FALL 2021: voltpost BLOG POST

The Growth of a Tech Start-Up in High-Impact Spaces

Working with a tech start-up this semester was an educational experience that felt refreshing, empowering and impactful. The client, Voltpost, Inc. is launching a demonstration and pilot program to retrofit lampposts with Level 2 EV charging and equipping the technology with cloud-based software for booking, billing and connecting. Not only does lamppost charging allow for minimal physical impact on the street landscape, but provides accessible infrastructure in dense urban spaces and places. Voltpost is an exciting entrepreneurial group that certainly faces barriers to market-entry and competitive recognition, but hosts an abundance of opportunity and niche value in the ever-growing EV industry. As our team dived into sustainability consulting, we integrated our project’s impact into a larger business strategy. We hope that our project will support Voltpost in navigating the challenges and opportunities they will face as they launch their cutting-edge technology.

Voltpost’s entrance into the EV market couldn’t be timelier. The NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Sustainability is aggressively advocating for policies to reduce barriers for EV charging, while the Public Service Commission is putting $700 M into the Make Ready Program to fund offset incentives for EV charging infrastructure costs. In order to get an idea of where Voltpost could make a splash as they plan their pilot program, they asked SUMANI to prepare a priority-siting and location analysis of zip codes in NYC and Westchester. These zip codes were found using a methodology the team created through initial research of EV siting strategies, evaluation of datasets and scrubbing, and the weighting of such datasets.

Our research came from an abundance of existing reports on EV siting, with authorship ranging from the National Renewable Energy Lab, NY DOT to urban planning consulting firms. For example, the report “Curb Enthusiasm: Deployment Guide for On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging,”[1] explained that there are different planning scenarios which may direct you to different data criteria, and thus different location analyses results. The high-utilization scenario would recommend areas with car-dependent employees and residents, as well as car-driving visitors, and demonstration of EV demand in residential areas. Alternatively, a high-visibility scenario would focus on areas that have streets with commercial overlays and offer high turnover opportunity for station siting.

We took this research and shared our proposed method of map siting to the client. They shared with us that their business model revolves around a residential-heavy market, and so we took our initial understanding of EV charging siting and refined to match the client’s needs. By the end of the semester, the quantitative-portion of our project was complete with the following 2 analyses:

We concluded our GIS-mapping with the following two analyses to provide our final zip code recommendations off of: 

  1. Zip codes in the whole area with above a 2% EV registration percentage  
  2. Zip codes in the top 25% percentile of car ownership, and the corresponding EV registration percentages 

Based on the yellow and red stars, the analyses logically give different results of zip code priority. The first analysis offers a high-demand scenario, in which you are looking at areas that have the highest percentages of EV’s, and thus would have the greatest need for EV charging. The second analysis offers a high-incentivization and high-utilization scenario, in which these communities rely heavily on vehicle ownership, as they have the highest car counts in NYC and Westchester.

We provided Voltpost with multiple other layers that they could use to further weight their zip code priorities. These layers included residential/commercial zoning, existing charging stations, public transportation routes, and demographic data such as income, property value and commuter base. In order to get some ideas on how they might effectively utilize various data tools and dataset criteria, we engaged in a qualitative analysis, as well.

Though data can be a great tool for any company or organization to narrow their focus of participation and presence, there are so many important conversations and processes that must happen to make a successful business model. Paired with our GIS zip code priorities, we provided Voltpost with policies, political representatives, and community organizations that could empower Voltpost to become a leader in EV’s in each zip code. With this knowledge, Voltpost will be equipped to make strategic decisions about which communities of NYC and Westchester they could empower and work with to make climate-friendly changes. Community-based stakeholder engagement not only incorporates the foundational pillars of environmental justice and equity into the deployment approach, but ensures trusted and valued relationships that will spur Voltpost’s market growth and success. We also gave Voltpost the names of local political representatives to kick-start garnering city buy-in for smooth deployment.

Voltpost can use the tools we provided them in this project to increase access to innovative funding opportunities, policy advocacy and community outreach. With so many optimistic partnerships in their path ahead, Voltpost will have a formulated and informed strategy to begin retrofitting lampposts for the future.

[1]https://www.wxystudio.com/uploads/2400024/1550074865953/Final_Curb_Report_Nov2018_web.pdf

Fall 2021: crowddoing BLOG POST

It was quite a pleasant surprise when I received the mail from SUMANI that I have been chosen as a Program Manager for the project “Nature Counter”. That mail was the beginning of one of the most enriching experiences I have had at Columbia University. From working on an intriguing project to managing a diverse and extremely talented team, I enjoyed every aspect of my association with SUMANI. 

“Nature Counter” was my first preference amongst the list of projects that SUMANI had shared with us. The problem statement shared by the client intrigued a lot of interest in me and I immediately knew that I wanted to work on this project. Nature Counter is a public health initiative by CrowdDoing that aims to create awareness around the health and nootropic benefits of spending time in nature and simultaneously, decrease the dependence on people on various medications. The project wants to utilize the research studies done on the subject for creating a mobile application that encourages people to spend more time in nature. 

The project scope shared by the client consisted of several research questions for which the client expected us to conduct a literature review. After multiple rounds of discussion with my team, we realized that given our bandwidth we need to limit the scope of work to a maximum of five research questions (each team member was to work on one research question). Once we had the initial level of findings, we presented it to the SUMANI Board and our client for feedback and to discuss the next steps. The mid-term presentations proved to be helpful as our client suggested certain new perspectives that my team could explore to further validate the health and social benefits of spending time in nature. For the next phase of the project, the team members were grouped to look into the direct health benefits, indirect social benefits, and propose the strategy for a mobile application. 
The final deliverable to the client consisted of a presentation that included the summary of our literature review, a synopsis on the various physical and mental health benefits and ancillary social benefits associated with spending time in nature, and a strategic framework for the nature counter mobile application.

One of the most challenging aspects related to the project was that the initial scope of work required skill sets that none of the team members possessed. However, once we clarified and communicated that to our client, he was very accommodating and tweaked the scope of work to suit our areas of expertise. Another area where we faced issues was doing the literature review for answering the research questions posed by our client. Many of the publications presented contradicting data that made it difficult for us to conclude. This was overcome by doing an extensive literature review to identify the conclusion that is supported by the majority of the publications. 

To conclude, being a part of SUMANI helped me and my team to use our strengths in adding value to a project which has the potential to greatly benefit our society.  As a project manager, I learned that despite meticulous planning things may not go as expected and one should always be prepared for the unexpected. I was fortunate that I had the support of my team members and Blake (Director of Projects) to help me navigate through this journey. 

– Sonali

Fall 2021: Greenportfolio BLOG POST

GreenPortfolio is an enterprise with the goal of helping people understand the impact of their lifestyle choices on climate change, encouraging regular individuals to shift to greener options once they know how much carbon is emitted from their everyday activities.

The client asked the assistance of SUMANI to conduct a study to measure how much carbon is reduced when one move’s his/her money from a conventional fund to a green one. In addition, the team was tasked to compare it against sustainable lifestyle changes practiced in the US, such as purchasing an electric vehicle, going vegan, avoiding flights, and paying a premium to buy green energy from the utility company.

To deliver a solution, the project members were grouped into four sub-teams responsible for driving the accomplishment of the following milestones: (1) a carbon calculator, (2) a use case that shows the emission comparison between a green fund and a dirty fund, (3) a use case of select lifestyle changes’ carbon footprint, and (4) the final whitepaper with the team’s findings and recommendations.

After four months of work, a ton of meetings, and a few setbacks, the team presented the final paper to the client with the following takeaways:

  • Green funds and dirty funds are not directly comparable – This is due to the fact that dirty funds often have more companies in it and a greater market capitalization. These two factors affect how GHG Emissions are computed (based on currently available best practices). Therefore, emissions data of funds have to be normalized before they are compared.
  • Carbon emissions data are sometimes dirty, incomplete, and (outright) erroneous – There is no regulation in the United States that requires publicly-listed corporations to disclose their emissions data. All of the publicly available datasets are voluntarily disclosed, which entails loose governance, resulting in bad quality data. This affects the comparison of funds, since one’s benchmark emissions may be incorrect from the get go.
  • Moving one’s 5-digit savings from a dirty fund to a clean fund is worth it – This is comparable to avoiding flights for half a year (transatlantic flights are the largest contributor of carbon, next to bringing a baby into the world).

On a more personal note, it was a great experience for me, the project manager. I had the privilege of working with an awesome team, one that was diverse, smart, and passionate about changing the world. There were many challenges that could have hampered our success, but the members persevered and ran the course. Their efforts bore fruit when the client commended us after our final presentation and offered to take us in after their funding rounds! I have to give the credit to Megha, Sahil, Patricia, Kivia, and Kushagra for the project’s success.

– Josh

Fall 2021: GURUJAL BLOG POST

This semester my team worked with the India-based non-profit, GuruJal. GuruJal is an Integrated Water Management Initiative, which aims to address the issues of water scarcity, ground-water depletion, flooding and stagnation in the Gurugram District of Haryana State. Their projects include the restoration of wastewater ponds, the creation of biodiversity parks and the developing of technological and communication tools. Their long-term goal is to make the district water neutral, if not water positive.

The SUMANI team collaborated with GuruJal to develop tools and resources that would aid in securing funding for their biodiversity park. This required an analysis of costs and benefits of the park itself, the creation of a pitch presentation for potential funders, and extensive research of potential financial and non-financial partners to be contacted by the GuruJal team.

At the start of the semester several proposals were made regarding the best approach for developing a plan to gain funding for this project. Our team explored several options for different assessments to be conducted and integrated into our pitch presentation. Understanding the purpose of certain assessments and their potential benefits presented its own set of challenges as the ESG landscape is made up of extensive jargon with varying frameworks, none of which are standardized. This led our team to determine that a cost-benefit analysis would be most beneficial at this stage of the project, with the current data available, and most impactful in a pitch presentation.

The pitch presentation itself required a number of decisions by the team members leading its creation. Although the purpose of the biodiversity park can be viewed as an environmental initiative, our team agreed that the story of people, those the park would impact, would be more compelling to funders. With the audience in mind, the pitch functioned to prove the capability of GuruJal to take on such a large and important project, identify the current problem in the state, and present the biodiversity park as the solution. The role of projects like this in national and global sustainability was also identified in order to compel companies further, as this information could be directly referenced by funders in company CSR reports. The challenge of greenwashing was identified by our team with the client, as funding a project such as this cannot be advertised as impacting a company’s own value chain thus not improving ESG ratings. However, this does not mean there is no benefit to a participating company. The social, environmental, and reputational benefits are expressed throughout the pitch.

Due to the amount of money GuruJal requires to complete this project, in additional to a list of potential funders (including global companies with offices in the Gurugram District, local businesses, impact investors, and NGOs) we have identified additional processes for collecting donations that we recommended to the GuruJal team to be explored.

Our SUMANI teamed worked diligently this semester to identify how best to develop and complete these resources and are grateful to have contributed to such a meaningful project with such a passionate and community-focused team.

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: ZOOTERRA

Project Overview 

Sustainability professionals have to navigate a complex world of data that can be time consuming, fragmented, and expensive. Zooterra is a sustainability data platform designed to save time and money for companies seeking to develop and improve sustainability strategies. The platform offers customers the ability to benchmark company efforts against competitors in the industry, to find projects that can help customers achieve their sustainability goals, and to explore project background and history. 

At the time of this project, Zooterra was still in the beta phase. The client approached Net Impact to help them better understand the competitive landscape of sustainability data platforms, whether or not Social and Governance metrics are necessary to include, and to help identify the ideal customer. 

Process

The group was split into three teams with two people on each team; the Data Team, the Social and Governance (S&G) Team, and the Customer Research Team. The Data Team created a database of competitors, identified ten key competitors, and summarized their findings and pricing recommendation in a word document for the client. The S&G Team wrote an executive memo for the client that provided definitions and context of S&G, highlighted sustainability platforms currently in the market with an S&G focus, and made a recommendation on whether or not the client should include these metrics on their platform. The Customer Research Team designed a survey to understand pain points for sustainability professionals and develop use cases in order to help identify a target customer base.

Key Findings and Recommendations

The competitive analysis revealed that an increasing number of sustainability data providers are entering the market, with many large providers acquiring niche players. Our research confirmed the interconnected nature of environmental data with social and governance data, with insights from the competitive analysis, S&G specific research, and customer research all supporting the notion to include S&G data on the platform. The customer research revealed that a recurring challenge for sustainability professionals is having to do manual research and analysis due to the lack of standardization. We recommended that the client target consultancy firms and small cap companies for their customer base. For pricing structure, we recommended a base product with options for add-on features as well as a free trial offering.

Concluding Thoughts

In the beginning, it took the team some time to understand the client’s unique value proposition and to define the boundaries of the project. We also experienced some challenges in finding competitors’ price points because they often required a consultation. The S&G team initially approached the project through a policy lens as a result of their academic backgrounds. When workshopping with the client, they were asked to pivot their focus more on the business case to support their recommendation. 

Identifying the relevant audience for the survey and getting the participants to complete the survey was also an obstacle to overcome. We learned how to use every resource available through our networks and get creative about incentivizing responses. Extra attention was needed to overcome “survey fatigue” that occurs in the industry as a result of so many players working to find the best solutions to the challenges faced in sustainability data and reporting.

Ultimately, we were able to deliver the client with a comprehensive overview of the sustainability data landscape, the importance of including social and governance metrics on the platform, and the customers that would be best suited to use this platform. Throughout the project, the team learned how to pivot when needed and approached each challenge as a learning experience. 

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: ZERO WASTE DANIEL

Our project deliverables included an audit of Zero Waste Daniel’s social media efforts, website user experience and communication efforts and ideas for market growth opportunities. 

We first began by developing a project timeline to understand when key milestones should be hit. Our team then met as a group to understand where each team members’ skills were and gathered each team members’ interest. We then broke out into sub-teams for the remainder of the project, sharing progress on our deliverable sections each week. For example, Hilliary L. had professional experience identifying market opportunities for a sustainable fashion brand so she led that effort. Nat D. and Christina L. were interested in developing skills pertaining to SEO and Web so they tackled that portion. Mia and Melissa were interested in social media and Alexandra was interested in revenue growth. 

Considering that there was a mix of prior professional experience among the group, we found that certain topics (UX and Social) had to be researched for best practices more than others. For example, Nat and Christina had never explored UX and SEO before, so a lot of time was spent up front understanding what those best practices were in that realm. This took a hefty amount of time however when it was finished, the sub group was then able to easily audit to understand if ZWD was upholding those best practices and identifying where they fell short. Mia also did not have formal experience in social media so she spent a lot of time gathering best practices as well in the front half of the project timeline. 

Once we completed our research on best practices and audit against respective ZWD channels, we were then able to deduce key recommendations to implement. We laid these out in a step-by-step format so that they were easy to understand and thus, implement. We crafted two deliverables for the client. One was a detailed report that described the researched best practice, audit details and steps to implement recommendation for improvement. The other deliverable included solely the steps to implement the key recommendations to serve as a checklist to use while working after comprehending the detailed report. 

In addition to sending access to the deliverables, we also spent an hour and a half presenting the key recommendations to the client live. This allowed for them to ask questions and provide additional context on key recommendations before allowing them to read through the report. 

Overall, this was an invaluable experience for everyone on our team. We feel extremely fulfilled knowing that our research and recommendations will hopefully increase market share for a sustainable fashion brand led by two wonderful entrepreneurs. 

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: PLANT PAPER

Each day, 27,000 trees are flushed down the world’s toilets in the form of toilet paper. To make each roll, thirty-seven gallons of water and over a gallon of bleach, and other chemicals are used. PlantPAPER provides a sustainable solution to this problem by selling unbleached toilet paper made from FSC-certified bamboo. 

PlantPAPER conducted a life cycle analysis to review its supply chain operations and develop a more complete understanding of PlantPAPER’s environmental performance of its bamboo toilet paper rolls. We calculated the potential greenhouse gas emissions associated with PlantPAPER’s manufacturing, transportation, and packaging system. From the calculations, each toilet paper roll from PlantPAPER produces 446.69 grams of CO2-eq. Manufacturing is the most carbon intensive area, followed by Packaging. 

Comparing our results to leading companies that make normal and recycled toilet paper, we found that PlantPAPER produced around 55% less CO2e emissions than virgin toilet paper and 70% less CO2e emissions than recycled toilet paper. 

The biggest challenges our team faced were (1) miscommunication and (2) lack of comparable data. There was miscommunication between PlantPAPER and their manufacturers due to language barrier, as it is a U.S. company based with suppliers and manufacturers in China. Moreover, since the manufacturer in China is a big facility, it was difficult for the team to obtain accurate data from some vendors and sources. In addition, it was challenging to compare our Life Cycle Analysis to other studies conducted in the industry of bamboo toilet paper. The functional unit used across were all different; hence, the result comparison is slightly skewed as it is not apples to apples. 

Based on the results presented, the team provided the following recommendations to diminish their carbon footprint:

  1. Switch to a manufacturer with renewable energy

The manufacturing stage was the main contributor to the overall carbon footprint.  The manufacturing facilities located in China are on a “dirty grid”, without much renewable energy in the mix. PlantPAPER could potentially require them to add renewable energy to the site, or switch to a more environmentally friendly manufacturing facility. 

  1. Examine supply chain before relocating manufacturing facility

While our first recommendation was to change manufacturing facilities using renewable energy, PlantPAPER should dive deeper into their supply chain before acting. Such a modification may raise the concern of carbon emissions from other areas. For example, the transportation carbon footprint could be higher if this facility imports bamboo from China and produces toilet paper on a cleaner grid in the United States. 

  1. Reduce inbound routes

Inbound transportation is unexpectedly the third most prominent stage of carbon emissions. We found multiple inbound shipping routes that travel back and forth between facilities. An ideal solution is to narrow down the four current routes to the one with less traveling distance. Such a modification also reduces the number of partner facilities they work with to clarify the supply chain.

  1. Keep current packaging

It can be concluded that while the current packaging is the second largest stage of carbon emissions, the contribution is less than 10% of the entire supply chain.   One way to reduce current packaging emissions would be to forgo the double boxing that occurs with the larger DTC orders. We also recommend utilizing recycled or regenerative materials such as the current chipboard or recycled and biodegradable bamboo packaging.  

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: CROWDDOING

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Project

CrowdDoing is a non-profit, social enterprise organization with the goal of achieving systemic change through the power of multi-disciplinary collaboration. CrowdDoing’s projects cover a wide range of impact areas in need of social innovation. Our SUMANI team worked on CrowdDoing’s Wildfire Prevention Derivative project which focuses on creating a product for insurers or other large corporations to invest in as a risk reduction guarantee for wildfires. Our team was tasked to create a Cost of Inaction Assessment and a Preventive Solutions Assessment aimed to further the development of this guarantee product. 

Approach

Cost of Inaction Assessment – Our task was to quantify the costs of wildfires in regard to public health and infrastructure and restoration. We analyzed data from the total economic impact of California wildfires in 2018, and we used the 2018 Camp Fire as a case study for potential impact reduction cost savings. These costs were expressed categorically as deaths from air pollution, deaths from fires, smoke-related hospitalizations, medical expenses, PTSD, work time disrupted, insurance loss estimates, debris removal, etc. 

Preventive Solutions Assessment – Our team investigated prescribed grazing as a potential preventive solution. Prescribed grazing utilizes livestock (e.g., goats, sheep, etc.) to consume excess plant material linked to increased risk of wildfire ignition and spread rate. This strategy aims to decrease the fuel load (i.e., flammable vegetation available) to reduce the risk and overall impact of wildfires for the given area. 

Smoke from Western wildfires is coloring Philly skies

Challenges

One of the main challenges for this project was the availability of specific cost data and empirical data for prescribed grazing. For our Cost of Inaction Assessment, we found that much of the data was only available at large-scale levels, such as the public health costs of all the wildfires in California in 2018. This made further analysis for potential cost savings difficult without extrapolation. For our Preventive Solutions Assessment, a major obstacle was finding applicable data to relate grazing practices and vegetation reduction to wildfire risk reduction or impact reduction. Empirical evidence of this connection is limited, and establishing decision model parameters was also difficult without numerous detailed case studies. 

Deliverables 

Our final deliverables included two decision models, or analysis spreadsheets, consisting of the data we collected and our quantitative analysis. Our prescribed grazing decision model created a framework for assessing grazing impact, vegetative composition, and optimal terrain for a potential grazing project. We also provided a cost assessment based on our research and conversations with experienced herders. Other deliverables included a paper review database and a collection of datasets related to the parameters of our decision models that can be used to more accurately estimate impact based on the location of the proposed grazing project. Finally, we produced a report that (1) highlights key findings of our research and expert interviews, (2) provides insight into how to utilize our other deliverables for Prevention Derivatives project, and (3) summarizes our assessment of potential obstacles and opportunities moving forward. 

Moving Forward

Our findings indicate that this project has tremendous potential given the potential impact of future megafire events and comparative cost for prevention. However, we noted a lack of widespread data that will be essential for the prevention derivative development. We are optimistic that more relevant cost data will become publicly available given the recent wildfires in California and increased wildfire risk under expert climate projections. We are also optimistic about prescribed grazing as a more ‘natural’ and cost-effective solution for wildfire prevention, and recommend it be seriously considered as a viable option among other prevention strategies.  

wildfire | Definition & Facts | Britannica

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: CLOSED LOOP PARTNERS

Our SUMANI team had the opportunity to work with the venture capital arm of Closed Loop Partners, Closed Loop Ventures Group (CLVG). Closed Loop Partners is a NYC-based investment firm focused on building the circular economy with a slew of funds: growth equity, private equity, project finance, and where we come in, venture capital. CLVG is interested in tapping into the ‘Circular Home’ space and asked us to develop a comprehensive investment thesis that incorporates the merits and risks of investing in this space.

Specifically, the clients wanted us to extract consumer insight from Gen-Z’s, a lesser studied and target demographic in home circularity. We started by designing a survey that captures their current behaviors and perceptions, as well as their willingness to contribute to the circular economy from their homes. Initially, we sent out the survey within our personal network and received some feedback. In order to gain more traction and capture a wider audience, we deployed our survey through Facebook and Instagram ads. After analyzing preliminary survey data, we decided to hold focus groups out of the survey respondents to add more color to our findings. It made our jobs a lot easier that our focus group slots filled so quickly with enthusiastic and willing participants. From the data we gathered, we were able to gauge a level of interest from Gen-Z’s to contribute to the circular economy and develop a heat map of prospective startups to invest in. 

A challenge we faced during our project was the lack of initial interest to fill out our survey. We found that the survey was too long and no real incentive to complete it. Based on this feedback, we refined our survey to take about 10 minutes to complete and added gift card prizes to incentivize people to take it. Although we were able to generate more interest around our survey, we also found it difficult to reach a more diverse sample size in the US. As a result, most of our data was collected from major metropolitan cities. However, we were still able to extract actionable insight as these are the consumers that CLVG is targetting. We are confident that the consumer insight report and thesis we delivered will be valuable in making investment decisions moving forward.

From this project, we were able to get hands-on experience of the due diligence process to source prospective investments. We also learned to leverage our network and resources in order to accelerate our deliverables. 

SUMANI TRENDSTER BLOG: Clean Bushwick Initiative

Background

Bushwick is a neighborhood in Brooklyn and if you’ve ever been there, you’ll know that the neighborhood is home for its colorful murals, local eateries, and a strong latinx community. But you’ll also notice the abundance of street litter, 

The Clean Bushwick Initiative is an organization dedicated to cleaning up streets to create a safer and healthier community environment. This is done through organizing street and park clean ups, educational workshops, and community outreach through social media, newsletters, and working with city leaders. They not only plan to resolve Bushwick’s litter issue, but to also start the conversation of waste management and community accountability across the neighborhood. 

Clean Bushwick Initiative (CBI) has asked us to develop and create 6 deliverables: a research report, website redesign, Instagram campaign, sticker campaign, and newsletter. 

Our Approach

In order to accomplish these deliverables, we split the deliverables amongst each other into 5 teams. Throughout our project timeline, we have met various project phases beginning with our initial meeting with the CBI Directors to launch the project. Soon after, we completed our background research and split the list of deliverables into teams. Team members that were located in New York City were then able to complete a Bushwick site visit and attend a CBI street clean up event to aid in completing a situational analysis. With frequent meetings with CBI’s directors, we were able to continue researching and developing our deliverables. 

Challenges / Overcome

Due to COVID-19 distance learning and being located all across the United States, about half of our team were unable to visit Bushwick in person. By working for a community based organization to help develop locally specific campaigns and in-depth research neighborhoods, it is important to immerse oneself to understand community dynamics and social environment. Without this opportunity, our team members relied heavily on newspaper articles, interviews, and residential and CBI volunteer testimonials.

Results

By the end of the semester, each team finalized their deliverable. Two newsletters, for the month of March and April, were created and sent out to 327 subscribers. This was a 60% increase in the number of contacts. A thirteen page research report was created, contextualizing the street litter issue and highlighting various solutions in how residents may get involved in. A series of nine Instagram posts were also created to educate followers on commonly believed misconceptions and the true facts behind the myth. Clean Bushwick Initiative’s website was completely revamped with new pages, photos, and a hearth of information regarding waste management in Bushwick. Now web page visitors will have easy access to events, potential volunteer opportunities, and have a clear understanding of CBI’s mission and purpose. Finally, the Sticker Campaign was developed and has targeted its first business. 

Takeaways

Overall, we had a great time working with the Clean Bushwick Initiative. It allowed us to step away a bit from your typical classroom work and it was great working with and supporting such a successful community organization. Thank you Nicole and Kristen from CBI, as well as SUMANI, for such a valuable experience!