Sustainable voices

Jaime Nack, President of Three Squares Inc.

Jaime Nack, President of Three Squares Inc.

Who, What, Where?

Jaime Nack is the President of Three Squares Inc. (TSI) - an award-winning sustainability consulting firm and the first in the U.S. to achieve ISO 20121 certification. Having worked on all seven continents (including Antarctica), Nack is a global leader in developing and implementing sustainability plans for governments, corporations, investors, and industry groups. In 2011, Nack was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. She received an appointment under the Obama administration to serve on the National Women’s Business Council, an advisory council to the President, Congress and the SBA on economic issues of importance to women business owners. In 2013, Nack was named the "Environmental Conservator of the Year" by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce. She proudly serves as one of Vice President Al Gore’s presenters for The Climate Reality Project.

What is your single best tip for someone who wants to do more for the environment on a personal level?

Discover the power of your voice. We all have our own unique circles of influence – friends, family, work colleagues, community groups, networking clubs, sports clubs, etc. The best way to figure out how to shape your impact is to think about how you can use your voice to spread awareness, launch campaigns, drive systemic change, or suggest new, low carbon ways of doing things within your circles of influence.

What do you think will be the legacy of your generation?

I am hopeful that this period in history will reveal itself as an awakening or an unveiling of various challenges (environmental, social, and systemic) that have long been ignored. The bubbling up of focus around climate action, social injustice, and other key issues has reached a tipping point where we can no longer say that we were not aware that these problems existed and shirk responsibility for inaction. The leaders of today are being called to action and are being measured for their ability to respond in the public eye. I am a huge fan of the Iceleandic author Andri Snaer Magnason who commemorated the disappearance of their precious OK glacier with a “Letter to Our Future.” The letter reads, “"In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it."

What is the most critical technological breakthrough that needs to happen for the world to reach the 1,5 degree goal?

We need to transition from a petroleum-based economy to one that is based on regenerative principles. From our transportation systems to our reliance on cheap plastic, the way we live today is not serving the health of humans, animals, or the planet.

What will this breakthrough demand from us as a society?

Change is hard. We have gas stations on every corner and natural gas pumped into our homes for heating. Society as a whole has to be ready to be uncomfortable with adoption of new strategies. The early adopters and first movers have shown what is possible, and now it is our job (those who work in this field) to make sure we help transition these new technologies to mainstream adoption.

What is your company’s most impactful contribution to fight climate change?

We are an environmental consulting firm and only take on projects and clients committed to climate action. We have had the honor of working on sustainability projects on all 7 continents and in 13 languages. We have also worked as the sustainability advisor to Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project for the past 11 years and been involved in over 25 climate leader trainings (the group now has 30,000+ trained as climate leaders across the globe). We also launched the Women In Green Forum (www.womeningreenforum.com) to build a community of women working in the environmental arena.

Which brand (in general) do you think is at the forefront when it comes to sustainability?

We are industry agnostic – which means we work with all types of brands committed to impact. From fashion (streetwear to luxury), automotive to airline, cotton to coffee, food to beauty, and from nonprofit to for profit. The brands that are doing great work are those who are embracing transparency as part of their process. They are telling the full story – what they have done, what has worked, and what challenge areas are still being addressed. We also enjoy working with industry associations or collaborations across brands where they are working together to solve challenges – this is really the only way to move forward quickly. I recently saw an announcement about a Crypto Climate Accord and I want to commend the leaders from that industry who stepped up to acknowledge the problem and work toward a solution as a united front.

What makes you climate positive about the future?

The youth. Social media has amplified the voices of the younger generations and allowed them to connect across borders. They are demanding a better world and this pressure has propelled governments, companies, and movements forward. I believe that these young voices will hold us accountable and push us beyond the status quo.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For those looking to enter a career in the environmental space, welcome aboard! We need all the help we can get and it will take all different types of perspectives and approaches to solve many of the challenges of today. Dig in and get as much experience as you can working within the areas that are interesting and important to you.

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