Founding Member Spotlight
Equitable Cities Consulting
Equitable Cities Consulting, a certified women-owned enterprise led by Sylvie Gallier Howard, provides strategic advisory services to governments, nonprofits and the private sector related to economic development that leads to more equitable cities. Bringing nearly a decade of experience in senior city government roles, combined with years of nonprofit executive leadership and consulting experience in community economic development, Sylvie offers a wealth of knowledge and the can-do spirit required for the bold, demanding undertaking of building cities that will work for all of their residents.
Why did you become a founding member?
I believe that is it critical to be proactive, both in changing our own habits, as well as engaging with our community about what we can all do to preserve our planet. Fostering a circular economy is one really important climate action strategy and I was excited to hear that Philadelphia was forming a community around building a circular economy and wanted to support as a founding member.
What does a circular economy mean to your organization?
It means sharing skills and goods whenever possible, keeping the smallest footprint possible when it comes to material needs, reducing all types of waste through intentional action, reusing whatever can be reused, and building community around the idea of a regenerative, circular economy, instead of the dominant model of extraction and waste. My business is small, but I believe that what each individual—or small business—does makes a difference.
How is your organization practicing circularity?
I share office space whenever I can, purchase as few supplies and equipment as needed, reduce pollution and energy use as much as possible, and work to have an active lifestyle that is regenerative. I also work in the space of just transition, acting as a thought leader on how we can combat climate change in cities, while also ensuring workers and marginalized communities are not left behind or harmed. [Read more about Equitable Cities Consulting’s work to help progress a just transition while fighting climate change on their blog here and here.]
How can others advance the circular economy?
Get informed about what a circular economy is, adopt practices to reduce waste and increase reuse, join and/or form a community around this way of life, live in tune with the planet. At the end of the day, we can make a choice to act in a way that helps to preserve our home or we can choose to act in a way that speeds up its destruction. It’s really that fundamentally simple….. and once you make the choice, the change in lifestyle and work habits is easy.