West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan will present a luncheon program on sustainability and resiliency featuring Mayor George Heartwell on Monday, March 10, at Cheney Place from 12 to 2 pm. The program is presented by Steelcase and Feyen Zylstra, with additional support from The Cheney Place.
Across the United States, community and business leaders are rapidly becoming aware of their vulnerabilities to climate change, arguably society’s most significant and unpredictable risk management concern. A timely program in the wake of floods, power outages, blizzards and other extreme events, the authors of the City of Grand Rapids Climate Resiliency Report and Mayor George Heartwell, a recent appointee to the national Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, will discuss how West Michigan can take steps toward greater community sustainability and resiliency.
In 2012 the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Mayor Heartwell with the Climate Protection Award Winner for Large Cities for the city’s efforts to address climate change according to the mandates set forth by the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. The honor included a grant for climate change protection programming that allowed West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Grand Rapids Office of Energy and Sustainability asked to investigate local climate change impacts and highlight possible strategies for building a more sustainable and resilient community.
Select forum members will also share how climate change is impacting their operations as an introduction to the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative, a partnership between WMSBF, Michigan State University, Penn State University and the Rand Corp., among other collaborators.