Tag Archives: Sustainability Conference

Green Lines Series | Alaska Airlines Drives Sustainability Forward

Joe SpragueWe are very excited to welcome Joe Sprague, Senior Vice President of Communications and External Relations at Alaska Airlines as a Keynote at GoGreen Seattle 2015 on April 30th.  Joe is the executive sponsor and champion of Alaska Airlines’ sustainability initiatives and chairs Alaska’s Sustainability Steering Committee.

Join us and learn more about how  Alaska Airlines Sustainability Steering committee sets their goals and drives sustainability initiatives forward.

GoGreen: How does Alaska come up with goals and metrics and then report back on the success of the Alaska Sustainability Program?

Joe Sprague: We have our executive-level sustainability steering committee which approves and prioritizes the metrics and goals.  Before goals get to the steering committee level for approval we have three working groups, representing the three pillars of sustainability (people, planet and performance) that help identify the priority issues in each area.    The working groups consists of senior management employees across the company who take into consideration regulatory and policy factors, stakeholder concerns, opportunities for innovation, and peer-based norms when setting our goals.  It’s a little like watching sausage being made sometimes, but ultimately it works.

GoGreen: Tell us about your proudest sustainability achievements over the past 5 years.

Joe Sprague: Two stand out in my mind for different reasons.  The first one is becoming the most fuel efficient (and carbon efficient) airline in the nation.  We’ve decreased the intensity of our carbon footprint by more than 30% in the past 10 years.

We invested millions of dollars in our fleet, so that we are flying the most fuel efficient aircraft available for our type of flying (and we purchase our planes locally, at a little company nearby called Boeing, by the way).  We also fly them extremely efficiently – we pioneered Required Navigation Performance in the early ‘90s to fly more precise (and efficient routes).  That type of technology is now being used in the Greener Skies over Seattle program which is reducing emissions and noise over the Seattle basis by flying more direct and efficient routes into the airport.  The neat thing is, this technology and flight procedures are now available to all other airlines, so that they can reduce their emissions and noise too.

The other achievement I am proud of is our inflight recycling program.  Our sister carrier, Horizon, was the first airline in the nation to implement a robust inflight recycling program in the late 1990’s.  What started as a grassroots effort by engaged employees has expanded into one of our service standards.  Now at both Alaska and Horizon, we capture the cups, bottles, paper, and cans to make sure they are recycled when we reach the next catering location.  This program has been an enormously challenging project. At Alaska Airlines alone, we remove (or “deplane”) our inflight waste in about 40 cities throughout 21 states and each city has a different infrastructure and requirements for sorting and recycling. We are especially proud of the flight attendants, who are now separating  more than 81 percent (AS & QX combined) of the recyclable materials during inflight service and we give kudos to our catering department and contract flight kitchens who support our recycling goals with 100 percent participation.

GoGreen: How does Alaska stand out against the competition as a leader in the airline and transportation industry around sustainability?

Joe Sprague: Alaska has ranked at the top of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) U.S Domestic Airline Fuel Efficiency Ranking list for four years in a row (since they began analyzing data). This last year, it was a 3-way tie for first place, but with the fleet improvements we have planned, we’re hoping to recapture the top spot next year.

Today, Alaska and Horizon are the only U.S. domestic carriers to recycle mixed recyclables (including glass, paper, plastic and aluminum) on every flight.

Alaska has implemented many advancements  to stand apart from the competition over the years:

  • 1st use of sustainable aviation biofuel on regularly scheduled flights
  • 1st wind turbine installed at our Nome airport
  • We developed and are using the only solar-powered ground support equipment.
  • We’ve made concrete commitments to make measurable progress on reducing our environmental impacts

We are proud to support such initiative’s as a transportation company around sustainability.

To find out more about Alaska’s commitment to sustainable practices read their blog post “At Alaska Airlines, greener flying starts from the ground up.”

Event Details: GoGreen Seattle 2015, brought to you by King County, will take place Thursday, April 30, 2015 at the Conference Center located at Eighth Avenue and Pike Street in Seattle, Washington. Tickets are available at seattle.gogreenconference.net or via phone at 206.459.0595. Early Bird rates are good through Friday, March 27, 2015. Single Admission Early Bird Tickets are $175 and Group Rate Early Bird Tickets are $150 (groups of two or more).  Special registration rates for student, government and non-profits are available.

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King County Executive Dow Constantine Invites You To GoGreen Seattle 2013!

Dow ConstantineEditor’s note: GoGreen is proud to partner with King County on our fourth annual sustainable business conference in the region. The following is a personal invitation from keynote speaker, King County Executive, Dow Constantine — we’ll see you April 24!

I’m pleased to invite you to the upcoming GoGreen Seattle Conference on Wednesday, April 24 at the Conference Center in downtown Seattle.

This is the premier sustainability conference for business and government in the region. It is a learning experience for both public and private sector decision makers and is intended to empower attendees with the strategies, tools and connections to green their organizations with prosperity and profitability in mind.

Meaningful progress toward environmental sustainability can only happen through partnerships between governments, businesses and residents.

Your participation in this conference will help us shape the policies and investments in our community that will guide the future of sustainable living and business practices.

Maintaining our region’s leadership in environmental and economic sustainability are top priorities for King County – they are essential to our high quality of life.

During GoGreen Seattle, you will be exposed to real-world examples and ideas that our region has put into place and have taken us to the cutting edge of technology.

Sustainability is a powerful and indispensable tool for navigating the tumultuous waters of today’s global economy – as well as solving critical challenges such as climate change. GoGreen Seattle works across industry silos to foster peer-to-peer learning and collaborative solutions.

My hope is that you will take what you learn at this conference and turn it into action. That is why King County is proudly sponsoring the conference in 2013.

Environmental sustainability and economic growth are foundational goals of the King County Strategic Plan. We are taking our own actions to become more sustainable in our day-to-day operations, and in our planning for the future. And we are seeing results. King County’s actions have reduced our environmental footprint, saved taxpayers money and encouraged business development and growth.

For example:

  • King County is implementing an Energy Plan that focuses on energy efficiency and renewable energy development … as well as award-winning green building and environmentally preferable purchasing programs.
  • We’re making it easier for nonprofits and businesses to gain access to low-interest financing for projects that conserve energy, water and promote environmental sustainability through the Green Community Initiative – the first of its kind in the state.
  • We’re capturing landfill gas, cleaning it and turning it into pipeline quality natural gas in volumes large enough to heat 10,000 homes – and we’re earning income while doing it.

Our sustainability and resource conservation work isn’t relegated solely to programs of a grand scale. By visiting with the King County staff at this year’s GoGreen Conference, you’ll see:

  • How we’re helping daily commuters shrink their carbon footprint through rideshare programs and our clean and efficient transit fleet;
  • How we’re bring recycling and resource conservation education to thousands of school kids in classrooms and assemblies; and 
  • How we’re offering everyday commonsense approaches to getting more value and creating less waste while shopping.

I hope you find your time at the GoGreen Conference informative and inspiring. Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, April 24.

Dow Constantine,
King County Executive

King County Executive Dow Constantine will give the morning keynote address at GoGreen Seattle 2013. Register to join usApril 24, for a full day of insights, training and networking that will empower you to advance sustainability efforts at your workplace and contribute to the success of the region. View the entire 2013 program & speaker roster at our website. 

Brooklyn Navy Yard | Ushering In A New Manufacturing Renaissance in NYC

Since the days of the Industrial Revolution, we’ve tied manufacturing to smoke stacks and polluting factories. But today’s generation of manufacturers — with a keen eye on environmental impact — are cleaning up the sector’s reputation through use of cutting-edge technology, highly efficient processes and a broad array of natural materials that are both high quality and eco-friendly. More than a few of these companies are housed in the revitalized Brooklyn Navy Yard (a community partner we are proud to have on board with GoGreen NYC!). Check out three inspiring businesses based in the complex that epitomize the Manufacturing Renaissance sweeping the nation.

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I-5 Corridor Special For Portlanders To Attend GoGreen ’12 Seattle (PLUS Win Amtrak Tix For Two!)

Photo Credit: Daniel Schwen

Portlanders, we are offering a special deal this week to attend GoGreen ’12 Seattle. Through Wednesday, April 4, register with a friend or colleague under our Buy One Get One Free offer. If you’re one of the first three pairs to sign up, you’ll also win two free train tickets to Seattle on Amtrak so you can ride to the event sustainably and in style!  Here are the details:

  • Check out our killer line-up for 2012 in Seattle and the full program focused on building the business case for sustainability.
  • Register with a friend or colleague under the Buy One Get One Free ticket option by 11:55pm on April 4 and get two tickets to GoGreen ’12 Seattle for the price of one! **You must use the discount code “TWOFORONE” in order to get this rate. After you enter the code, the ticket price will cut in half.
  • The three speediest Portlanders to register under the Buy One Get One Free offer will win a set of train tickets to Seattle! These tickets can only be used for transportation to GoGreen ’12 Seattle. If you win one of the train ticket sets, our team will contact you for your information and take care of the reservations.

Other questions about the Buy One Get One Free offer? Contact us at: seattle@gogreenconference.net.

On Twitter? Win 2 Tickets To GoGreen ’12 Austin – Wednesday, April 4!

If you live in Austin and you’re keen on attending GoGreen next Wednesday , we’ve got a great contest going on this week! We’re giving away two tickets to GoGreen ’12 Austin via our Twitter (@GoGreenConf).

The rules are simple:

  1. Tweet the session you’re most excited to attend at GoGreen ’12 Austin to your followers. Here’s our program and if you click on the session titles, you can view descriptions for each panel.
  2. Remember to use the hashtag #GoGreenAUS in your tweet, so we can track your entry.
  3. Include a link to the GoGreen Austin Website so your friends can check out this year’s killer program as well.
  4. Sit back & relax. You’re entered to win two tickets to GoGreen ’12 Austin — one for you and one for a friend/colleague of your choice!
  5. Check your Twitter account on Friday, March 30. We’ll be announcing the winner via Twitter and you’ll have a limited time to respond and claim your tickets before we pass them on to someone else.

We’ll see you next Wednesday for a jam-packed day of sustainability for business at GoGreen ’12 Austin. If you want to purchase tickets today, you can do so here. Remember to use the code “SOCIALMEDIA” to score a $25 discount exclusive to our social media and blog fans!