On the Spot: Nancy Sutley


Nancy Sutley Photo: Courtesy of LADWP

The subject of this issue’s In Conversation interview, Nancy Sutley –the chief sustainability and economic development officer at Los Angeles Department of Water and Power–fills out our questionnaire, picks walking as her favorite mode of transportation, and reminds us to be kind to the Earth.


The perfect city would have

Lots of green buildings, solar panels and graywater systems.

One technology on the horizon that can change the world

Energy storage.

Your topic if you were asked to give a TED Talk

The Water-Energy Nexus.

The next big idea will come from

LaKretz Innovation Campus.

Building you would save if the world was going to end

LA City Hall.

A century from now humanity will

Travel through teleportation.

One book everyone should read

The Power Broker by Robert Caro.

Most memorable mentor or teacher

Mary Nichols.

Harshest criticism you’ve ever received

Too quiet.

Favorite mode of transportation

Walking/My legs.

Wasteful habit you’re trying to kick

Taking the elevator or indulging in junk food.

Most fulfilling hobby

Traveling or reading.

Most memorable hometown haunt

Little Neck Bay, Queens, NY.

Greatest professional pet peeve


Industry jargon you would banish

Business as usual.

A current event we should follow more closely

Climate Change.

Environmental come-to-Jesus moment

Super-storm Sandy.

Most compelling argument for environmental stewardship

It’s about us.

Way to make the environment a non-partisan issue

Talk about grandkids.

Your personal definition of sustainability

Leaving the earth a better place.

What you’d pitch to President Obama if you had 30 seconds

Retirement in Los Angeles.

What you’d tell the green movement if it was your child

Grow forth and multiply; start now!

The boldest idea in sustainable design

LA River Plan.

Most impactful experience in nature

Sleepaway camp in the Catskills.

Most meaningful project you’ve completed

President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

One question industry professionals should always be asking themselves

How will this impact the underserved? OR Is this the right thing to do at this time?

The thought or idea that centers you

Everyday is an opportunity to make the world better.

Social media—helping or hurting


Most resonant documentary

Still An Inconvenient Truth.

Most common green myth

It’s not easy being green.

Explain “green” to a kindergartner

Be kind to the earth.

Download the PDF of In Conversation: Nancy Sutley and On the Spot pieces here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *