April 13, 2021
Room to Read is shining a light on environmental justice through our Literacy and Girls’ Education Programs and an organizational commitment to sustainability. Here are three ways we are taking action.
Non-fiction books provide myriad benefits to young readers and can unlock a curiosity that leads to future learning and discovery. At Room to Read, we also know that education has the power to provide solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges—including climate change. So, what better way to build a healthier planet than publishing a series of expository non-fiction books for young readers about the trees, rivers, mountains and biodiversity that surrounds them and the importance of protecting the environment? The first four titles in Room to Read’s climate book collection will reach students in Indonesia, Vietnam, Nepal, and Tanzania and raise awareness about climate-related topics in their respective geographies.
Room to Read is examining the intersectionality of gender equality and climate justice and seeking investment opportunities to advance areas of our programmatic portfolio. In partnership with Warburg Pincus, Room to Read recently developed a framework for a global climate justice curriculum as part of our gender-transformative life skills training. At the completion of a two-year, seven-unit curriculum, students will be fluent in articulating what climate change is, its underlying causes, and how it exacerbates gender inequality locally and globally. Additionally, students will understand their own influence on climate and how they as individual girls and as members of communities can take action to mitigate and adapt to its impacts, including gendered impacts.
Room to Read’s current 5-year Strategic Plan, Vision 2025, includes a commitment to strengthening environmentally sustainable practices through our operations and for our programs. In 2018, we enacted the Room to Read Sustainability Policy, in which we committed to promoting positive environmental practices through our global operations and programs with an awareness that a world free from illiteracy and gender inequality is only possible when households and communities are not hindered by climate change, natural resource degradation, and poor access to sustainable and reliable energy. In partnership with external consultants, we have embarked on a stakeholder-informed assessment and discovery of our environmental impacts. The first step towards that commitment is the development of a conceptual framework, recommended concrete goals and identification of how our practices, processes, and people can advance environmental sustainability in the workplace. Based on this framework, we will implement an impactful and sustainable strategy that will institutionalize environmentally friendly practices at Room to Read and contribute to a healthier planet.