Sunday, December 11, 2011

Highlights of the Opportunity Green Conference 2011

Opportunity Green is an annual business conference in Los Angeles and according to organizers, the November 2011 edition was the best conference yet. It was the "gathering place" for individuals and companies committed to building profitable and sustainable enterprises while solving some of the world's toughest problems. The conference reviewed new trends, critical knowledge and winning partnerships for a world where profits, people and the environment are truly interconnected.

Opportunity Green gave big companies, small startups, and environmental nonprofits the chance to discuss things like energy efficiency and supply chains.

Some of the world's leading sustainable brands were in attendance including companies like Starbucks and Nike. Here is a summary of some interesting developments in sustainability reviewed at the conference.

The industrial paper company Domtar is talking about its Earth Choice line. Brand manger Louis Fix says his clients want clear-cut tools to reduce paper use, energy bills or carbon emissions, and firm data to count that savings. He says everyday shoppers may be confused about what's truly green or not, but global corporations can't afford to be. According to Fix, the business side of things is at a more advanced stage than the consumers are. Companies want to get out ahead of environmental issues, and maybe even cut some costs in the process.

As head of the World Resources Institute Manish Bapna works with business leaders. Bapna indicated that we are increasingly seeing many businesses look at sustainability in terms of profit and in terms of opportunities for new markets or innovation. This is a profound business shift.

Karen Solomon founded the Opportunity Green conference five years ago. She calls corporations the driver for change. According to Solomon businesses are acting in the absence of policy.

Bapna says that although companies are getting involved with efficiency initiatives and waste reduction, its nowhere near enough. We need to see reductions of greenhouse gas emissions on the scale of 80 to 90 percent in the next few decades. We need to see government policy that offers businesses long-term certainty. Bapna notes that some big corporations have started to lobby for climate change regulation. Because now that they've started down the road of sustainability on their own, they need better maps to see where they're going.

Opportunity Green is working feverishly to upload pictures, press articles, interviews and video from OG11. Everything from the inspiring speeches by Yves Behar of fuseproject to Gaylon White displaying the world-changing HydroPack to the 3rd Annual OG25 Innovative Start-Up fast pitch competition, to the amazing evening under the glow of Downtown Los Angeles’ skyline at the Taste of LA After Party.

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For photos, videos and more information click here.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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