The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) announced its participation in Hazon’s Seal of Sustainability program, an initiative created to enhance renewable-related education, activity, and advocacy in the Jewish community and worldwide. JDC will work to reduce the carbon footprint of its NYC Headquarters office and hold educational training for employees about ways to protect the planet.

“We’re proud to be working toward Hazon’s Seal of Sustainability, putting into action the value of tikkun olam which has long served as the foundation for our disaster relief and international development work around the world. By starting here at home, we’ll model an example for JDC operations globally, fostering a healthier environment for our neighbors and taking an important step to instill the value of sustainability throughout our organization,” said Aviva Lazar, director of Human Resources at JDC.

JDC formed a staff “Green Team” to analyze the organization’s facilities and energy usage, subsequently completing an online audit to evaluate the organization’s operations overall. Today, they are focused on three critical projects: reducing food waste through partnering with a local farmers’ market to start a composting program; improving the organization’s recycling system by relocating trash/recycling receptacles and revamping signage around recycling guidelines; and creating an on-site Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), which enables city residents to have access to freshly grown local produce. Additionally, on April 23rd, a Green Fair showcased this new initiative and engaged JDC staff in key sustainability efforts.

The Hazon Seal of Sustainability provides important guidance and support needed to empower a network of Jewish and other faith-based organizations committed to improving the environment. In 2017, over 40 organizations including synagogues, JCCs, camps, day schools, and social service organizations participated in the Hazon Seal of Sustainability and will receive an annual certification to showcase the progress of leaders in the field of sustainability.