Are you a member of a neighborhood business chamber or have experience with a regional Chamber of Commerce? Are you implementing corporate sustainability, environmental stewardship and systems thinking into your organization, committees or discussions?
Here are a few effective, chamber-level programs we recently uncovered:
• Consider membership in a green, mission-based business chamber – the Green Chamber of Commerce. Headquartered in San Francisco, with an aspirational tagline that challenges it’s members to “build an honest economy for all people and our planet.” This newly founded chamber is headquartered in the Bay Area home to many progressives like Smith and Hawken, The Gap, IDEO, Apple, Google, Intel, and Stanford University. Even the city’s Mayor, Gavin Newsom ran for Lt. Governor of California on a deep green platform.
• Surprisingly the Green Chamber’s second chapter is in Las Vegas! It’s the first and only eco-business chapter of its kind in Nevada. Although I’ve never been there, I’m pretty sure the only thing sustainable about Vegas is its 24/7, high-powered, entertainment industry. The rationale must be if you can affect change in a city that consumes enough energy to power the International Space Station, you can do it anywhere.
• Chambers of Commerce across the country have banned together to form an alliance called the Green Business Chamber,. It is one more tool chambers are using to help showcase members who are making an effort to go green. Since this is a cooperative effort among many chambers of Commerce, we are sure that this program will be evolving significantly over the next year. Benefits include: networking, education, advocacy, case studies and in many cases, marketing support for the member organization or its programs.
• An even broader reaching group is the EcoChamber, “the first global green chamber of commerce dedicated to helping organizations create and implement sustainable business practices while counseling them on how to make sound and profitable business decisions driven by the new Green Economy.”
• Among the thousands of Chambers of Commerce in the United States, many now have a Sustainability Committee. Forward thinking cities like Boulder, has a clean tech group; Seattle has a sustainability committee; and Boston offers an innovation forum among its many member benefits.
There are numerous organizations dedicated to green building, clean tech and local economies. By using our well-established chambers as a platform, we can quickly move the sustainability conversation forward by focusing on common issues across a variety of industries and sectors.
Become an active chamber member, consider chamber membership or start a chapter in your market. Then Go Green, and share your groups’ results and benefits with our readers. Keep up the commitment and the business of green! – alex