Convene for Green
Convene for Green Report Released Detailing Sustainability Roadmap for Southern Nevada
CFG Intends to Elevate Community Understanding of Sustainability
The roadmap takes existing resources and great work from many partners. Potential partners have been identified as “owners” and will create accountability in each area of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental. Green Chips is the convener and will look for support to manage the roadmap. Convene for Green is a way to organize a sustainability coalition and drive collaboration, ownership, and outcomes long-term.
The goals set during Convene for Green cover three main areas of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. Economic goals include greening the local economy and increasing economic stability and diversity. The second focus area, environmental, is the biggest with seven main goals. They include conserving and protecting water sources, promoting renewable energy sources and efficiency, promoting multi-modal transportation, alternative fuel vehicles, increasing recycling, addressing heat island effect, and sustainability education.
Social sustainability is the final area, and focuses on engaging the community in sustainability issues and programs, improving public health, and improving education quality and attainment. The full report is available for viewing on the organization’s website at www.greenchips.org.
Green Chips is facilitating dialogue and collaboration among community partners, promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, involving all facets of the community, raising awareness, and building momentum for sustainability.
Convene for Green intends to elevate community understanding and demonstrate public-private commitment toward a more sustainable future for Southern Nevada. A wide diversity of initiatives related to sustainability are currently underway in Southern Nevada, but the great need is to engage our residents, business, and community leaders in building a consensus around sustainability as a regional strategy for economic growth and diversification.
ABOUT GREEN CHIPS PROJECTS: Green Chips seeks to advance Southern Nevada’s identify as a sustainable destination, promoting green activity, attracting green investment, and stimulating green jobs. Projects include facilitating a $75,000 Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) grant for green projects in Southern Nevada this year, as well as Rebuilding Together and Shade Tree shelter retrofits. For more information about Green Chips or CFG, visit www.greenchips.org.
Convene For Green
On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, Green Chips and Southern Nevada Regional Planning Coalition co-sponsored the first Convene for Green meeting to promote sustainability in the Las Vegas region. Bringing together over 60 leaders from the region, the half-day meeting was designed to launch a process to identify and shape the initiatives that would be required to make the region a national leader in the sustainable use and reuse of resources, focusing on the economic, environmental and social needs of the region in the coming decades.
Paced by the broad participation of representatives from key regional sectors, including community and business leaders, environmental advocates, and citizens with an interest in planning a sustainable future, the meeting was facilitated by nationally recognized experts from Esty Environmental Partners. As the Chair of Green Chips Mayor Oscar Goodman of Las Vegas noted, “The turnout at the first session really highlighted the unique opportunity that we have to create a more sustainable Southern Nevada and the depth of leadership that is available in our local communities.”
After an initial discussion of the region’s sustainability goals and the long-term need to define the future of Southern Nevada by the creative and sustainable use of not only the available physical resources, but the human capital as well, the participants gathered into four working groups that proposed projects to improve the local economy, protect the quality of the environment, extend the social and cultural resources that define the Las Vegas Community, and identify methods for coordinating and promoting regional sustainability initiatives. As each group identified potential projects, they also began the process of identifying metrics to measure improvement and the stakeholders that would be critical to a successful implementation.
At the end of the first session, the participants had identified over two dozen promising projects that could promote sustainability all 3 sectors – economic, environmental and cultural. At the end of the day, as plans were being made for follow-up meetings that would expand upon the initial goals, review the research and planning that already exists on regional sustainability initiatives, and to begin the public dialogue on sustainability, the enthusiasm was running high. One participant noted that the region attracts people with a “can-do” spirit, dedicated to outcomes rather than an extended process, and that determination was reflected in a decision to move quickly to the next session focused on refining the priorities and establishing direction for environmental sustainability in the region.
The next session, which is by invitation only and which will expand upon the community leadership from the first session by including additional participants with subject matter expertise, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16, 2010. In addition to refining the priorities established in the initial meeting, the second session is also expected to begin the process of detailing the kinds of specific projects that will be most effective at promoting sustainability across the entire Las Vegas region.
Green Chips has established a goal of making the Southern Nevada a national leader in sustainability, and these sessions are the beginning point for a larger public conversation on how to best accomplish that goal. The members of Green Chips thank the community, business, and environmental leaders who are participating in the initial work groups for their time and commitment, and the organizations that are sponsoring the initial meetings, including the Sierra Club, Republic Services, the Nevada Conservation League Education Fund, and Harrah’s Entertainment.