Tag Archives: Valley Forward

Adrienne Howell Southwest Gas

Valley Forward Profiles Adrienne Howell Of Southwest Gas

Adrienne Howell
Southwest Gas
Administrator/Community and Consumer Affairs

Adrienne Howell has a diverse background that allows her to excel in her current position at Southwest Gas. During her career, Howell has worked in human relations, communications, management, marketing and sales.

As community and consumer affairs administrator, her responsibilities include developing and nurturing partnerships that strengthen communities. It is a position that requires Howell to be out in the community and active in organizations.

Southwest Gas has been a member of Valley Forward for about 18 years. Howell joined in 2009. In her first year as a new member, she was eager to get involved and helped make sponsorship calls.

Howell currently serves on the energy committee and the marketing committee for the Environmental Excellence Awards. She will serve as vice chair for next year’s Livability Summit, and in 2012 she will become the chair.

Howell and Southwest Gas wanted to be part of the conversations on how to improve the environment and create livability in the community.

“The only way to really know how you can make a difference is to get involved,” Howell says. “You can’t do that from the sidelines. You can’t do that from reading a project description. You have to raise your hand and say,  ‘I’ll help.’”

Southwest Gas and Valley Forward have similar goals. Southwest Gas dedicates itself to making communities a great place to call home. The company focuses on ways to emphasize safety, and serve its customers and communities. One priority of Southwest Gas is to save money and use energy wisely, a common goal with Valley Forward.

“Organizations like Valley Forward, because of its long-standing presence in the Valley and because of its local mission, are important to help us further our goal of offering customers smarter, greener energy sources for their homes and businesses,” Howell says.

Howell realizes that these are challenging economic times for organizations and companies, and people have to closely evaluate every dollar they spend. However, Southwest Gas believes that Valley Forward is an important and necessary partnership to have, which is why even through these challenging times it has remained an active member.

Howell says that to retain and keep membership, Valley Forward will have to get input from stakeholders to find out what value it can give to members.

Environmental Excellence Awards

Valley Forward Celebrates 30 Years Of Environmental Excellence Awards

Valley Forward’s focus today is on sustainability. Its mantra is that a community can be great only if it respects its natural and human resources, and adopts practices that will nourish and preserve them.

Thirty years ago, when Valley Forward directors launched the Environmental Excellence Awards (EEA) program, we didn’t talk about sustainability. The word wasn’t in our vocabulary. But our motives inevitably led us to the same place.

We believed that a great city required environmental stewardship and first-rate planning, design and architecture in private developments and public places. So, we set out to raise the competitive bar in those fields by recognizing superior work with prestigious awards.

In 1981, the first year of the awards, six, first-place Crescordias were granted, including Scottsdale’s visionary Indian Bend Wash flood-control project and the historic preservation of Heritage Square in Downtown Phoenix. This year, 21 Crescordias were handed out, led by the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center.

Through the years of EEA, Valley Forward has given out 414 Crescordias and, beginning in 1989, 21 President’s Awards. Additionally, many entries have received Awards of Merit in recognition of their special accomplishments.

The program has drawn thousands of entries submitted by every kind of institution and individuals from every walk of life. EEA recognition has rewarded the efforts of architects, urban designers, land planners and developers; landscape architects, homebuilders, homeowners, educators, artists, scientists, engineers, farmers and many others.

Awards have been made to city, county and state entities; manufacturers, retail corporations, hospitals, school districts, libraries, flood control agencies, art and history organizations, office and retail projects, hotels and resorts, golf courses, utility companies, recyclers, fire stations, zoos, a football team, newspapers and magazines, parks, conservation projects and museums.

As varied as they are, the hundreds of EEA winners have one thing in common: all have made an impact on the community. That is what EEA is all about and it is what will make sustainable development a reality.

Mexican gray wolf photographed by Joel Sartore

Valley Forward Hosts 41st Annual Luncheon Featuring National Geographic Photographer Joel Sartore

Valley Forward hosted its 41st Annual Luncheon Dec. 3, and the event was wild — literally. Guests were greeted by a menagerie of interesting wildlife at this year’s event thanks to the Desert Botanical Garden, Liberty Wildlife, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, The Phoenix Zoo and the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium. Several animals were showcased at the environmental education exhibits including a bald eagle, American alligator, greyhound owl, African-crested porcupine and more. These exhibits transformed all the attendees back to their school-age, zoo-visiting days, and truly served as a reminder for the topic that was discussed at the luncheon — the importance of fostering our environment.

The keynote speaker  was Joel Sartore, noted wildlife photographer at National Geographic Magazine, author and passionate environmentalist. Sartore presented a heartfelt speech about the importance of helping preserve our environment and making sure that despite the fervent pace of technology innovations, future generations value and experience the great outdoors.

Sartore has witnessed much of the devastation firsthand during his 20 plus years at National Geographic. He has photographed, among others, environmental tragedies such as the recent Gulf Coast oil spill, endangered species and more. His dedication to the cause is also demonstrated in his latest book, Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, featuring endangered species from all over the world including several from Arizona. Sartore hopes that by photographing wildlife that many people don’t even realize exist, it will draw attention to their cause and maybe help save them. His experience provided the audience with an amazing look into this wild world and what we — everyday, average people — can do to help make a difference.

Congratulations to Valley Forward for once again putting together such an inspiring event. The message of sustainability and environmental stewardship is one that continues to gain momentum. Let’s hope it does so for many years to come.

Read more about Joel Sartore in the November/December issue of AZ Business Magazine here.

www.valleyforward.org
www.joelsartore.com

Joel Sartore Presenting

Showcased at the environmental education exhibit, a bald eagle.American alligator & African-crested porcupine Joel Sartore - Rare: Portraits of America's Endangered Species

Photography of Joel Sartore - AZ Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

Life Through The Lens Of Wildlife Photographer Joel Sartore

It is summer in Antarctica. Frigid temperatures have been replaced by mild, 50-degree days.

Surrounded by green hills rolling into lush, snow-capped mountains and thick fog, Joel Sartore is crouching low to the ground. Usually, it is he who is chasing his subjects, but this time the tables have turned. Instead, in the middle of the beach-like terrain, Sartore is surrounded — by penguins. King penguins to be exact.

“Most of the time the animals I’m seeing are running away, they don’t want anything to do with me,” Sartore says, adding that the King penguins did the exact opposite. “They just wanted to stare at me. I got low on the ground and they stood right over me and looked at me. The whole thing was just tranquil, peaceful, and one of the most impressive things I’ve ever been a part of.”

Most of us will never get the chance to experience such an event. But for Sartore, it’s just another day on the job. From Antarctica to Russia, he has seen it all. Throughout his 20-year career working as a photographer for National Geographic, Sartore has traversed the globe, photographing everything from rare wildlife to hurricane aftermath and even state fairs.

“Once I discovered photography, there was never any turning back for me,” he says.

Sartore’s impressive body of work has been featured in Time, Life, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. He also has contributed to several book projects and has been the subject of national broadcasts.

In addition to his talents as a photographer, Sartore devotes his energy to conservation efforts. A Nebraska native, he is committed to conservation in the Great Plains, is co-founder of the Grassland Foundation, and a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Sartore will share his passion for sustainability as the speaker at Valley Forward’s 41st Annual Luncheon on Dec. 3.

“That is just an excellent group. There needs to be 100 groups like them. We have to start talking about this stuff and realizing that it’s easy to be green. It’s certainly a better way to live your life,” Sartore says. “There needs to be more and more people thinking and caring about the earth. We don’t have the luxury of time to count on the next generation to start saving the planet. We have to be doing it now.”

Sartore addresses the global environmental crisis using photography as his platform.

“I really am constantly faced with environmental problems,” says Sartore, a self-professed hyperactive person. “My job is to get people to think.”

While photographing the American Gulf Coast during one of his first assignments for National Geographic, Sartore was drawn to the plight of animals and the environment.

“I remember walking the beach and the bottom of my feet were black with spilled tar and oil, and there was garbage and a dead dolphin wrapped in plastic,” he says. “When you see things like that it makes you think that we could be doing a lot of things better, could be treating the Earth better.”

Sartore’s focus on building a sustainable future has allowed him to draw attention to issues that are often overlooked. His latest book, “Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species,” sheds light on some of the country’s most endangered species of plants and animals, and what the public can do to help. “Rare” was originally inspired by a magazine assignment, before turning into a personal project for Sartore and later a full-fledged book.

Several of the subjects featured in the book were shot in Arizona, including the California condor, photographed at the Phoenix Zoo; and the Tarahumara leopard frog, photographed at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

Although, sadly, one of the other animals featured in the book, the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, became extinct during the book’s production, Sartore emphasizes the importance of highlighting environmental issues.

“It was a very good experience to give a voice for the voiceless,” Sartore says. “The encouraging thing is that most species in the book could make it if we pay attention to it. I guess that’s what I try to convey to people: There’s always hope. These things are absolutely worth saving.”

Sartore’s passion for photography began in high school and continued into college, where he earned a degree in journalism with an emphasis in photojournalism from the University of Nebraska. Thanks to some great mentors, Sartore decided to pursue a career in photography, but he didn’t forget his journalism roots.

“In any of these situations I go into, I bring with me a reporter’s aesthetic and background to it,” he says.

This background has proven beneficial, as he shoots such a wide variety of subjects in exotic locations around the world.
“I want to know why things are the way they are and how to fix it,” he says.

As thrilling as his job may be, it comes with its share of dangers. When asked how many times has he almost been killed, Sartore responds on his website: “More than I care to tell my wife about for sure.”

He hasn’t let the danger stop him, but he does try to err on the side of caution.

“You can’t take more pictures if you’re dead,” he writes.

Sartore continues to journey around the globe in search of the next great photo. Currently, he’s preparing to travel to Africa for an assignment. Despite two decades of experience under his belt, Sartore still worries.

“I’m very nervous that I’ll fail, starve and die, in that order,” he says. Irrational fear or secret to success? Maybe worrying is just part of the job, Sartore adds.

“Everything has worked out well so far, yet I’ve always been very worried that nothing ever would,” he says. “With a strong story you may just reach those people who can change the world. If I can right a few wrongs, then that’s probably a life well spent.”

    If You Go:
    Valley Forward’s 41st Annual Luncheon
    11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
    Dec. 3
    Hyatt Regency Phoenix
    122 N. Second St., Phoenix
    Reservations: info@valleyforward.org; (602) 240-2408


    Arizona Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2010

    Earthfest Provides Free Resources to Teachers

    EarthFest Provides Free Resources To Teachers

    Teachers are desperately in need of assistance, especially during these tough economic times with budget cuts, fewer resources and larger class sizes. That’s why it’s important to get the word out about some exciting opportunities to assist educators, both personally and in the classroom.

    Arizona teachers can apply for one of two full-tuition scholarships being offered by University of Phoenix and/or $5,000 in funding for environmental programs in their school, classroom or community through an EarthFest Education Grant made possible by STMicroelectronics.

    Valley Forward Association has partnered with University of Phoenix to offer two full-tuition scholarships to Arizona K-12 teachers in an effort to expand its environmental education outreach. Each scholarship will allow a prospective student the opportunity to obtain a Master of Arts in Education (MAED) degree.

    The purpose of the scholarship program is to provide educational opportunities to local teachers who have demonstrated sustainable practices in their classroom and want to continue to make a difference in their community. The scholarship application deadline is Oct. 22 and recipients will be announced by Nov. 12. To obtain a copy of University of Phoenix’s Valley Forward Scholarship application, teachers can visit valleyforward.org or phoenix.edu/scholarships.

    In addition, Valley Forward recently announced $5,000 in grant funding for teachers in the 2010-11 school year to support projects that enhance awareness of and interest in environmental sustainability. It is the fourth consecutive year STMicroelectronics has funded this program.

    Projects should focus on such topics as: energy, water, air quality, transportation, land planning, plants and animals or waste management. The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 10. Applications may be mailed or emailed to info@valleyforward.org and projects must be completed by May 1, 2011.

    These and other opportunities were offered in conjunction with the sixth annual EarthFest Educators Night, presented in partnership with Intel Corporation and the Helios Education Foundation. To learn more about what resources are available, visit: Environmental Education Directory.

    Why does it matter? Because if we expose kids of all ages to ways they can contribute to a healthier environment, it helps ensure a more sustainable future for generations to come.

    Bike Sharing Program

    Green Jobs In Arizona And Around The Nation, Bike-sharing Program And More

    There’s so much going on in sustainability, it’s hard to narrow down what news to share. Here’s a couple of interesting bits from this week. We’ve gathered stories about new green jobs in Arizona and around the nation, a bike-sharing program and Valley Forward’s Environmental Excellence Awards, among others.

    Arizona Gets 100 Solar Jobs
    Rioglass Solar, which makes reflector components for solar thermal power plants, is building a $50 million manufacturing facility in Surprise, Ariz.  The facility is going to bring 100 jobs by the time it is operational in 2011.

    Valley Forward Chooses Judges for Environmental Excellence Awards
    John Kane, founding partner and design principal of Architekton, will be the lead judge for Valley Forward’s 30th annual Environmental Excellence Awards.  The eight other judges include: Steve Gollehon, vice president and managing partner, HDR Architects; Tim Lines, managing vice president, Stantec Consulting Inc.; and Caroline Lobo, director of the Education Studio at The Orcutt/Winslow Partnership.  The winners will be announced Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Phoenician Resort.

    President Obama’s Push for Green Energy to Create Jobs
    Not only does Obama want America to be greener; but his push for green energy could create up to 800,000 jobs by 2012.  The major issue for green energy jobs in America is that employers are being forced to outsource jobs to stay competitive in the industry. Watch President Obama’s speech at ZBB Energy in Wisconsin.

    Do-It-Yourself Solar Panel
    CNN’s “One Simple Thing” series takes a complicated process – installing a solar panel – and turns it into something anyone with an electrical outlet can do. Clarian Power’s president, Chad Maglaque, talks about how his company is trying to make the biggest cost in solar power, the installation, a non-issue.

    NYC Looks to Start Bike-Sharing Program
    Mayor Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan want to start a bike-sharing program that would offer 49,000 bikes to be shared.  Many other cities worldwide including Paris, Copenhagen and Taipei, Taiwan, offer bike-sharing programs.  Right here in Arizona, Northern Arizona University offers the Yellow Bike Program for free.

    livabilitysummit

    Valley Forward Hosts 7th Annual Livability Summit

    Valley ForwardAs the world celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Valley residents also had a reason to celebrate.

    To commemorate Earth Day, Valley Forward was once again at the forefront of the sustainability movement in the state — hosting their Seventh Annual Livability Summit at the Wyndham Phoenix.

    The title of the program, “What Does the Future Hold for Sustainability?”, proved to be a launching pad for intelligent and interesting observations from speakers, panelists and attendees.

    The event began with a welcome from Valley Forward president and Green Scene guest blogger, Diane Brossart, followed by Jeanne Forbis, Valley Forward Association Chair of the Board and Global Corporate Affairs Communication Manager at Intel Corporation. Ms. Forbis introduced the morning keynote speaker: James Charlier, an expert in smart growth strategies and sustainable transportation systems. Mr. Charlier gave a lively, informative presentation before turning to the morning’s panelists to continue the discussion.

    The panel titled: “How to Ensure a Sustainable Future for our Region” was comprised of:
    Sue Clark Johnson | ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy
    Paul Newman | Arizona Corporation Commisioner
    Shannon Scutari | Arizona Department of Transportation
    Mo Mukibi Jr., Ph.D. | CH2M Hill

    Mayor Phil Gordon
    Mayor Phil Gordon announced the City of Phoenix received a $25 million federal grant for its Green Rail Corridor project.

    Each panelist offered their own unique perspective about the challenges Arizona faces in planning for a sustainable future. The lively debate then extended to the audience who asked some interesting questions.

    For a complete list of all the speaker’s presentations visit Valley Forward’s website.

    The summit was headlined by keynote speaker Jeremy Rifkin, renowned economic futurist and sustainability expert who wowed the audience with his incredible knowledge and experience. As president of the Foundation of Economic Trends and the author of 17 best-selling books on the impact and technological changes on the economy, workforce, society and environment, Rifkin is a seasoned voice in the field. Rifkin used his own experience as founder and chairperson of the Third Industrial Revolution Global CEO Business Roundtable to enlighten the crowd with some ideas about a possible sustainable future for Arizona. During his speech, Rifkin gave examples of several European countries that have already implemented astounding sustainable economic plans that can serve as a great example for the U.S. and for Arizona.

    Rifkin’s compelling presentation got everyone thinking and emphasized the critical juncture we’re facing. He noted that we are at the turning point of our species or the “end of human civilization as we know it.” Rifkin further explained his reasoning by pointing out that we are living off 19th and 20th century ideas that are toxic to the biosphere challenges we face as a global society. The premise behind the Third Industrial Revolution is to harness smart technologies and global communication networks to create a renewable energy regime. Renewable energy and its growth is critical as well as harnessing this power by converting buildings into power plants. Lastly hydrogen storage, smartgrid and plug-in vehicles will maximize renewable energy and minimize cost.

    Jeremy Rifkin
    Author and economic futurist Jeremy Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends delivered the luncheon keynote and signed copies of his book, “The Empathetic Civilization.”

    Just hearing his thought-provoking ideas was incredibly inspiring. Implementing these ideas won’t be easy but Rifkin is optimistic that as more and more cities across the globe change their viewpoint and see the economic vitality sustainability can bring, a so-called “revolution” will take place.

    Overall, the summit was an incredibly successful event. In addition, to the panel discussion, Valley Forward also hosted a resource area that spotlighted local initiatives for environmental concerns and sustainability issues. The organization was also proud to once again partner with the 2010 Future City Competition for 7th and 8th grade students, with winning students from Cochise Middle School attending the summit.

     

    www.valleyforward.org

    Uncertainties of Climate Change

    Valley Forward Hosts Panel On Uncertainties Of Climate Change

    On March 24, Valley Forward hosted a luncheon for its members at the Sheraton Downtown Phoenix. But this wasn’t an ordinary luncheon. It featured a panel discussing a topic that relates to us all: the uncertainties of climate change.

    The panel — moderated by Grady Gammage, Jr., of Gammage & Burnham — was made up of four panelists:

    David Modeer, general manager of the Central Arizona Project
    Henry Darwin, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
    Gary Yaquinto, president of the Arizona Investment Council,
    and Warren Meyer, proprietor of The Climate Change Skeptic

    Each panelist brought their own unique view to the discussion and opened the eyes of the attendees by revealing all aspects of climate change. The differing opinions of the panelists proved to be the perfect recipe for a lively debate. Warren Meyer, who runs the Web site climate-skeptic.com staunchly defended his opinion that though he doesn’t deny that the world is warming, he has a different take on it than most. He talked about a second theory that he later described on his Web site:
    “This second theory is that the climate is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that multiply the warming from CO2 manyfold, and increase a modest one degree Celsius of warming from man’s CO2 to catastrophic levels of five or even 10 degrees,” Meyer writes.

    Meanwhile, tthe other panelists added their input into the discussion. Gary Yaquinto talked about the potential economic effects of controlling greenhouse gases while Henry Darwin focused on the position of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

    The luncheon was a great success in shedding some light on this topic and giving the public some insight into the effects on Arizona.

    www.valleyforward.org
    www.climate-skeptic.com
    www.cap-az.com
    www.azdeq.gov/
    www.arizonaic.org
    www.gblaw.com/

    Water Consumption

    Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders Program Showcases Water Management Efforts

    In this unique desert environment, water is our lifeline to sustainability and growth. The Valley’s secure water future is the result of more than 100 years of visionary planning. It’s clear, however, that while our region leads the Southwest in managing water supplies, we need to do a better job of communicating our efforts.

    Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders program is designed to showcase how business and industry are demonstrating innovation in managing water resources.

    Holsum Bakery in Tolleson was named the environmental public interest organization’s inaugural Water Efficiency Leader, and earned the title for integrating more sustainable processes into its entire operation.

    In addition to bestowing top honors on Holsum Bakery, Valley Forward has recognized Intel Corporation and CityCenter of CityNorth for exceeding water efficiency standards.

    “These companies are integrating sustainability into their corporate culture and have included water conservation and efficiency in their overall operations,” says Gregg Capps, chair of Valley Forward’s water committee, which initiated the program. “By spotlighting their efforts, we’re encouraging other businesses to review their processes to improve environmental quality, while at the same time positively impacting their bottom line.”

    Holsum’s team has converted its water-intensive sanitation practices to processes using much less water. Irrigation of desert landscaping has been optimized, reducing water usage by 57 percent in the summer months and saving an estimated 155,000 gallons of water annually. Waterless urinals are now in place, saving 40,000 gallons annually, and basket washer controls have been modified to ensure minimal water usage.

    Other water efficient practices include:

    • Setting goals each year for the bakery to reduce water usage per pound of production and in absolute gallons.
    • Installing secondary water meters to monitor usage at key process points, such as ingredient water, cooling towers and swamp coolers.
    • Increasing the use of brooms and brushes in the place of water hoses to clean equipment and work areas.

    Next year, Holsum plans to install a system to capture runoff water from cooling towers and swamp coolers to replace incoming water used for landscape irrigation.

    These measures are making a difference. Through July of this year, Holsum’s improvement in usage rate has saved the equivalent of 613,997 gallons of water over 2008, despite an increase in bread production of 4.1 percent.

    Intel’s Ocotillo campus has developed innovative water conservation approaches that offset up to 75 percent of fresh water usage in the manufacturing process. Its key water management strategies include aquifer recharge, reuse of wastewater and internal water recycling.

    CityCenter is the 76 acre, mixed-use portion of CityNorth development of Desert Ridge. Its state-of-the-art water capture and management system is designed and constructed to reclaim approximately four-million gallons of water per year.

    Diane Brossart is president of Valley Forward. For more information on Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders visit www.valleyforward.org

    Valley Forward 2010

    Valley Forward: Tracy Williams

    Tracy Williams
    Area Manager
    Altrade Supplies
    www.altradesupplies.com

    Is there a better way to become interested and involved in environmentally friendly issues than with the Girl Scouts?

    That’s what opened Tracy Williams’ eyes to recycling and the need to protect our environment. It started when she was a Girl Scout and continues today with six of her daughters, who also are scouts.

    Williams is area manager for Altrade Supplies, a Milpitas, Calif.-based distributor of a variety of biodegradable products. Its motto is, “Leading the way to a Green Earth.”

    “I’ve been a Girl Scout all of my life,” Williams says. “And six of my eight daughters are scouts. One of the things we do is recycle. We’re serious about Girl Scouting and recycling.”

    She’s also serious about the products Altrade Supplies sells, such as biodegradable food service products, including cutlery and eating utensils; biodegradable cleaning agents; industrial safety supplies, including personal equipment to protect an individual in case of a fall, spill-control equipment and traffic safety equipment.

    “Finding out about products made out of sustainable materials has really been interesting, such as the biodegradable food service products that I sell,” Williams says. “I was intrigued by that; that’s what really interested me in what sustainability was all about.”

    About a year ago, George Brooks, an environmental scientist and the company’s sustainability director, introduced her to Valley Forward.

    “We call him our green guru,” she says. “I was all excited to learn about this big green movement that was going on and what my place was in it. Valley Forward is an environmental organization that has been around for about 40 years, has a voice in the community, great knowledge, and has a handle on the sustainability movement.”

    She joined to learn more about green efforts.

    “Valley Forward is a great program and a great group of people,” Williams says. “People mingle with each other like family. It has enabled me to get out into the world and talk about my products.”

    Williams became active in several Valley Forward committees, hoping to match her skills with what Valley Forward offers. She joined the membership committee because she enjoys meeting people, and she served on another panel involved in arranging events and luncheons.

    Environmentally friendly products boost Arizona’s quality of life, Williams says, “by lessening our carbon footprint overall.” Her goal for Arizona is the three “R’s”: “Recycle, reuse and reduce.”

    Barbara Lockwood, APS

    Valley Forward: Barbara Lockwood

    Barbara Lockwood
    Director of Renewable Energy
    Arizona Public Service
    www.aps.com

    Barbara Lockwood is a chemical engineer who doesn’t consider herself an environmentalist at heart, yet there she is — director of renewable energy for Arizona Public Service.

    “It’s not something that’s innate in me,” Lockwood says about the environment. “I got into it from a business perspective. What makes sense to me is that we as a global economy are all tied together on one planet. What truly makes the world go around is our businesses and our connections. Accordingly, to sustain that and be viable long term we must do everything we can to protect and sustain the Earth. I truly believe our businesses run our society.”

    At APS since 1999, Lockwood is responsible for renewable energy programs, including generation planning, customer programs and policy. Lockwood began her career in the chemical industry at E.I. DuPont de Nemours in various engineering and management roles on the East Coast. Later she moved into consulting and managed diverse projects for national clients throughout the country.

    Lockwood, who joined Valley Forward in 1970 and now is a member of the executive committee, holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Clemson University and a master of science in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    “I’m a chemical engineer and I stepped into the environment right out of college,” Lockwood says. “It was a hazardous waste treatment operation.”

    Although much has changed since Lockwood launched her professional journey, “renewable energy was a natural progression of my career.”

    All sources of renewable energy, including solar, wind and biomass, should remain part of Arizona’s energy portfolio, she says. Lockwood mentions a biomass operation near Snowflake that generates electricity primarily by burning woody waste material from nearby national forests.

    Lockwood calls Arizona “the best solar resource in the world,” and expects greater use of that renewable energy in the years ahead.

    “We’re definitely working on that,” she says. “Solar is the resource of choice in the sunny Southwest.”

    The main benefit of renewable energy is what you don’t see.

    “It reduces polluting emissions because it is a clean source of fuel, and it offers a stable price,” Lockwood says. “What’s more, it can create jobs in Arizona.”

    Lockwood touts APS’ Green Choice Programs as a way to improve the environment. Green Choice involves such things as converting to compact fluorescent light bulbs, renewable energy resources such as solar and wind, and high-efficiency air conditioning.

    She also touts APS.

    “The company is committed to renewable energy, and I came here because of that reputation,” Lockwood says.

    ValleyForward

    Valley Forward: Lynn Paige

    Lynn Paige
    CEO
    PerfectPower
    www.perfectpowernetwork.com

    When Lynn Paige, CEO of PerfectPower in Phoenix, first joined the company six years ago she lacked a background in solar energy. But it didn’t take her long to see the light.

    She was brought in to grow the company, which designs and installs solar energy systems, focusing primarily on Arizona.

    “I quickly fell in love with the solar industry,” Paige says. “It’s been a six-year crash course.”

    Paige, who has been a member of Valley Forward since 2005, brought an accounting degree, an MBA and some 30 years of business experience to PerfectPower. She established solid management systems, hired a professional sales team, facilitated an alliance with a professional training group and instituted strict guidelines for working with commercial and residential clients.

    Although Arizona is the sunshine capital of the country, it’s also one of the nation’s heat capitals, which presents a bit of challenge for solar, as well as other energy industries.

    “Heat de-rates a solar system, which means it produces less electricity than the same system would in, for example, Kansas City,” Paige says. “Our big goal at PerfectPower is to figure out a way to design a system around that heat factor that will produce more kilowatt hours than it would otherwise. We’ll be using the sun to do that.”

    Yet another challenge is convincing consumers that solar energy is cost effective.

    “People do not believe that solar is less expensive than producing electricity through nuclear or coal plants,” Paige says. “It pays for itself in a short time with federal and utility incentives and tax credits. There’s really no excuse today for anyone not to be using solar.”

    For a commercial customer, solar would pay for itself in 18 months. For residential, depending on the size and type of system, the break-even point is three to seven years, Paige says.

    “If you’re not using solar, at the end of seven years you’re still paying the utility company,” she says. “With solar, at the end of seven years you could have all of your energy for free. It’s a no-brainer. I’ve had solar at my home for three years and I have no energy bills. I can’t tell you how liberating that is. It’s kind of heady to be your own little power plant. It’s really a neat thing.”

    What’s more, solar improves Arizona’s quality of life.

    “It’s cleaner and it produces a steady line of electricity — no sporadic spikes,” Paige says.

    Valley Forward: Colin Tetreault

    Colin Tetreault
    Master of Arts Student
    Arizona State University, School of Sustainability
    schoolofsustainability.asu.edu

    As a student at the Arizona State University School of Sustainability, Colin Tetreault is exploring ways for the business community to play a greater role in enhancing the global environment.


    It’s a natural blend of interests for Tetreault, who is pursuing a master’s degree in sustainability and has a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the ASU W.P. Carey School of Business, as well as a minor in sociology. He has a diverse business background and skill set tempered in marketing, business development and philanthropy. His goal is to integrate his business acumen and cutting-edge knowledge of sustainability.

    When ASU President Michael Crow said, “Sustainability is a way to grow and prosper while reducing the stress on the planet,” and asserted that sustainability would be a hallmark at ASU, Tetreault says, “I knew this was absolutely something that I not only wanted to pursue, but I felt compelled.”

    Tetreault’s background led him to the field of sustainability.

    “I grew up hiking and climbing and having an appreciation of the outdoors,” he says, “but my parents are both business individuals. My mother was a professor of marketing and my father was a business executive. I loved being outside, but I also loved what business can do. Business can accelerate change and can act as an advocate for it.”

    Some individuals may view business as being unfriendly to the environment, and with some justification, Tetreault says.
    “Admittedly, in certain instances they may be right, but now business has done more than ever for the environment and can act as an advocate for the world,” he says. “It marries two areas that I love — a synthesis of business and the entire global perspective of sustainability, which is not just hugging trees and savings animals.”

    Sustainability will provide a “meaningful, productive and just way of life,” Tetreault says, adding that it is vital to save the trees and have clean air so humans can live on this planet.

    “Sustainability is paramount to that, to help achieve economic viability and a robust society,” he says. “Everything is connected. Our actions have a direct impact on us now and in the future and on everything around us. I feel this is my calling.”

    Tetreault, who joined Valley Forward this year, hails the organization for its role in preserving the environment and for being “not only an aggregator of information, but also an advocate for positive change.”

    “Valley Forward embodies those type of ideals,” he says.

    Promoting Smart Growth in Down Economy

    Promoting Smart Growth In A Down Economy

    Please welcome Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward Association, and guest blogger to the AZ Green Scene. This is the first blog of our exclusive monthly blog partnership series, where Diane will share her experience and insight regarding the state’s sustainable industry.

    Freezing impact fees to stimulate economic development runs counter to the principles of smart growth.

    There is no evidence that placing a moratorium on impact fees results in any increase in residential or non-residential construction, according to a number of authoritative studies, including the Brookings Institution. Yet with the hope of establishing momentum in the development industry our legislature recently imposed a freeze on acquisitions and increases until June 2010.

    Not only won’t this stimulate growth but it places a huge burden on Valley cities when they can least afford it. Most communities are struggling with severe budget cuts, reductions in personnel and impending tax hikes. Now they’re facing yet another economic hit in the form of lost revenue from impact fees.

    New development should pay for itself, period end of story. Impact fees implemented by local governments on new or proposed developments assist or pay for costs caused by growth and expansion. These fees help fund the construction of offsite capital improvements including infrastructure and public services such as road expansion and maintenance, expanded police and fire services and increased demand on schools.

    In short, impact fees effectively eliminate the financial encumbrance on local jurisdictions that are trying to deal with population growth within the area. The capital required to fund new growth is simply the cost of doing business.

    The widely held perception that development results in economic growth is not always the case, however. Badly planned growth creates vast burdens that are often subsidized with tax dollars.

    The financial crisis our state is now facing has little to do with impact fees. It’s the result of poor and unscrupulous lending and borrowing decisions that led to a nationwide credit freeze.

    Legislation should work to promote livable and sustainable communities by creating viable incentives for developers to undertake projects within urban areas rather than in greenfields on city edges. Our policies should facilitate a balance between economic growth and environmental quality.
    The moratorium on impact fees undermines smart growth while shifting the cost of development from one sector to another.

    Diane BrossartPresidentValley Forward Associationwww.valleyforward.org

    Valley Metro Light Rail

    Awarding Sustainable Excellence

    On Saturday, September 12th Valley Forward held its 29th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards Gala. With Fox 10 News’ Troy Hayden as master of ceremonies for the event, there was never a dull moment.

    Title sponsor SRP and Diane Brossart, president of Valley Forward, put together another spectacular celebration of sustainability. More than 150 nominations came in for this year’s awards — more than any previous year — showing that despite difficult economic times, the public’s commitment to sustainability has not wavered.

    METRO Light Rail was the 2009 President’s Award (Best of Show) recipient, further highlighting the achievements of the newest addition to the Valley’s transportation system. METRO Light Rail was also honored with a first-place Crescordia Award in the Livable Communities, Multi-modal Transportation & Connectivity category.

    Crescordia is a Greek term that means “to grow in harmony,” and that’s the overall message that came across during this year’s awards. Each acceptance speech reiterated the importance of responsible economic growth, and keeping the environment in mind for a brighter future for our state.

    Check out the full list of winners here.

    It was a great experience to see all of the amazing projects, and the progress Arizona has made toward a more sustainable future. An added bonus was being able to mingle with a crowd of esteemed professionals, as well as community and business leaders.

    Along with the award winners, Brossart announced AZ Big Media / Arizona Business Magazine’s blog partnership with Valley Forward. She will be a guest blogger on the AZ Green Scene once a month, so check back soon as we’ll have some great posts coming our way.

    www.valleyforward.org

    Photo Credit: www.valleymetro.org

    Moving Valley Arizona 2010

    Moving the Valley and Arizona Forward

    Oh, give me land, lots of land
    Under starry skies above.
    Don’t fence me in.

    That little tune written by Cole Porter and Montana engineer Bob Fletcher has served as the unofficial song of the West for almost 75 years. It’s captured the lure of the West; with all this room, there’s no need to grow up — grow out!

    Despite warnings dating back decades, Western cities have been growing out at a rapid clip. Now we have to face the fact that our resources cannot sustain this type of urban sprawl.

    It’s estimated that the state’s population will swell to 10 million by around 2040. Eight million of those residents will be living in the “megapolitan” Sun Corridor, a swath of land stretching from the middle of Yavapai County to western Cochise County to the Mexican border.

    Fortunately, one organization, Valley Forward Association, has been working steadily on this problem for 40 years. Valley Forward’s mission is to bring business and civic leaders together in order to find ways to improve the environment and livability of Valley communities.

    One of Valley Forward’s signature events, the Environmental Excellence Awards, takes place this weekend. The awards program is the state’s oldest and largest environmental competition. The program, now in its 29th year, recognizes buildings and structures, site development and landscape, art in public places, environmental technologies, environmental education/communication, environmental stewardship and livable communities that promote the cause of sustainability. The event is held in partnership with SRP.

    While Valley Forward has long been at the forefront of the sustainability movement in the region, several others now have joined the cause. In recognition of that, the U.S. Green Building Council is holding its prestigious Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Nov. 11-13. The keynote speaker is Nobel Peace Prize winner,  former Vice President Al Gore.  AZ Big Media is a proud in-kind partner of Greenbuild.

    Another sustainability event that’s making its presence known is AZ BIG Media’s own Southwest Build-It-Green Expo & Conference, presented by SRP. The second annual event takes place March 18-20, 2010.

    This year’s inaugural BIG Expo & Conference made good on its promise to be the Southwest’s largest annual event on sustainability for the commercial and residential marketplace. Nearly 9,000 people attended the BIG Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center, visiting the up to 300 exhibitors from commercial and residential businesses that offer sustainable products and services that affect everyday life.

    The conference portion of the BIG Expo brought together industry experts, Valley leaders, instructors from Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and members from such organizations as Valley Forward, Valley Partnership, BOMA, SRP, APS, the U.S. Green Building Council and many more.

    While Arizona has made significant progress in the sustainability movement we have to remember to keep moving forward.

    Janet Perez
    Editor-in-Chief
    Arizona Business Magazine

    www.valleyforward.org
    www.greenbuildexpo.org
    www.builditgreenexpo.com