The Green Business Engagement National Network (GBENN) was formed out of discussions that occurred the first National Summit on Green Business Engagement Programs, which drew over forty leaders from across the United States to Boston on May 9 and 10, 2013. This Summit provided a forum for leaders to share achievements, discuss challenges, and exchange best practices for engaging the business community, partnering with local governments, collaborating with utility districts, and delivering program services. The summit was highly successful in identifying the critical factors for green business programs to support economically vibrant and sustainable cities, as well as identify a common interest in providing further opportunities to connect and collaborate.
After this first national Summit, a leadership group was formed to develop the mission, core objectives, activities and value of participating in a national green business program network. To achieve its objective of sharing best practice information and encourage networking was to host national webinars on best green business program practices. Six “how-to” national webinars were hosted with the help of WSSPN, covering topics such as starting, financing, marketing and growing green business, each with 60-100 participants. The Network has continued to host webinars for members either with various national partners or on specific subjects that have been requested by the membership.
Towards the end of 2015, the GBENN leadership team embarked on a journey to formalize the organization’s structure and build a strategic path to grow the reach and impact of the Network. To help address some of these development needs, as well as continue to provide opportunities for relationship development and sharing best practice information, the leadership team committed to hosting a second National Summit on Green Business Engagement Programs. Since the original Summit in 2013, we have held two national events, in 2016 on October 19-20th at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO and on November 8-9th at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL, both with 40+ participants from across the nation. We look forward to hosting more national Summits in the future.
GBENN has continued to make strides in growing national interest to support the passion and impact that these unique green business programs have in their local communities. With the continued support of our programs and leaders who share our vision, we look forward to growing our Network impact and facilitating sharing of the most recent best practice information for sustainable business programs.
GBENN is a consortium of unique local, state-wide and national green business programs from across the United States. Our mission is to facilitate sharing and relationship-building among green and/or sustainable business engagement programs across the U.S. in order to advance the national interests of such locally-focused approaches and spread effective practices.
GBENN’s scope is national thinking and collaborating, while maintaining local action and uniqueness.
As a new and growing sector within the broader sustainability movement, great benefit can be realized when organizations and programs work together, support each other, and regularly convene. Our vision is that networking, information sharing, and organizational strategizing that can be fostered through a coordinated effort can help strengthen the programs of all involved and support the development of new programs across the United States.
There are three key objectives GBENN believes we could accomplish most effectively by collaborating. These are:
Building this important network strengthens and develops new programs and uncovers key opportunities for regional or even national collaboration. As GBENN continues to expand its reach and impact, we look forward to accelerating the collective, national economic and environmental impact of our programs in communities across the country.