“Become meaningful, not big; become influential, not powerful; become good to great, not just be right.” said John Picard, Founding member at U.S. Green Building Council, during the morning keynote speech.
Women in the green industry gathered at the first annual 2-day Women in Green Forum in Pasadena earlier this month to share their career paths and inspire each other to continue growing their passions in the industry.
Renewable Energy and Climate Change
Maggie Fox, President and CEO of the Alliance for Climate Protection, summarized the challenges faced in passing US climate change policies. She encouraged the audience to connect and collaborate in educating others the urgency about climate change. Other speakers echoed the importance of education, connecting and collaboration in promoting the movement.
Leaders in Renewable Energy breakout session further discussed the solar energy industry. The speakers from CalSEIA stressed that green-washing is one of the greatest challenges in transitioning to clean energy due to the lack of transparent measures.
California Senator Fran Pavley for the 23rd District emphasized the importance of climate change bill AB 32 and the severe consequence of suspending the bill. She indicated that over 7% of the funding from venture capitalists coming into US is directed towards renewable energy and climate change since the passing of the bill.
Education, Connecting and Collaboration
Sustainability leaders in the business world shared their experience in archiving profits while reducing the environmental impact of operations. Panelists emphasized the importance of: educating internal and external staff, having the commitment from the leadership, collaborating and forming partnerships, as well as having the metrics in measuring environmental impacts; in launching sustainability practices for the corporate.
The panelists of the Waste Diversion and Recycling breakout session described the emerging trend of using recycled materials in product designs and the solid waste programs launched in the communities. Speakers from green media & messaging, educational institutes and environmental advocacy affirmed the importance of education in engaging the public in the environmental movement.
Mariel Hemingway, Author and Actress, invited the audience to join the journey of self-awareness during her closing keynote. The challenge in the environmental movement is that most people are not connecting to the world. Hence, she encourages people to be raise self-love and self-awareness. People will be more connected to the Mother Nature and the movement when they become more aware and connected to their own self.
Passion, Compassion and Inspiration
All the speeches were full of compassion and inspiration. Following our passion is our responsibility, not luxury. The dynamics of the world will start changing when we strive to be the best and most we could be. We were reminded the importance of connecting with each other and educating people about sustainability. It was definitely very refreshing to have a forum dedicated mostly for personal and professional development in the green industry. Of course, the eco fashion walk-a-bout and clean vehicle test drive contributed to the fun factor of the forum! Looking forward to the next annual Women in Green Forum!
Article by Suzanne Huang, an Environmental Consultant with interests in the Environmental, Energy and Sustainability arena.