During the 2018–2019 academic year, The Shipley School’s Avery Silverman Dining Room, featuring receptacles and signage prompting diners to sort recyclables, compostable materials, and landfill items, was recognized as a 3-star Certified Green Restaurant® by the Green Restaurant Association. It all started with a series of cafeteria waste audits conducted by students across all three divisions, with the help of Mary Ann Boyer ’80 and Anne Rouse Sudduth ’89, co-founders and principals of Boyer Sudduth Environmental Consultants.
“Young people are our future, so working with schools to help them become more environmentally sustainable presents a powerful opportunity to make a difference,” says Boyer, former science teacher at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Germantown Friends School, recipient of The Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award for her outstanding achievements in furthering the early environmental education of children, and alumna of the Master of Environmental Science degree program at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “I know how busy and hardworking teachers are. While many want to improve their school’s sustainability work, they just don’t have the time. If we can help them with this, then we’re doing our job.”
Since founding their environmental consultancy in 2015, Boyer and Sudduth have assisted a wide range of private, parochial, and public schools throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts in defining and achieving their sustainability goals, with a three-pronged focus on project management, professional development, and communications and engagement. Clients have included Abington Friends School, Ancillae-Assumpta Academy, Derby Academy, Friends’ Central School, Mount Pleasant Elementary School, Norwood-Fontbonne Academy, Reading Senior High School, the School District of Philadelphia, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and William F. Cooke Elementary School.
“Imagining the future we want to inhabit inspires us to strive for something better, but often the challenge of implementing the many steps along the way is frustrating. That frustration can stop a school, business, or person from making a change,” says Sudduth, who earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Associate credential from Green Business Certification Inc. and studied how new ideas travel through organizations to create change, as part of the Executive Education for Sustainability Leadership program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We’re here for Shipley and all of our clients to smooth the edges of that sometimes uncomfortable process.”
Boyer and Sudduth are also here for Shipley as donors to the School’s Annual Fund.
“Supporting Shipley as donors is one way we can ‘pay it forward’ and make sure future generations of students have access to the high-quality teaching and educational experiences that enriched our lives,” Sudduth says. “Annual Fund contributions give the School flexibility to pursue important and emerging priorities—like sustainability—that keep the School relevant, responsive, and true to its mission. To inspire students to live a life of purpose, Shipley continues to evolve and lead courageously on issues of consequence, including pressing environmental issues of our time. That’s worth supporting as a donor.”