Enter Pine, an action platform for large organizations and cities worldwide developed by Broad Tent. As Pine creator Seth Epstein explains, “Cities are the original community and yet they have such trouble communicating effectively.”
Born from a frustration at the pervasive lack of communication between the people who make policies and the consumers who follow them, Pine seeks to educate, connect, and inspire. The idea is to align all city employees through an educational curriculum, raising awareness and hopefully encouraging small changes that will lead to big savings in the long run. Recycling paper, reducing printing, turning computers off at the end of the day, all the little daily choices that employees can make could actually lead to a savings well north of $5 million in a year according to Epstein. The multimedia platform will ultimately include short educational films, as well as an “actions meter” to help participants gauge their course completion and personal carbon footprint. Expected to launch around Earth Day this year, the City of Los Angeles will be the first to try out the new educational, social communication platform.
The interesting thing about Pine is that it focuses on an unknown factor in the sustainability equation. To date, the discussion is normally focused on buildings, objects, and energy – the hard factors, so to speak. But what of the human factor? How do you change human behavior? If Pine works, it might be a great tool to help cities and companies – or those who have the resources to be great purveyors of change - to improve their bottom lines at the same time as doing some serious planetary good. After all, we need to remember that we’re each accidental environmentalists, by simple virtue of living on this earth.