A number of local and international organizations are cooperating to put on the first GreenBusiness Works Expo, a June 3-6 event at the Georgia World Congress Center designed to promote environmentally friendly business practices.
Stephanie Armistead, founder and principal of GreenBusiness Works, a marketing firm organizing the expo, told GlobalAtlanta that she was inspired by Mayor Shirley Franklin’s desire to make Atlanta “one of the greenest cities in the country.”
They are tapping into the resources of organizations with an international reach in planning the expo, including Atlanta’s British and Canadian consulates as well as the German American Chamber of Commerce in the Southern U.S. and United Nations program CIFAL Atlanta.
Ms. Armistead said that the expo’s main goal is to encourage environmental business in Atlanta by making people aware of new companies and products.
“The expo is designed to be held in Atlanta every year and is intended to be an economic driver because it can be a resource for organizations looking to locate in Atlanta,” she said. “They will always have this tool available to them to be able to learn about trends, products and services to sustain their environmental initiatives.”
Susan McCray, the city’s former environmental affairs manager and current programming chair for the expo, said that government officials from around the Southeast have been invited to the conference, where speakers are to address environmental issues facing local communities.
“We’ve had waste expos, energy expos, conferences and trade shows focused on a particular area,” she said. “This is one of the first in Atlanta and one of the first nationally that encompasses all the issues facing municipalities.”
The program includes presentations on energy efficiency, water conservation, sustainable building practices in homes, offices and manufacturing plants and retrofitting older buildings to include more environmental technologies.
Ms. Armistead said that Luz Borrero, the city’s chief operating officer, is to present an overview plan for a “sustainable Atlanta” that could provide a case study for other cities.
She also said that 250 companies are to participate as exhibitors, including a number of international businesses.
Kristian Wolf, the German chamber’s president and CEO, said that his organization is bringing German renewable energy companies to the expo and he hopes the chamber will play a larger role in future conferences.
“In future we hope to have keynote speakers from Germany to talk about how Germany has become so strong with renewable (energy),” he said. “That’s a policy focus we’d like to set.”
Other organizations involved in planning the expo include the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Atlanta Development Authority and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and academic institutions Emory University and Georgia State University.