Inspiring action at the Sustainable Twin Ports Public ShowcaseWhat: 2013 Sustainable Twin Ports Public Showcase Where: Grand Avenue Chalet (at the bottom of Spirit Mountain) 8551 Grand Ave. When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 3 2013 Early Adopters: Lake Superior College, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Canal Park Brewing Company Featured speaker: Greg Benson, CEO of Loll Designs Live music: Greg Tiburzi
By: Cara Lindberg, Duluth Budgeteer News
Sustainable Twin Ports will be hosting the fifth annual Public Showcase at the Grand Avenue Chalet at the bottom of Spirit Mountain on Thursday, Oct. 3.
This inspiring event is a celebration of the 2013 Early Adopter training cohort of Lake Superior College, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Canal Park Brewing Company and the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Over the past six months, these four Twin Ports organizations have participated in a comprehensive sustainability training facilitated by the Sustainable Twin Ports organization.
Sustainable Twin Ports (STP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides sustainability training designed specifically for businesses and organizations, regardless of size or shape.
A major goal of STP is to remain a training outlet for our community — a place that organizations can turn to when they need assistance and tools to create strategic action plans towards sustainability.
In addition to being a training organization, networking and connectivity remains a top priority for STP. Events similar to the upcoming Public Showcase are a great way to get our community together and talking about how we can further sustainability in the Twin Ports community together.
For the Lake Superior College (LSC) team, it was imperative to have representation from different departments take part in the training. LSC’s team was Kristi Heintz, sustainability coordinator; Al Finlayson, vice president of administration; and Bruce Wallis, director of food service.
“I think it’s very important that sustainability is recognized as an important contribution to the institution’s vision, both by administrators and co-workers,” Heintz said. Having a balanced, cross-departmental team is something that STP encourages for organizational success.
Heintz said he believes that the six-month training was very beneficial for LSC.
“The conversations within our team and amongst the training cohort really helped create a new focus for our organization, as well as for each of us as the new sustainability champions for our institution.”
With the training now under its belt, LSC is moving from planning to action.
“In addition to completing facility upgrades, we have identified the need to more thoroughly track energy savings over time and create a more streamlined process for promoting and reporting those savings,” Heintz said.
Further training for employees and incorporation of sustainability education into existing curriculum is also in the plans. Heintz believes including faculty and students in the conversation will lead to greater efficiencies and a feeling of ownership in the sustainability vision.
This year’s featured speaker at the Public Showcase will be Greg Benson, CEO and founding partner of Loll Designs. Loll Designs is an environmentally-conscious Duluth business that manufactures all-weather outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic. Benson will be sharing Loll Designs’ story of becoming a successful and sustainable business in the Twin Ports.
Local singer-songwriter Greg Tiburzi will be providing the live music and there will be complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. This event is free and open to the public.
The Public Showcase event is a designed as a platform for the 2013 cohorts to share their sustainability plans with the public, as well as to get folks together to share ideas, partner on efforts and become inspired to action. If you are interested in networking and learning more about sustainability in the Twin Ports or joining on as a 2014 Early Adopter, please attend the 2013 Sustainable Twin Ports Public Showcase.
Cara Lindberg is the board president of Sustainable Twin Ports. She lives with her husband in the Duluth area. Cara can be reached at email@example.com.