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Fighting for the Future

POSTED UNDER By Our Associates

Native New Yorker Peggy Blake’s passion for sustainability is inspired in part by the city itself. “New York has always been very good about recycling, so I grew up with it,” says the senior project manager for Macy’s Merchandising Group (MMG). The city also inspired her career aspirations. “To me, Macy’s was the greatest place in the world – it was where Santa lived! So, growing up, working at Macy’s headquarters in Manhattan was a dream for me – and here I am.”Peggy Blake

Her job brings both these passions together every day. A part of the company for 13 years, she says her favorite thing about her role is that no two days are the same. “We do a little bit of everything,” she laughs when asked to describe what she does. “We focus on process improvement, new-processes development and training on processes. We also work on compliance. For example, we work with factories to confirm that they can pinpoint the country of origin for materials and certify where they came from.” (That’s important for several reasons, especially for cotton, since it's a resource-intensive crop to grow and some countries, such as the United States and Australia, are more advanced in growing it sustainably, according to Cotton Incorporated.)

Blake also is working with Macy’s Home team on a project to obtain green certification for a line of products. She says, “We all have to think at the local level. Right now, what I’m enjoying the most is working with the teams here and getting the sustainability work we do to be more visible in the communities and the stores.”

Blake serves on the MMG Sustainability Committee, which is different from the Go Green employee resource groups (ERGs) that exist in multiple Macy’s offices around the country. “The Committee is focused on projects that keep Macy’s at the forefront of sustainability, and we look at things, such as paper usage, compliance in our factories around the world and Macy’s LED-lighting projects,” she says. “The Macy's, Inc. name carries so much weight. Our work in sustainability is so important; it could lead to other retailers and other companies in other industries wanting to keep up with what Macy’s is doing. It’s important to show that leadership and pave the way for greater sustainability – it compounds the effect.”

Blake’s commitment to sustainability extends to her personal life, as well. An avid gardener, Blake says she tends to her plants in the evenings after work. “I grow my own vegetables – maybe not something you hear about much in the Bronx! I’m a crazy recycler. I often tell others that the items they’re throwing away should be recycled.”

In summing up why sustainability matters, Blake says, “We have to pay attention to it. We’ve created issues for this planet, and not being environmentally-friendly is the cause of it. When you look around, you’ll see it everywhere. If someone doesn’t pay attention to it, the world we live in today won’t exist in the future.”

Why does sustainability matter to you? What do you do to live a greener life? Tell us about it, and your story could be featured in an upcoming article on Macy’s Green Living.


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Inspiring Lifelong Sustainability – Starting at the Beach
Connect with Nature – Sustainable Container Gardening
Every Little Bit Helps: Recycling Champion Mindy Rulli
Tackling an Environmental Menace

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