Tag Archives: GoGreen Conference

Sustainability Discussions at the GoGreen Conference

GoGreen Conference ’11 Sustainability Panel Discussions (Part II)

In the first part of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage, we reported that sustainability education and patience were the buzzwords of many of the panel discussions. Here’s why:

The panel discussion titled “Green Your Workplace: High Impact Change at Your Business,” moderated by Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS, focused on how to turn the idea of going green and sustainability into governance. This challenge small and large businesses face was the topic of discussion among the panel, which included:

  • Bryan Dunn, senior vice president of Adolfson & Peterson Construction;
  • Jonce Walker, sustainability manager of Maricopa County;
  • Anthony Floyd, LEED AP, green building program manager of the City of Scottsdale;
  • and Leslie Lindo, president and co-founder of IKOLOJI.

Fox began the discussion asking the panelists how one would convince the leaders of companies to pursue incorporating green elements into the workplace.

Floyd suggested offering incentives and marketing materials and free literature to spur interest. Lindo agreed providing incentives to employees will help encourage them to make the changes second nature. She also suggested owners become educated themselves and have a strong advocate in the office.

Walker took a different approach and said reducing consumption to afford sustainability is one step a business can consider taking. The company must be efficient and through this efficiency, it will convince others that the extra cost will be worth it.

Walker continued to say that it helps to know all the benefits of turning your particular business green — environmental, economical, etc. — and know your audience.

“Ninety percent of clients are bottom-line driven,” Dunn said. They want to save energy and save money, he added. Two ways companies can do this is by making their own operations more efficient (switching your lighting to LED, for example) while also anticipating changes in the marketplace.

Dunn also said behavioral modifications must take place. You can switch to LED, but the appropriate actions must be taken by the staff, i.e. remembering to turn off the lights.

But what was stressed was the acceptance of risk. While making your business more environmentally friendly and sustainable will help you save money in the long run, it will take some time to get there with few obvious returns. Or, as Fox put it, the few “low hanging fruit.”

In the following discussion, “Applying Sustainabilty Best Practices to Impact Community Equity and Diversity,” moderated by Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group and including Greg Peterson, founder of Urban Farm; Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward; and Rosanne Albright, Brownfields Project Manager of the City of Phoenix, regenerative sustainability was the hot topic as well as education.

“Nature regenerates itself, not just sustains itself,” Peterson said. “Education is the key piece to sustainability.

Urban farming (or growing and sharing food), recycling land via the Brownfields Land Recycling Project, and the importance of parks and open space in the state were all covered in this discussion.

“Energy, food, health, poverty — they are all connected,” Brooks said. “Local sourcing and urban farms can help offset the costs of energy.”

Peterson’s final thoughts?

“It’s really a grassroots movement,” he said. “For those of you in the government, get out of our way.”

Visit the GoGreen Conference website at gogreenconference.net.

 

GoGreen Conference '11

GoGreen Conference ’11 Emphasizes Sustainability Education, Patience

Whether it’s educating attendees of green and sustainability in the workplace or the speakers’ efforts to educate public and private entities of sustainability in their community, “education” was the buzzword and couldn’t have been stressed enough at the GoGreen Conference ’11 this past Tuesday, November 15. Well, that and a lot of patience.

“It’s not just about being and going green,” said Ed Fox, chief sustainability officer for APS.” It’s about educating and sustaining it.”

Dr. George Brooks, owner of Southwest Green and NxT Horizon Group, agreed: “There’s more to sustainability than solar panels,” he said. “If you want to make sustainability and its process sustainable, you need to make it useful.”

More than 50 speakers from all over the state were in attendance for the first GoGreen Conference ’11 held at the Phoenix Convention Center. Furniture IKEA donated to the panel discussions will be donated to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This all-day conference held back-to-back panel sessions with leaders of sustainable business, who educated attendees on the latest sustainable practices for their respective businesses.

City of Phoenix Major Phil Gordon announced that this was possibly his last opportunity to speak as an elected official about his and the city’s green efforts. He said that although mayor elect Greg Stanton was unable to attend the GoGreen Conference, Stanton is committed to “help build Phoenix as the greenest city.”

Gordon also shared Phoenix-area, sustainability-related statistics and accomplishments over the years, including:

  • Phoenix is home to the only solar light rail stop (near the U.S. Airways Center) in the nation, “maybe in the world.”
  • The city has raised more than $1M in incentives to businesses and homeowners for their sustainability efforts.
  • Through Solar Phoenix, the Valley has more than 425 solar-installed homes. These homeowners have saved 10 percent on utility bills, on average.
  • By 2025, 15 percent of the city will be powered by fossil fuels. And also by 2025, 25 percent of the city will be shaded throughout with canopies and palm trees.

Maria Baier, commissioner of the Arizona State Land Department, provided opening remarks, emphasizing the importance of supporting universities and higher education seeking research dollars for its sustainability efforts. She continues to speak about how to not only go green, but also stay green.

“In order to go green and stay green, we need to keep our product legitimate,” Baier said. “We need to continue to defend it and improve reliability and dependability.”

Rounding out the first session of the conference was Al Halvorsen, senior director of environmental sustainability of Frito-Lay North America.

Halvorsen spoke about Frito-Lay and PepsiCo’s environmental sustain/ability journey — how they were able to confront their challenges (reducing its environmental impact), become an “embracer” of sustainability instead of a “cautious adapter,” and view sustainability as a competitive advantage — incorporating it into PepsiCo’s business with the following strategies:

  • Move Early: Over time, your business will evolve.
  • Balance Short/Long Term: Achieve near-term wins with long-term vision. Your business needs a foundation to help push longer-term envelopes.
  • Focus Top Down and Bottom Up: Track and monitor usage every day.
  • Measure Everything: By 2020, Frito-Lay predicts it will cut its diesel fuel usage in half.
  • Value Intangible Benefits
  • Be Authentic and Transparent: Share your business’s wins, losses and challenges.

“Sustainability for us is a journey and by no means are we there,” Halvorsen said. Jonce Walker, sustainability manager for Maricopa County agreed: “We are nowhere near done,” he said. “We still have so much left to do.”

Check back for part II of the GoGreen Conference ’11 coverage on AZNow.Biz.

For more information about the GoGreen Conference, visit www.gogreenconference.net.

 

Phoenix Convention Center, GoGreen Conference 2011

GoGreen Conference Comes to Phoenix, Educating Business Leaders with Sustainability

Deciding to make your business more sustainable can be a challenging task, especially when profitability is in question. Luckily, Phoenix will be hosting its first GoGreen Conference come Nov. 15 at the Phoenix Convention Center, where business leaders and owners will have a chance to be inspired and educated on sustainable business practices.

The GoGreen Conference is a one-day sustainability event for business owners and leaders. This event program addresses key issues pertaining to sustainability, and gives businesses and organizations a chance to learn how to take these tools and use them in their business practices, according to Ericka Dickey-Nelson, founder of GoGreen Conference and president of Social Enterprises, Inc.

The conferences have been taking place for the last four years, with a goal to educate business leaders with the most recent sustainability practices, and in turn, to put their businesses on a sustainable path.

Derrick Hall, President/CEO Diamondbacks, GoGreen Speaker, Photo: Brian FiskeThe event works with all types of businesses, and each previously held event has been sold out, with each conference educating 600-1,000 attendees.

Some of Arizona’s most successful business leaders working in sustainability will be speaking at the GoGreen Conference, as well as promoting some of the best business practices and tactics to achieve sustainability.

Derrick Hall, president and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been chosen to be a keynote speaker for the event in Phoenix.

“It’s a challenging task to pick a keynote,” Dickey-Nelson says. “Keynotes are a big deal, and we have to choose the ones that are the best. We chose him because of the industry he is in.”

Hall is known for his green tactics, which include the new solar shade outside the Chase Field that generates solar energy for the stadium.

Of course, there have been challenges in promoting sustainability practices and the GoGreen Conference in this improving, yet rocky economy.

“I think the most important thing is relating sustainability practices to businesses,” Dickey-Nelson says. “It deals with money, and we make sure in every session we address profitability and long-term saving.”

The conference has plans for business leaders and owners to leave with an idea of how to successfully change their business practices.

“We want to make your business more sustainable,” Dickey-Nelson says. “We want you to walk away with a tool chest of strategies.”

[stextbox id="grey"]

If You Go:

GoGreen Conference ’11 Phoenix:
Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phoenix Convention Center, West Building
www.phoenix.gogreenconference.net[/stextbox]