Over the last few decades, we’ve come to understand the role of private enterprise differently. There’s a call to be corporate citizens, and responsible ones at that.
Responsibility can be good business. It’s part of why big energy companies have begun to shift their marketing and their products toward sustainability. Think of it this way: You need a planet to run a business on.
We’ve even put a number on it because…capitalism. The World Bank estimated in 2011 that the combined value of the Earth’s natural resources — forests, rivers, wetlands, wildlands, farms and more — at $44 trillion.
So it can’t hurt to pay attention to how your business impacts the environment and those resources. That shift has been underway for years at the major corporate level, but Julie Esta is leading a much smaller operation in that direction as Sustainability Manager at Industrial Safety Solutions, a firm that helps oil and gas companies comply with environmental and safety requirements.
We talked in 2021 with Founder & President Ray Flores and Julie joined the company in 2023 after working in business development for a digital literacy company and creating her own line of healthy seasonings. Her job is to help ISS develop techniques that can reduce their own carbon footprint and that can be marketed to other companies.
Julie grew up in Sunset and now lives in Scott.
Caroline Jurisich has made a career of helping universities be more inclusive, particularly of people with disabilities. From 2017 to 2023, Caroline directed UL’s LIFE program, which offers education for young adults with cognitive disabilities.
She’s since moved on from that job to launch the Quad, an enrichment center serving the same community.
The Quad offers counseling, speech therapy, hands-on community service projects, a coffee bar, a cooking lab and a clubhouse. It’s a membership-based program that puts many of the most-needed services under one roof.
Caroline holds a doctor of education from UL and was recognized by the university as a Champion of Diversity in 2020. Caroline grew up in Bossier City and now lives in Lafayette.
Out to Lunch Acadiana was recorded live over lunch at Tsunami Sushi in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Astor Morgan.