The Highlight Reel: GoGreen ’09 Takeaways, Cont.

The whole GoGreen Conference was so amazing, it’s been hard to pick our favorite moments, but we’ve put together a few more for you. See below for highlights from the incredible Writing Your Sustainability Plan session (with KEEN’s James Curleigh, Stoel Rives’ Mark Morford and Clark Brockman from SERA Architects), the Electric Vehicles session and pictures from the day!

Writing Your Sustainability Plan

James Curleigh, Mark Morford and Clark Brockman really put on a show for the attendees of this session. Coming from very different industries (retail, the law and architecture), they shared their models for success with a sustainability plan. A common thread between the three is that they each took risks with bold programs.

SERA discontinued paying for employee parking. Instead they offered 2 extra days off a year for all employees and a free monthly bus pass to those who were willing to change their commuting habits. Stoel Rives simply removed all trash cans from their employee spaces in order to encourage recycling. KEEN stumbled into refurbishing used materials such as rice bags and scrap aluminum for its products.

The sticking impression is that a sustainability plan is going to be different for everyone—it’s important to remember that a thoughtful review of your companies goals, strategies and tactics should be undertaken to get the ball rolling and reviewed as times and your business change.

SERA Architects had a great mantra for forming their operations model: Can the earth replace what we take? Are the choices we make fair and equitable? Can what we make be absorbed back into Earth? Are our actions respecting the earth and all living things?

Electric Vehicles Session

Oregon has a pretty awesome opportunity to be a worldwide leader in battery technology and electric vehicles in the coming year. This is due to the windfall score of millions of dollars for several Oregon companies to develop new battery technology + being selected as one of five Nissan test markets for a new line of electric vehicles and 2500 charging stations.

We were honored to have four great minds on electric vehicles as speakers at GoGreen 2009. David Patterson (Mitsubishi America), Mark Brady (Business Oregon), Charlie Allcock (PGE) and Jeff Cogen (Multnomah County) lead an insightful discussion on where we are, where we need to be (from a resources use/impact versus planet health point-of-view) and how to get there.

Some key points from our incredibly knowledgeable speakers:

  • We have met the average customer’s needs. The early adopter is already there. Now we have to convince the masses and make it easy for them to drive electric vehicles.
  • We have the vehicles. We need to build battery technology that will allow drivers to go farther and charge faster. We also need the infrastructure that will facilitate mass use of this technology—i.e. charging stations, battery repair shops, etc.
  • The only way electronic vehicles will be successful, is if we make a dollar. It has to be a sustainable BUSINESS.
  • Big Opportunity lies in hardware and infrastructure for electric vehicles. Oregon can take advantage of switch to battery from fossil fuel.

GoGreen Photo Album

We had a great time with everyone and hope you learned a lot, got seriously inspired and took the knowledge you gained out into our community! Click here to see our Photo Gallery.

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