WPB Hosting Green Summit, Creating Office of Sustainability

The City of West Palm Beach not only announced the upcoming Sustainability Summit today, but also took steps to ensure that the inaugural “e4” Sustainability Summit will be the City government’s first-ever carbon-neutral event.  The City will also be working on additional efforts in the coming weeks to offset the carbon produced by the summit, ensuring that it has no carbon footprint.

Mayor Lois Frankel also announced the formation of the City Office of Sustainability, which will be staffed by existing City employees.  The Office will work with neighborhoods, businesses and local leaders to help the City reach the goal reducing its carbon footprint by 70% by the year 2050.  The Office will also be a resource center for residents, neighborhoods, companies, non-profits, private-sector businesses and others trying to become more sustainable.

“I’m proud that the e4 Summit will be the City’s first carbon-neutral event, which is a great landmark to reach,” said Mayor Frankel.  “Our City government and Office of Sustainability will continue to show leadership as we all try to make our City more sustainable.”

In order to help reduce the e4 Summit’s carbon footprint, the Mayor was joined by local students, business leaders and environmental groups in planting dozens of trees along Elder’s Cove in the City’s Dreher Park.  Planting trees is a natural way to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and also provides other environmental benefits.

The upcoming e4 Summit will be a public forum to unite residents, businesses and government in taking on the challenge of making West Palm Beach a carbon neutral City.  The summit will address four “e’s” related to sustainability:  environment, economics, equity (equal access to technology, education and public services) and energy.  The summit will be held on Wednesday, February 25, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Harriet Himmel Theatre in CityPlace.  It is FREE of charge.  You can see an agenda, view a list of speakers and register for the summit at www.wpb.org/e4.  You can also call 561-822-2222 for more information.

The e4 Summit is supported by:  MWH Global, Inc., the City Green Task Force, the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, CDM, Newsradio 1290 WJNO, the Palm Beach Post, Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Group, NavarroLowrey Properties, Lewis, Longman and Walker, P.A., Florida Atlantic University, TRC Solutions, Astorino, the Related Group, CityPlace, the Florida Earth Foundation, the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, Land Design South, B.E.S.T. (Benjamin Environmental Sustainability Team), the Palm Beach Zoo, Citizens for Improved Transit and 1,000 Friends of Florida.