Regional Sustainability Conference – 4/22/2010

City of Fort Wayne Seal

Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:

Mayor Henry invites businesses to gain profitability edge at Regional Sustainability Conference on Earth Day 2010
Internationally known Natural Step leader to present workshop on proven green-strategy advantages on the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day

At part of his ongoing efforts to stimulate job growth and strengthen the local economy, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry invites business leaders from throughout northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio to mark Earth Day by attending a regional sustainability conference. The event titled The Next Step in Emerging Economies: A Green City Business Workshop will be held on April 22 in downtown Fort Wayne.

Initiated by participants in Fort Wayne’s Green City Business program, the day-long session will present ideas from the Natural Step Network, an international nonprofit organization that helps integrate sustainability concepts into strategic planning. The network has trained well-known organizations including Nike, IKEA, Nissan, Starbucks, Dow Chemical, CH2M Hill and the City of Madison, Wisconsin.

The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Grand Wayne Center. The cost is $75 per attendee and includes lunch.

David Cook, the Natural Step International’s former chief executive and now executive ambassador, will lead the workshop. Based in Stockholm, Cook has been connected to the Natural Step Network since 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Advisory Council and the Sustainability External Advisory Committee of Dow Chemical.

“A central lesson of the new economy is that ‘green’ is as good for business as it is for the environment,” said Mayor Henry. “Sustainability is now a fundamental part of the profit equation for any competitive company. Equipping local business owners and executives with sustainable business practices will ensure our community remains an attractive and vibrant place long into the future. This one-day conference will help regional job creators learn and translate proven ideas into their strategic plans. Sustainability is the conference focus; enhancing economic opportunity is our ultimate goal.”

The conference’s systems-based approach is designed to develop a continuous learning environment. It helps organizations and communities accelerate progress on meeting the economic needs of today without compromising the environmental needs of future generations. To facilitate lasting impact, Webinars, online discussions and peer-to-peer events will be available to attendees through The Natural Step after the Earth Day conference.

Online registration is available at For more information about the conference, contact Julia Gorrell at 427-6059 or

The Next Step to Emerging Economies workshop sponsors are CH2M Hill, Hilton Hotel Fort Wayne, Indiana Tech, Transformations Furniture, Ameresco, Citilink, Grand Wayne Convention Center, Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power, SIRVA, Trane, the Indiana Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, Current Mechanical, Elk Components, Hoosier Environmental Council, Moss Construction Cost Management, Rothberg Logan & Warsco, STAR Financial, Toter Inc., Viridian Architectural Design Inc., Omnisource and Kelly Box.

More than 90 local companies have gone through Fort Wayne’s Green City Business training. The voluntary program encourages existing facilities to improve efficiencies through pollution prevention, solid waste reduction, energy conservation and water conservation. For more information about this award-winning program, visit

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