About Margaret O'Gorman, President at Wildlife Habitat Council, and Daniel Goldfarb, Sr. Manager, Conservation Projects at Wildlife Habitat Council

Margaret O’Gorman helps companies find value in natural resources conservation and mainstream biodiversity across operations. She consults with multinational corporations to develop integrated strategies to implement conservation projects that meet business needs, enhance ecosystems, connect communities, and engage employees. Margaret led the design of the Conservation Certification recognition, a voluntary sustainability standard which serves to define corporate conservation worldwide. She has addressed the Business and Biodiversity forum at the Convention on Biological Diversity’s COP13, the Smithsonian Institute’s Conservation Optimism Summit, and Ireland’s National Biodiversity Conference.

Daniel Goldfarb works with private sector landowners and communities in urban-industrial landscapes to advance conservation focused on increasing ecosystem values for natural or degraded areas. He works to advance ecosystem management and restoration in the Great Lakes region partnering with industry, communities, agencies and NGOs.

He is a Restoration Ecologist with 20 years experience in urban lands, industrial properties, and low-income communities. Daniel received his BS in Natural Resources Management and Fresh Water Ecology from Cornell University, MS in Forest Ecology from Michigan State University, and MFA in Design and Ecology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

How Urban Industry Can Contribute Green Solutions for COVID-Related Health Disparities

The best nature-based solutions on urban industrial lands are those that are part of a corporate citizenship or conservation strategy like DTE’s or Phillips66. By integrating efforts such as tree plantings, restorations, or pollinator gardens into a larger strategy, companies begin to mainstream biodiversity into their operations. When they crosswalk the effort to other CSR goals like employee engagement, community relations, and/or workforce development, like the CommuniTree initiative, the projects become more resilient.

Air quality in urban residential communities near industrial facilities will not be improved by nature alone. But nature can contribute to the solution, and while doing so, bring benefits including recreation, education, and an increased sense of community pride. As one tool to combat disparate societal outcomes, nature is accessible, affordable and has few, if any, downsides.