“We need to realize our impact and take responsibility.”
COVER STORY: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Gülin Yücel worked at IBM for many years before she turned to sustainability consulting. She recently published a book with Prof. Levent Kurnaz, Yeni Gerçeğimiz: Sürdürülebilirlik (Our New Reality: Sustainability, Yeni İnsan Yayınevi), edited by Zeynep Karaarslan Başaran RC 88.
Gülin Yücel RC 88
Why did you decide to publish this book?
We have been active in the field of sustainability for over a decade. We write regularly for “green media” and in our blogs. We decided that our ideas needed to be documented and shared with greater audiences. That’s how the idea to publish a book came about.
What are some of the practical actions we can take today for a more sustainable future, particularly in terms of the environment?
We are transgressing planetary boundaries –using a lot more of earth’s resources than we should. We need to realize our impact and take responsibility. We cannot put the blame on governments or businesses – no government or business can risk popularity by losing votes or consumers, respectively. If we use bridges and roads, there will be more of them. If we buy overpackaged goods that come from the other side of the world, there will be businesses and intermediaries who will serve us.
How did your experience at RC prepare you for a career in sustainability consulting?
I was strolling around Gould Hall one weekend. My mind was busy with whether I should pursue my shining career in global environments or dare to start all over again, to do something more impactful, for society and the planet. I noticed a message on the wall: “Our teachers strive to develop the skills and talents of each student and to instill in them a passion for lifelong learning.” It was a turning point. I took a different route and dared to dwell in the unknown.
Published August 2021