SUSTAINABILITY and COMMUNICATION STRATEGY:

An Ultra Marathoner’s take on

Sustainability, CSR Reportingand Corporate Responsibility

By LARA ROBINSON

Lara Robinson, Owner

Lara Robinson, Owner

Life on the mountain isn’t easy and flush toilets are few and far between. Torrential downpours, mossy rocks, altitude, nutritional needs, electrolyte imbalances, gear, injuries and time are important factors. Ultra running is hard but it’s really just a big chemistry experiment: balance food intake, hydration and electrolytes, and a person can run farther than they ever thought possible.

I take my endurance skills and apply them to Sustainability. In business, Triple Bottom Line is about how Environmental, Social and Economic aspects connect. I assess the Macro picture of an organization and break it into manageable parts. I build relationships, ask questions, strategize with key players internally and externally, help brand the organization and write the story for the world to see. I’m GRI certified but as an endurance athlete I see a multitude of ways to get to the finish line, both literally and figuratively. I’m all about the journey and supporting my teammates to push every boundary and take our growth to the next level.

SCHOOL   

GRI Certified Sustainability Reporting Course (G3.1 and G4 Bridge)- Administered by ISOS Group- Miami, Florida- June 17-18, 2013

Masters of Applied Science – Environmental Policy and Management       University of Denver; Denver, CO  2007

Bachelors of Arts – Cultural and Critical Studies / Theater                             University of Denver; Denver CO  1995

COLLABORATION

Principle: SMZ Consulting                                                                                                                                                                      2008-present

Provide business strategy and communications, corporate sustainability and triple bottom line consulting to clients ranging from $7B to entrepreneurial start-ups.

  • Triple Bottom Line consulting
  • Internal and external communications
  • GRI aggregation and reporting
  • Corporate branding through innovative social media strategies
  • Strategy, analysis and recommendations for short-term and long-term goals
  • Sustainable consulting for RFP’s

Zeiler-Pennock, Inc.

Member of architectural team responding to an RFP from the Denver Butterfly Pavilion for a Master Plan Redesign. Integral team member due to the Butterfly Pavilion’s desire to be carbon-neutral and incorporate triple bottom line aspects into every aspect of design, programming and educational research.

Leprino Foods

Private, family-owned $7B manufacturer of cheese and nutrition products in the beginning stages of developing a Corporate Responsibility program with the goal of issuing an annual CSR report. Provided roadmap for Internal/External Communications, CSR report structure, database template and aggregation options, and executive strategy and analysis.

Mesa Elementary School

Researched and proposed renewable energy options for school playground, including Power Conversion playground equipment and solar structures promoting renewable and kinetic energy.

Better Bags Colorado

Proposed policy to reduce plastic bag usage by 70%; generate $67.5M; create jobs and training, created roadmap and momentum for plastic bag reduction policies in towns, cities and regional infrastructure.

Staff Writer: Trail and Ultra Running.com                                                                                                                                             2012-present

Writing about running trails, interviews of athletes and race directors, gear reviews, injuries both on and off the trail, and more. Participated as media at the summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City with four other staff writers to line up gear reviews and social media advertising for 2014, making contact with over 60 retailers. Assisted in promoting the website that has over 80,000 unique visitors annually, a weekly #ultrachat presence on Twitter and over 1500 members to a Facebook forum where members can interact, posing questions and answers to a gamut of questions.

Senior Executive and Entrepreneurial Consultant:  Ask Liz Ryan                                                                                     2011/12

Provided boutique career transition and business consulting. Clients ranged from CEO’s and start-ups to job seekers and entrepreneurs. Led workshops and created roadmaps for clients from varied background, age, socio-economic backgrounds and professional goals.

  • Conducted objective marketing strategy, analysis and consultation to CEO’s, executives and entrepreneurs.
  • Provided thought leadership, market perspective and support during infrastructure transitions for executives and mid-level managers.
  • Assessed and managed projects related to hiring, infrastructure and communication coordination for classes, education, webinars and outreach.

Environmental and Expo Coordinator:  5430 Sports                                                                                                                     2009/10

5430 Sports pioneered the way for race directors to embrace recycling and composting at events. During the race season we achieved 93% diversion rate by composting and recycling, saved 20,000 lbs of recyclables and compostable material from landfills.

  • Coordinated vendors and subcontractors, kept series of 4 triathlons and 3 running races under-budget and on schedule.
  • Actively promoted the 5430 Sport Sustainability brand to athletes, vendors and community members, assisted in copy writing for web presence.
  • Sought out reuse/recycling solutions, educated athletes and vendors on packaging and material lifecycle.

Community Website Owner/Moderator www.recyclebouldervalley.com                                                                                 2005/08

Community website dedicated to exchanging usable, unwanted items, promoting reuse and positive community involvement.

  • Achieved daily exchange rate of 50+ items, a cost-saving average of $500/day.
  • 3000+ members exchanging usable, unwanted items.
  • Created forum, edited training documents, recruited and mentored moderators.

STORYTELLING                                                                                                                                                                            2009-present

  • WRITER: Trail and Ultra Running: www.trailandultrarunning.com
  • WRITER: Saturday Morning Zen: www.saturdaymorningzen.com
  • WRITER: Blended People America: www.blendedpeopleamerica.com
  • WRITER: Ask Liz Ryan blog, forum: www.asklizryan.com
  • “The Economics of a Plastic Bag Reduction Policy for Colorado; Viable and Preferred Alternatives to Plastic Bag Usage in Colorado” Case studies and comprehensive examination of the socio-economic costs of plastic bags that are ultimately absorbed by society, suggesting viable alternative policies for the state of Colorado.

 

TRAIL RUNNER, MARATHONER, ULTRAMARATHONER: HIGHLIGHTS

  • Trail runner since 2005
  • Started the 2013 Silver Rush 50M with a partially ruptured calf and shoulder injury, and finished in a torrential downpour.
  • Boston Marathon 2013
  • Pacer for 3x100M and crew chief for the winner of the 350 mile, 6-day Silverton Challenge