“Green” is Good for Business and the Environment Conference

September 17, 2008

COLUMBIA, SC – What do the chief strategist of an energy company, the co-founder of a business organization dedicated to sustainable development, a career British diplomat and a rock musician have in common?

They will all speak at the 2nd Annual Green is Good for Business Climate Protection Action Conference on Oct. 7 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

Admission to the conference is $50 per person or three for $100, and $35 for students, community and neighborhood association members. The event features keynote speakers and money saving earth-friendly exhibits.

Registration for the conference will open at 8:30 a.m. with the opening session at 9:30 a.m. Following the closing session, the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce will present Business After Hours from 5:30-7 p.m. The conference exhibit hall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

B. Keith Trent, group executive and chief strategy, policy and regulatory office for Duke Energy, will deliver the conference’s keynote luncheon address. Trent is responsible for strategy, federal policy and government affairs, energy efficiency and technology initiatives, environmental health and safety policy, corporate communications and community affairs. Duke Energy has become a leader in exploring alternative methods of power generation.
The conference’s morning session will be a panel on The Future of Business in a Sustainable Environment. The panel will feature Andrew Mangan, executive director and cofounder of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development. The council, a non-profit association of businesses, was founded in 2002 to create and deliver value-driven sustainable projects in the United States.

Also scheduled to be on the panel for the morning session are Hildy Teegen, dean of the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina; and Myra Reece, chief of the Air Quality Bureau of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.


Martin Rickerd, the British Consul-General in Atlanta, will speak at the closing session. Rickerd joined the British diplomatic service in 1972.  A frequent speaker on global sustainable initiatives, Rickerd believes that while governments need to create the right incentives it is possible for the private sector to make money and save the economy at the same time. 

Following Rickerd’s remarks, Jim Sonefeld, better known to the legions of Hootie and the Blowfish fans, as Soni, will deliver a Call to Action to conference attendees. Sonefeld., the drummer for the popular band, is an advocate of green business practices.

The conference will feature educational sessions on air quality, energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction and recycling, green building initiatives and future fuels.

The conference is presented by the City of Columbia and the Climate Protection Action Committee in partnership with the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce.

Online registration is available through the City of Columbia website www.columbiasc.net or the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce www.columbiachamber.com.