Yadira Hernandez-Plascencia

2021 Sustainability Fellow - Sustainability Reporting and Education | Unitil
Yadira headshot

Yadira completed BS in Environmental Studies with minors in Graphic Design and Geography from Texas A&M University. Yadira began her sustainability journey during college after growing curious about how people and planet treated each other. It was not until she sought to help improve campus recycling signages that she was offered to join the university’s Dining Marketing Team as the Sustainability Marketing Intern. She worked up storms of projects, campus outreach programs, and events across the campus community. Her main project involved coordinating the TAMU Fair Trade Campaign. Working alongside university and department officials in waste management, she helped facilitate a new zero-waste initiative on campus called the “Going Strawless” campaign to have plastic straws and lids upon request policy to curb disposable consumption.

During the summer of 2021, Yadira worked with Unitil to collect and report information regarding its sustainability performance to investors, customers, and other stakeholders. She collaborated with Unitil’s Sustainability Team to gather research data on ESG frameworks in support of the company’s goal of expanding their efforts to report to ESG-related programs. She developed a collection of different ESG framework options and narrowed down credible programs most appropriate to Unitil through justifications. Some justifications included the program’s overlap with Unitil’s existing reporting efforts and competitiveness with programs that peer utilities are reporting on. Additionally, in support of Unitil’s recent commitment towards net zero emissions by 2050, Yadira researched on fleet idle reduction solutions. Idle reduction recommendations involved behavior change methods, advanced technologies, electric vehicle switching cost, and electrification options for existing fleet vehicles. Beyond these research projects, Yadira also utilized sustainability as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) newsletters to construct educational content and posts for the company’s internal website. 

Watch Yadira’s final presentation here