The Green Business Engagement National Network (GBENN) held its third national Summit of green business programs on November 8th-9th, 2018 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. The event was hosted by GBENN and the Illinois Green Business Association (IGBA) and greenUP! acted as the fiscal sponsor for this event. There were 35 attendees from green business programs around the USA that attended this event. Being able to have time, in-person, to learn about how green business is positioned in communities and states across the nation provided a great opportunity for discussion and possible collaboration.
There were six sessions and one keynote. Our Keynote, Aaron Stash from United Eco-Skies, discussed innovation in the aviation sector and truly set the stage on how large corporations are driving sustainability locally across the country. It was a great presentation that led to discussions on how we, as local/statewide green business, can drive eco-tourism and collaborate with organizations like United. We then dove into green business program models, successes, challenges, marketing, funding, and so much more – the meat of our programs. We ended the Summit with a discussion about GBENN and its future, providing an opportunity for members to give input on how to improve resources, support and connectivity outside of the Summit.
We experienced The Plant and how circular economic principles can be used in whole-building and business sustainability, learning that one business’ waste could be an input for another business’ processes. We were able to sample the local spirits at Whiner Beer Taproom at The Plant and enjoyed time connecting and diving deeper into conversation.
The Powerpoints from each of the sessions are available for download on the GBENN site.