Sustainable Business Guidelines Released For DNC Vendor Directory

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Greening of vendor directory will help make 2008 convention the greenest ever - and put Colorado on path to sustainability.

The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee and the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado today added a Green Business Designation to the Democratic National Convention's official Vendor Directory - the first-ever green recognition process for a national political convention.

The Green Business Designation, at DenverConvention2008.com, was compiled by the City and County of Denver; the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado; the Colorado Alliance of Sustainable Business Associations; and Greenprint Denver, and will be used by the Denver Host Committee to identify sustainable businesses on its popular Vendor Directory.

The Vendor Directory is a project of the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee and members of its business outreach committee. Already, some 1,000 businesses are registered on the directory that serves as a comprehensive guide of businesses looking to market and sell their goods and services to the estimated 35,000 attendees at next summer's Democratic National Convention.

The green designation requires businesses to commit to sustainable practices in seven key areas, including leadership, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste and pollution reduction, community involvement, working conditions and education.

"Using the vendor directory to highlight our local environmental and sustainable business leaders for convention guests who are doing business here will have tremendous legacy benefits for Denver and the state," said Host Committee Director of Greening Parry Burnap. "This opportunity will inspire local companies to start putting their houses in order now to attract that convention business, and we hope the vendor directory sets a precedent that leads to institutionalizing environmental/sustainable performance as a formal and consistent requirement for preferred contractor status in future conventions."

"All eyes will be on Colorado during the Convention, and we will showcase the state's leadership and commitment to a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future," added Janna Six, Education Director for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado. "The convention provides an ideal opportunity to build momentum and establish a real legacy for a sustainable future - both in Colorado and across the country."

The 2008 Democratic National Convention is slated to take place August 25-28, and is expected to bring 35,000 visitors to Denver, including 15,000 members of the national and international media. In addition to showcasing Denver and the Rocky Mountain West to audiences around the globe, estimates indicate that Denver will realize $160 million to $200 million in economic benefits.

The Green Business Designation allows businesses to self-identify two levels of sustainable practices. The basic level requires businesses to incorporate at least 4 of the 7 sustainable criteria into business practices. The advanced level designation calls for a business to provide a documented track record of sustainable practices for at least one year, and which is verified by a 3rd party, such as Businesses for Social Responsibility, Energy Star or other organizations that monitor business sustainability practices.

Three Workshops Set Around Greening Standards:
First one in January involves Colorado Restaurant Association

Several greening workshops will be offered this winter to help businesses start down the path to sustainability. The first workshop is slated for January 10 in Denver, and it will be geared toward greening Colorado's restaurant industry. A second workshop around greening of the hotel industry is scheduled for January 29, and a third workshop will involve event planners at a date still to be scheduled.

The workshops are being planned by the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee and the Denver Mayor's Office Greenprint Program. Other partners are the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, the U.S. EPA Region 8, the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association, the Colorado Restaurant Association, the Denver Metro Convention and Visitor's Bureau and the Environmental Leadership Program of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

About Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee has four contractual partners in its work. Those partners are the Democratic National Convention Committee, the City and County of Denver, Kroenke Sports and its own Executive Committee.

About The Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado
The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was founded in 2004 to advance sustainable policies in Colorado for present and future generations. The organization creates the vital links that build collaboration and coalitions among non-profit organizations, socially responsible businesses, local government agencies and academia. The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado owns the Alliance Center, one of the "greenest" buildings in the United States, with LEED Gold certification for Existing Buildings and LEED Silver Certification for Commercial Interiors. The Center provides office and meeting space to 30 non-profit organizations that advocate for policies and programs that support sustainability.

Colorado Alliance of Sustainable Business Associations
The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado administers CASBA to encourage collaboration among business and professional associations which have a strong interest in and impact on natural resources. CASBA provides a portal of communication to sustainable business associations that in turn communicate with their members.

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Chris Lopez

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