Joint Summer Conference a great experience

[Post author: Bob Iverson]

A heartfelt thank you goes out to our Hoosier hosts for the recent Region 5 & 7 joint conference in Indianapolis. The presentations were interesting, the facilities were comfortable and convenient, and our hosts were friendly and helpful.

Our three day session started off with a training day on how to help make a business green. Laura Barnes from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center led a training session on ways to save money and improve an organizations environmental performance through green business practices. Then Marcus Rivas from Region 7 presented case studies of work done by the Kansas Green Teams. Several members of the Green teams were able to join us by conference phone.

The next day Rick Bossingham, Assistant Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management welcomed us and gave an overview of where Indiana is heading in the environmental field. Tanya Mottley of the U.S. EPA Office of Pollution Prevention (P2) and Toxics then presented the EPA’s Strategic Plan and welcomed comments from participants. Her presentation lead us into a very interesting roundtable discussion of how traditional P2 activities fit into sustainability efforts.

After lunch, Karen Haley, Director of the Office of Sustainability, then told of the environmental efforts underway in Indianapolis. Denise Coogan with Subaru of Indiana gave a witty and informative presentation on how that carmaker has become a zero landfill company. The day wrapped up with Tony Nesky telling us of the Region 5 Sustainability Network and Phil Kaplan of the EPA discussed some of the results of recent P2 projects in the region.

Since Phil Kaplan is retiring soon, GLRPPR presented him with a “Legacy Tree” which will be planted in his hometown of Highland Park, IL. Phil has been a good steward of the environment and a friend to GLRPPR.

Rick Yoder of P2RIC got things rolling on Friday with a discussion of new web tools that could improve information discovery and collaboration. Greg Hume of TechSolve then presented information on his company’s Green Supplier network and collaboration with the city of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Michal Kopach then told us of the use of an electronic Lab Notebook for Green science at Indianapolis’ own Eli Lilly Company. Cam Metcalf of the Kentucky P2 Center was the final speaker with a talk on the Seven Steps of an Energy Management Program. For the last portion of the day, we went across the street to the Indiana Government Center to attend a webinar with Natalie Hummel of the U.S. EPA on the new Greenhouse Gas calculator tool.

The conference was held at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis. It was a fantastic facility. And those of us who went to dinner at a local Greek restaurant were full for days after all of the wonderful food.

Special thanks to Jennifer Schick of IDEM for all of her organizing efforts. She was helped by Bobbi Steiff and others at IDEM. Thank you everyone!!

(You can see pictures of the Joint conference on the GLRPPR Facebook page. If you are not yet a Facebook user, join us.)

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