Mayor Reed, Lacey Lewis, VP of Finance, Cox Enterprises, and Dennis Creech, ED of Southface Energy for award ceremony for Cox Enterprises the 2015 Argon Award winner Southface's annual Visionary Dinner is always a highlight of the year. 2015 was no exception. Steve Curwood of NPR and host of Living on Earth since 1991 was this year's keynote. He has done many things on NPR but the fact that he has committed to Living on Earth for so long proves he is a planet lover! Make no mistake, Steve is super knowledgeable about climate change and the equity of climate change. He is very informative, thoughtful and motivating. We did catch up with Steve and Charles Whatley after the morning event for SEGreen Mobile interviews. To see pictures from the morning and Visionary Dinner hop over to our Facebook page. To read the tweets in order start at the bottom and read up.

Winners of this year's Argon Award was Cox Enterprises. Lacey Lewis, VP of Finance accepted the award. A long time leader in the Atlanta area, which over 35 years has led to national prominence on sustainability. Their most notable and visible program is their Cox Conserves program which hosts Cox Conserves Heroes events in many of the Cox markets. The Cox Conserves Heroes programs award volunteers who have provided excellent leadership for an environmental organization. Awards for the winners can be as large as $10,000.

One more exciting note from the dinner. This year was the first year in ten years where there was a title sponsor. The honor went to Mohawk Carpet. Mohawk made the exciting announcement that they are fully committed to transparency and to exhibit that commitment, over 400 products free of chemicals considered in the "red" or most toxic category. The world is changing right before our eyes.

 

  • Now is the time for us to create clean and vibrant future so this century can be America's best
  • US taxpayers paid for Shell to drill with old technology
  • Natural Gas is better than coal but only by 25% It's #lessbad
  • Shell spent $6 billion for failed oil gas exploration in Arctic. Who paid? US Taxpayers through subsidies
  • #Energy is a $6 trillion business. However we are being inequitable toward the coal miners who served us for so long
  • This is disruptive technology but can be a game changer.
  • They are developing in Delaware software to use #ev batteries to help peak shave. Owners should be paid to do it
  • #Business is going to have to solve and lead in #climate change. Governments are not nimble enough
  • Everyone regardless of the ticket level sank on the Titanic
  • Floods and droughts don't treat people of wealth differently from people who are poor
  • We are experiencing a super El Niño in the South. South Carolina is just the first event we should watch for
  • If we can treat climate as an equity issue then we can plan better for major weather events
  • The amount of rain Columbia SC is the equivalent of 24 feet of snow
  • Darfur Sudan was also driven by drought
  • The rise of ISIS can be linked back to climate event of drought in Syria
  • We don't want to leave this legacy but we are still in denial
  • We are all in denial over how bad #climate change is
  • Cars are very expensive for society. Millennials get it. They are skipping car ownership
  • We need to be fair the young and the old
  • The car coming is not from GM it's from Google and Apple
  • #Transportation is very inequitable.
  • Right now we are inequitable towards the young and the old
  • We need to think about the equity. What's fair? 800 million people will be starving tonight
  • Part of the challenge is loss in places without refrigeration
  • We grow enough of food on the planet to feed 10 billion but lose 30% of it
  • We are on target as Americans to grow our population to 440 million
  • We live in exciting time with great challenges and great opportunity
  • Steve has been a journalist for over 30 years. With stints at CBS, The Boston Globe along side NPR
  • Steve Curwood hosts the Living on Earth show on NPR which has been broadcasting since 1991
  • We are honored to be a part of the refresh which is incorporating health environments
  • Mohawk is a part of the refresh happening at Southface
  • Listening to Rochelle Routman VP Sustainability at @mohawk
  • 60 years ago Georgia consumed 80% of the food we grew. Now we export 80% of our ag products
  • The Grants to Green program has saved so much energy it is the equivalent of a $30 million fund  #savings
  • Finalists Named for Atlanta's 2015 Cox Conserves Heroes Program, Public Asked to Vote http://ow.ly/T4CNg  #CoxConservesHero
  • The students from Kennesaw State's sustainable international food service program are running front and back of the house
  • The Nygrens from Serenbe our hosts tonight
  • Giving back to the community is a key part of @coxenterprises DNA and we look forward to many more years of giving back
  • The Kennedys were part of the founding group for The Path non-profit  @coxenterprises
  • #Energy efficiency, water, zero waste goals followed
  • In 1978 Jim Kennedy was asked about how many trees they were killing each year that led to using recycled paper and path of #sustainability
  • I am here because I work w/ @CoxConserves team every day. The team is laser focused on #sustainability  
  • We are a bit of over achievers at @coxenterprises thanks to our president Jim Kennedy
  • Cox Enterprises VP Lacey Lewis receives the award on behalf of @coxenterprises  
  • The Argon Award is for winners who lead in sustainability initiatives
  • We are currently leading the country in #ev deployment
  • #Atlanta continues to lead the country in Pres. Obama's Better Building Challenge
  • The city of #Atlanta was awarded last year for our work and that work had continued
  • The Power to Change had become the leading platform for other cities to model #Sustainability #visionarydinner
  • We are going to switch things up tonight and awarding the Argon Award first tonight
  • Visionary Dinner Egyptian Ballroom at The Fox Theatre @foursquare: http://4sq.com/1VFxYnp 
  • The #solar bill was a great win for Georgia but how does it effect equity for lower income folks - Dennis Creech
  • We need to do better in addressing the equity part of our sustainability programs - Dennis Creech
  • Historically it was people, profit, planet
  • The new three legged stool of #sustainability economy, environment and equity
  • It's not just the #fossilfuel cos who are #climate deniers pretty much our whole society is. - Steve Curwood
  • In Alaska alone there were 300 wildfires
  • Almost always people who love their jobs are doing something that helps others and building a better society
  • In the 1950s people were asking what are we going to do with all this leisure time because productivity rates rising
  • Our rights for us as humans includes access to water, waste removal, electricity.
  • Many government leaders think the reason the #Syrian experience is so bad is because of the prolonged deep drought #climate
  • This extra money allows more money flowing through the community
  • In #Chicago they have tied #energyefficiency to all public housing which is putting more money in the pockets of residents
  • There is a great challenge in getting businesses to come into neighborhoods of low income.
  • Culturally diverse communities bring equity
  • Good policy and informed policy is critical to good functioning education programs
  • Equity is tied to education. You can't imagine without education and exposure
  • Their hedge fund guys in Denmark are satisfied but pay a much higher tax rate ;0)
  • In Denmark they are the most satisfied country in the world. Almost all government jobs get equal pay
  • When we've identified a lack of equity in New Hampshire we have created taxes that level the playing field
  • For something to be #sustainable it must be stable. If their isn't equity then there is no stability hence no sustainability
  • #Atlanta and #Boston are listed as the 2 least equitable cities in the country
  • Also, the #Obama administration also said federal funding for programs had to be focused on regions not just a single city
  • The state of Georgia did something really smart and located all the electric folks to a central location on @GATech campus
  • We do have great cooperation within the city. @GAPower helps land businesses even if the business will not be a customer
  • The great thing about @GATech is being an economic driver has always been a part of it's DNA for developing solutions
  • The students were Brian Leary and Ryan Gravel
  • Two @GATech student projects led to the 2 biggest Brownfield redevelopment projects in #ATL Atlantic Station and @AtlantaBeltLine
  • In #ATL what makes us unique is the way we can identify private partnership to help fund gaps in funding
  • If you are in your car there is no community but if you commute via public trans community will build
  • Hearing a great story from Steve about how community, community, community is essential to sustainability
  • She is discussing how even the states aren't perfect we have done such a good job protecting the environment
  • Listening to a Tech Professor is a Turkish National
  • 57.1 mil gallons of gas is burned by drivers in ATL road congestion yearly. Ride a bus y'all. http://atlresearch.tumblr.com/post/130685323028 …
  • In these partnerships the private sector is actually carrying the bulk of the financial load and government on average is putting in 10%
  • Charles looks at the collaboration between governments, private business and community @AtlantaBeltLine perfect example
  • Charles Whatley  Board member now speaking
  • Steve is very impressed with the work happening at @GATech
  • The human equity part of businesses are very important. Coal also failed their human equity piece too
  • If you want your business to continue to operate you need to think about sustainability
  • Coal missed the boat in transitioning. This society owes so much to coal and coal miners but because of stubbornness
  • There are leaking pipes of natural gas all over the country
  • Look at coal stocks. They didn't pay attention and many of them are penny stocks now
  • We are now understanding what happens to companies that don't pay attention to #sustainability
  • Ray brought up the idea that carpet was recyclable by discovering the inherent value of what is left in the carpet after use
  • Steve met Ray Anderson through Paul Hawken
  • We are missing the interconnectedness but here at @gatech they are taking the holistic approach
  • Listening to Steve Curwood - Keynote speaker tonight
  • The right to life includes living on this planet - The Pope
  • By the 1990s, we had made strides for civil and Women's rights but still needed to make significant changes for environment
  • Listening to reporter from NPR discussing his involvement at the first Earth Day and how it didn't resonate with him
  • Being at the stadium proves the perfect background for discussing how football creates community
  • The Wardlaw Center is right on the @gatech stadium
  • The Serve Learn Sustain program is focused on how to create sustainable communities
  • This program includes not only sustainability of ecology and infrastructure but also how people thrive
  • Serve Learn Sustain is a program that will be permeating throughout @GATech over the next few years. @GATech
  • Dennis Creech ED of  welcomes everyone
  • Here for  Visionary Dinner Preview Wardlaw Center @gatech http://4sq.com/Xkzzl1