Businesses learn importance of ‘green’ practices

A panel of industry experts recently gathered at the MBA University in Bellevue to share innovative ways to integrate ‘green’ practices into small business. The guest speakers were part of a Breakfast for Champions Workshop presented by Sustainable September, a local non-profit organization focused on promoting sustainable practices throughout the Eastside.

Sustainability good for bottom line

A panel of industry experts recently gathered at the MBA University in Bellevue to share innovative ways to integrate ‘green’ practices into small business. The guest speakers were part of a Breakfast for Champions Workshop presented by Sustainable September, a local non-profit organization focused on promoting sustainable practices throughout the Eastside.

The event was an opportunity for local business owners to learn ways sustainability can be good for the bottom line while increasing profitability and vitality to a business.

Carolyn Hope, a past president for the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County, defined sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

“In retrospect, this is the third time the sustainable movement has been pushed through the market place,” she said. “But this time around, it’s here to stay.”

Panel guests Brenda Nunes, a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor and Cheryl Isen, the president of Isen and Company both agreed.

So what makes this time different?

Hope, Nunes and Isen all point to issues of climate change, environmental impact, economic shift and regulatory changes implemented by local government. At the state level, legislators are looking closely at stormwater management regulations, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, construction-waste reduction and public buildings built using green practices, Nunes explained. Alternative and renewable energy also are high on the list of important issues, she added.

“On the regulation front, energy is a hot topic right now,” Nunes explained. “These are issues that people are no longer going to ignore and they expect the business industry to step up and do their part.”

According to Hope, incorporating sustainability into a corporate business plan benefits the company.

“By empowering your organization and focusing on something substantial, your employees will feel involved and will gain enthusiasm to stand behind their work,” Hope explained.

Sustainable September began in 2006 to promote Eastside businesses and organizations who are committed to growing the local economy and practicing environmental stewardship.

As president of a strategic planning and marketing firm, Isen spoke on the importance of not only implementing sustainable practices, but also promoting them.

Local businesses are feeling the pressure to create a distinctive brand due to the recession, she said. It’s prompting the industry to be more proactive and innovative in the ways they do business.

“Being ‘green’ matters,” she explained, pointing to large companies who utilize “Green” such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and Nike. “It’s not the time to be a dinosaur. It’s time to be ahead of the curve and be innovative with green practices.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at llarin@bellevuenews.us or at 425-453-4602.

Today in Bellevue

Time: 1-4:30 p.m.

Workshop: Build, Market & Finance Green Construction Seminar

Speaker: Dave Porter, Divisional Builder Manager for Countrywide

Description: Information on green design and building methods and products, focusing on the Porter’s experience of building their home. The class also covers ways to market green homes.

For more information on Sustainable September visit www.sustainableseptember.org.

Sustainability good for bottom line

A panel of industry experts recently gathered at the MBA University in Bellevue to share innovative ways to integrate ‘green’ practices into small business. The guest speakers were part of a Breakfast for Champions Workshop presented by Sustainable September, a local non-profit organization focused on promoting sustainable practices throughout the Eastside.

The event was an opportunity for local business owners to learn ways sustainability can be good for the bottom line while increasing profitability and vitality to a business.

Carolyn Hope, a past president for the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County, defined sustainability as meeting the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

“In retrospect, this is the third time the sustainable movement has been pushed through the market place,” she said. “But this time around, it’s here to stay.”

Panel guests Brenda Nunes, a Certified Sustainable Building Advisor and Cheryl Isen, the president of Isen and Company both agreed.

So what makes this time different?

Hope, Nunes and Isen all point to issues of climate change, environmental impact, economic shift and regulatory changes implemented by local government. At the state level, legislators are looking closely at stormwater management regulations, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, construction-waste reduction and public buildings built using green practices, Nunes explained. Alternative and renewable energy also are high on the list of important issues, she added.

“On the regulation front, energy is a hot topic right now,” Nunes explained. “These are issues that people are no longer going to ignore and they expect the business industry to step up and do their part.”

According to Hope, incorporating sustainability into a corporate business plan benefits the company.

“By empowering your organization and focusing on something substantial, your employees will feel involved and will gain enthusiasm to stand behind their work,” Hope explained.

Sustainable September began in 2006 to promote Eastside businesses and organizations who are committed to growing the local economy and practicing environmental stewardship.

As president of a strategic planning and marketing firm, Isen spoke on the importance of not only implementing sustainable practices, but also promoting them.

Local businesses are feeling the pressure to create a distinctive brand due to the recession, she said. It’s prompting the industry to be more proactive and innovative in the ways they do business.

“Being ‘green’ matters,” she explained, pointing to large companies who utilize “Green” such as Starbucks, McDonald’s and Nike. “It’s not the time to be a dinosaur. It’s time to be ahead of the curve and be innovative with green practices.”

Lindsay Larin can be reached at llarin@bellevuenews.us or at 425-453-4602.

Today in Bellevue

Time: 1-4:30 p.m.

Workshop: Build, Market & Finance Green Construction Seminar

Speaker: Dave Porter, Divisional Builder Manager for Countrywide

Description: Information on green design and building methods and products, focusing on the Porter’s experience of building their home. The class also covers ways to market green homes.

For more information on Sustainable September visit www.sustainableseptember.org.