Sustainability Roundtable Connects Mayor Bell and Environmental Groups

Mayor Bell met with a range of local environmental and nonprofit leaders yesterday for a sustainability roundtable discussion. The event was held at Innovation Depot and hosted by Kelly Green Marketing.

Guests included those involved with the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, Cahaba River Society, Green Resource Center for Alabama, Freshwater Land Trust, and more.

Attendees spoke about current sustainable efforts taking place within their own organizations, and discussed different options about how the group can work collectively toward greater sustainability advancement in 2014 and beyond. The group as a whole expressed a greater need for raising public interest in sustainability issues, and for finding more ways to help make sustainable practices more relevant and value added to local families.

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“In Alabama we have a sort of heritage of sustainability that’s built into our culture,” said Robert McCullough of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Birmingham chapter. “ In my experience, people want sustainability, they want efficiency, they want clean water, they want healthy buildings. I see the potential to do so much more here, we just need to keep the momentum going.”

Mayor Bell agreed with McCullough, adding that it all begins with gathering the necessary information–such as that available in the 2013 Green Progress Report–that really helps advance the process.

“What I hope will come out of all of our collective efforts is that sustainability becomes seamless, that everything we do works toward that goal, even when we’re not focused on it,” said Birmingham Mayor William Bell.

Bell also announced the revival of the Birmingham Sustainability Commission, which he said would help serve as the voice for local sustainability initiatives and successes. The commission will work side by side with local elected leaders, businesses, environmental groups, and the local community to help determine priorities and collaborate in forming sustainability focused initiatives.

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