[From Ben Franklin to Modern Cities, the Key to Sustainability is Found in Good Old-Fashioned Prudence!]
Jerry Tinianow (rhymes with “piano”), the former Chief Sustainability Officer of the City (and County) of Denver, and the Founder of Western Urban Sustainability Advisors, shares an abundance of perspectives and wisdom about making our communities – and lives – more sustainable.
Jerry reminds us that much of what it takes to reduce our footprints and to improve our quality of lives isn’t glittery new innovations but older “tried-and-true” conservationism, prudence, and frugality. From urban gardens echoing the “victory gardens” of WWII-era resilience to up-cycling and repurposing materials instead of simply throwing them away, much of what Jerry encourages might remind us of the timeless wisdom of our grandparents and great-grandparents from a bygone era. Indeed, in this interview Jerry shares how his own ancestral lineage has informed and inspired his work today.
About Chief Sustainability Officers
Chief Sustainability Officers – or CSOs – are a recent addition to the C-suite of companies, cities, airports, and other large institutions, and serve as a strategy and policy-setting, implementation, and coordination nexus within the ecosystem (and among its myriad stakeholders) to improve environmental, social, and financial performance. The City of Denver was the second city in the United States (after Las Vegas) to establish a CSO position. Under Mayor Michael Hancock, who emphasized “scaling” solutions and inclusion (“everybody plays”), Mr. Tinianow not only transformed the sustainability profile of Denver, but has also had far-reaching impact throughout Colorado, the United States, and beyond, often in coordination with other Chief Sustainability Officers.
About Jerry Tinianow
Jerry Tinianow is the proprietor of Western Urban Sustainability Advisors, LLC (WestUrb for short). WestUrb assists local governments in creating and improving sustainability programs. It also works with vendors that sell products or services to such programs and interest groups that want to improve local sustainability policies.
Jerry’s work at WestUrb reflects the successes he achieved as Denver’s first Chief Sustainability Officer (2012-19). Under his leadership Denver became the fifth U.S. city certified at the Platinum Level of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Cities program (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). During his tenure Denver was also included in the “A List” of top-performing cities in climate change reporting and action by the international climate change organization CDP (Climate Disclosure Project).
Jerry previously served as a national officer of both the Sierra Club and the National Audubon Society, and directed the Center for Energy and Environment at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. The Sierra Club designated him a national “Environmental Hero” during its centennial celebration. Prior to his sustainability career Jerry was a partner and commercial trial attorney with two of Ohio’s largest law firms.
Jerry received his undergraduate and law degrees from George Washington University. He was the 2018 winner of the prestigious Wirth Chair Sustainability Award awarded by the University of Colorado.
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