Partners in Sustainability: Bonton Farms – the National Volunteer Week Edition
Many of the sustainability challenges that we prioritize at Samsung – whether it be realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with these like-minded eco-friendly allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future.
As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series – this one timed to National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration that recognizes the impact of volunteer service in building stronger communities, Samsung’s esteemed partner, Bonton Farms, shares their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.
|Title:||Communications & Development Manager|
|Years working together:||1 years|
|Partnership focus:||Bonton Farms’ mission is to transform lives by disrupting systems of inequity, laying a foundation where change yields health, wholeness and opportunity as the norm.|
1. What does sustainability mean to Bonton Farms?
Sustainability is a theme woven into every aspect of our organization. To us, the environmental sustainability goals we have as a society are only achievable when all communities and people have their basic needs met. Sustainability is the “ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.”
Because our mission is first and foremost oriented around people, we strive to help people achieve sustainability in their own lives. For example, through building safe and affordable housing with rent that is aligned with available wages, we are encouraging our neighbors to move away from living paycheck to paycheck and instead invest in other areas of their lives, like their education, health, financial wellness, and other things they may have previously neglected out of necessity.
It is also imperative that we create sustainability within our organizational operations. Many nonprofits depend solely on philanthropy, but our goal is to break that charity model by creating economic engines that not only allow us to recuperate expenses but help to kickstart our local economy. By creating self-sufficient “social enterprises” like our Market Café, Coffeehouse, and Farmers Market, we can regenerate operating capital and therefore leverage philanthropic dollars for programming.
Finally, we would not be living up to our philosophy if sustainability was not incorporated into our farming practices. We farm organically and implement regenerative farming techniques, striving to be good stewards of the land. We look at everything from a holistic standpoint, and sustainability is an important pillar of the work we’re doing here at Bonton Farms.
2. What are some of the ways that the nonprofit is compelling people within the South Dallas community to think about climate change and sustainability differently?
We have been very intentional about building beautiful, vibrant spaces where our community can come and experience peaceful tranquility. We hope our quaint little farm acts as an example of how powerful and healing nature and community can be, especially when we nurture it and treat it with respect.
3. How do you see climate change and equity intersecting? What are ways that Bonton Farms is working in collaboration with its community to advance environmental equity and justice?
We all know that climate change disproportionally impacts lower income communities. It’s also important to remember that these same communities have so many basic needs that must be met before we can responsibly ask them to contribute to climate action. We believe that establishing true equity in our communities is really a prerequisite to solving our climate problems. When we have thriving communities, our environment will reap the benefits. For now, our efforts are directed at creating sustainable communities, which we believe will ultimately have a compounding effect on the larger environment.
4. How do you work with companies like Samsung who are “walking the talk” on corporate sustainability, climate action, and citizenship?
When we have organizations like Samsung come out and get involved with our nonprofit via their annual Samsung Gives employee volunteerism initiative, we see this healing effect take place. It’s not really about the weeds being picked or the goats being fed, it’s about creating community and conversation. It’s about building a bridge of empathy. Bonton Farms was built on relationships and our partnerships with companies like Samsung are imperative to our mission.
5. Why do you think collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking solutions to the climate crisis?
There are so many things that government and for-profits cannot solve alone, simply because the market incentives are not there. It takes socially conscious organizations to fuel meaningful change through collaborations with the nonprofits who have boots on the ground. We’re grateful for companies like Samsung who understand the influence they can have on solving these most important social problems by partnering with organizations like Bonton Farms.