Join us for two half days of learning and networking!

We look forward to hosting the 6th national GBENN Summit virtually on November 28 and 29. The summit will be held over two half days from 11am – 2:30pm PT/2pm – 5:30pm ET daily.

The goals of the 2023 GBENN Virtual Summit are to:

  • Explore how members are identifying and serving businesses in environmental justice communities,
  • Strengthen the dialogue and advance collaborative opportunities that continue from previous GBENN summits and events,
  • Share best practice information across programs and foster collaboration that advances the unique objectives of green business programs
  • Engage the membership in discussion to fostering networking and relationship-building between green business programs.

The cost to attend the GBENN Virtual Summit is $75 for non-members. Members pay only $50/organization for unlimited attendees.

Register Now!


Summit Day 1: November 28, 2023 – Equity and Environmental Justice in Green Business Programs

This day will focus on highlighting programs that are integrating equity and environmental justice into their work to support businesses in disadvantaged or underserved communities. We will learn about two distinct initiatives and then discuss existing work and ideas in small group sessions, helping us all increase our reach to serve more businesses located in underserved communities.

2pm ET: Welcome! Introductions and Networking

2:30pm ET: Small Business Equity Fund – Colorado Green Business Program

  • Session Speaker: Francis Otero, Green Business Specialist, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Colorado Green Business Network launched the Small Business Equity Fund (SBEF) grant pilot program in Aurora, Colorado. The program provides funding to small businesses interested in implementing energy efficiency upgrades. This Equity Fund focuses on supporting businesses in disproportionately impacted communities. The program offers the free replacement and installation of LED lighting, programmable thermostats, occupancy sensors, and walk-in cooler motors. It also provides a cost-share cover of the installation of commercial refrigeration equipment replacements. Learn more about the pilot and its successes in its first year!

3:45pm ET: Business Vulnerability Index & Map – Illinois Green Business Program

  • Session Speaker: Cassie Carroll, Program Director, Illinois Green Business Program & the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center at UIUC

The Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) at UIUC and the California Green Business Network collaborated to develop a map that can help green business programs more easily identify businesses that are vulnerable to climate, environmental, economic, and socioeconomic impacts. The map combines untraditional datasets and weight priorities to identify businesses that may be impacted by a multitude of factors and sub-factors. Learn about why the map was created, how to use it, and resources to reach businesses in underserved communities across the U.S.

4:40pm ET: Breakout Sessions and Discussion

5:25pm ET: Day 1 Recap and Day 2 Preview – Thank you!

Summit Day 2: November 29, 2023 – Green Business Program Innovations & Trends

This day will focus on best practices, tools, and systems to help green business programs thrive. The Summit schedule will have room to foster dialogue amongst attendees through networking, breakout sessions, and discussion. We will ask all attendees to share an overview slide of their program to help get to know your program and its goals.

2pm ET: Welcome! Introductions and Networking

2:30pm ET: The Green Masters Program – Sustainability Management Tool for Businesses

  • Session Speaker: Christa Kananen, Program Manager and Consultant, Wisconsin Business Sustainability Council

The Green Masters Program is a web-based sustainability management tool, currently used as a recognition program for WI businesses but expanding into a range of applications to help manufacturers and other businesses get started in sustainability by meeting them where they are and offering a roadmap for progress. This presentation will demonstrate the tool and provide context for how it can be leveraged to support manufacturers across the United States and beyond.

    • Participants will learn:
      • How to engage and support sustainability initiatives in manufacturing.
      • How sustainability trends are impacting manufacturers (supply chain and ESG disclosure).
      • How Green Business organizations can help, using the Green Masters Program as a tool.

3:45pm ET: Tools and Program Innovations for Green Business Programs

Small businesses are still recovering from the pandemic and face new challenges than they did before.  This session will encourage sharing  is a time to share and get advice from each other on what our challenges are and how we can overcome them to meet both our business’ needs and our funder’s needs. We’ll have a couple of green business programs share what they are seeing in their regions and how they are addressing the needs of their businesses through tools and program innovations.

Session Speakers

  • Using Surveys for Emissions Data Collection – Alyssia Chinda, Green Business Specialist, Colorado Green Business Network
  • Developing Stepping Stones to Meet Businesses at any Sustainability Level –  Illinois Green Business Program and SEDAC at UIUC

4:15pm ET: Breakout Sessions and Discussion

4:45pm ET: All-Group Sharing

5:25pm ET: Summit Wrap Up – Thank you!

Learn more about our past summits here. 


Virtual Summit Sponsors