This internship fits our belief that all businesses & institutions need to move away from ‘business as usual’ and explore ways to be more sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions [GHG] in every way possible.
I was asked by a local business owner if it would be possible to do an in-depth evaluation of sustainability in small, independent cafés or brewpubs that serve food & beverages. This would not be a matter of just identifying general principles, but analyzing specific choices & options in terms of sustainability and cost. (For example: If local food reduces GHG & other impacts, how will it affect costs? If it’s good to compost food waste, how & where will this be done? What are the costs & savings?)
Several business owners have expressed interest, and we are currently working to get firm commitments from at least 2 local businesses willing to provide needed data and access to their operations.
- As with the Sustainability Impact Assessment project we did last summer, we will consider impacts on climate, environment, health, economy, and community, expanding the community considerations to at least touch on urban ecology & cultural sustainability. In addition, we will look at any barriers that tend to impede sustainability efforts.
This could include local, organic foods & seasonal menus, composting food waste; reusable plates, cups, and utensils; energy conservation; and more. For brewpubs, it would also look at options in the brewing process.
Analyzing options with a problem-solving perspective is essential, and it would be good to include someone with a strong interest in business, because the economic impact would have to include analyzing how various options impact the businesses’ costs.
The Alliance is not able to pay summer interns, but many colleges support students completing unpaid internships with stipends and/or other benefits. Most of our summer interns work 25–30 hr/wk, but it is possible to structure an internship to require as little as 15 hr/wk for students who need to work. Recent summer projects included a Sustainability Impact Assessment , climate & sustainability for schools [2014 & 2016], and Sustainable Campus Dining Resources .
If you are interested in this project, please contact me ASAP!
—Peter Crownfield, internship coordinator
[updated 20 February 2019]