Mayor Kelly Fergusson
Menlo Park, CA
A View from the
Policymakers and Technology Innovators Convene in Sacramento
States throughout the
country are following California's lead in implementing controls on
environmental contamination and innovative incentives for green building,
energy efficiency and recycling.
From March 12-14, California also experienced another significant first:
the first Green California Summit and Exposition. Guided by an advisory
board composed of senior state officials, the Summit was designed to
forward state and local programs to build clean and sustainable
The event began on Monday, with a series of pre-conference training
sessions and an executive summit designed to look ahead toward the
critical issues of the coming year. By Tuesday, the floor of the
Convention Center had been transformed into an captivating showcase for
products and services that can help to transform California communities,
and a crowd gathered in anticipation of the ribbon cutting.
In recent months, Governor Schwarzenegger has attracted international
attention for his environmental policy efforts. His goal is to make
California government, at all levels, a model of ingenuity and innovation
that will inspire and encourage the private sector and all of California's
30 million citizens to pursue sustainability.
State agencies, cities
and communities throughout California have taken up the gauntlet, forming
a web of innovative environmental partnerships that include utilities,
universities, non-profit organizations, corporations and consultants. Many
cities, from Los Angeles to Palo Alto are vying to be the "greenest"
communities in the state, the country - even the world.
"I budgeted two hours to walk through the exhibit hall, but for a guy like
me, it was a trip to Disneyland … I was there for more than five hours and
still wanted more time."
– Andrew Hurst, Presenter,
Sustainable Operations Coordinator
The greening of
California government has meant that each one of its hundreds of thousands
of employees and the contractors and suppliers who work with the state
must become aware of the challenges and participate in meeting those
challenges. That could mean anything, from setting up an office recycling
program or implementing two-sided printing systems, to designing an entire
community that is energy efficient, healthy and self-sustaining.
Achieving these goals means training people to run the programs and manage
the building projects; and learning what's available in green
purchasing, green maintenance, green fleets, green design.
The Green California Summit and Exposition brought together almost 3,500
people from all levels of California government and those in the private
sector who work with government. There were representatives of 38
government agencies, jurisdictions and the state legislature. They spent
two days learning and sharing information about "going green," visiting
with 270 exhibitors, participating in a selection of over 45 training
sessions and seminars.
Attendees were inspired by keynote speakers; they networked with
colleagues and hundreds of representatives of green organizations,
consultants and manufacturers. Organized by
Green Technology (and Green Technology
Magazine), the event was shaped by an
advisory board co-chaired by Rosario Marin, Secretary of the
and head of the Governor's
Green Team, and Linda
Adams, Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
riveted to their seats and were excited and energized. As a presenter I
was extremely enlightened by the class attendees as they offered up their
different experiences. I found this experience valuable and I want to help
– Craig Duehring, Presenter
California Air Resources
Highlights of the event
included two keynote presentations. Ed Begley, Jr., legendary
actor-environmentalist and host of the popular HGTV series "Living
set the tone for the Summit by entertaining and enthralling a
packed auditorium. Known to take buses to major Hollywood events and to
live in a totally self-sustaining home, he shared personal stories and
collected wisdom about his sometimes outlandish adventures in
The afternoon keynote
was Ray Anderson, founder of
Interface Corporation, one of the world's
largest manufacturers of carpeting, and author of
A MIDCOURSE CORRECTION. He spoke about a
profound transformation which led him to become the "greenest chief
executive in America," his company well on its way to becoming not only
sustainable, but "restorative" - a net contributor to the environment.
Interface was one of the first eight carpet manufacturers
to certify one of their carpet lines to meet California's Department of
General Services California
California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard,
which mandates the use of environmentally friendly carpet in all state
The Convention Center itself was "greened" for the event. Guidelines were
developed to reduce the event's ecological footprint in a partnership with
City of Sacramento, the convention center,
Regional Transit and
Classique Catering. The convention center
partnered with SMUD (the
Sacramento Municipal Utility District to
supply "green power" from renewable sources during the event.
Recycling bins were located throughout the convention center, packing
supplies were reused wherever possible, serving containers were
recyclable, two-sided printing was implemented for session materials. All
summit shuttles ran on natural gas, offset options for emissions were
offered to those who traveled to the event by
"There was a very high level of interest among all in attendance, which
included the City of West Sacramento Architect, City of Orange Architect,
Mayor of the City of Beverly Hills and others. Eighty percent of those in
attendance asked for my contact information after the class ended. I have
never had such a high percentage of interest as this."
- Chuck Shinneman, Presenter
Director of Sustainability &
Technology, Capital Engineering
Training sessions included one and two-day classes and dozens of seminars.
All presenters were experts in their fields from government agencies and
the private sector. Intensely researched through focus groups and by
soliciting feedback from representatives at all levels of government,
training classes and seminars covered the four tracks of sustainability:
energy efficiency, green Building, environmentally preferable purchasing
and local government initiatives.
Among the most popular were classes dealing with solar powered buildings,
indoor air quality, green purchasing and contracting, and a course called
"Greening Your Building Toward the Bottom Line."
Pavilions and Information Centers
With an emphasis on building, buying and working green, information
centers and pavilions and table-top discussions on the exhibit floor
provided attendees with orientation on essential topics. A Green
California information center offered live internet access to web-based
resources including the new
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Best Practices Manual,
as well as experts in each subject area and product samples.
California EPA/Air Resources Board hosted
a Transportation Information Center that provided information on motor
vehicle programs such as the
California Hydrogen Highway Network
Alternative Fuel Incentive Program.
Office Depot, which holds the state
contract for office supplies, hosted the Green Office Pavilion. Other
major providers such as
Hewlett Packard and
Energizer batteries, also
featured their wares at the Pavilion.
"The Expo was great and it is very encouraging to see so many vendors
offering green products. What a change since 1999 when we started these
green building efforts and we had to fight with the manufacturers! It has
been a rocky road but certainly rewarding!"
– Leon Alevantis, Training
and Expo Attendee
Senior Mechanical Engineer, Facilities Management Section,
California Department of Health Services
More than a dozen
alternative fuel automobiles and trucks were on display in the Green Auto
Mall, including cars from
Phoenix Motor Cars,
Toyota and others. The
SMUD Energy Pavilion highlighted many of the latest technologies in energy
efficiency, including the latest developments in lighting, chemical-free
water treatment, next generation cooling technologies, renewable
incentives and more.
A unique space
dedicated to educating government decision makers on the environmental
issues associated with computers and IT systems was sponsored by Hewlett
Packard. Fifteen manufacturers and consultants participated in the
Pavilion, which was staffed by experts who spent time discussing the
quickly-emerging field of "green information technology."
timing was perfect as the City of West Sacramento is committed to greening
efforts. Everyone needs to attend this event; it's not just about one
area of the department; this involves all staff in whatever duties they
- Paulina Rosenthal, Attendee
Analyst, Recycling Section
Finance Department, City of West Sacramento
At the end of the intense three day program,
it was evident to all that a valuable new forum for interchange between
the public and private sector had been created, with the potential to
bring together ever increasing numbers of program managers, technicians,
experts, and government workers who share the goal of preserving and
restoring the Golden State's unique environmental resources.
One of the most frequent comments by attendees was that the Summit made it
overwhelming clear that a new day had come for California, with a
heightened level of commitment to environmental protection and the laws
and incentives needed to make this commitment bear fruit.
"I can think of no better outcome for our advisors," said Green Technology
President Bob Graves. "They have worked long and hard to build a road to a
greener future for California, and it's hard to overstate how important it
is just to make this fact real to all who work in government. This is the
first step in accelerating progress toward the Governor's goals."
The 2008 Green California Summit will be held at the Sacramento from April
6-9. For more information,
At the request of Summit advisors, Green Technology is also organizing a
Green California Schools Summit, which will take place from December 4-6,
2007 at the Pasadena Convention Center. For more on this event,
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