California’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in an active, ongoing process that involves innovation, new regulations and opportunity. The 2013 Green California Summit, which will take place at the Sacramento Convention Center from April 18 to 19, will highlight the latest in green policy, technology and practice.
Now in its seventh year, the summit is developed with leadership from an advisory board composed of leaders from state and local government and the private sector. The board is co-chaired by Anna Caballero, secretary of the California State and Consumer Services Agency, and Matt Rodriquez, California Environmental Protection Agency secretary.
“California’s environmental policies and programs are setting the pace for efforts around the United States and the world,” says Caballero. “If you want to know what’s new, what’s working and what’s coming, you can’t miss the Green California Summit.”
Expo and training
One of the most popular features of the summit is its expo featuring green products and services, from the latest alternative vehicles to new building materials, energy-efficient lighting and technologies for onsite power generation.
Nearly 30 concurrent education sessions and professional training will cover the best in green policy and practice. Access to the expo, concurrent education sessions and the summit’s annual leadership awards reception is free to registered attendees.
This year, the summit includes some exciting new features. On Friday, April 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Capital Area Plug-in Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council, SacEV and the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition are hosting “Take Charge: Plug In and Go!” at the convention center. Open to the general public, this event offers a chance to see and drive the latest electric vehicles. It will also provide information about charging system locations, financing and vehicle availability.
EVs, hybrids, plug-in vehicles and charging stations will also be on display in the summit’s expanded Clean Transportation Pavilion, where visitors have the opportunity to see an example of the electric delivery trucks recently adopted by UPS. Strategies and best practices managing and greening fleets will be covered in a series of concurrent sessions offered on Tuesday and in a pre-summit seminar on April 17 led by Tom C. Johnson of 100 Best Fleets.
The summit’s opening session on April 18 will feature two energy thought leaders offering special insight into the challenges involved in meeting the state’s energy and greenhouse gas emission goals as well as strategies that can ensure progress toward these goals goes hand-in-hand with economic benefits. Featured speaker Jane Long., Ph.D., has served as associate director at-large and fellow in the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Center for Global Strategic Research and is currently chair of the California Council on Science and Technology’s “California’s Energy Future” project.
Keynote speaker Greg Kats is an internationally recognized innovator in energy efficiency, renewable energy, green buildings and the transition to a low-carbon economy. He’s president of Capital E , a firm that invests in early stage cleantech and green firms, and works with cities, corporations and financial institutions to design and implement clean energy and greening strategies. Kats is a founder of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a member of a National Academy of Science board guiding policy development to strengthen the global competitiveness of U.S. corporations and a founder of the New Resource Bank, the country’s first green bank.
Learn from experts
The summit’s concurrent education program, available at no cost for the first time, offers opportunities to learn from the men and women responsible for developing and administering successful projects in green building, energy efficiency, onsite power generation and more. Sessions will also cover policy developments that will affect both the public and private sectors, opportunities created by policy initiatives such as Prop. 39 (intended to provide $2.5 billion over the next five years for energy projects), and funding options such as zero-interest financing for energy efficiency projects that can be integrated into utility bills.
The free concurrent program also has a track of sessions organized by the California Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that will address issues including financing, building health and the ongoing evolution of building codes.
The summit also includes a number of professional training sessions (registration fees apply for these), which include exam preparation sessions for both LEED Green Associate and LEED AP Operations and Maintenance credentials. Two code-related sessions will cover changes in both accessibility regulations and CALGreen, which will become mandatory in January 2014.
A special “Sustainability Academy” will cover the basics of organizational sustainability planning, drawing upon a template developed and implemented by the California community college system and adapted for the private sector. The session, which is limited to 50 attendees, will be delivered by the sustainability experts who were responsible for the development of the template.
An additional training session will help attendees prepare for meeting the requirements of AB 1103, which requires commercial building owners to benchmark and disclose energy consumption data prior to any sale, lease or finance of a building. Compliance will be mandatory as of July 1, 2013, with a succession of additional deadlines based on building size. Attendees will learn how to use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager software, the mandatory tool for generating energy use reports.
Greening by example
California’s sustainability policies and programs are models for efforts across the nation, and even around the world. The summit offers leaders and partners from the public and private sectors a unique annual opportunity to stay at the leading edge of the green revolution unfolding in the Golden State.
Carl Smith is editor in chief for Green Technology , presenter ofthe 2013 Green California Summit. Green Technology is a nonprofit initiative designed to inform government efforts toward sustainability by providing a forum in which government officials can communicate with those in the private sector who are developing and distributing green technologies. More information regarding the conference, including education program details is available at www.green-technology.org/gcsummit. Attendees can register online or by calling Cindy Dangberg at (726) 577-5700.
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