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Councilmember Bensoussan to help ring NYSE closing bell April 21.
 
ICLEI USA CONGRATULATES CITY OF CHULA VISTA AS NATIONAL RECIPIENT OF GREEN BUSINESS CHALLENGE IMPLEMENTATION PACK - Chula Vista’s City Joins Innovative Program to Reduce Emissions and Energy Consumption Among Businesses and Commercial Buildings.

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA, congratulates the City of Chula Vista and Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan on being one of four communities selected to receive the Green Business Challenge Implementation Pack provided by ICLEI USA and Office Depot. ICLEI USA and Office Depot together with elected officials from the City of Austin, TX; City of Bellevue, WA; City of Chula Vista, CA; and the Triangle J Council of Governments, NC; will mark this important national expansion of the Green Business Challenge program by ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, April 21.

“We welcome Councilmember Bensoussan and the City of Chula Vista into the Green Business Challenge family and commend them for being a part of this important effort that will help their business community become more engaged in energy efficiency and sustainable development,” said Mayor Patrick Hays, City of North Little Rock, AR, Corporate President and Chair of the Board of Directors, ICLEI USA. “The emissions and energy reductions generated by the Green Business Challenge translate into millions of dollars in savings for cities and participating businesses; that’s welcoming news to any business trying to survive during this tough economy.”

The Green Business Challenge is a unique program that seeks to engage commercial buildings and businesses in a friendly competition to save energy, reduce waste and water consumption, procure greener products, and implement other sustainable activities within their companies. The program was initially piloted in 2009 as the City of Chicago “Green Office Challenge” and organized by the Chicago Department of Environment and ICLEI USA. Office Depot was the primary underwriter of the Challenge in Chicago and directly supported key aspects of the initial program development.

“The Green Business Challenge presents an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of the significant impact that businesses and commercial buildings have on local communities and the environment, and the substantial savings that can be generated through energy efficiency and increased sustainability efforts,” said Martin J. Chávez, Executive Director, ICLEI USA and former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, NM. “Those resources can be then used to invest and expand on additional green and climate efforts in other sectors of the community.”

Throughout the program, companies will learn how to improve the “greenness” of their operations by reducing waste and energy, and by making smarter choices with purchases and travel to and from work. Free trainings and resources will be provided to participants to ensure their success. Participants’ achievements will be evaluated over a one-year period, and successful participants will receive recognition from their local government at an award ceremony. As the nation’s leading local government association addressing sustainability and climate change, ICLEI USA will assist the City of Chula Vista and the other cities and communities with proven measurement tools, resources and training to help participants reach their goals.

As the Presenting Sponsor of the 2011 Green Business Challenge, Office Depot is providing core funding for the national rollout of the program, in addition to “Green Business Challenge Implementation Packs,” which will be given to the Cities of Austin, Bellevue, and Chula Vista, as well as the Triangle J Council of Governments – made up of Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange and Wake counties.

About ICLEI USA and The Green Office Challenge:

In 2009, former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley launched the Chicago Green Office Challenge in partnership with ICLEI USA as an innovative strategy to significantly improve the environmental performance of commercial buildings, which account for a major share of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The program has now successfully expanded into several major cities including; Westchester, NY; the Port of San Diego, CA; Houston, TX; Arlington County, VA; Saint Louis, MO; and Charleston, SC.

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