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July 2, 2014
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Sierra Business Council to host innovation conference


The most impactful way to create lasting improvements to the environmental and social health of the Sierra Nevada is to make positive change profitable.

Sierra Business Council is leading the regional charge to shift businesses, governments and organizations to increase economic, natural and social benefits by embracing Triple Bottom Line strategies.

The Council, a regional network of more than 4,000 including businesses, community organizations, local government groups and individuals, will host Peak Innovation: The Next 20 Years Oct. 8 - 10 at Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City.

Peak Innovation brings together innovators from throughout the Range of Light to provide inspiration, networking and collaboration opportunities for projects that develop and amplify social, environmental and economic capital.

“For Sierra Nevada communities to thrive, we must be proactive in advancing triple bottom line initiatives that create opportunities for the region while simultaneously building economic, environmental and community capital,” said Steve Frisch, Sierra Business Council president.

Peak Innovation will aim to provide action steps that businesses, nonprofit organizations and government entities can embrace on the path towards sustainability. One panel will showcase the bottom-line economic, environmental and social benefits of achievable sustainable business practices.

Business owners and managers will have the opportunity to discover strategies that can cut expenses while building customer loyalty and contributing to the Sierra’s environmental health. Participants will learn about models that reduce negative impacts on the environment and contribute to employee well-being while saving money and increasing profits in a panel co-moderated by Richard Eidlin, co-founder and policy director of the Washington D.C.-based American Sustainable Business Council, and Michael Penwarden, community network director of the Sierra Business Council.

Patagonia’s Elissa Loughman will discuss what it takes to become a B Corp and how to kickstart a culture of triple bottom line planning with an emphasis on how to get started.

In addition, Truckee-based Joanna Walters from Sierra Cost Management will share case studies on how small companies are saving money by significantly reducing waste costs through recycling and employee education.

Nonprofit organizations and agencies will also be addressed. In another panel, also part of the “Cultivating innovation and building scale” track, attendees will hear how leaders are defining and fostering unique versions of triple bottom line innovation.

Stacy Caldwell, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation’s CEO, who recently filmed “Innovation at 6,000 Ft.,” showcasing creative solutions to food security and distribution in the Sierra, will moderate a panel with Reno’s Rebecca Gasca from The Burning Man Project, Don Macke from the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and San Francisco-based Sally Bingham from Interfaith Power and Light.

Conference registration and more information are available at sierrabusiness.org. Early bird registration is now available.


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The Union Updated Jul 2, 2014 01:01AM Published Jul 2, 2014 01:01AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.