Friday, September 25, 2009

Conserve Georgia’s Natural Leaders Awards Serves as a Carbon Neutral Model for Sustainable Events

Governor Perdue to address state environmental issues and recognize conservation award winners from throughout the state

Wednesday’s Conserve Georgia’s Natural Leaders Awards, hosted by the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia, will be more than an awards luncheon, it will be a model for and celebration of sustainable events and business practices.

The event, which is open to the public, concludes a morning of workshops organized by the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia that include “Starting a Sustainability Program” and “Carbon Footprinting 101.” The awards luncheon itself will serve as a case study in how to organize and measure a sustainable business event as every aspect of the event is being measured and evaluated.

A number of tactics that the event planner, Eventologie, is incorporating to minimize the carbon footprint of the day’s program include:

· Sourcing locally grown organic, in-season foods,
· Collecting recyclable and compostable goods,
· Using bulk beverages and condiments as well as washable tableware and linens, and
· Sending paperless invitations and registration

According to organizers, these steps and purchasing carbon offsets for possibly as little as one dollar per person will result in a carbon neutral footprint for the event. The purchase of carbon offsets is made possible by support from event sponsors that include the Carpet America Recovery Effort, Elanco, TWOvital, Eventologie and Southeast Green. The program will then be used as a case study and baseline for planning and implementing future events.

“Conserve Georgia was developed to help create a culture of conservation, and it’s important for us to lead by example,” said Chris Clark, Chair of the Conserve Georgia Council and Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “Conserve Georgia’s Natural Leaders Awards provides us with an excellent opportunity to recognize citizens, businesses, local governments and other organizations for the great work they’re doing to preserve our environment and to show how easy it is to implement conservation practices in our daily activities.”

Citizens and organizations from throughout the state will be recognized for improving their communities as it relates to the conservation of energy, land, wildlife and water; the improvement of air quality; the prevention of litter; and the promotion of recycling. Governor Perdue will present the awards and address the event’s attendees on the state of conservation in Georgia.

Conserve Georgia was launched in April 2008 by Governor Sonny Perdue to create a culture of conservation. The www.ConserveGeorgia.org Web site serves as an information portal with links to dozens of conservation programs that are implemented by state agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Conserve Georgia’s Natural Leaders Awards will be held on Wednesday, September 30, at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta and hosted by the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia, an active participant in Conserve Georgia.

For more information on the event, visit www.NaturalLeadersAwards.com. For more information on Conserve Georgia, or to nominate a program or project for next year’s Conserve Georgia’s Natural Leader Awards, visit www.ConserveGeorgia.org. For more information on the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia, visit www.GASustainability.org.

A Culture of Conservation
The Conserve Georgia program was developed to foster a culture of conservation throughout the state of Georgia. Nine state agencies and authorities are working together with businesses, civic leaders, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and residents to make Georgia’s air, land, water, energy and wildlife resources more sustainable now and for generations to come. The program’s Web site –
www.ConserveGeorgia.org – serves as a portal to help Georgians find information on a wide range of conservation resources and programs.

Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia Free and open to any business, the Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia was established by the Sustainability Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to foster environmental leadership and recognize superior environmental performance. The Partnership offers a variety of incentives, including cost savings through increased efficiencies, potential regulatory flexibility, free technical assistance and training, and access to networking and mentoring among peers, state and local officials. For more information, visit
www.GASustainability.org.
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