Despite being a small New England state, Connecticut has always played an outsized role when it comes to innovation.

That’s because Connecticut’s elected officials, businessmen and women, and residents share a common trait: they are forward thinking people. Our state is routinely at the forefront of progress, and one recent effort only extends that tradition.

The Connecticut Sustainable Business Council (SBC) was formed by a handful of area organizations with an ambitious, overarching goal — to provide cross-sector support to local businesses in order to ensure a more sustainable future. That might sound technical, but the group’s mission is actually quite simple. More than anything, SBC’s hope is to better connect businesses in order to create an economy that’s built for the future and beneficial to everyone.

Uber is proud to be a co-founder of the group, along with EBP Supply Solutions, MetroPool, ESG Compass, and the Connecticut Greenbank. Additional partners include the Tremaine Foundation, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, Connecticut Alliance for Campus Sustainability, World Affairs Council, and Stamford 2030. This is an impressive roster for a young organization, and their concerted efforts will undoubtedly be important for our state.

SBC will do a lot of things, but its primary work will be to better engage and educate Connecticut’s business community across all industries. There are of course groups that already do this, but there remains a need for something more specific. Right now, Connecticut needs partnerships intentionally built around encouraging economic, environmental, and social sustainability.

Sustainability means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for companies like Uber and the rest of SBC, a few particular traits come to mind.

It means helping businesses exchange goods and services more efficiently, ensuring cities are increasingly accessible and easy to traverse, and creating vital collaborations between governments, the private sector, and people. Sustainability is all about connection, because connection is what will define the economy of the future.

This is what SBC will strive to achieve, and we believe its co-founders and partners are among the organizations best positioned to make it happen. In Uber’s case, we have already launched initiatives like Scheduled Rides, UberEATS, Upfront Pricing, commuter assistance programs, and road safety efforts with MADD and Wayne’s Walk throughout Connecticut. These aren’t just business ideas. They are efforts to provide a centralized space for consumers to move more seamlessly through of their daily lives — which is, as mentioned, the very project of sustainability.

These efforts have been very successful thus far, making us excited about what we can achieve conjointly with other groups.

In the end, SBC will serve as a vital tool for groups interested in sustainability, as well as provide opportunities for business leaders to gain publicity and extend the impact of their own innovations. As a leader in this effort, Uber will play a few notable roles, including spearheading SBC’s future community outreach and events, leading organizational committees and programs, and shaping the group’s goals and focus. This is an exciting opportunity for Uber, but ultimately SBC’s success will defined by the sum of its parts.

Connecticut is more than just one of 50 states in America. It’s a hub for innovative ideas, and home to 3.5 million people. We at Uber see SBC as one of those ideas, and are happy that its efforts will aim to help every person that calls this place home.

Matt Powers is General Manager of Uber Connecticut.

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