West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present a luncheon highlighting global and local responses to climate change and energy on Monday, January 11, at Grand Valley State University’s Seidman Forum from 12 to 2 pm.

Review the meeting presentations here.

Featured speakers include Natural Capital Partners Executive Vice President Mark LaCroix and Center for Climate Strategies Chairman Steve Chester, WMSBF member delegates to The Conference of the Parties (COP21) climate summit in Paris in December, plus City of Grand Rapids Director of Energy and Sustainability Haris Alibasic and US Green Building Council Executive Director Cheri Holman.

This month’s meeting presented by Natural Capital Partners.

Natural Capital Partners, a global business that delivers solutions for positive impact on carbon, energy, water, biodiversity and communities, has participated in Conference of the Parties meetings since COP9 in Milan in 2002 – an event that it certified CarbonNeutral®.  With five people in attendance the company was well represented at COP21 in Paris.

In his presentation, Paris Outcomes: What Action for Business,  LaCroix will share what they learned and explore how business can take the lead post-Paris.

  • From awareness to action – a brief history of The Conference of the Parties
  • Outcomes from COP21 – a summary of the final results and next steps.
  • What now? – transformation, growth and opportunity for business.
  • Getting to zero – the business case for carbon neutrality and a framework to get there.

Chester will share additional perspective drawing from his experiences as chairman of CCS, the nation’s premiere catalyst for state climate action planning and analysis, and the development of Michigan’s climate action plan during his time as Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Alibasic will provide an update on City of Grand Rapids efforts to lead climate action by example, including the development of a solar power field at the Butterworth landfill site. Holman will introduce the third season of the USGBC’s Michigan Battle of the Buildings and the new Grand Rapids 2030 District.

Mark LaCroix is Executive Vice President, Americas with Natural Capital Partners (formerly The CarbonNeutral Company), a world-leading provider of market-based environmental solutions. Mark leads the company’s work with clients in the Americas to help them manage their environmental and carbon impacts to drive positive business results. Prior to joining The CarbonNeutral Company in 2008, Mark held the position of Vice President, Global Sustainability with the fabrics division of Interface, a leading manufacturer of commercial interior fabrics.  Mark is a graduate of Davenport University, serves on the external advisory board for the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, and is a past president of West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.

Steven Chester is with the law firm of Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, in its Energy, Environmental, and Regulatory Practice Group. He is currently chairman of the board of The Center for Climate Strategies and a technical consultant on the WMSBF Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative, in partnership with Sustainable Research Group.

From 2011 to 2014 he served as Deputy Assistant Administrator in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. From 2003 to 2010, Steve served in the Cabinet of Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm as Director of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

January Monthly Meeting
Monday, January 11
12 pm to 2 pm
GVSU L. Seidman Center
50 Front Ave SW, Grand Rapids, 49504
$15 online / $20 at event Members
$20 online / $25 at event Non-members
Register here.
Parking is readily available to the north of the building in the Fulton Lot, accessible from Fulton Street. This is an automated message, but if you respond to it you’ll get me just the same.

Tentative Agenda
12 pm Networking and lunch
12:30 pm Welcome and WMSBF Business
12:35 pm Mark LaCroix, Natural Capital Partners
1:05 pm Steve Chester, Center for Climate Strategies
1:30 pm Haris Alibasic, City of Grand Rapids Office of Energy and Sustainability
1:50 pm Cheri Holman, USGBC Battle of the Buildings/2030 District