A Review of CleanTX’s Signature Event on Climate Change

We had a lot of fun on November 18th helping CleanTX put implement their final Signature Event of 2015: Climate Change–The Ultimate Market Driver. Over 100 members of the CleanTX community gathered at the Google Fiber space in downtown Austin for networking and presentations by representatives from The Environmental Defense Fund, Dell and the XPRIZE Foundation.

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To bring attention to the upcoming COP21 Conference in Paris, the event followed a French theme with music by gypsy jazz trio Selmer’s Arch, French martinis by the makers of Dripping Springs Vodka and beer from local brewery Hops & Grain, with French-themed appetizers provided by local catering company, Spoon & Co.

The agenda for the evening aimed to tackle potential market-driven solutions to climate change from a variety of perspectives.

  • Derek Walker, Associate Vice President–Global Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund, shared an exciting vision of using markets to drive climate change. His personal experience of managing EDF’s engagement in the implementation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) bears witness to just how powerful this drive can be!
  • John Pfluger, Principal Environmental Strategist at Dell, shared about Dell’s participation in the Business Act on Climate Change. From Dell’s view, collaboration is critically important, and public policy and ICT are natural partners.
  • John Hall, Texas State Director of the Environmental Defense Fund, shared exciting evidence that Texas is closer than we think to compliance with the Clean Power Plan. He recommends market-based, regional approach, and believes strongly that with a strong state plan and a mid-course review, Texas’ economy will benefit greatly from expanding these markets.
  • Marcius Extavour, Director of Technical Operations, XPRIZE, announced the newest XPrize contest on climate change! The game is to convert as much co2 as possible into valuable products. The $20 million prize may not seem like an enormous sum, but the innovation it generates goes well beyond the value of the prize itself.
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CleanTX demonstrated its brand integrity once again by putting on a first-class zero waste event. Their impeccable choicesmade for an exceptional corporate and environmentally responsible event. Here are our top tips for hosting your own green event:

  • Consider serving elegant finger food. The CleanTX Signature event featured Parisian-style hors d’eureves. The tasty morsels were easy to eat without silverware, and, because the portions were small, no food ended up in the trash. Extra food was donated to the Google Fiber staff, and what little waste was left was composted.
  • Host your event in a walk-able location. Google Fiber Space is located in downtown Austin right near where most attendees were already coming from. Also, there were ample car2go parking spots.
  • Use compostable and recyclable serving ware. The elegant wooden plates used at the event were also compostable!
  • Signage makes an enormous difference. CleanTX requested clear signage making it easy to see what to recycle and what to compost. This simple action results in less cross-contamination.
  • Start with zero in mind. From start to finish, there was nothing disposable at the event that could not be composted or recycled. The one small trashcan in the room was not prominent and was barely used. This represents solid prior planning and good green choices.

Well done, CleanTX on another extraordinary event! Thanks for being such a great example of zero waste in action, and for hiring Green Fern Events to help make it happen.

Photo Credit: Stacy Berg, FotoHogg Photography 

Written by: Janis Bookout

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