to our team no matter where you’re located. We’re available for regular calls and collaborations. We also like to help boost our client’s marketing initiatives, so we often share social media posts and conduct video interviews.”

Each plan is tailored to the organization’s particular needs, and in general it takes a couple of months to conduct a carbon assessment and build a solid sustainability plan.

Green Places recently announced a partnership to provide services to Siebert Williams Shank (SWS), the nation’s largest and highest ranked MWBE (minority- and women-owned enterprise) investment banking firm with headquarters in New York and California and 14 regional offices around the country. The sustainability plan for SWS includes a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and help underserved communities by addressing climate inequality along the way.

Since Siebert Williams began the partnership with Green Places in July 2021, the firm has mitigated 1,189 metric tons of carbon.

The consequences of unnatural climate change are becoming increasingly visible. In February 2021, an iceberg broke off the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica that was larger than New York City. And clearly, businesses cannot count on forever avoiding legislation that will make voluntary changes mandatory, and expensive, in the near future.

For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule that would require standardized greenhouse gas reporting for publicly-traded businesses. In California, the proposed Climate Corporate Accountability Act (CCAA) would require Scope I, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions reporting for companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. 

And the most recent reporting from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) painted a stark picture of the continuing rise of greenhouse gases.

Whether or not the Earth survives mankind is a political question for those who consider profit over planet. However, optimistic climate impact stories end with a nod to willpower and willingness rather than partisanship.

Image credit: Levi Meir Clancy via Unsplash

Gloria Johns headshot

Gloria Johns' career has included her work as a columnist for Scripps-Howard, Gannett and Tribune News Service. She writes for the San Angelo Standard Times and the West Texas Angelus. Previously she was a special features reporter for San Angelo LIVE! Gloria also has nearly thirty years of award-winning grant writing experience for federal, state and county funds to support social, medical, educational and arts projects. She has enjoyed a successful career in telecommunications and nonprofit management. "Gloria is a Purdue University graduate. She has also attended Angelo State University for graduate courses and studied Texas Family Law at Sam Houston State University. She lives just on the edge of the Chihuahua desert in west Texas.

Read more stories by Gloria Johns