Renew Delaware: Renewable Community Electric Aggregation on Ballot

republished from Sustainable Delaware

Renewable Community Electric Aggregation 

What is the ‘Renew Delaware’ ballot issue?

Sustainable Delaware Ohio (SDO) is advocating for the placement of a renewable electricity aggregation issue on the fall 2021 ballot.  This ballot would give the City the power to negotiate a bulk price for purchasing electricity on behalf of you, its residents, and small businesses. The goal of the ballot is to lower household electric bills and increase the use of renewable (green) energy.

This is NOT A LEVY, meaning there will be no taxes on any resident, business, or other entity within the city limits.

We propose an Opt-Out solution, which automatically enrolls all local residents, unless they individually opt-out of the program and choose not to be included.

What needs to happen?

SDO urges the City of Delaware to make RENEWABLE a part of the proposed community electricity aggregation by seeking the maximum “green” content in proposals from suppliers.

  1. The Delaware City Council needs to be informed on what OPTIONS are available for electricity regarding opt-in/opt-out, net-metering, duration of the program, green energy, and compensation of energy consultants.
  2. Council requests proposals from a half-dozen energy consultants and selects one that meets the criteria.
  3. November Ballot: The Council will vote to put this issue on the ballot and submit it to the Delaware County Board of Elections prior to August 4 (at 4 p.m.).
  4. Informing all Delaware residents: by providing clear and transparent information. SDO offers the City of Delaware its assistance with that, as well as the Ohio Energy Council (OEC) and Councilman David Robinson from Worthington.
  5. Call your Council Member to tell them you support this issue.
  6. YOUR VOTE in November (it matters!)
  7. After this ballot measure gets approved by Delaware residents (November elections), the City can negotiate the most favorable contract for its residents based on cost and amount of green energy.
ReNew Delaware Benefits You
  • No Change in Service: Under this program, you would experience no change in their electric service. AEP would continue to carry, service, and bill for the electricity service. The only change would be in the source of the electricity which will be identified on the AEP bill.
  • COST SAVINGS: Worthington implemented a similar program and it saved their residents $46,024.62 in the first five months alone.  (see this PDF)
  • OPT-OUT: SDO advocates for a no-cost opt-out option for residents who do not wish to participate in the program, otherwise you are automatically enrolled.
  • RENEWABLE ENERGY: Choosing this means you are part of a cleaner energy solution, and you can be proud of that! Renewable energy puts less greenhouse gasses in the air, and reduces our carbon footprint, especially if we use local resources.
Renew Delaware Benefits City and State

Delaware would join a number of other communities in the State of Ohio to choose renewable electricity aggregation. However, not all aggregation is the same. SDO finds the following important:

  • REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINT: (needs estimate)
  • JOBS CREATED IN OHIO: For example, AEP’s Integrative Renewable Energy program uses OHIO WIND & SOLAR assets which supports job growth in Ohio.
  • KEEP OUR TAXES IN OHIO: AEP is building renewable energy projects in Ohio, while other programs purchase credits from companies in other States and our taxes leave the state.
  • NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET: This does not cost the City of Delaware any money.
  • COMMUNITY INVESTMENT GRANTS: AEP has community investment grants available that can be used toward any project within the city, though we would like them to be sustainable.
Renew Delaware logo - Renewable Energy Aggregation
How Green Energy Saves 

The renewable energy will be purchased by way of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Based on other communities’ experiences, it is expected that bulk pricing will make green energy feasible.

The current market rate in an aggregation program is no more than 4.75 cents/kWh fixed, while the five-year utility average has been roughly 6 Cents/kWh. As the typical household uses 12,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, the projected estimated savings per household would be: .06000-.04750)x12,000 = $150.00

The City of Delaware has approximately 17,000 households. At 70% participation, the estimated annual savings for the community would be: 17,000x.70x$150.00 = $1,785,000

Questions?

For questions about this initiative, you can email us, or you can contact your Council representative for your ward.

OWU Reaffirms, We Are Still In on Paris Climate Accord

Ohio Wesleyan Reaffirms University’s Commitment to Paris Agreement

By Cole Hatcher

Rock Jones
DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University President Rock Jones today issued the following statement to affirm OWU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and efforts to address climate change:

In June 2017, I signed the We Are Still In declaration on behalf of Ohio Wesleyan University, promising that Ohio Wesleyan would remain committed to the Paris Agreement to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, even if the United States pulled out of the agreement.

As the United States officially withdraws from the Paris Agreement on November 4, we proudly reaffirm our commitment to it.

At the time I signed the We Are Still In declaration, Ohio Wesleyan was one of 183 colleges and universities to have joined that commitment. We are encouraged that during the past two years the We Are Still In compact has grown to include more than 400 colleges and universities and more than 3,500 other U.S. cities, states, businesses, and other organizations. Clearly, support across America is strong and unwavering for the Paris Agreement and for doing all we can to slow and halt global warming.

The We’re Still In document states in part: “It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses. Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

We have a moral responsibility to future generations to join with all of humanity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight manmade climate change. Climate impacts are already evident globally with rising seas, drought, and severe fires. The looming crisis could be infinitely more damaging than this pandemic and affects people of color and those living in poverty most severely. We are fighting to protect human health, the global economy, national security, and life as we know it. Climate change is an existential threat.

We urge our nation’s leaders to reverse course and not only rejoin the 186 other nations that have ratified the Paris Agreement but also become a leader in bringing together governments from around the world to overcome humanity’s greatest challenge.

Rock Jones
President, Ohio Wesleyan University

Zoom on 9/16/2020: Democracy Unchained: A Vision of Our Planetary Future:

Wednesday, September 16 @ 8pm

Registration here.

ROAR is a central Ohio group of climate and environmental activists. Their latest event is on Zoom, featuring some great speakers on contemporary politics and the environment.

We’d welcome your presence at ROAR’s next NEXT WORLD CONVERSATION  on DEMOCRACY UNCHAINED… with David Orr from the Oberlin Project and Joel Wainwright, co-author of CLIMATE LEVIATHAN. How can we rebuild our democracy to significantly address the interlocking crises of Covid, Climate Change and our dysfunctional political system?  Please join us–and spread the word!

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 8:00 pm: DEMOCRACY UNCHAINED 

David W. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College. The Oberlin Project was formed out of David Orr’s vision of full-spectrum sustainability: an all-encompassing joint venture by the town and College to create a thriving, sustainable and environmentally friendly community in Oberlin. He is the recipient of six honorary degrees and other awards including The Millennium Leadership Award from Global Green, the Bioneers Award, the National Wildlife Federation Leadership Award, a Lyndhurst Prize acknowledging “persons of exceptional moral character, vision, and energy.” He has been a scholar in residence at Ball State University, the University of Washington, and other universities. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Europe. He has served as a Trustee for many organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institutethe Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Bioneers. He has been a Trustee and/or advisor to ten foundations.

 Joel Wainwright is Professor in the Department of Geography at Ohio State University, where he studies political economy, social theory, and environmental change. He is author of Decolonizing Development (2008), Geopiracy (2013), and, with Geoff Mann, Climate Leviathan (2018).

#OWUENVS

In the overwhelming crush of media about the COVID 19 pandemic we don’t want to lose sight of the profound importance of the environment.

#OWUENVS is a collective effort to push environmental news and ideas and advocacy and creative efforts out through social media and other media by students, faculty, and staff in the Environment & Sustainability Program at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Find or create relevant stuff. Anything having to do with the environment anywhere. Links, ideas, videos, maps, photos, music, data, artwork, etc. Focus on the stuff you care about.

Put it out there: use the hashtag or tag #OWUENVS so we can track the effort. Focus on the media you use. On social media, video sites, music sites, whatever. Be creative.

Please let Meg Edwards or  John Krygier or Laurie Anderson know if you have any questions, ideas, or suggestions.

This effort is what we make it. It keeps us connected, and it matters.

 

 

Speaker: Elli Sparks, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Wednesday, October 30th at Noon

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, October 30th at 121pm in the GIS Lab (Science Center Room 207), if you are interested in learning more about legislative political action, climate advocacy, and citizen lobbying from the Field Development Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Elli Sparks. (There will be food!)
 
Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is an international nonprofit focused on building support in Congress for a national bipartisan solution to climate change and increasing civic engagement. They have recently:
 
  • Successfully worked with Congress to introduce (H.R. 763) The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019. CCL supports this bill, and is working towards its re-introduction in the Senate, and its passage through Congress.
  • Instrumental in establishing the House Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group in the US House of Representatives which will explore policy options that address the impacts, causes, and challenges of our changing climate.
  • Partnered with California state legislature to pass a resolution calling on the federal government to enact Carbon Fee and Dividend nationwide.

Elli is committed to the success of CCL volunteers working to start new chapters in communities across the United States. She hosts CCL’s weekly Introductory Calls and trains volunteers around the world to lead Climate Advocate Training Workshop; she also works closely with volunteers in coal and agricultural communities, ensuring that all voices find a place at the solutions table–a passion founded on her own family roots in Appalachia and rural Maryland.

Elli’s work is informed by her fifteen years in nonprofit management and by her founding and leadership of Virginia’s first CCL chapter, where she gained experience in nearly every volunteer role. She lives on a family farm in rural Virginia, where she rotates her cattle through the pasture to store carbon in soil and plants.

Please do try to come! It’s a great opportunity to find your voice and political will for climate solutions. We also have a chapter at OWU if you want to stay involved!

Thanks,

Mahnoor Ansari,

Campus Leader, CCL OWU

OWU’s ‘Still In’ Paris Climate Agreement

President Rock Jones, Ph.D., signed the document June 5, making Ohio Wesleyan one of 183 colleges and universities to endorse the proclamation. “We Are Still In” also has been signed by representatives from 125 cities and nine states, and by 902 businesses and investors.

Source

University Among Those Supporting Paris Climate Agreement

There’s a familiar name among the 1,219 who signed the “We Are Still In” document in support of the Paris Agreement and its efforts to combat climate change.

President Rock Jones, Ph.D., signed the document June 5, making Ohio Wesleyan one of 183 colleges and universities to endorse the proclamation. “We Are Still In” also has been signed by representatives from 125 cities and nine states, and by 902 businesses and investors.

“It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses,” the document states. “Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below 2℃ and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health.”

There are many reasons for Ohio Wesleyan to sign the document, Jones said. Perhaps most notable is the pioneering work of F. Sherwood Rowland, Ph.D., a 1948 OWU graduate.

A Delaware native, Rowland earned the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work studying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). His research led to significant discoveries in the field, including that chemicals in aerosol sprays, air conditioners and foam insulation were damaging the oxygen layer surrounding the earth’s atmosphere.

At a White House climate change roundtable in 1997, Rowland spoke passionately on behalf of scientists concerned about global warming: “Isn’t it a responsibility of scientists, if you believe that you have found something that can affect the environment, isn’t it your responsibility to do something about it, enough so that action actually takes place? If not us,” Rowland said, “who? If not now, when?”

Woodrow W. Clark II, Ph.D., a 1967 Ohio Wesleyan alumnus, also made an impact through his efforts to protect the environment as one of 30 members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC was a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, for the film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The spirit of “We Are Still In” also connects well with Ohio Wesleyan’s academic program and the April announcement that it was creating an Environment and Sustainability Program with a new environmental science major this fall, Jones said.

The Environment and Sustainability Program will include the collaboration of nearly 20 Ohio Wesleyan faculty members who specialize in the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. One of the program’s highlights its innovative “Conversations: Toward a Sustainable Future” course. Students will take the course twice – once as newly declared environmental science majors and once as seniors in the program – to provide both a cornerstone and capstone for their study of ecological issues.

In addition, Jones said, Ohio Wesleyan’s signature Sagan National Colloquiumlecture series also has spent a semester examining global warming.

“In 2013, the entire campus focused attention on the ‘Interdisciplinary Impacts of Climate Change’ through the Sagan National Colloquium,” Jones said. “The Colloquium’s founding vision of connecting the liberal arts with civic arts – studying a topic and taking action in response to that study – is reflected in our signing of the ‘We Are Still In’ document.”

Learn more about the “We Are Still In” initiative at http://wearestillin.com.

Neighbors Object to Proposed Denison University Solar Panels

One of the often unanticipated challenges of sustainability is the aesthetic. Solar or wind generated energy may be well supported in the abstract, but in practice even people with strong pro-green beliefs may object to having to see solar panels or wind turbines. Denison University is dealing with this issue as they move to install a series of solar panels in the campus’s biological reserve.

denison-solar-art0-gqp109kvs-1denison-solar

One of the often unanticipated challenges of sustainability is the aesthetic. Solar or wind generated energy may be well supported in the abstract, but in practice even people with strong pro-green beliefs may object to having to see solar panels or wind turbines. Denison University is confronting this issue as they move to install a series of solar panels in the campus’s biological reserve. Neighbors, some who seem to support solar energy, don’t support it when they have to look at the panels.

An interesting question is how to anticipate and diffuse this type of aesthetic objection to green technologies. A similar issue comes into play when considering more eco-friendly practices on campus, which may interfere with the expected campus grounds aesthetic (green, weed free lawns, for example).

There have been discussions about a potential solar panel installation on City of Delaware property, south-east of OWU’s campus. The project would involve a collaboration between campus and the City of Delaware. That project is on hold for the time being, until the project becomes more financially feasible.

The full Denison story is below. Article and image reproduced from the Columbus Dispatch, Monday February 2, 2015.

By Eric Lyttle

GRANVILLE, Ohio — Denison University’s Biological Reserve is 350 acres of woods, walking paths and wildlife.

Lately, it has also become a battlefield of sorts, pitting property owners on its perimeter against the university that owns and maintains the reserve.

Gill Wright Miller enjoys sitting on her two-tiered deck and soaking in the serenity of the view. She said she bought her home eight years ago, and also built the back deck, because of the location. Many of her Welsh Hills Road neighbors bought their homes for the same reason. Their properties abut the Biological Reserve.

But since Denison announced in October that it hoped to cover about 8 reserve acres of trees and undergrowth behind Miller’s house with 5,000 or so solar panels, she and a number of her neighbors have been on a mission to stop the project.

Although she graduated from Denison in 1974 and is chairwoman of the university’s dance program, she has accused the school of moral trickery, a lack of transparency and class warfare in its effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel.

“I have nothing against solar power,” said Miller. “I have geothermal. My house is ecologically friendly. I’m all for reducing your carbon footprint. I just think Denison has mismanaged its commitment to the people of this community and that it’s chosen to reduce its carbon footprint at the expense of its modest neighbors.”

Granville’s Board of Zoning and Building Appeals unanimously granted Denison’s application for a permit on Jan. 8, despite protests by residents, including Miller.

Nine neighbors filed an appeal of that decision on Jan. 20. Granville’s Village Council is to hear the appeal at its meeting on either Feb. 18 or March 4.

The first time most people heard of Denison’s solar plan was in October, when the university announced its intent to work with American Electric Power Energy to install solar panels in the Biological Reserve, plus 1,000 panels to be installed near the university’s physical plant on Rt. 661.

AEP Energy would provide the panels and sell the solar-generated electricity to the university. As designed, the solar array would provide about 2 megawatts of electricity, or about 15 percent of the university’s annual electrical use. The installation would reduce the university’s reliance on fossil fuels by 8 to 10 percent.

Jeremy King, Denison’s sustainability coordinator, said it was a big step toward meeting the university’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, a goal that Denison pledged when it signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2010.

When word trickled out that the intended site was the southeastern edge of the Biological Reserve, within 100 yards of houses along Welsh Hills Road, neighbors were quick to respond.

An informational meeting with the community was held on Oct. 8, and residents peppered university officials with questions about the impact on the reserve and how it would affect their lives and property values.

“The Bio Reserve has been deemed a reserve for the community’s use for almost 50 years. The university has promoted it as such. Realtors use it as a pitch for nearby properties,” said Miller. “Then suddenly, we’re told that they’re going to mow down acres of trees and that we’ll be living next to what amounts to a power plant.”

King, who also lives on Welsh Hills Road, said the university attempted to address all of the residents’ concerns, providing research and documents and talking to anyone who asked. It promised to keep a buffer of vegetation between the panels and nearby homes.

“It’s a challenging position to put Jeremy in with his neighbors,” said Seth Patton, the university’s vice president of finance and management. “From my perspective, he’s gone above and beyond.”

Miller is unhappy that the university announced its plans without first talking to neighbors.

She said Denison could find another site or pay for more-expensive but more-efficient solar panels.

“They say they’re not saving any money on electricity with this proposal. They say it’s a financial wash,” Miller said. “But what’s the problem with Denison investing into reducing its carbon footprint to avoid cutting trees, reducing green space, diminishing the Bio Reserve and diminishing our property values?”

Miller and her neighbors based their appeal of the zoning change on their assertion that the project does not meet all of the five criteria mandated for a conditional-use permit. One of those criteria requires that the array will not diminish surrounding property values.

Zoning-board member Neil Zimmers said there is no historical evidence to suggest that a solar array has had any effect, positive or negative, on neighboring properties. Without such evidence, he and his fellow board members voted to approve.

Both sides will have the opportunity to address Granville’s village council during the appeal. Following that, the council can either affirm or reverse the zoning board’s decision. It also can send the case back to the board to reconsider, or modify the board’s decision.

Either party can then appeal the council’s decision to Licking County Common Pleas Court.

elyttle@dispatch.com

 

Campus Event: “A Tax on Carbon” – 2015 Environmental and Natural Resources Symposium: February 18 2015

“A Tax on Carbon: Would It Work for Business, Consumers, and the Environment?” is the topic of the 2015 Environmental and Natural Resources Symposium. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 2015 in Benes Rooms A and B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

dragline_mining_coal

“A Tax on Carbon: Would It Work for Business, Consumers, and the Environment?” is the topic of the 2015 Environmental and Natural Resources Symposium.

7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 2015 in Benes Rooms A and B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

Panelists will include Scott Nystrom, M.A., senior economic associate for Regional Economic Models Inc., and Ian Sheldon, Ph.D., the Andersons Professor of International Trade at The Ohio State University.

The discussion will be moderated by Laurie Anderson, Ph.D., OWU professor of botany and microbiology, and is sponsored by the OWU Department of Economics; Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship; and Delaware Chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based organization focused on policies to address climate change. Learn more at wcebe.owu.edu.

Spenser Hickey’s Report on OWU Sustainability

During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

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During the Fall semester of 2014 Journalism student Spencer Hickey reviewed the state of Sustainability on OWU’s campus, reviewing its history and current status, interviewing students, staff and faculty, and documenting his work as Special Report: OWU Sustainability.

OWU’s Sustainability Task Force (Facebook here) is actively addressing many of the issues in Hickey’s report, and a Spring 2015 practicum (Geography 499) will review and address the issues as part of the process of creating a campus-wide sustainability plan.

 

Green Business Survey and Resource Guide

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. An online survey and resource guide (downloadable) were created for the project.

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Photograph of historic downtown Delaware, Ohio. Photography by John Hollinger (Source)


Delaware, Ohio Green Business Survey & Resource Guide                      

Spring 2012

Sophie Kiendl, Amy Carr, John Krygier, Sean Kinghorn

Summary

The goal of the Delaware Green Business Project is to create a Green Business Challenge for the City of Delaware in order to help local businesses to become more environmentally sustainable. The Challenge will be initiated with an online survey created for the project. The survey will allow us to monitor various environmental issues related to community businesses over time, and can be connected to the Sustainability Region database. Our main objective is to decrease energy usage, water consumption and waste and improve the performance of commercial and institutional buildings and their operations. We will work with Delaware business to increase the environmentally business practices will decrease their expenditures. The Green Business Project is a business friendly project and will in no way harm participating businesses. We encourage the entire business community to join us and help create a greener community.

Methods and Results

At the beginning of the semester Dr. Krygier informed us that we would be doing class projects involving the environmental sustainability of Ohio Wesleyan University and Delaware County. We had to come up with ideas that both would add depth to the project and interested us. Amy came up with the idea of a Green Business Challenge for Delaware Businesses. The idea came from a previous project she worked on in Charleston, SC, which had the same goal of increasing greener business practices in their community. Amy and I worked with Sean Kinghorn to come up with ideas for what we would like to have involved in our green business challenge to make it effective and applicable to the Delaware County business community. We met weekly to ensure that we could provide our participants with the best possible challenge and resources to complete the challenge. We developed an online survey with 37 questions for the participants to complete with 65 points possible.

Participants will receive this message upon receiving the online survey challenge.

We have sent you the Delaware Green Business Challenge survey. The survey is meant to give you a baseline of how green your business is and an idea of what areas you can improve in. It includes 50 actions that are necessary for a greener business. Once you have completed the survey your answers are collected and your score is generated. There are a 100 points total 4 tiers of achievements. Tier 1 being the highest level of achievement. See the chart below for a breakdown of points needed for each tier.

Along with the challenge businesses will receive a Resource Guide to help green their business. Once each business has finished the challenge we will compute their scores and personally work with them on ways to better their businesses. As well businesses will receive a plaque or certificate showing the public that they have participated (in no circumstances will the businesses scores be shared with the general public, we are here to help not harm!).

See the two documents generated for this project:

  • Green Business Challenge Survey (PDF)
  • Green Business Resource Guide (PDF) (Word)

The survey is in Google Docs format and can be modified and sent to businesses if students are interested in continuing the project. The resource guide, with some updates, can also be used for future projects. Contact John Krygier for more information.

Recommendations (2012)

  1. Consult the City of Delaware Chamber of Commerce. Allow for critique and adjustment of the survey to meet the needs of Delaware businesses. With the approval and backing of the Chamber of Commerce it is possible that more businesses will want to participate in the survey and Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Consult additional local business organizations, such as Downtown Delaware. Again, allow critique and adjustment of the survey and the Green Challenge program. Inquire as to methods of promoting the survey and program.
  1. Develop educational programs on sustainable practices that are open to the public along with programs only for those that are participating in the program. The educational programs should be hosted by Ohio Wesleyan, which opens the possibility to involve students in the programs. The involvement of both the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan in the program will lead to a stronger relationship between the City and the University. Reach out to the Economics Department to see if students and faculty may be interested in moving the survey, Green Challenge, and additional sustainable practices programs forward.
  1. Directly link the results of the survey to the Sustainability Region database. Institute a program to periodically resurvey businesses to track change over time and assess the impact of the programs promoting sustainable practices.