Green Plus™ Award Winners Discuss Local Impact on National Policy

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(Washington, D.C.) The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, Cleveland, OH, Savannah, GA, and North Myrtle Beach, S.C. were each awarded a 2011 Green Plus Award for community-based innovation in sustainable economic development. The awards were made at PNC Bank regional headquarters in Washington, D.C. by the Institute for Sustainable Development, Partners for Livable Communities, and the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.

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Following the awards, representatives of the winning communities participated in a panel discussion with a diverse group of national business leaders and public officials including representatives of the U.S. Senate and House, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC), Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE), and the Climate Prosperity Project (CPP). The group discussed how innovation at the local level could improve Federal policy through civil discussion between the nation’s two major political parties as well as agencies including the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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“The 2011 Green Plus™ Award winners show how economic development that integrates good environmental practices and respect for communities is also smart business,” said Chris Carmody, Executive Director for the Institute for Sustainable Development. “National leaders from both sides of the aisle can learn from the non-partisan, public-private partnerships going on all over the country when it comes to building a more competitive economy,” Carmody concluded.

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About the Award Winners

Cleveland, Ohio, received the Green Plus Award in the large community category for

Savannah, Georgia, received the Green Plus™ Award in the medium-sized community category for Thrive, an effort to engage both municipal employees and the broader community in reducing its green house gas emissions and creating a cleaner community.

North Myrtle Beach, S.C., received the Green Plus™ Award in the smaller community category for its public-private initiative, the North Strand Coastal Wind Team and related efforts designed to make the city an energy independent showcase for green jobs.

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce received the 2011 Green Plus™ Chamber of the Year Award for Leadership in Sustainable Economic Development for its attraction of over $1 billion in investment from Volkswagen (resulting in over 2,000 new jobs) through a campaign that connected the sustainability efforts of the community and the company.

The Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce received the 2011 Green Plus™ Chamber of the Year Award for Leadership in Member Sustainability for its Gatlinburg Goes Green! program which provides educational opportunities which arm its members with the knowledge they require to reduce their environmental impacts.

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About the Green Plus Awards

Green Plus is an initiative based in the North Carolina Research Triangle to help smaller enterprises and their communities with become healthier and more prosperous. The program partners nationally with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, an umbrella network of over 1,400 U.S. and Canadian local chambers of commerce.

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GlaxoSmithKline is the Presenting Sponsor of the Green Plus Awards. The Institute and Partners for Livable Communities are also grateful to Co-Presenters the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, the Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, and to PNC Bank for making these awards possible.

The 2010 Green Plus Chamber of Commerce winners included

For more information about the Institute for Sustainable Development and the Green Plus Awards, please see www.gogreenplus.org.

The Institute for Sustainable Development / Green Plus

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