Written by Michael Shoemaker, Green Chamber Chair of the Board
As we work to finalize our goals and the foundation for 2021, the Green Chamber offers this highlight recap of 2020 and offers a look at our vision for the coming year.
Last year was a year of adaption. Like everyone, the GreenChamber had to adapt new considerations for the execution of our mission in 2020. We’re extremely proud of the social, environmental and economic impact our team was able to accomplish in 2020; specifically with regard to the priorities of Climate Action and Equity under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
By far, the highlight of our year was the elementary school STEM kit project made possible by member and partner sponsorships as part of our 8th Annual Sustainability Interactive (SI8) event.
The project delivered renewable energy snap circuit STEM kits to all third and fourth graders at LaBelle Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia as a way to support sustainability, renewable energy and STEM education in the local community. Below is a thank you note to all our members, sponsors and SI participants from LaBelle Elementary:
“Hello, our students are loving the STEM kits that they received! I want to sincerely thank you for doing this partnership with us. It was a joy to see their faces once the bells were ringing and the propellers were spinning!” ~LaBelle Elementary Staff
Building up to SI8 and the STEM kit project, the Green Chamber hosted individual events. A webinar in the fall discuss the economic outlook and implications for our members, partnerships with local organizations to promote and implement sustainable business in the southeast, and solar projects developed as a result of our work.
These events culminated with SI8 showcasing a distinguished panel of leaders in the solar industry in the southeast. Panelists highlighted considerations across the solar industry value chain from utility-scale and municipal initiatives to installer and innovation opportunities. Discussions covered challenges in reliability, regulatory frameworks and implementation for addressing equity and climate action. Overall, SI8 tied together the economic impact of a growing industry which can provide equitable solutions to climate change.
To move into the recovery of 2021, the Green Chamber plans to continue hosting events in support of sustainable business development and implementation in the southeast. In alignment with our focus, we intend to build upon business and government priorities of climate action and equity continuing focus on the fast-growing solar industry while incorporating additional sustainability discussions tying together Georgia industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and transportation. Direct education and equity impact will continue to be part of the strategy with support for mentorships and continuation of the elementary school project.
As we develop specific plans, we invite partners and members to continue to engage and offer their perspective or suggestions throughout the year.
From the entire board of directors and me personally, we extend a deep gratitude to Scott Sadler as he moves off the Board to lead the mentorship program with the GT UN RCE. Scott created the Sustainability Interactive program and has contributed immeasurably to the growth the Green Chamber and sustainable business in the Southeast. We appreciate his contributions and look forward to working with him in his new capacity!