Partners in Sustainability: GrowNYC – 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, GrowNYC, shares their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.
|Years working together:||8 years|
|Partnership focus:||Since 2015, GrowNYC and Samsung have partnered on garden projects across Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, bringing more oases of natural beauty to our city and its residents.|
1. What does sustainability mean to GrowNYC?
Sustainability means creating a New York City that will be livable for generations. More green space, recycling, composting, eating locally, water conservation. We provide access to a robust network of sustainability programs, tools, and services that empower all New Yorkers to be active participants and leaders in the fight against climate change. We envision a New York City where equitable access to resources and opportunities to live a greener, more sustainable life is the standard.
2. What are some of the ways that the nonprofit is compelling people within New York City to think about climate change and sustainability differently?
GrowNYC helps New Yorkers see that sustainability is better for everyone, themselves, their neighbors, and their neighborhoods. We connect New Yorkers to our network of programs that provide opportunities to lead more sustainable lives, reduce our contribution to climate change, and safeguard our future.
- Food Access & Agriculture – We operate Greenmarket farmers markets, Fresh Food Box sites, and weekly Farmstands. Together with our Food Hub, we are transforming our regional food system and ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest, healthiest local food.
- Green Spaces – We are bringing more green space to our city by building and rejuvenating community and school gardens.
- Zero Waste – We are providing resources, such as compost collection, textile recycling, and free swap events, to increase participation in the city’s zero waste programs and help conserve natural resources.
- Education – We are engaging and preparing New Yorkers of all ages to be environmental stewards by fostering connection to the natural world. Our programs promote the empathy and compassion needed to protect the earth and the people who inhabit it. With an eye toward environmental justice, our programs intentionally cover the interconnectivity between health, environment, and food.
3. How do you see climate change and equity intersecting? What are ways that GrowNYC is working in collaboration with its community to advance environmental equity and justice?
GrowNYC’s recognizes sustainable progress and impact against climate change cannot be achieved without centering the voices of frontline communities in our work. Frontline communities are those who are directly affected by climate change and inequity at higher rates (Source: AOA).
As a leading environmental nonprofit in the city, it’s imperative we work with the city communities to ensure equitable access to opportunities, services, and resources, so all New Yorkers are empowered to create their vision of a thriving community. We do this by working directly with communities, elected officials, and community-based organizations when we introduce and operate program sites to ensure our efforts are community-led, prioritize people and planet, and empower all New Yorkers to active participants in the fight against climate change.
4. How do you work with companies like Samsung who are “walking the talk” on corporate sustainability, climate action, and citizenship?
We love to harness the engagement of companies like Samsung and their people through corporate volunteer days at community garden sites, like Samsung Gives Day of Service. Last year, we added 73,000 square feet of green space to our city. This would not be possible without the many hands of our corporate stewards. Companies also can support GrowNYC’s mission and empower the communities we serve by sponsoring our programs and events across the city.
5. Why do you think collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking solutions to the climate crisis?
For 53 years, our community supporters, partners, and friends have been crucial in uplifting and amplifying our work. We know that in our fight against climate change, it is collective action between city communities, elected officials, and public and private organizations that will ultimately make lasting change and secure a safer future. We can’t do this work without their participation and support. Together, we will continue to keep New York City a greener and healthier city for all.