Students Are the Future: Gensuite Awards First Environmental Studies Scholarship

As global EHS leaders, part of our goal in building safe & sustainable environments worldwide is to help build strong leaders in this industry. To support this effort, this year marked the first-ever Gensuite Scholarship. With roots dating back 20 years in the Cincinnati area, we created the Gensuite Scholarship to assist students in the Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) discipline. The Gensuite Scholarship was offered exclusively to the University of Cincinnati’s environmental studies program, and is also the program’s first scholarship.

Gensuite awarded Nicholas (Nick) Willse, a senior environmental studies and biology major from the University of Cincinnati. Nick was chosen out of 30 applicants by the Environmental Studies (EVST) Scholarship Selection Committee for his compelling essay on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

We were impressed with Nick’s insights on how the United Nations can advance its goals through emphasizing the affordable and clean energy effort. Read Nick’s essay below to see why we are proud to make him our first Gensuite scholar:

With environmental concerns at an all-time high, it is essential that businesses work quickly and efficiently toward completing the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. For me, I believe the most important goal to achieve is the affordable and clean energy effort. Climate change presents several major challenges concerning a broad range of things, from agriculture and infrastructure, to even tourism. Climate change is impacting both terrestrial and aquatic species, and the faster we are able to lessen our impact, the greater chance we will have to preserve biodiversity and decrease environmental poverty. Not only will our environment be severely impacted by climate change, but our everyday lives and economic security will be impacted as well. One of the most effective and important strategies for combating climate change, is to convert from non-renewable forms of energy to more renewable sources, such as solar and wind. Doing so would help to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and allow for further technologies to be implemented to help reduce existing greenhouse gases already in our atmosphere. With the advancement of new technologies, solar and wind energy are becoming more affordable and efficient. As improvements are made, newer and more diverse innovations can be created, opening the door for ideas like CO2 capturing devices and more advanced fuel cells, which will create positive feedbacks to a more sustainable world.

It is important to note that focusing on the transition to clean energy will also help to advance many of the other goals set by the UN. One of the major benefits to clean energy, such as solar energy, is that it can exist just about anywhere, and can thereforebring power to underdeveloped nations and those that do not have a stable supply. This will greatly help to improve the quality of education in third world countries, allowing them to have access to the internet and other important technologies. You would see decent work, and economic growth benefits and increase. Bringing renewable energies up to mass production will help to create thousands of jobs. These Jobs will not only be necessary for the initial production of wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, and solar farms but for the maintenance of these technologies for years to come. New innovations and industries will be created, and with the installation of new solar panels and wind turbines, infrastructure will also need to be updated. Stronger infrastructure and industries will help to improve cities and local communities and will help to develop more sustainable urban areas.

With efforts from privately owned businesses and government organizations, improvements in affordable and clean energy will greatly impact the welfare of underdeveloped nations and those most affected by climate change. It will also help to shape a more sustainable and stronger future for all, allowing for economic growth through sustainable practices; all at the same time furthering the goals set by the UN and those set by individual countries. Not only will our surrounding global environment, economies and overall stability benefit, we would also see the overall health, and well-being of individuals throughout the world greatly increase. Shifting away from non-renewable energy sources is the top priority in my mind, and with advances in technologies and legislation, it can be the driving force in creating a stronger and more positive world for generations to come.

Gensuite looks forward to continuing this scholarship on a global scale in order to continue supporting young leaders like Nick that are paving the way to a brighter, more sustainable future.

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