GoGreen Conference Highlights
What role can businesses and government play in keeping this region sustainable and thriving for generations to come?
To find out, a couple of Forterrans attended Seattle’s leading conference on sustainability for business and government, the GoGreen Conference! Not only did Forterra mitigate the GoGreen Conference’s carbon footprint through our Evergreen Carbon Capture program, but we were also excited to see what other leading businesses and organizations were doing in their workplaces to contribute to the greater sustainability of the region.
Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Of course, this is not a new concept but several ideas presented at this conference shed light on new ways to think about traditional sustainability concepts in today’s changing world. One of them was the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority’s application of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept applied to ice. Previously the ice used to keep fish cold was thrown into dumpsters at the end of the day, but after reassessment of how to reduce waste and reuse the ice, they have added ice melting stations that pipes the cold water to nearby facilities.
Rethink the way we design jobs.
There are talented, enthusiastic young people out there that are interested in green jobs but may not have the choice or opportunity to seize them. Often times these jobs are offered as unpaid internships that young people turn down to be able to afford to live in this region. Now, more than ever, when green jobs are playing such an important role in climate, food and social justice, it is critical to invest in our youth.
Sustainability can be a driver of innovation.
Why not use the issues at hand to get creative? For example, Sarah Ogier from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division brought up an often overlooked type of energy waste—hot water. The energy used to heat up water, for instance while you are doing the dishes, ends up going down the drain with everything else. This hot water causes our pipelines to be an average of 60-something degrees Fahrenheit—what an energy loss! Sarah and her team are currently researching ways to capture this energy in a better way and inspiring us to think about the untapped creative opportunities for sustainability.
Size doesn’t matter!
It was clear by the variety of organizations at the GoGreen Conference that you can succeed in sustainability efforts no matter what size business you are. Take for instance, Moon Valley Organics, a Certified B Corporation, with less than 10 full time employees. Being a B Corp means that Moon Valley Organics has pledged (and is regularly certified) to achieve social, environmental, and economic goals as well as financial and business goals. This results in doing good for the environment, your employees, the economy, and the planet as a whole. Moon Valley may be small, but their drive to be a leader in business and a leading B Corp is admirable!
So why join these efforts? Why strive for sustainability in the workplace? It’s simple—it’s good business. It’s good for you. It’s good for your employees. It’s good for this region. It’s good for the planet.