It has been a pleasure to serve as Chair of the Charlotte Chamber’s GreenWorks Council. This council fosters sustainable practices within the local business community by connecting like-minded Charlotte Chamber members and sharing information and best practices. We have been fortunate to gain the support of our sponsors: Gold: Sealed Air Corporation; Silver: Coca-Cola Consolidated and Husqvarna Group; Bronze: Carolinas HealthCare System & Duke Energy Corporation. Our Green Award Sponsor continues to be Wells Fargo.
We Connect – Learn – Sustain
Connect: Connect like-minded chamber members to share information and best practices; attract a broad range of participants including many local and small businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofits. Activities included attending events, being part of a subcommittee, and joining our social media campaigns.
Learn: Promote sustainability ideas, continuous improvements, and best practices through site visits, newsletters, speakers and case study discussions. The Green Resources page on our website, the GreenWorks Blog, and our Newsletter are learning opportunities for everyone.
Sustain: Nurture local businesses (and newcomers to the sustainability realm) in adopting sustainability practices through resources and support; recognize excellence through the Wells Fargo Green Awards and member spotlights.
This year has been a year of firsts; we
- redefined our mission and three-part byline: Connect, Learn and Sustain. We based this redefinition on a member survey and the diligent board work;
- created partnerships to enhance our impact and combine competencies to offer programs and information to everyone. Among the more active partnerships are E4, SustainCharlotte, Envision Charlotte, and CPCC.
- held a set of unique events: Beyond the Car was a review of our local transportation system held in downtown Charlotte including rides on the CATS Light Rail and on bicycles. Meritage Homes hosted an event to review their building ideas and vision of the future of housing that includes sustainability practices.
- held the first GreenWorks Webinar on Waste Management as a Source of Competitiveness. We had speakers from the City of Charlotte (Rob Phocus) and Coca-Cola (Ray Fuentes) and several interactions with over 50 participants.
- have a robust blog site with all sorts of helpful hints and compelling challenges to create a sustainable world.
- instituted a tweet moment during our board meetings – one of my proudest accomplishments. We take two minutes to send tweets and use #CLTGreen and #Sustainability.
Thank you so much to the GreenWorks board for their excellent work:
Immediate Past Chair – Bert Lynn, Mecklenburg County
Awards Chair – Wendy Bell, Avison Young
Communication Chair – Cheale Villa, Visual Caffeine
Events Chair – Lexin Murphy, Mecklenburg County
Amy Aussieker, Envision Charlotte
Kymberly Brantigan, The Charlotte Destination Group
Kady Cowan, Carolinas HealthCare System
Hilary Davidson, Duke Energy
Al Desciscio, Husqvarna Professional Products Inc.
David Favre, CPCC
Margaret Frontera, Sealed Air Corporation
Ray Fuentes, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Will Kolodziej, Republic Services
Michael Lizotte, UNC Charlotte
Derrick Pratt, Global Recycling, LLC
I’d like to welcome our incoming leadership: Lexin Murphy as the new GreenWorks chair; Hilary Davidson as the Vice-Chair; Cheale Villa for Engagement, a new committee that includes communication and events; and Megan Green as the Green Awards chair. Stay tuned for other innovations for our committees and Council work.
A special thanks to Ashley Hedrick of the Chamber. Her tireless work, informed mind, and kind manner have made this Council successful in its impact and in its adherence to mission. We could not have accomplished most of our work without her.
My sustainability vision is embodied in two major ideas (1) that sustainability is defined as satisfying current needs without sacrificing future well-being through the balanced pursuit of ecological health and resiliency and social well-being including positive economic outcomes; and (2) as focusing on how we use Earth’s resources. It is an effort that examines the history of human behavior and existing unsustainable practices and develops the vision and the means to change those practices. This envisioning the future makes our work so important. We can decide how we want to live in the future and what kind of legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren.
I ask my colleagues carrying on the work of Greenworks to keep this larger vision in mind and to think of the work we are doing as creating the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in the Chamber and GreenWorks.
Daniel S. Fogel