The Importance of Sustainability with Susan Kaplan

BuildingWrx is a firm founded by Susan Kaplan for the purpose of providing collaborative solutions for greening buildings, sites, cities and businesses, and finding more equitable solutions for all design, planning and community endeavors. Clients have included GSA, Community Environmental Center, Perkins Eastman Architects, NYSERDA (via Sustainable Performance Consulting, Inc.), Federal Reserve Bank and The RockefellerGroup.

Susan Kaplan – Get To Know Susan

Before her company went all-in on green, Susan worked on a few eco-minded projects and didn’t fall in love right away. Susan said landscape architecture didn’t really inspire joy at this point, but this feeling was temporary. They brought in a new president who wanted to go green, and that is when Susan fell in love with building/architecture. And that change luckily came at a time her office started embracing sustainability, about 1999. The Solaire was her first project for Battery Park City Authority. She worked on parks and buildings, and found it fascinating to find new ways to benefit the environment around her. She always wanted to make things better not only for the projects, but for the surrounding environment as well.

“It is interesting to think about the impact we have on the environment in ways we don’t think about.” -Susan Kaplan

The Future of Sustainability

Susan says it is very important to look to the future for sustainability. This is where we have to go as a society and we need to make it the best environment possible for future generations. Susan says we need to collectively raise our children to respect and care for the environment. They will be the ones here after we are gone, and instilling these values can ensure that idea of sustainability will exist beyond our own lifetime.

Words of Encouragement

Susan said it is most important to find work in an area you love, because it makes it much easier to stay motivated in that field. It is a simple concept, but only a small percentage of people work in a field that they genuinely enjoy. We all have an untapped potential in areas we may have never thought about. Susan encourages everyone to find that thing they love, and turn it into something special.

“There is something we all really love doing, and once we love doing it, we are so much better at it.” – Susan Kaplan

Book Recommendations

Urban Alchemy: Restoring Joy in America’s Sorted-Out Cities by Dr. Mindy Fullilove

Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tune into this podcast to listen to the rest of Susan Kaplan’s journey in this podcast hosted by Charlie.

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