Developing climate solutions requires an all-hands on deck approach that leverages partnership across the public and private sectors as well as the philanthropic community as we face this defining issue of our time. Leaders from all three of these sectors gathered at Proskauer’s New York headquarters for a special Earth Day panel discussion on climate change that explored some of the strides being made toward climate change mitigation objectives.

Chris Rice, Senior Advisor, Environmental Justice, NYC Mayor’s Office, spoke about environmental justice in New York City and the distributional equity of programs and policies being implemented throughout the five boroughs. He discussed the interagency taskforces created to increase collaboration, coordination and accountability for defining Environmental Justice areas and executing the city’s initiatives. Chris also gave an overview of PlaNYC 2023, New York City’s long term strategic climate plan for a cleaner, greener city with an emphasis on economic opportunities, protection from climate threats and improving overall quality of life. The plan also highlights opportunities to leverage state and federal funding sources.

Jane Bartman, Manager, Sustainability Team, Bloomberg Associates, discussed their important work in mitigation and adaptation around the globe. She discussed three examples of work that the Bloomberg Associates Sustainability team and their client cities are tackling: reducing energy consumption in London through the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge; the City of Milan’s efforts to reduce food waste and food insecurity by partnering with local businesses and institutions; and the City of Chicago’s focus on equitably reaching underserved communities through its tree planting program.

Art Esposito, Director, Global Product Stewardship and Sustainability for Church & Dwight, shared the importance and complexities of producing sustainable sourcing, packaging and products while staying connected with the many stakeholders involved with C&D’s brands. Church & Dwight has a long history as a friend of the environment dating back to 1907. Art discussed how they continue the advancement of sustainability in all aspects of their operations where regulations, consumer preferences, and technologies are rapidly changing. Their commitment to their investors, customers, consumers, and communities reflects their commitment to preserving our planet for generations to come.

One of the clear takeaways from the discussion centered around the call-to-action for individuals and organizations to become actively involved in mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change, requiring a shift in the way we do just about everything; from the way we power our homes, to the food we eat, to the way we manufacture the products we use in our daily lives.