GBENN Summit Agenda & Presentations

Conference Day 1: Wednesday, October 19, 2016

8:30am – 9:30am: Keynote Presentation – Dominick Brook, US Leader – Global Sustainability Tax Services, Ernst and Young

Ernst and Young has a rich portfolio of sustainability services for corporations across the world. Mr. Brook has been instrumental in creating programming utilizing incentives for businesses to implement sustainable activities within corporations. However, a national and global trend around corporate carbon taxes and trade might be on the horizon. Mr. Brook will address how corporate carbon tax markets are coming about in states across the U.S. and how green business programs can work within their communities, municipalities and businesses to address energy efficiency using carbon taxes.

9:30am – 9:45am – Break

9:45am – 11:30am: Session 1 – Formulas for Success: How to Efficiently Work with Small Businesses and Local Municipalities

Green business engagement programs use a wide variety of models to serve their local business population. Whether it be interns, cohorts of business participants, partnerships, or accreditation frameworks, each green business engagement program is unique. Learn from four very different green business engagement programs about their model and how they efficiently work with small businesses and/or local municipalities to drive environmental reduction in their communities.

11:30am – 12:20pm: Session 2 – Recognition – Elevating the Value of your Program through a Badge System

Recognition is one of the key benefits and reasons why businesses participate in green business engagement programs. The Illinois Green Business Association will discuss its new certification badge system: why and how it was developed, benefits of the new system, lessons learned, and how to develop one for your own program.

Anthony Santarelli – Director, Illinois Green Business Association

12:30pm – 2:00pm – Lunch and Tour of the Missouri Botanical Garden

2:00pm – 2:30pm – Break

2:30pm – 3:30pm: Session 3 – Sustainability Reporting and Metrics

Collecting environmental metrics from businesses can be a challenge, but organizing and aggregating that data can prove to be an even bigger hurdle. Learn from the California Green Business Network and the Vancouver Economic Commission on how they use interactive platforms to manage green business metrics, identify industry trends, and provide real-time data on green business environmental outcomes in their programs.

3:30pm – 4:30pm: Session 4 – Leveraging Collective Impact to Address Community Climate and/or Environmental Goals

Community-wide partnerships can increase collective environmental reduction, provide collaborative service offerings, and engage more businesses in environmental efforts. Learn about how two organizations deployed community-wide sustainability programs that increased their impact and participation through leveraging their regional and/or local networks and successfully engaged businesses in the process.

4:30pm -5:00pm: Day 1 Wrap-up

6:30pm – 9:00pm: Networking Reception for Green Business Programs

GBENN’s networking event is at Schlafly Bottleworks in the Green Dining District certified restaurant in Maplewood, MO. The band that will be playing is Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers – this is a great local swing band.  Part of the nation’s first Green Dining District, this indoor-outdoor venue in a recycled supermarket is a cultural and social anchor of the thriving business district in historic Maplewood, MO.

Conference Day 2: Thursday, October 20, 2016

8:30am – 9:30am – EPA Environmental Stewardship Resources – Benefits for Every Green Business Program

There are a number of resources that green business programs can use to help meet program goals. Some of these programs include Energy Star, US Green Business Counsel’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), Green Schools and others. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a number of sophisticated programs that are business friendly, free to use, measurable, and reap significant results. In a panel, EPA representatives will talk about how any green business program can leverage resources in EPA’s ENERGY STAR, Safer Choice, Food Recovery Challenge, and Waste Wise. EPA staff will also discuss data system management opportunities that GBENN members can use to measure both participant and whole program outcomes.

Moderated by Jean Ponzi, Missouri Botanical Garden, EarthWays Center

9:30am – 10:30am: Session 5 – Reaching New Industries that Do Not Have Existing Sustainability Standards

Staff from Certifiably Green Denver, the green business program for the City and County of Denver, Colorado will share their strategies for working with the emerging cannabis industry. Certifiably Green Denver is utilizing existing green business program staff and resources to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities this new industry presents.

Emily Backus – Sustainability Advisor, City & County of Denver

10:30am – 11:30am: Session 6 – Evolving a Green Business Program in a Saturated Marketplace
As sustainability has hit mainstream media and major corporations, there has been an increase in organizations and communities launching efforts address climate change and decrease overall community and/or regional environmental impact. As these new programs take the spotlight, how can your green business program maintain visibility and uniqueness, while working with these new partners? Learn from our presenters on how this issue has been addressed in their cities and regions.
“Unifying green business programs under an umbrella brand to better serve business customers and maximize results.”

  • EnviroStars
    Stephanie Thomas – Senior Associate, Cascadia Consulting Group and Laurel Tomchick – EnviroStars Program Manager, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks

11:30am – 11:45am – Break

11:45am – 1:45pm – GBENN Development Session with Lunch

How do we help foster growth within individual programs? What are those activities?
How do we grow awareness of our collective impact?
How can we become more nationally engaged as a collective group?
Discuss overall Network structure and membership

1:45pm – 2:00pm: Wrap up and depart

3:00pm – 5:00pm:  (Optional) Tour of University City Loop Green Dining District

We will meet at Fitz’s at 3pm and walk the five blocks of the strip, checking out the side-by-side recycling, farmer’s market, terracycling units, and stopping to talk to business owners along the way. We’ll end our tour at the Eclipse Restaurant in the Moonrise Hotel, where we will enjoy drinks under their solar-panel patio on their rooftop bar and talk to owner Joe Edwards about his green practices in the Loop. Mr. Edwards is the owner of many of the restaurants on the strip and is offering $1 off drinks at the Moonrise.  The tour will be guided by Jenn DeRose of the Green Dining Alliance, Jessica Bueler of The Loop’s Special Business District, and Jenny Wendt, Project Manager for University City.

GBENN 2016 Summit Speaker Biographies

Emily Backus PhotoEmily Backus – Sustainability Advisor, City of Denver, CO
Emily Backus is a Sustainability Advisor with Denver Environmental Health’s Certifiably Green Denver program. She assists businesses in a variety of sectors across Denver that seek to reduce their environmental impact, improve operational efficiency and save money. In addition to assisting typical businesses like restaurants, retail stores and offices, Emily works to develop green standards and certifications for local emerging industries including breweries and cannabis cultivation facilities. Emily has a background in hospitality management, environmental consulting and financial analysis and is an alumna of Cornell University.

Screenshot 2016-09-01 16.55.02Dominick Brook – Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP

Dominick is a Senior Manager and leads Ernst & Young LLP’s Global Sustainability Tax Practice in the US. He focuses on analyzing and improving the ROI for sustainability strategies, including renewable energy investments, energy efficiency improvements, recycling initiatives, advanced manufacturing and LEED-certified buildings, in three key areas:
Sustainability related incentives – Working with clients to evaluate their sustainability strategies by taking into account tax impacts and available incentives, Dominick’s team focuses on the identification and implementation of business incentives and tax credits at the federal, state and local level.
Global environmental and energy taxes – Connecting with EY’s global network, Dominick assists clients in managing their environmental and energy tax burden, and identifying potential tax reliefs based on their energy and sustainability strategies.
Global carbon regimes – with the expansion of emission trading scheme and carbon taxes from the EU to China, and California to Korea, Dominick works with clients to analyze the risks associated with these regimes, and potential mitigation strategies.
Dominick also has experience with other related federal tax credits and grants, including New Markets Tax Credits, Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits, and Department of Energy grants. Prior to joining the firm, Dominick led the expansion of economic development services at Ohio University’s Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs. He also served as an Adjunct Instructor of economics during his time at Ohio University.

jen 4Jennifer DeRose – Program Manager, Green Dining Alliance
Jennifer, Program Manager of the Green Dining Alliance, a program of St. Louis Earth Day, has doubled scope of the program in six months, creating a new Green Dining District and working with community leaders to create a greener dining scene in St. Louis. She is a freelance writer for the Riverfront Times and Feast Magazine, an amateur birder and forager, cycling advocate, and music lover. She is an honors student at U College at Washington University, studying Sustainability.

Josephine Fleming – Owner, Environmental Innovations and Executive Director of the California Green Business Network
Jo Fleming has 20 years experience in the environmental realm in a wide breadth of scientific research, environmental remediation, commercial/industrial pollution prevention, environmental outcome data and community-based programs to address some of the environmental problems of our time. She has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and a Minor in Spanish Literature. She has worked to establish numerous Green Business Programs, green hundreds of businesses, and serves as the Executive Director of the California Green Business Network. In her spare time, perhaps to offset her scientific work, Jo likes to tell fictional environmental stories. She is currently working on a book.

Kathy-Headshot-2015Kathy Kuntz – Executive Director, Cool Choices
Kathy Kuntz is the Executive Director of Cool Choices, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit that inspires individuals, communities and businesses to adopt sustainable practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cool Choices collaborates with private businesses and public entities to engage employees around sustainability, promoting changes at work and at home via a fun and online platform. Since 2010 Cool Choices has inspired more than 7,000 individuals in almost 100 organizations to adopt hundreds of thousands of sustainable practices. Kathy has more than two decades of experience developing and implementing initiatives around energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable practices; she previously led Wisconsin’s statewide Focus on Energy program.

Meg O’Shea Green Economy Community Coordinator, Vancouver Economic Commissionoshea-headshot2
he Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) mission is to position Vancouver as a globally recognized city for innovative, creative and sustainable business. Meg drives Thriving Vancouver, VEC’s platform for business engagement and connection to greening opportunities, and recognition of business leadership in the green economy. Meg holds a PhD in Environmental Studies with a focus on community-scale collaboration for sustainability solutions. She has supported transformation in many arenas including the commercial sector, the circular economy, higher education, performing arts, and community initiatives.

Jean Ponzi – Green Resources Manager, Missouri Botanical Garden
As a 20-year veteran of the Garden’s EarthWays Center team, “Green Jean” works with businesses of all types and sizes to implement every day and innovative sustainability practices, as co-manager of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge. She also responds to public inquiries with resources, referrals and information as operator of the Garden’s “Planet Doctor” answer service. Her areas of expertise include recycling, composting and waste reduction; indoor air quality, energy efficiency, green building, and native plant landscaping for biodiversity and water conservation. She’s in demand as a speaker, in business and community settings, and has written for, Home Energy, Grist and Missouri Resources magazines and many local publications. She produces and hosts weekly environmental talk programs for KDHX-FM and KTRS-AM, serving the St. Louis region as an environmental media resource for 27 years. She joined the GBENN Leadership Team in 2015, and looks forward to welcoming 2016 GBENN Summit attendees to St. Louis and the Garden.

Stacie ReeceStacie Reece – Sustainable Business Initiative, Sustain Dane
In December 2013, Stacie Reece graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.S. in Sustainable Management. Prior to returning to school, she worked in the IT, Legal and Financial sectors with a background in accounting. She is a current member of the Sustainable Madison Committee for the City of Madison as well as the Solar Advisory Council for MadiSUN, the residential solar purchasing program for the City of Madison. She has also volunteered as General Manager and Executive Board Representative for Mad Rollin’ Dolls, LLC. At Sustain Dane, she works with the MPower Business Champion program as well as the Sustainable Business Network. In her spare time, she enjoys biking, playing roller derby, movies, and spending time with her dogs, Buster & Cleveland.

Headshot Anthony SAnthony Santarelli – Director, Illinois Green Business Association
Anthony serves as Director of Program Development. He is responsible for directing and maintaining the business certification program’s nine Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs) to revise the Green Business Certification Standards. This involves coordinating with TAG members and other stakeholders throughout the certification development process. Anthony is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Environmental Economics and Policy, and is a founding member of IGBA.

garrettGarrett Sprague
Garrett joined A Better City (ABC) in January 2015 and served as Manager of Sustainability Services & Renewable Energy for ABC. Garrett came to A Better City with professional experience in both the residential and commercial solar industries and a research focus in other forms of distributed generation and microgrid systems. At ABC, Garrett has worked to pioneer a model for collaborative renewable energy procurement by aggregating the electricity demand of organizations in various sectors. He is completing a degree in Sustainability from the Harvard University Extension School in 2016 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Political Science from the University of Maine at Farmington. He is involved in a number of local and national sustainability and environmental organizations including Green Business Engagement National Network (GBENN), Net Impact, Boston Area Sustainability Group (BASG), Harvard Extension Environmental Club (HEEC), Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) and Outside of work Garrett loves playing soccer, watching Arsenal Football Club matches, snowboarding, and live music. He is originally from Portland, Maine but grew up in Duxbury, Massachusetts and is a passionate New England sports fan.

GSJones_edited-1Gail Suzuki-Jones, Energy Analyst, Strategic Industries Division, State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Gail Suzuki-Jones, Energy Analyst and LEED Accredited Professional, has worked with the Strategic Industries Division at the State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism for almost 20 years.  She received her Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington and is an active member of the US Green Building Council Hawaii Chapter’s Education and Green Schools Committees.  With government, non-profit, and private sector experience in the implementation of energy and resource-efficient design, construction, and operational practices; Gail works closely with business, community, government and NGO entities to implement energy and resource efficient green building and green business programs, projects, and events.

stephanie_thomas (cropped)Stephanie Thomas – Senior Associate, Cascadia Consulting Group
Stephanie Thomas, Senior Associate with Cascadia Consulting Group, brings extensive experience designing, implementing, managing, and evaluating large green business programs that bring resource conservation results for her clients. She manages the Seattle Green Business Program, helping to deliver education and technical assistance to equip thousands of businesses to save water and energy, reduce waste, prevent wastewater and storm water pollution, and become more sustainable. Stephanie led an effort to expand this program into a regional program, bringing the individual green business programs offered through several cities, counties, and energy and water utilities under one umbrella program. Stephanie facilitated all aspects of program design and now manages implementation of this new program. Stephanie has managed other green business programs throughout the West Coast. Stephanie holds a B.A. (with honors) in Environmental Studies and Resource Management from the University of Washington.

2015LaurelTomchickLaurel Tomchick – EnviroStars Program Manager, King County Department of Natural Resoures and Parks
Laurel Tomchick is the EnviroStars Program Manager with the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program, King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks. Tomchick spearheaded the EnviroStars Business Certification Program, which kicked off 20 years ago on Earth Day 1995, and has been adopted by counties throughout the Puget Sound region â” and is currently evolving into the umbrella brand for a broader set of Green Business programs. She has twenty nine years of experience working with small businesses on hazardous waste management and environmental sustainability issues, and was honored with an “Agents of Change” award by the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association.

cv-photo-for-web2-copyChristine VanDerwill, Client Relations & Communications Manager, Climate Smart Businesses
Christine leads the business engagement team at Climate Smart Businesses, a Vancouver-based social enterprise. Climate Smart offers a peer group-based training program, certification and software tools for small/medium enterprises (SMEs) to measure and profitably reduce carbon emissions associated with energy, transportation, and waste. Christine helps local governments and corporate partners develop strategic campaigns to engage business communities, suppliers and stakeholders in carbon, or ‘greenhouse gas’ management and leverage market drivers to accelerate climate action.