Global Communities is a 501 (c)(3) organization headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland. Global Communities currently has programs in more than 20 countries around the world in Africa, Asia, Europe & the Caucasus, Latin America & the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Established in 1952, Global Communities envisions a world where everyone has the freedom, means and ability to live and prosper with dignity. Our mission is to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe. Our central goal is to build the capacity of communities to direct the development of their own lives and livelihoods. Empowered communities are able to drive change when they recognize everyone’s needs, understand their rights and the natural and market forces that affect them, and are able to take collective action. Once empowered, communities are better able to build constructive relationships with government institutions, the private sector and civil society in ways that are sustainable. In turn, local government, the private sector and civil society have a greater ability to address community needs.
In 2017, in part based on polling that showed climate change as a priority concern for staff worldwide, Global Communities established a ClimateSmart Task Force with the goal of promoting environmentally responsible and sustainable actions and solutions in all our offices. The Task Force, which eventually took on the name Green Team, established a set of values that were in alignment with Global Communities’ organizational values:
Committed to conducting business in socially responsible and sustainable ways.
Purposeful in reducing, reusing and recycling resources and wastes.
Connected to like-minded organizations and individuals, sharing green knowledge and challenges, and combining efforts.
Genuine in believing that together, our staff can make Global Communities a greener place to work, and the world a better place to live.
In 2018, Global Communities made the decision to apply for Green Business certification from Montgomery County. The Green Team developed a set of green purchasing policies as well as a three-year plan to promote responsible and sustainable actions and solutions. Other actions in that year included hosting an Earth Day event and setting up composting stations to reduce waste in our office in Silver Spring.
In April 2019, Montgomery County accepted Global Communities application. Elements of our three-year plan include the following:
Elimination of single use plastic kitchenware, bottles, straws and the like. This effort goes to a broader societal challenge of keeping plastic out of human and animal food chains and out of our oceans.
Reduce paper usage and transition to more recycled content. This will be achieved by identifying ways to improve electronic storage and management of documents, and measuring paper usage and regularly report to staff challenges and successes of paper reduction and transition to recycled content.
Increase employee environmental awareness. We will establish annual survey to solicit and track green ideas and gauge staff commitment to sustainability. We will also provide information and spark initiatives to help staff green their personal lives.
Roll out green initiative to one or more field offices. We will solicit applications from our overseas field offices and choose those that best meet the green initiative requirements, and assist field offices in implementing their green initiative.