Skip navigation


8:30 – 9:30am Breakfast; Exhibit Hall Open

9:30 – 10:45am Opening Remarks & Plenary

Profile photo of Mustafa Santiago Ali

Mustafa Santiago Ali, Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus

Mustafa Santiago Ali is the Senior Vice President of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip Hop Caucus.  The Hip Hop Caucus is a national, non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change.  As HHC Senior Vice President, he leads the strategic direction, expansion andoperation of the Hip Hop Caucus’ portfolio on Climate, Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization.  Mustafa is renowned as a National Speaker, Trainer and Facilitator specializing in Social Justice issues focused on revitalizing our most vulnerable communities. Throughout his career, Mr. Ali has conducted over 1,000 presentations across the country, including speeches, guest lecturers and trainings. He has also worked with over 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health and economic justice.

Learn more about Mustafa Santiago Ali

10:45 – 11:00am Morning Networking Break

11:00am – 12:30pm Morning Breakouts

Talking Transparency: Life-Cycle Analysis Tools from Unique Perspectives

Catch an overview of The Higg Index, created by Outdoor Industry Association and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. This data-driven approach allows for informed and sustainable decisions regarding material selection, product manufacturing and overall business practices based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Next up, learn about a variety of life cycle thinking (LCT) and LCA tools and resources that can bring value to organizations through more sustainable products, services, technologies, and operations. Come work through examples using the Higg Index and LCT approaches and learn more about how organizations are using LCA and LCT to prioritize sustainability efforts and expand the circular economy.

Design with Success in Mind

Dive in to designs of places, spaces, markets and programs that lead to better water and material use.  Learn how innovative designs using green infrastructure, circular economy principals, data, and technology can mean a more efficient way of resource management in this in-depth panel and discussion.

Waste Diversion Challenges in Tenant-Occupied Spaces

Well aware of recycling and compost service challenges in multi-family and commercial spaces, the Denver Recycles team will lead the audience through solution-oriented presentations that will set the stage for a discussion on overcoming waste diversion challenges in tenant-occupied spaces. Audience members will be encouraged to participate with their own issues as tenants, renters, and building owners with an opportunity to brainstorm what the City, its partners, and the community need to do to overcome tenant/owner waste challenges.

Beyond CSR: Instilling a Culture of Sustainability Values

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become somewhat mainstream for companies that want to remain competitive, but it alone is not enough to attract loyal customers and the best talent, let alone be a steward of the environment and communities in which they operate. Join local business and public-sector leaders to explore what it means to go beyond CSR, how to truly create a culture of sustainability, and what it means to not only be the best in Colorado but the Best for Colorado! After hearing from public and private leaders about their journey in creating a true culture of sustainability it will be your turn to get equipped with the tools to make it happen.

Embracing Sustainability as a Public Value

In this session, hear about Denver’s plans to get the community to embrace Sustainability as a Core Public Value and to create a Sustainability Resource Library. Learn from Denver residents actively involved in making their communities more vibrant, livable, and sustainable. Participants are invited to add to a growing list of resources that will inspire and empower residents to take on community sustainability projects in their own neighborhoods.

Equitable and Affordable Mobility - Is There a Panacea?

This discussion will focus on the social equity and environmental perspectives of emerging mobility options. New vehicle types, tech-based offerings, and dynamic services (e.g. electric scooters, micro transit, e-bikes, etc.) promise greater flexibility and reduced single occupancy vehicle trips, but who are they actually serving and how can we continue to achieve greater mobility without sacrificing affordability, sustainability, and active living? How do we retrofit existing infrastructure or policies to allow these new types of innovations to enter the market safely and equitably?

Providing Greater Access to Parks and Other Green Spaces

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) plans to add new parkland to its system in order to keep pace with the city's growth, but doing so takes time and money. Learn about DPR's ambitious plans to ensure all residents are within a 10-minute walk to parks, and its efforts to work with partners and the development community to provide parks and open space. Discuss DPR's remarkable work with the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge to "open the gates" of the Refuge that adjoin Montbello to provide better access to nearby open space areas.

Water Conservation and Protecting Water Quality in Denver Parks

Examine water conservation projects at Harvard Gulch and Harvey Park, where Denver is in the process of converting from potable water to raw water. Learn about Denver’s water management with the help of Central Control. Additionally, learn about how Denver is re-thinking water quality projects – from pipes to daylighting waterways, and from concrete basins to natural wetlands. The City Park Golf Course renovation project, 39th Ave. Greenway, and Asbury-Tejon are example projects featuring new ways to approach water quality.

Complete Neighborhood Food Environments

Examine a project is to implement food system policies and environmental changes to create “complete neighborhood food environments ” that increase equitable access to healthy, affordable foods. Panelists from three local public health agencies are building on their strong partnership to address inequitable food systems and environments that perpetuate poor dietary patterns and chronic disease outcomes across five counties. Participants will have discussions about key factors for a complete neighborhood food environment, food access, equity, and security.

From the Green Roof Initiative to Denver's New Green Building Policy

  • Transforming the Green Roof Initiative into a New Green Building Policy 
    The controversial citizen-led Green Roof Initiative was passed by voters in November of 2017.  Hear from proponents and opponents of the initiative discuss how they came together through the Green Roofs Task Force to recommend the new Green Building Policy that honors the vote and the benefits it would have acheived while adding flexibility for compliance.

  • Denver’s New Green Building Policy
    Learn about the requirements for new and existing buildings in the new Green Building Policy from practitioners who are helping building owners and developers navigate the new policy and pick the best option for their building.

Sustainability Starts with Stability

Affordability from the Paycheck Perspective - It’s difficult to plan for the future when your current needs aren’t being met.  Housing, transportation, food and utilities costs disproportionately burden low-income families.   Sustainability programs, if designed with an equity lens, could help move families from crisis to economic empowerment.

Establishing an Equity Balance: Common Language and Principles of Working with Diverse Communities

Equity is fundamental to any sustainable society, yet is often overlooked in sustainability work.  This session will introduce common language around diversity, inclusion, and equity; highlight key ways in which equity and environmental protection intersect; and establish fundamental principles of working with diverse communities.

12:30 – 12:45pm Networking Break

12:45 – 1:30pm Love This Place Award Luncheon

1:30 – 2:15pm Dessert; Exhibit Hall Open

2:15 – 3:45pm Afternoon Breakouts

One Water, Many Opportunities

This session will give an overview of the One Water concept and how it is being implemented across Denver infrastructure. This will be followed by an opportunity for attendees to take a deeper dive in to specific elements and even have a chance to create their own designs.

Pioneering Sustainability: The National Western Center Campus

The National Western Center Campus presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to honor and celebrate the spirit of the West and pioneer Sustainability principles. Together with their partners, Colorado State University and the Western Stock Show Association, the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center is making concrete and long-term goals to accomplish the vision of creating a net zero energy, One Water, and zero waste campus. Using NWC as a case study, attendees of this session will learn a step-by-step process of how to set a bold sustainability vision and successfully move to implementation.

Sharing your Sustainability Story Effectively

Want to know how to  promote your business’ sustainable practices effectively? In this session, you will learn the best strategies and techniques for engaging customers, partners and employees in your sustainability efforts. This session will give an overview of Colorado’s free business sustainability programs and how they provide visibility while helping you avoid greenwashing. Business leaders will share their experience working with these programs and how they use sustainability messages to enhance their marketing. Then, take a deeper dive into choosing the best messages, media and language to tell an authentic sustainability story.

Sustainability Driving Business Value

How can your company benefit from its progress towards Denver’s sustainability goals? Denver has laid out a well-structured vision for sustainability progress by 2020, and will continue to do so as we go beyond. This interactive session will lay out a basic model for driving business value through sustainability, map the model onto the Denver 2020 goals, and discuss plans for moving the discussion beyond the board room and into action that drives revenue, reduces costs, improves brand and reduces risk.

Transit That Works Better for All

This discussion will focus on what ingredients are necessary to position transit options in Denver as the premier, most accessible way of moving around the City.  A successful multi-faceted approach will require partnership from various agencies and innovators to ensure that all residents of Denver live within a ¼ mile of a high frequency transit network and can reach those destinations in a variety of different ways.  The discussion will also touch on creative ways to educate and incentivize the public to utilize those investments.

SITES: An Alternative to LEED for Parks and Open Spaces

Experience the process of planning and developing Heron Pond, the first park for which Denver will apply for SITES Certification. Discuss how lessons learned can apply to prospective development of other green spaces in Denver. Also learn about how SITES can help create urban wildlife and pollinator habitat.

What's Up With Our Trees?

Examine how Denver Parks and Recreation is dealing with the upcoming arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer and learn how can residents help the city prepare. Discuss the importance is increasing and diversifying Denver's tree canopy in order to help with carbon sequestration, urban heat mitigation and habitat.

Food Matters: Food Waste Prevention, Rescue, and Recycling in Denver

Explore the local food waste landscape in Denver and strategies for reducing food waste in the future at the city scale. A panel of national and local experts will discuss the city’s Food Matters project to dramatically reduce wasted food in the city by working with residents, restaurants,  businesses and anchor institutions. Participants will also have table discussions to develop recommendations around city strategies for food waste prevention, a food rescue strategy for those in need, and a food scrap recycling strategy that increases the diversion of food scraps from landfills or incinerators and returns valuable nutrients to the soil.

Energize Denver and PACE Financing: A Perfect Match

  • Energize Denver:  Improving Large Existing Building Energy Efficiency
    Learn about how compliance with Denver’s benchmarking requirement is going, what we are learning from the benchmarking data, and how much energy Denver buildings saved from 2016 to 2017.  Also, learn all about how the 2018 Energize Denver Energy Efficiency Award winners improved their energy efficiency more than any other offices, apartments and hotels in Denver from 2016 to 2017.

  • C-PACE Financing:  Paying for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Large Buildings
    Hear about why two different building owners selected C-PACE financing to upgrade their buildings, and how each project team put the deal together. C-PACE financing pays for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades that increase a building’s asset value with no money down and with up to 25-year terms.  C-PACE financing overcomes many of the typical barriers to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Denver's 80x50 Plan

  • Implementation Plans: Denver recently released its plan to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and announced strategies and goals in the areas of renewable electricity, transportation, and energy efficiency.  Come hear how Denver plans to reach these goals and how you can play a part. Participants will have a chance to talk to Individual Program Leads to learn more detail and provide input.
  • Equity and Climate: Climate change will have the strongest impacts on those that are the most vulnerable. Moreover, the new systems solutions we are not always available in a manner that is equitable.  Come hear about equity initiatives in the climate and energy sector.


Voices from the Community: Sustainability in Person

  • Youth Speak Out on Sustainability
    Young people are on the frontlines of sustainability.  Come hear their insights, creativity and learn about their leadership efforts on how to create a more sustainable Denver.

  • Humanizing Data: Equity Tools and Voices from the Ground
    Quite a few equity mapping tools have been built in the last few years including the DRCOG Equity Map, the Trust for Public Land Climate Smart Cities map, and the Denver Health Equity Index.  These tools are trying to help tell a story of what is happening on the ground.  We will do a quick introduction to each of these tools and demonstrate a few of the stories they are trying to tell, but then hear from community members on their lived experience with relation to this data.

Creating Change Starting Within: Organizational Models for Equity

  • Engaging Communities in their Own Voice: Adapting the Promotoras Model for Sustainability
    Many organizations are turning to the Promotoras model utilized for health care outreach.  Come learn about engaging the community by community and how authentic engagement can be a useful tool for advancing sustainability.  (Session in Spanish)

  • Addressing Racialized Outcomes Through Systems Change
    Denver has launched a race and social justice initiative to address racialized outcomes of city systems. Hear how the city is building out a new framework to improve outcomes for community and how you could incorporate this type of structure into your own organization.

3:45 – 4:00pm Networking Break

4:00 – 5:30pm Cocktail Reception; Exhibit Hall