Hunter Lovins, author and renowned leader in the field of sustainable business practices, will help launch the Eastside Green Business Challenge during a kickoff event Wednesday at City Hall.
Lovins, dubbed by Newsweek a "green business icon," will deliver the keynote address to invited business and government leaders. Lovins has co-authored nine books on sustainable business practices, including "Climate Capitalism" in 2011, and was named Time Magazine's "Hero of the Planet" in 2000.
The Eastside Green Business Challenge is a friendly competition among Eastside businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations and city governments to see who can save the most money and natural resources in one year. The program officially opens registration on Wednesday, during the launch event.
To achieve their goals, program participants will have access to tools, services and training offered by program partners. In addition to free services, participants will receive recognition and awards for their efforts.
"This combined effort by cities, nonprofits and private businesses to get things done is an example of constructive collaboration at its best," Bellevue Mayor Don Davidson said of the Challenge.
The Challenge is sponsored by the Eastside Sustainable Business Alliance, an organization launched in 2010 by the City of Bellevue. Since then, it has grown steadily to more than 100 businesses. The Alliance's goals include reducing emissions, enhancing the economy and cutting energy consumption.
Businesses that participate in the Alliance's voluntary program will be evaluated through a "scorecard" based on key areas such as energy conservation, water conservation, waste diversion, and community engagement. Monthly trainings will be held to provide participating businesses with free technical assistance, helping them to implement cost-saving. The Challenge period will run through 2012. Successful businesses will be recognized throughout the year, and at a year-end awards ceremony.
The Eastside Green Business Challenge is based on a successful program co-developed by the City of Chicago and ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, an association of local governments focusing to sustainability, climate protection and clean energy.
Bellevue was one of four of cities nationwide selected to launch the Challenge program, which is sponsored by Office Depot.
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