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2019 Sustainable Denver Summit Program

presented by VF Corporation


 
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Program Overview

7:30 – 8:30AM | Check-in, Breakfast, Exhibit Hall

8:30 – 9:45AM | Welcome Address & Opening Keynotes

Keynote brought to you by...

 

Thomas Lopez

Director of Communications for
International Indigenous
Youth Council

 

 

Jamie Margolin

Co-Executive Director of
Zero Hour

 

9:45 – 10:00AM | Networking Break

10:00 – 10:55AM | Breakout Sessions

This presentation will cover long term trend data for a variety of monitoring locations across Metro Denver.  While we have made great progress in the face of significant growth, we have also learned much more about the health effects of air pollution.  Evolving health-based standards make our work to reduce pollution as important as ever.

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Denver’s neighbor to the North has some exciting learnings from its new Sustainability and Adaptation plan and a Colorado State University social network analysis research project. This session will provide a brief overview of the City’s unique scenario-based planning method, the integration of multiple plans, staff engagement and implementation tactics to ultimately create a robust plan to systemically engage the entire organization and its operations. This is followed by findings from a research project that examines the opportunities for and barriers to collaboration within the space of environmental sustainability work. This research explores the working relationships between those involved in these multiple sectors, with the aim of identifying opportunities to improve collaborative efficiency for important, time-sensitive local environmental goals.

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This presentation will provide an introduction to Scope 3 Emissions, focusing on the creation of "the mindset" in which to think about you and/or your organization's impact on your supply chain. This presentation will not only be applicable to businesses but to individuals looking to optimize their personal supply chain to reduce their environmental footprint. After the presentation audience members will break out into a team-building, hands on, exercise to evaluate their own scope 3 emissions. Each group will then choose one example to further elaborate on, identifying specific data needed to perform a Scope 3 screening and then report out to the larger group for discussion and learning opportunities.

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We all know sustainability is a big topic and there is a lot to do! Yet, sometimes the organizations we work for can’t (or won’t) hire all the staff needed to do the job. Not to fear – green teams are here! In this session learn about DaVita’s highly successful green team model with a chance to start implementing learnings instantly when you map out plans for how a green team could get started at your own organization.

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This interactive workshop leads with inspiring (and yes, daunting) information about the progress of The Climate Crisis. After a brief overview participants will break into groups and start solutioning designs of something very unsustainable (first) and then something wonderful and even beyond "sustainable" (second). The session will end with action steps to take the inspiration and learning forward across all different categories, products and services.

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Under Denver’s ambitious 80 x 50 Climate Action Plan the city is targeting net zero energy buildings by 2035 and the ultimate goal of an 80% reduction in total greenhouse gases compared to 2005 levels by 2050. Decarbonizing Denver’s buildings is a key component of this plan. In this session, explore a decarbonization approach to buildings that is organized around 4 essential strategies: 1) passive design / bioclimatic architecture, 2) mass timber, 3) all-electric buildings, and 4) solar energy.

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Wellness is ingrained in Denver's culture, so why shouldn't it be ingrained in our built environment? Discover the financial impact that High Performance Buildings (HPBs) can have on your organization based on increases in productivity, retention, and health. For tenants, the largest–yet unvalued–benefit comes from improved occupant performance and experience through better lighting, thermal comfort, indoor environment, air quality, biophilia, and aesthetic design.

In this session, participants will learn the occupant-based business case for HPBs and how to implement healthy design strategies for abundant impact. Through new industry research and case studies, attendees can begin to assign an actual dollar value to productivity, health, and retention gains in their workplaces, breaking the cost barrier to sustainable development.

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As urban centers strive to achieve renewable energy targets, local food production goals, and reductions in water usage, these objectives can often compete against one another. To counter this, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring innovative approaches to integrate solar energy and urban farming to provide renewable energy, food production, and water savings benefits. NREL has partnered with a local community solar provider (Jack's Solar Garden), a Denver urban farming non-profit (Sprout City Farms), and researchers (Colorado State University) to develop a combined community solar, urban farm, and scientific research site that will grow crops underneath solar panels. From prior work, NREL has demonstrated this type of configuration can lead to higher crop yields using less water, plus higher PV panel efficiencies. This Denver Metro project has the potential to serve as a model for cities across the country trying to achieve energy, water, and food production goals.

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Ensuring all children have the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight is a goal of Denver’s Sustainability Plan to prevent short and long term health consequences including increased risk for diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and cancer. Communities are challenged by a lack of information about how best to invest the minimal resources available. The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) was developed to address these issues and produce recommendations for the best value for money childhood obesity interventions across a range of settings, sectors, and ages. This presentation will share Denver specific results, including the projected impact of strategies evaluated for cost-effectiveness. The presentation will include a review of tools available for communities to support decision making; including a demonstration of the “CHOICES Childhood Obesity National Action Kit” to compare the best value for money strategies selected by the audience. Small and large group discussion will conclude the presentation.

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In this interactive session learn how The Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA), a growing coalition of more than 40 partners, is working on a Regional Conservation Assessment, which will identify high-quality, connected, and climate-resilient habitat across the metro area. This work is an important step toward a Regional Vision for People + Nature and supports an approach to land use planning that strengthens connectivity and equitable access to nature, protects important wildlife habitat, and maximizes the use of nature-based solutions like green infrastructure to address climate-related challenges facing our region. This session invites participants to learn about work accomplished to date and engage in the process moving forward.

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Plastic waste has captured the world’s attention in the past year with tremendous global pushback against the mounting plastic litter in our oceans and beaches. There is a lot of movement happening here in Colorado, both to reduce plastic waste and to recycle more plastics. Join this session to hear about Denver’s proposed fee on plastic and paper bags, efforts at the Colorado legislature to give communities more authority to ban single-use plastics, best practices from around the country on reducing plastics and increasing reuse, and local business efforts to recycle more plastics here in the state.  

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The presentation will introduce the City’s new community network approach to constructing bikeways. Over the next 5 years, the City will build 125 miles of new bikeways primarily in three “community networks” to completely build out neighborhood bike networks and encourage people to sustainably move around the city. This represents a paradigm shift not only in the way Denver typically installs bikeways, but in how cities across the country install their bike infrastructure. Learn why mode shift matters to sustainability, why Denver chose this approach.

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The panel will focus on how young, millennial women see the climate change crisis, challenges they face entering the sustainability field, opportunities for personal and professional development, and how they visualize the future of the sustainability. This session will also touch on the disproportionate impacts of climate on women around the world and how women professionals in the field can empower other females to achieve climate adaption and mitigation goals.

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This proposal among, other things, underscores the importance of equity with respect to delivering robust green infrastructure and water quality projects to underserved neighborhoods and providing contracting and workforce opportunities for residents from those neighborhoods. Evidence shows that communities lacking green infrastructure often lack other public investments such as parks, multi-modal transportation infrastructure, sidewalks, recreation, healthy food outlets, and adequate street lighting. Join in on the discussion as Public Works professionals delve into the importance of Green Infrastructure in a community as a critical element that influences how well people can achieve their full potential for physical and mental well-being though physical activity, safety, multi-modal transportation, and social cohesion. 

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10:55 – 11:05AM | Networking Break

11:05AM – 12:00PM | Breakout Sessions

Hear about their innovative partnership to discern the impacts from oil and gas air pollution sources versus other urban sources.  You will learn about tools the team uses to apportion various sources and how policy makers use this information to improve air quality across Metro Denver and the North Front Range.  

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Youth are taking charge of what they want to see in the future world and are not taking no for an answer. Hear from some inspiring local youth leaders who are leading the change in Colorado and helping play a role in the turning tide of environmental sustainability conversations at the national level. This is a chance to take a turn learning from the next generation of leaders and advocates.

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The purpose of the session is for attendees to learn how purchasing goods and services from qualified social enterprises produces positive economic, environmental, and social impact, while achieving CSR goals.

The Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) will tee up the basic definitions of social enterprise, corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate sustainability, social impact, and Social Return on Investment (SROI). Blue Star will act as a working role-model of a social enterprise that produces all of the above. After this example, CI4SI’s will go in depth about its Social Return on Investment (SROI) measurement tool/study, using Blue Star’s SROI report to demonstrate the significant impact produced.

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This interactive session will introduce participants to a format for creating neighborhood action plans. It will include a panel of neighborhood residents who have participated in a Neighborhood Climate Action Forum. There will be facilitated conversations on practical actions for individuals and families. and group discussions on the value of working together as a neighborhood. Opportunities for additional resources such as the use of university student interns and the City's Sustainable Neighborhoods Program will be shared.

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The climate crisis is here and governments at all levels are called to respond. Learn from experts at the state and in local government about recent developments to accelerate climate action in Colorado. The session will address both mitigation and adaptation and attendees will understand how new policy, regulation and programs work to support local efforts.

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This presentation will provide an overview of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), a far-reaching performance standard that goes beyond checklists seen in other metrics and focus on what ‘good’ looks like in terms of resource use, materials, energy consumption and occupant experience. 

We will explore the fundamentals of this innovative standard, review examples of Living Buildings, and focus a portion of the presentation on the details of the newly introduced CORE certification. Group 14 will moderate a discussion with three Denver architecture firms (SA+R, Oz, and Cuningham) with goals to bring this type of project to realization. They will talk about the challenges and opportunities of this approach and the realities of achieving it in Denver.

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We’re all used to learning in school, but this session will have you learning best practices in sustainable design and energy use from schools. First, hear about the vision of the Ricardo Flores Magon Academy (RFMA)’s new school, which meets both high-performance measures and its goal to be the flagship socially conscious preparatory school for the Latinx population of Metro Denver through smart, thoughtful planning and design. Next, garner takeaways on how to go carbon neutral from the University of Denver (DU). A “Green Fund,” Renewable Energy Credits, and a Public-Private Partnership are just some of the tools you’ll learn about during this presentation on DU’s journey to increase energy efficiency and install campus-wide solar.

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The session will provide an overview of the efforts made by the City and County of Denver to tackle food waste. Guest speakers from other organizations will also discuss their efforts to reduce, recover, and compost wasted food. In addition, facilitators will work with the audience to examine why food is wasted at home and help them commit to food waste reduction strategies in their personal lives. Finally, the session will encourage the audience to incorporate food waste reduction as part of their daily work.

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As local leaders and community members determine how the next big wave of investments in public infrastructure will be spent, the Strong, Prosperous, and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC) is supporting collaborative networks across the US to ensure that new investments reduce racial disparities, build a culture of health, and prepare for a changing climate. In Denver, this work is built around the “catalytic moment” of intersecting $7.8 billion FasTracks transit investments and the most aggressive climate goals in the city’s history. Mile High Connects (MHC) is convening partners with the goals of preventing gentrification and displacement while supporting thoughtfully-designed, transit-rich neighborhoods. Working alongside Metro Denver Nature Alliance, MHC is expanding this collaborative conversation to encompass equitable access to nature, parks, and open space. This session will explore national and local lessons learned from the SPARCC initiative and next steps for building a thriving region for people and nature.

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With the increasing effects of climate change being felt in our communities, development of equitable, built environments of inter-generational, diverse communities with healthy places for all to live, play and have purpose will be key to ensuring resiliency. Studio Completiva and Institute of the Built Environment at Colorado State University will discuss findings, policies, strategies, and criteria for the development of affordable homes and communities that promote safer, healthier, and happier lives for all. Once a site of 1950s era aging public housing and concentrated poverty, Mariposa is will be presented as a successful example of implementing these concepts as a now vibrant neighborhood where people of all ages and socioeconomic statuses feel safe and connected to the community.

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Since China tightened its requirements to accept sorted recyclable materials the recycling industry has suffered from a downturn in market revenues. It now generally cost money to recycle and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the recyclers to find stable buyers for their materials. Due to the downturn, local governments are starting to explore how they can play a proactive role in fostering the development of domestic recycling end-markets here in the United States. Come to this interactive workshop to help Denver reimagine the role it can play to build sustainable circular economies for recyclables and organics here in Colorado.

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As Denver continues to grow, sustainable transportation habits are paramount to maintaining quality of life and reaching the City’s sustainability goals. However, most people make transportation choices based on what is most convenient. How can the City help to make more sustainable choices – like transit – the path of least resistance for most people?

Join City staff from Public Works Transportation and Mobility Planning to discuss how the City is working to make physical improvements to our roads to better accommodate transit and make it more competitive with personal vehicle trips. Upcoming projects that improve transit speed, reliability, and convenience will be highlighted, along with a discussion of why investments like these are important for our city.

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There are a lot of amazing projects going on in Denver to reduce waste and improve sustainable material use – hear from a variety of them in this lightning round! This will be a fast-paced session with each presenter giving a quick update on their projects followed by some time for audience members to ask questions. This session is a great way to learn about several initiatives in a short amount of time!”

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This session will review what other leading cities have done to collaborate on how best to plan, use, manage, and predict this precious resource and how that planning effort has shaped Denver's effort, One Water, to re-think our relationship to water in this era of an uncertain and changing climate. A collaborative effort will include multiple city departments, Denver Water, Mile High Flood District, The Greenway Foundation, and many other private, non-profit and governmental institutions.

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12:00 – 12:15PM | Networking Break

12:15 – 1:15PM | Luncheon & Awards Ceremony

1:15 – 2:00PM | Dessert in Exhibit Hall

2:00 – 3:30PM | Workshops

This presentation will cover Denver’s recently branded Love My Air program to monitor and display real time fine particulate matter pollution at 10 Denver Public Schools that will expand to 40 by the end of 2021.  He will also talk about the partnership with focus groups to message the information and provide a menu of interventions when air quality is poor.   Broomfield will talk about their recent campaign to monitor air pollution, with a focus on proximity to active oil and gas development sites.  

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Climate change, racial inequity, and other socio-environmental injustices are interrelated and require all of us to become part of the solution. Our ability to see and work in whole systems is increasingly important, yet too often our work is fragmented and our interactions are limited to people who act, look, think, and/or work the way we do.
Regenerative dialogue helps individuals, organizations, and movements work across boundaries to build capacity to identify and realize whole, inclusive solutions - together. This session will explore practical frameworks for regenerative dialogue and engage participants in applying those frameworks within the context of their current work. The session will include stories from the field with outcomes related to energy economy transitions, food systems, health equity, and affordability from Denver, Austin, and Buffalo.

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Many organizations—businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies alike—share- or say they share the desire to make the world better, but social responsibility goes beyond philanthropy and volunteering and we know that curating a public image of social purpose is not enough. Whether it’s ending poverty, reducing inequalities or tackling climate change, today’s consumers expect a lot from the brands they support. This session will introduce the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) followed by a workshop to help you align business strategies and operations with the global goals in order to maximize positive impact.

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This workshop will focus on the business (and business owner) benefits of allocating time and resources to advocate for sustainable issues in the workplace, community and environment that are important to them – and how to do so effectively. The first part of the workshop will be a panel discussion featuring diverse business owners who will outline the process of public policy advocacy and share their own stories of advocating for issues of sustainability. The second half of the workshop will be a hands-on, small group experience for participants to explore the process of business-focused advocacy for issues of sustainability in which they will brainstorm and create a business case of support for their issue, then develop an advocacy action plan.

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The Resilient Design Workshop will educate participants on the most significant impacts the Colorado region faces as a result of climate change. Explore ways to help the built environment adapt to these risks to protect natural habitats and the health of the community, as well as opportunities to reduce the contribution to these climate change impacts through sustainable design. Design for new construction and renovation options will both be explored, with a focus on cost-efficient, impactful, and easily implemented solutions. Participants will be engaged in a workshop throughout the talk, where they will learn how to properly assess climate risk vulnerability and how to choose effective solutions for a given situation.

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You have probably heard of the Green Building Ordinance, but what about building energy codes? They are one of the most important climate, resiliency, health, and housing affordability tools you may not have heard much about—but should. In this session, you will learn about options for compliance with the Green Buildings Ordinance, as well as Denver’s newly-updated energy code.  See how you can painlessly pursue higher performing building outcomes through these two policies as we drive toward Denver's goal of all new construction being net zero energy by 2035.

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Do you remember hearing about Denver’s 2016 ordinance requiring large buildings to measure, track, and publicly report their energy use? What about the Green Building Ordinance that passed in 2017? The results of these two policies are starting to pour in and are even better than we thought. In this session hear about the energy savings so far, see a live interactive demo of the map showing results, and hear real-world case studies from the benchmarking ordinance’s success. Next, dive in to a panel discussion on the Green Building Ordinance compliance pathways, including frequently asked questions, real-world experiences, and the energy program compliance option.

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Large institutions have the opportunity to lead the movement to create a sustainable food system and make progress towards some of Denver's existing sustainability, health and equity goals. In this session learn about how the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) transforms the way institutions purchase food by providing a flexible framework to support cities for sustainable procurement around five core values: local economies, health, valued workforce, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability all through the lens of equity and inclusion. Audience members will have the chance to map out stakeholders influenced by implementation of GFPP, as well as engage in brainstorming around implementation challenges and solutions.

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Traditional “community engagement” strategies frequently are just another way to exercise power and disenfranchise under-valued communities. Real “engagement” requires active participation and buy-in by people in these communities. Only in this way can we better tailor programs and investments to meet community needs in ways that sustain the environment, social framework and culture of communities. It requires that we move from engagement to involvement to community leadership. This session will present a framework through which organizations can consider strategies for meaningful and intentional community involvement and how to embed equity considerations into their planning in a proactive manner that improves the ability to meet the real needs of people who live, work and play in these communities. The session will include practical exercises for applying the framework.

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Denver is quickly growing. This influx of people and associated development make it difficult to ensure adequate green space, permeable surfaces, shade canopy, and other features that help Denver and its residents thrive. The creation of parks and open space is one often cited solution, but public-private partnerships can also empower residents, business owners, and others to create nature in the spaces we interact with daily. Moderated by the National Wildlife Federation, this session will feature expertise from a landscape architect, neighborhood associations, local businessman, and city representative as they dissect and address these challenges. From nature playgrounds and wildlife habitats to permeability and storm water runoff, attendees will receive actionable strategies to: bring equitable access to nature for children, create nature-friendly businesses, advocate for neighborhood sustainability priorities, and work hand-in-hand with the city to bring livability back to the forefront.

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Since China tightened its requirements to accept sorted recyclable materials the recycling industry has suffered from a downturn in market revenues. It now generally cost money to recycle and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the recyclers to find stable buyers for their materials. Due to the downturn, local governments are starting to explore how they can play a proactive role in fostering the development of domestic recycling end-markets here in the United States. Come to this interactive workshop to help Denver reimagine the role it can play to build sustainable circular economies for recyclables and organics here in Colorado.

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Converting transit stations into Neighborhood Mobility Hubs supports the provision of micro-mobility options, reducing first/last-mile barriers and has demonstrated success in reducing single occupant vehicle trips. Learn about the work being done in the Denver Metro region to develop these hubs then breakoff in to workgroups to provide solutions to planned hubs across the Southeast Denver rail lines. In this interactive workshop you’ll help to find station-area improvements to make them more walker, biker, and micro-transit friendly. Recommendations your group makes will ultimately be incorporated in to the public engagement component of a study for this region.

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This interactive session includes speakers throughout the waste diversion value chain and will address how key partnerships are critical in creating successful waste diversion programs and achieving sustainability goals at City of Denver Arts & Venues facilities. The session will provide an overview of the A&V sustainability programs overall and introduce the necessary partnerships in place to support their success. Following a panel discussion, a back of house tour of waste diversion activity at Convention Center will be led by the panelists. Lastly, small workshop led by panelists will facilitate discussion on how partnerships could impact the audience’s potential commitment coming out of the summit. 

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In this session you will learn techniques for identifying and understanding wicked problems and their potential solutions. Tom Higley, CEO of 10.10.10, Will Sarni, Water Foundry, Ari Kaufman, Spout and Rich Razgaitis, Flowater will present leading market-based solutions to tackle wicked problems in the areas of Water & Climate. Segmented into small groups, audience members will review and discuss prepared wicked problem system maps. The 10.10.10 systems mapping team will discuss systems thinking, the mapping process, and tools for identifying potential points of leverage.

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3:30 – 5:00PM | Cocktail Reception & Exhibit Hall

 

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For the most up to date version of our event schedule check out on the Whova app.

Sustainability Area Legend


 

Air Quality


 

Water & Green Spaces


 

Materials & Food

Sponsors: Colorado State Pollution Prevention Advisory Board & Swire Coca-Cola


 

Energy

Sponsor: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


 

Climate

Sponsors: Ambient Energy & Group14


 

Mobility


 

Health, Equity & Affordability


 

Business & Community

Sponsor: Serendipity Catering

 

Summit Program Overview