Category Archives: News

New and Renewing Members Receive Sustainable Gift

Join the Green Chamber between now and the end of the year and receive a gift based on your level of sustainable membership.

GIFTS AND LEVELS

“Thank you gifts are our way, of showing our appreciation for your membership,” noted North Florida Green Chamber Executive Director Christina Kelcourse. “You are affirming that you embrace corporate responsibility, knowing our air quality and water quality will be better when our local businesses make smart, innovative, and clean decisions.”

Select thank you gifts to join or renew your membership or to simply support North Florida Green Chamber’s mission. Everything we do – from advocacy and education to Sustainability Coach, Green Marketplace, Buyer’s Club, Solar Collective, Tuesdays@2 and other programs – is possible because of members.

JOIN OR RENEW TODAY

Green Chamber Member Helping Break Stigmas and Stereotypes that Prevent People of Color from Being Connected to the Water

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Two Jacksonville, Fla. companies, North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) member ANACT and SurfearNEGRA, are teaming up to break stigmas and stereotypes that prevent people of color from being connected to the water.

Together with award-winning photographer Malcom Jackson, they have created a limited-edition tote bag to pay homage to the Black Lives Matter movement. The bag helps fight systemic racism by removing stigmas and stereotypes associated with surfing through the photo of GiGi, the founder of Surfear Negra on the bag.

“This collaboration represents a shift in the economic paradigm of how to do business by partnering with local entrepreneurs and creating positive impact in the community,” noted ANACT Founder Brianna Kilcullen.

The trio want to empower and inspire young girls of color to do things they did not think were possible in and out of the surf industry.

Ten percent of the sales will be used to send young girls of color to surf camps, giving them a chance to learn the future Olympic sport and experience the lifestyle. Their goal is to send 10 girls to camp.

“Our members are known for being committed to environmental and social justice causes. This is another example of a commitment on that level,” said Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC, Executive Director, North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce.

The tote bag’s environmental conscious design of sustainable plant fibers highlights the benefits of fibers such as hemp. Each bag saves 236 days of drinking water. It represents the future hemp textile industry by showing market demand to American farmers and is an alternative to single use plastic bags.

Click here to order or for more information.

NFGCC is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices.

In addition to promoting the economic success of NFGCC members by offering environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable products and services, the North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events, job fairs, a Buyer’s Club, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

ABOUT THE NORTH FLORIDA GREEN CHAMBER COMMERCE

Welcome to The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) where being green is cool and convenient!  Today, more businesses than ever understand how critical it is to grow in ways that are sustainable financially, but also socially and environmentally. NFGCC is a 501(c)6 non-profit member organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. and established in 2018 to advance sustainable business in Northeast Florida through networking, education, and advocacy. NFGCC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and is a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.

ABOUT ANACT

Our goal is to disrupt the textile industry and show that you can be sustainable without a sacrifice. We believe that by showing the increasing demand for sustainable products, (especially those made from hemp) that we can create jobs for U.S. farmers to grow hemp and manufacture here in the United States. Visit www.anact.com for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Mike Bonts Public Relations

(904) 424-6641

mike@bontspr.com

Northrop Grumman Recipient of North Florida Green Chamber Water Quality Award

The North Florida Green Chamber has named Northrop Grumman the recipient of the 2020 Water Quality Award during National Water Quality Month.

“We are pleased to be recognized with the inaugural Water Quality Award by the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce. Northrop Grumman is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for our employees, contractors, visitors and communities that includes minimizing environmental impacts by reducing waste generation, minimizing water consumption and reducing GHG emissions,” said Julie Edwards, Northrop Grumman Sustainability Site Lead.

This is the first year for the Green Chamber’s annual award created to recognize examples of water quality improvement and conservation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation by Green Chamber members and other businesses in North Florida.

“The Water Quality Award showcases innovative leadership and practice. Those who strive to change industry norms with exceptional imagination, foresight or resilience, overcoming obstacles and challenges to create new directions for sustainable water management.,” noted NFGCC Executive Director Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC.

Judges included Shannon Blankinship, Advocacy Director, St. Johns RIVERKEEPER;  James A Richardson, II, Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board Program Administrator, City of Jacksonville and Todd Z. Osborne, Associate Professor, Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida.

NFGCC is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices. The award is being created in cooperation with the St. Johns Riverkeepers.

In addition to promoting the economic success of NFGCC members by offering environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable products and services, the North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events, job fairs, a Buyer’s Club, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, and a mentoring program.

To learn more email contact@northfloridagreenchamber.org, call (904) 878-3474 or visit www.NorthFloridaGreenChamber.org.

Come hear what the Green Chamber is talking about Tuesdays@2!

Come hear what the Green Chamber is talking about! Join us for Tuesdays @ 2, our official weekly meeting, FREE and open to the public.

During this weekly virtual half-hour you will interact in a discussion on a timely, interesting topic, meet a local expert, and leave with your Tuesday Takeaway.

There is no charge to attend Tuesdays @ 2. But registration is required. Seating is limited.

Upcoming Schedule*

Sept 29 – Virtual School and Outdoor Classrooms, Kathy Bull/Michelle Carter Playgarden

Oct 6 – Green “virtual” Networking, Doug Wilder

Oct 13 – Science on Tap , Eddie Whistler, MOSH

Oct 20 – Conscious Consumerism, Anne Marie BGG

Oct 27 – Duval Schools Two Months In, Susan Carew, DCPS

*Subject to Change

There is no charge to attend this networking event, but registration is required.

REGISTER

North Florida Green Chamber Announces Local Solar Collective

More residents and business owners in North Florida can harness the power of the sun thanks to a new solar energy initiative by the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC).

“The Green Chamber has launched a Solar Collective with leading, local solar solutions providers. We’re excited to help to put solar power within easy reach for more residents and businesses, extending our commitment to growing renewable energy in North Florida,” said NFGCC Executive Director Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC.

The Green Chamber Solar Collective was created to improve local air quality, assist businesses and the public in their efforts to become more energy efficient, support local installers and make it easy for everyone in the region to save money. Generating power from the sun is one of the cleanest and greenest ways to produce electricity. There is no fee or obligation for users to sign up for the Solar Collective.

Those interested in the Solar Collective can complete an online sign-up form to receive program specifics and guidelines. Membership in the Collective includes being assigned an Energy Coach, a local third-party company partner of the Green Chamber.

The Energy Coach will help members with perform an energy audit, get a roof check, calculate how much the carbon footprint will be reduced, learn about incentives, available tax credits, green loans, and financing options.  A companion A-Z Guide of Going Solar includes information on technology, how permit requests are done, utility site visits, and details on solar battery back-up options.

The Green Chamber team will also offer guidance from contracting to installation and ongoing support. Using solar power helps reduce the level of emissions released into the environment and results in cleaner air and water for everyone. It also reduces dependence on fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

Learn more about the Green Chamber Solar Collective.

The NFGCC is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices. In addition to promoting the economic success of NFGCC members using environmental, socially responsible, and sustainable practices, the North Florida chapter has ongoing networking and educational events, job fairs, a Buyer’s Club, newsletter as well as sponsorship opportunities, discounts, and sustainability coaching. Join Today!

North Florida Green Chamber to Present Water Quality Award

Spotlighting water quality improvement, conservation in August

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce (NFGCC) is recognizing August as National Water Quality Month.

To focus on a natural resource, we usually take for granted, the North Florida Green Chamber has announced its inaugural Water Quality Award to be presented at the end of August.

“We often fail to recognize how regular human activities impact our water quality. Water Quality Month reminds us how our actions affect our waterways and sources. The award will focus on how we are doing locally. Water Quality Month reminds us to take a long, hard look at what businesses and our community are doing to protect sources of fresh water,” noted NFGCC Executive Director Christina W. Kelcourse, Esq, CFP, CRPC.

The Water Quality Award will recognize examples of water quality improvement and conservation that best demonstrates significant, lasting, and measurable excellence in water quality improvement or in prevention of water quality degradation by Green Chamber members and other businesses in North Florida.

NFGCC is a regional networking organization for all sizes of businesses and community organizations including non-profits that emphasize green and sustainable business practices. The award is being created in cooperation with the St. Johns Riverkeepers.

What are you doing to protect and conserve your sources of freshwater? Let the Green Chamber know so they can acknowledge you during National Water Quality Month or nominate someone.

Nominate someone today at www.northfloridagreenchamber.org/sustainability/

DEADLINE IS AUG. 10

How to Celebrate Plastic Free July at Your Business


Plastic Free July can be an effective way to start your sustainable journey. Follow these four steps.

By Emily Folk

If you want to operate a more eco-friendly business, it’s time to consider a few different approaches. You can help your company make smart choices for your consumers, employees and planet. Plastic Free July can be an effective way to start your sustainable journey. It really is easier than you think to create a green business.

Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people address plastic pollution, so we can have cleaner streets, healthier water sources and better ecosystems. Single-use plastics are everywhere—in our fridges, in our mail packaging, on the store shelves and at the local café.

Luckily, solutions to reduce single-use plastics can be implemented at home, work, restaurants and all big and small communities. Here are ways to take action for Plastic Free July.

  1. Educate All Employees

It’s important to bring your employees on this sustainable journey. You should take steps as a business to make eco-friendly choices, but it’s also up to your staff to make a difference. You can also try to urge your customers to be make “greener” habits. Send out emails with fast facts on climate change, as well as what you’ve done to become a sustainable business. The more people know, the more they will act.

Work with everyone to set weekly or monthly goals as a company. When it comes to waste, Americans produce 267 million tons every day. How can your employees make a change at the office? You could create a dedicated group to talk about green office initiatives. Feel free to hang up posters and signs to remind people about recycling and other practices you want to implement.

  1. Choose Sustainable Packaging

Whether you operate a local boutique or a restaurant chain, it is essential to consider your packaging. These days, many businesses use plastic materials to box their products. This practice creates immense waste—and those items often make their way to our oceans. It is true that when you recycle, you can reduce carbon emissions and save immense energy. In fact, you could power a room for 14 days if you recycled 100 cans.

That said, we cannot always count on consumers to throw away their trash correctly. That is why it is important to use sustainable packaging from the start. If you conduct an audit, you will see how much plastic you use as a business. Then, you can explore greener options that work for your product.

  1. Make a Green Office

It is essential to ensure you and your employees have a green office space. The same goes for restaurant and retail businesses. Here are a few ways to make your company space more eco-friendly:

Only print important documents
Use green cleaning supplies
Switch light bulbs to energy-efficient ones
Ask customers if they want their receipts
Offer reusable cutlery, plates and cups
Donate or recycle old computer equipment
Adjust the office’s temperature when unoccupied

These small efforts can produce a significant difference in your business. They are simple ways to transition to a more eco-friendly office—especially throughout Plastic Free July. Make an effort to tackle at least three or more goals on this list by next month. As a result, you will be able to create an impact without too much effort. Once you start, it becomes even easier.

  1. Try Reusable Products

If you own a restaurant, it is essential to use as many reusable products as you can. Otherwise, you’ll likely contribute to the extensive plastic pollution that plagues our oceans—up to 12.7 million metric tons accumulate every year. As a business, you have a chance to make conscious decisions that impact the entire world. It may not seem like this step matters, but it is much more important than you might think.

You can celebrate Plastic Free July when you replace your current containers, cutlery and other plastic single-use products with sustainable alternatives. You can even replace single-use sauce and condiment bottles with refillable versions. Make this effort your mission as a restaurant.

Use These Tips to Lead a More Sustainable Business

These tips may take some time to implement completely, but it is worth it! Use this Plastic Free July to jumpstart a sustainable initiative at your business.

You can also follow the hashtag #PlasticFreeJuly on social platforms, or follow PlasticFreeJuly’s social media accounts (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook) to reduce your single-use plastic reliance this month and all year long.

(Emily Folk covers topics in sustainability, conservation and green technology. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks)

A Statement from the North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce stands in solidarity with the Black community in the fight against systemic racism and injustice‐‐‐we hear you, and we support you.

We support Black Lives Matter’s mission to eradicate white supremacy and violence inflicted on Black communities and will continue this support as more visible protests may lessen. Those in power must not question and roundly reject discrimination, coercion, and disparity. These pervasive issues are deep‐seated.

The Green Chamber is very concerned about the racial divide and inequities in our nation. We are heartened by the dialogue and local voices uniting against racism, making it unequivocally clear that Black Lives Matter. We have a lot of work to do, as an organization and as a public.

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce brings together business, environmental and community leaders, as well as trusted influencers in North Florida, who value social an environmental justice as key parts of the triple bottom line. Collectively we seek to convene wide‐ranging perspectives for meaningful conversations, celebrate diversity and, most importantly, to take critical actions to create equity.

We strive to be an example, to demonstrate our intention to stand against racism and systems of oppression. Here in North Florida, we will use our voice to help build a society that is stronger, more equitable, tolerant, and resilient.

Our pledge is to first listen and understand, then move forward, boldly, to build a path to a better future together with the Black community. We will speak up and work to combat acts of violence and systemic racism.

Signed,
Christina Kelcourse, Executive Director and Mary Tappouni, Board Chair

This Week’s Green Business Headlines

Ford revs up 2050 carbon neutrality target

Ford has become the first maintream US carmaker to vow to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The US automaker unveiled its new ambition in its annual sustainability report, explaining that it would be focusing on slashing emissions from the vehicle use, supply base, and company facilities that comprise 95 per cent of its carbon emissions.

Ford, which has been collaborating with the state of California to deliver stronger vehicle greenhouse gas standards, confirmed that in support of the new long-term net zero emissions target it would implement science-based targets for its Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, including interim targets.

Bob Holycross, vice president, chief sustainability environment and safety officer, said: “We can develop and make great vehicles, sustain and grow a strong business and protect our planet at the same time – in fact, those ideals complement each other. We don’t have all the answers yet but are determined to work with all of our global and local partners and stakeholders to get there.”

‘Go for it’: Climate advisors urge government to deliver green recovery blitz

The UK government must immediately embark on a major green investment drive to upgrade homes and buildings, plant trees and restore peatland, upskill the workforce, and roll out low carbon transport infrastructure if it is to deliver a resilient recovery from Covid-19 and lay the foundations for a net zero economy, the UK’s top climate advisors have today warned Ministers.

In a “bumper” edition of its annual assessment of progress towards the UK’s decarbonisation targets, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) called on the government to move without delay in supporting a raft of ‘no-regrets’, shovel-ready, and labour-intensive net zero projects that could help get the economy motoring again after the devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 196-page report lays out “strong evidence” that ‘green stimulus’ measures – which have garnered widespread support from businesses, NGOs, academics, and civil society over the past two months – would support both the UK’s short and long term economic needs, in addition to furthering climate goals.

Workforce strategy in the time of coronavirus: The role of ESG

As unemployment soars during the coronavirus pandemic, a key challenge for business is how to ensure a strong workforce pipeline for when the crisis recedes.

Companies with satisfied staff and high attractiveness to prospective hires will have an advantage when the competition for talent heats up. New research from Marsh & McLennan suggests these firms are likely to demonstrate strong performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

In recent years, ESG investing has gone from niche to mainstream, but it has not stopped there. The value of ESG data is increasingly recognized by a range of stakeholders.

For example, rating agencies are incorporating ESG into their assessments of creditworthiness and racing to provide ESG scores alongside their credit ratings; financial regulators and policymakers are incorporating ESG into supervisory frameworks and reporting requirements; and clients are considering ESG when making procurement decisions.

What’s more, consumers are placing a growing emphasis on companies’ ESG performance, with nearly two-thirds of customers around the world choosing or avoiding brands based on their stance on social or political issues.

North Florida Green Chamber Featured in Florida Trend Magazine

The North Florida Green Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director Christina Kelcourse were featured in an article on sustainability in this month’s Florida Trend written by Laura Hampton.

Kelcourse mentioned the Buyer’s Club, a program that maked it easier for businesses to shop for sustainable products. The Buyers Club includes 30 to 40 eco-friendly products available to chamber members.

She said she’s glad the chamber could “keep it local” by using a Florida distributor because it adds an extra layer of local to a concept that was born in North Florida. Now, Kelcourse is working with the U.S. Green Chamber to roll the program out to other cities.

READ THE ARTICLE

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