Go Green to Make Green - Green Business Conference held at SCC

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jennifer Moran from Carter Subaru (on the right) gives 
a letter of Commendation to Cheryl Houser of Cats Exclusive.
By Wendy DiPeso
"Go Green to Make Green, Getting More Bang for Your Buck" was the theme for the North King County Green Business Conference that took place March 23rd at Shoreline Community College.

Based on feedback from attendees and speakers, the event was a success. The topics covered were considered relevant to the needs of small business today, the catered lunch by Special Occasions Catering was considered exceptional, and the format for the day provided a variety of information, and networking opportunities.

Steve Gerritson of enterprise Seattle defined "Clean Technology" in his keynote speech as any technology that reduces energy or resource consumption.

Clean Technology is here to stay, by necessity. Between the effects of climate change and the finite nature of cheap oil, the cost of energy is going to keep going up. Finding new ways to conserve energy is a sound business strategy.

Mr. Gerritson expects to see more consolidation of companies in the years ahead. A lot of very small companies will not stay in business and larger companies are buying many out. Oil companies are purchasing clean technology companies.

The audience listens to Stan Price 
of the NW Energy Efficiency Counci
Stan Price from NW Energy Efficiency Council gave a specific example of a Seattle company that purchased 5 buildings. The company made a $2.3 million capital investment. Out of that 2.3 million, $660,000 was used for energy efficiency improvements. Of the $660,000 spent, the company received $300,000 worth of incentives from Seattle City Light.

As a result of the capital investment, the company earned a net gain in income of $1.3 million per year. The investment also resulted in an increase in the property's asset value of $30 million.

These are big numbers, but the same kinds of results are available on a smaller scale for small businesses.

There were two breakout sessions with six tracks to choose from. Attendees were able to listen to the experts and get answers to questions specific to their needs. The topics were Waste Reduction and Recycling, Transportation, Pollution Prevention, Marketing in a Green Economy, Water Conservation, and Energy Efficiency and Conservation.

A letter of commendation was given to one of the first businesses in Shoreline to be certified by the Shoreline Green Business Program for their efforts to establish and maintain best practices for energy and resource conservation, waste management and hazardous waste reduction. The award went to Cats Exclusive Veterinary Center.

The Conference was put on by the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce Green Business Program with help from the City of Shoreline, a Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, and sponsorships from CleanScapes, Carter Subaru, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline Solar Project, EnviroStars, Ready Set Grow Marketing, Shoreline Journal, Barefoot Imprint, Marshall Media, Stellar Event Rentals, Office Max and Brown Brothers Coffee.

Many thanks to the volunteers that worked together to make this happen: Jim Baker, Stellar Event Rentals, Jim DiPeso, Moderator, Liz Fye, Print and Graphic Design, Russell Greaby of Barefoot Imprint, Greeter/Decorator, Jeff King, Cascade Bank Moderator, Sharon Knight Shoreline Chamber Office Manager, Reception, Don LaCourse, Greeter, Marshall Parker, Marshall Media Videographer, Linda Stein, Table Decorations, Janet Way, Table Decorations, Maryn Wynne, Assistant Event Coordinator and Julie Wilcox, Moderator.

Wendy DiPeso is Chair of the Shoreline Green Business Program, a program of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.

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