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VOL. 35 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 15, 2011

Green Business Summit speakers to promote conservation, profit

By Hollie Deese

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Businesses have to fight for every consumer dollar these days, and, for many, the best ammunition is to take the concerns of their customers seriously. That often means addressing environmental concerns.

The Fourth Annual Green Business Summit hopes to address these issues and provide local business leaders with a platform to explore various business models and best practices to help them achieve the goal of going green.

This year’s Summit, themed “Innovations in Sustainability,” is bringing a number of speakers well-versed on how to achieve these goals, no matter the size of the company.

Don Moseley, for example, director of sustainable facilities for Wal-Mart, will come to Nashville to help explain what initiatives his company has taken in site development.

“I’ll be speaking to the sustainable initiatives we have done specifically to our facilities,” Moseley says. “Over the past number of years, we have incorporated responsible business decisions that are sustainable in nature into different components of how we build our buildings.”

That includes water and energy conservation, as well as alternative materials that are more sustainable than the standard model.

“But we do that in a manner that is good for us from a business standpoint,” he adds. That means Wal-Mart not only considers how much something will cost right now, but also takes into account the long-term cost of whatever change they are considering, such as the longevity of building materials or the mechanical system.

“I feel that our story is exciting,” he says. “For years we have had a focus on sustainability as a core component of our business, and I am just a piece of that.”

Wal-Mart also has staff devoted to addressing going green in various parts of the business like packaging, waste, logistics and more.

Also speaking will be L. Hunter Lovins, president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and a number of local business leaders.

“The Summit is really designed to help Nashville accelerate its presence in this emerging reality,” says G. Dodd Galbreath, executive director of Lipscomb’s Institute for Sustainable Practice. A green consumer show will take place next door to the conference April 22-23, and on Saturday, Earth Day, attendees will have shuttle options to attend the annual celebration at Centennial Park and the conference downtown.

“There are going to be multiple opportunities for the people of Nashville to learn where to go with their dollars on Earth Day this year,” Galbreath says.

The event is sponsored by Lipscomb University’s Institute for Sustainable Practice, which offers an undergraduate major and minor in sustainability with an emphasis in the natural sciences, business and environmental management. The Institute also offers graduate studies and certificates in sustainability.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0