Earth Pledge Foundation
Earth Pledge Foundation
Created in 1991 by attorney Theodore W. Kheel, the Earth Pledge Foundation (EPF) is concerned with the impact of technology on society. Recognizing the often delicate balance between economic growth and environmental protection, EPF encourages the implementation of sustainable practices, especially in community development, tourism, cuisine, and architecture.
As a result of the United Nations Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro) the UN pledged its commitment to the principles of sustainable development—to foster "development meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
Created for the Summit in support of the principles, the Earth Pledge was prominently displayed throughout the event. Heads of state, ambassadors, delegates, and prominent dignitaries from around the world stood in line to sign their names on a large Earth Pledge board. Since the Summit, millions have taken the Earth Pledge: "Recognizing that people's actions towards nature and each other are the source of growing damage to the environment and to resources needed to meet human needs and ensure survival, I pledge to act to the best of my ability to help make the Earth a secure and hospitable home for present and future generations."
In early 1996, Earth Pledge created the Business Coalition for Sustainable Cities (BCSC) to influence the development of cities as centers of commerce, employment, recreation , and settlement. Chaired by William L. Lurie, former president of The Business Roundtable, the BCSC provides business leaders a forum to address issues of major importance to our cities in ways that ensure economic viability while at the same time promoting respect for the environment. One event sponsored by the BCSC was a seven-course dinner prepared by 12 of the nation's most environmentally-conscious chefs to showing off that restaurants, one of the largest industries and employers, can practice the principles of sustainable cuisine. The BCSC hosted the event with the theme that good food can be well-prepared without adversely impacting health, culture or environment. This theme was elaborated on in 2000 when the Sustainable Cuisine Project was established to develop and teach cooking classes.
The latest development by Earth Pledge is the creation of the web site <farmtotable.org>. This web site highlights local farmers of the New York region and give consumers a direct link to fresh food news.
Earth Pledge has also formed a number of alliances to further their goals with groups such as: The Foundation for Prevention and Resolution of Conflict (PERC—founded by Theodore Kheel); the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP); EarthKind International; the New England Aquarium.
As a joint project with the New England Aquarium, EPF sponsors a marine awareness project that educates people on the importance of coastlines and aquatic resources to the sustainable development of the world's cities. The project emphasizes that many countries have water shortages due to inefficient use of their water supply, degradation of their water by pollution and unsustainable usage of groundwater resources.
In late 1995, Earth Pledge co-sponsored the first Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism with the UN Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, EarthKind International and UNEP. The Conference brought together officials from government and business to discuss strategies for developing a healthy tourist economy, sound infrastructure, environmental protection, and community participation.
The foundation has constructed an environmentally-sensitive building, Foundation House, to display their solutions for improving air quality and energy efficiency . Sustainable features include heating, cooling, and lighting systems that minimize consumption of fossil fuels ; increased ventilation and use of natural daylight; an auditorium for conferences with Internet access and computer lab for training. The Foundation House houses exhibits, including one on enhancing efficiency of the workplace for the benefit of the staff.
Earth Pledge continues to develop smaller organizations and promote companies that participate in sustainable practices.
[Nicole Beatty ]
Earth Pledge Foundation, 122 East 38th Street , New York , NY USA 10016
(212) 725-6611, Fax: (212) 725-6774, , <http://www.earthpledge.org>