Chattanooga, TN (September 30, 2019) – When the 3rd International Placemaking Week Conference kicks-off on October 1, it will be powered by EPB’s Solar Share community solar installation making it Chattanooga’s first conference to be net zero carbon. Co-presented by the Project for Public Spaces and the Innovation District in partnership with the event’s Local Host Committee, the global conference is also joining with green|spaces Chattanooga to exemplify environmental stewardship as the area’s first ever green|light conference which means that in addition to being net zero carbon, it is also net zero water and near zero waste.
Through the partnership, Solar Share energy credits will be used to match 100% of the estimated electricity usage for all events during the four-day event. In fact, green|spaces and the Project for Public Spaces are licensing the output of 162 panels, which is equivalent to the average energy use of more than 90 homes during the time of the conference. The generation has the equivalent environmental impact of displacing the CO2 emissions from 1.4 million smart phones charged or 12,554 pounds of coal burned.
“Using Solar Share to power conferences and events is an easy way to support clean energy generation,” said Elizabeth Hammitt, Director of Environmental Stewardship & Community at EPB. “Solar Share is a great option for event organizers who are passionate about the environment and want to communicate their commitment to their attendees.”
"As a nonprofit focused on public space, we are aware of the environmental impact an event like Placemaking Week can have," said Juliet Kahne, Director of Events and Education at Project for Public Spaces. "We are always looking for new ways to limit our negative impacts and give back to the community through our events, so we are excited to be working with EPB and green|spaces to reduce our footprint."
In addition to utilizing Solar Share, the Project for Public Spaces will be piloting a new program, the GreenlLight Conference Package, which includes environmentally friendly practices like composting and emission-free travel options.
According to Michael Walton, executive director of green|spaces, his organization has been working with EPB and the Chattanooga Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to offer an unrivaled sustainable conference experience. “In addition to clean energy provided by EPB's Solar Share, we provide options to utilize composting to make landfill use non-existent while drawing and returning water to the Tennessee River to reach net zero water,” Walton said. “We can also plug conference organizers and attendees into our network of green|light businesses including EPB, Niedlov's, and Mad Priest."
EPB’s Solar Share Event Offset program hosts a calculator in which any event, large or small, can be calculated. Customers will receive an immediate estimated impact summary and a variety of cost-effective, carbon-free energy solutions.
The Project for Public Spaces’ 3rd International Placemaking Week conference takes place on October 1-4, 2019 and is co-hosted by The Enterprise Center.
The conference will present an inspiring and engaging week full of hands-on sessions, off-site workshops, tours, and networking events. The event creates a dynamic forum for attendees to develop and share concrete strategies to advance placemaking both locally and globally.
Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.
EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.
In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 Mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.
EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid. For more information, go to www.EPB.com.
Since 2007, green|spaces has been serving Chattanooga through a variety of educational and innovative programs promoting sustainable living, working and building. Since inception, over 2000 local residents have learned energy savings techniques through their Empower Chattanooga classes. In 2017, green|spaces expanded outreach to local schools through the Chattanooga Green Prix. Today, over 34 local student led teams design, build and race electric power cars in Chattanooga and across the Southeast. Additionally in 2018, green|spaces started a workforce development program supporting at risk young adults with soft and technical training for careers in construction and energy services.
green|spaces also services local businesses through green|light, a third-party sustainability certification addressing eight categories of sustainable operating practices. All sizes and types of businesses including the Strand Hair Salon and EPB have completed the program with a total of 43 businesses registered.
Based on their experience with the first Net Zero energy development in Chattanooga, green|spaces consults with local residential and commercial developers with the goal to meet the sustainability demands of the market.
For more information on monthly educational programs and project updates, visit www.greenspaceschattanooga.org