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Jordan-Rae is a student dedicated to educating herself on ways to become more sustainable, while advocating for actionable change. Jordan-Rae has been plant based for 3 years and is confident that plant forward eating is the future. Another belief of Jordan-Rae is that no action taken is too small. She has incorporated small changes into her day-to-day life and encourages others that each small step contributes to the larger mission. She believes businesses must be held accountable for supporting activities that address social, economic and environmental issues and is committed to helping businesses transform their operations to become more sustainable.  

What is your personal definition of sustainability? 

I believe sustainability can be broken down into three main pillars: environment, economy and society. The environmental aspect includes ensuring the prosperity of the planet we live on by limiting our consumption so that it doesn’t exceed earth’s finite resources. Additionally, it means recognizing the environmental impact of our actions and seeking out ways to reduce our footprint. Economic sustainability means creating a space where everyone has the financial ability to meet their basic needs and operate self-sufficiently. The last pillar is the social aspect, which includes promoting equality for all and supporting the wellbeing of society.  

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?

Although my career path is still uncertain, I am certain that I will bring a sustainability focused approach to any future job. When talking to mentors of mine about their career path and how they found success, a common theme has continuously been passion. I have been encouraged that if I follow my passions, the enthusiasm that I bring will fuel a successful future. Taking this advice, I am hoping to incorporate sustainably into my career and make a positive contribution to my community. In today’s society, we often live our lives doing the same actions each day without a question. I would love the opportunity challenge the status quo and help come up with solutions that address the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental issues. Not only is sustainability ethically the right choice for businesses, but it can also be a profitable choice. Some aspects of corporate social responsibility include greater efficiency, increased competitive advantage, innovative thinking, all of which are drivers of long-term profitability. I hope to help businesses realize these financial gains all while operating sustainably, which in my opinion is a win-win situation!   

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Three years ago, I made the decision to cut out almost all meat and dairy products from my diet. Around 15% of all greenhouse emissions are a product of agriculture, and I believe that not supporting the meat and dairy industry, although it may be small, will help eliminate some of those emissions and also save the lives of many animals. Although I chose the extreme end, research shows that simple acts such as a “Meatless Monday” in the US is equivalent to taking 500,000 cars off the road. Within my sorority, I have held educational sessions to share my knowledge and passion on sustainability, demonstrate the impacts that small actions can have, and encourage others to become more intentional with their actions.  

I have also been working on a personal project that helps support economic sustainability. Today’s society is dominated by large corporations that make enormous profits at the expense of others. It has become increasingly difficult for small businesses to compete with large firms, and I am working to create a platform that helps increases the visibility of small businesses. The goal of this initiative is to incentivize consumers to shop small, by making the process easier. 

Jordan-Rae Vance

Jordan-Rae  Vance