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2013 Sustainable Enterprise Conference Greening Statement
Greetings from Julie Montgomery, Greening Director of the 8th Annual Sustainability Conference!
Planning of the Sustainable Enterprise Conference (SEC) is underway and once again we have renewed our commitment to continually reducing the environmental impacts of the event by taking a fresh look at opportunities to improve over last year and focusing our efforts to provide a high-impact experience in a low-impact manner.
Conference Venue – Energy, Water, Waste
We are very pleased to be at Sonoma Mountain Village again this year. This 200-acre, mixed- use, solar powered, zero-waste community is a pioneer in sustainable design and philosophy. Energy for the conference will be generated by solar power.
Gerard Giudice of Salley Tomatoes is the caterer for the event and has worked with event organizers to reduce the impact of the conference:
- Sally Tomatoes’ used bottles and cans are recycled by the Rotary Club at Sonoma State University and the funds benefit their local projects.
- Food scraps from Sally Tomatoes is collected in a bucket and picked up two times per week by Pepper Farms and goes to feed their chickens.
- The used oil by the restaurant goes into a 50-gallon drum and is collected for use as biofuel by Yokayo Biofuel in Ukiah.
- All waste is separated, batteries are recycled and fixtures are LED. Egg cartons are reused, as are boxes.
- The bar inside Sally Tomatoes is made from the wood of an old Redwood tree blocking a stream and is sealed with a low VOC water-based stain.
- In 2010 Sally Tomatoes purchased a new ice machine that lowered their water usage by 20% because water that was being lost is being captured and reused by the new machine.
- Washing soaps are biodegradable from EcoLab.
Gerard Giudice is an active community member. He is on the Board of the Sonoma County Adult and Youth Development Center, the Jewish Community Clinic and the Planning Commission of Rohnert Park. He is a Rotarian.
To reduce green house gas emissions generated from transportation to and from the conference, a large portion of the event’s carbon footprint, the SEC is pleased to be partnering with the WeGo Rideshare project. This pilot program is implemented in conjunction with the Sonoma County Transportation Authority, the Climate Protection Campaign and their software provider, Avego.
In real-time and with the ease of using your mobile device, you can coordinate a ride to and from the conference. The WeGo Rideshare program makes carpooling to the conference easy and fun. Learn more about WeGo Sonoma.
Food Service – Local, Organic Sourcing & Waste Diversion
All produce at Sally Tomatoes is purchased from Andy’s Market or Sonoma Organics. Meat is sourced from Sonoma Direct. All pastries and sweets are made on location. Wine is from Kenwood and beer is from Lagunitas.
- Instead of paper and plastic dishware, conference attendees will be dining with ceramic dishware and metal flatware.
- Plastic water bottles will not be used at the conference. Instead, filtered water from bulk containers is provided, along with reusable glassware.
Paper and Waste Reduction
Over the years, conference organizers have done much to reduce the amount of paper created by conference activities by limiting the amount of printed material and maximizing electronic communication and registration, as well as by making presentation materials available on the conference website.
In addition, the conference paper is printed on New Leaf Paper, environmentally superior printing and office paper. This paper is created with “market leading environmental specifications, from using the highest percentages possible of recycled and sustainability harvested fibers, to processing without the use of toxic chemicals.”
Exhibitors in the exhibitor hall are asked to avoid handing out trinkets and other disposable SWAG that would likely end up in the landfill.
We strive to engage in meaningful and transparent sustainability activities that include you, the conference participants, and require your partnership in order to be successful. We encourage each of you to help us create a highly sustainable event by:
- Bringing your own water bottle
- Carpooling to the event using WeGo rideshare
- Depositing your recyclable and compostable items in the appropriate bins
- Sharing your ideas on how we can improve
The SEC organizers and I share your passion for creating sustainable businesses, communities and lifestyles. Thank you for attending the conference and thank you for helping to make it GREEN!