St. Paul, MN (PRWEB) January 29, 2014 -- On January 29-30, 2014, the 3M Customer Innovation Center, is hosting the inaugural GreenSchoolsConnect Regional Launch, a unique and unprecedented opportunity to improve greening practices in area school districts. This two-day event brings together more than 60 community leaders from corporate, school district, government, higher education, and non-profit sectors to identify pressing sustainability issues in K-12 school districts and develop innovative action plans to address them.
"As a company committed to sustainability, 3M is proud to partner with GreenSchoolsConnect to bring this innovative opportunity to area schools and help engage and educate students on the importance of energy awareness and sustainability," says Michele L. Whyle, Global Head of Sustainability& Quality.
Sustainability can unlock benefits for schools districts, such as operational cost savings, reduced risk, improved efficiency, and healthier school environments for students and staff. GreenSchoolsConnect, a national initiative powered by Earth Force, builds intentional links among schools districts, corporations, and community stakeholders to help move that process along.
"I feel fortunate to have the support in my school district to strive to be more sustainable in all things we do. Participating in GreenSchoolsConnect provides our district with a wealth of regional resources our staff can access, and allows my district to establish a commitment to this endeavor," says Shannon Pinc, Energy and Sustainability Coordinator at St. Paul Public Schools.
Following the two-day event, participants will launch into a year-long “collaboratory” where they will work in teams to accomplish specific sustainability goals identified during the launch. GSC will support partners through peer-to-peer coaching from corporate partners, webinars, field trips, and in-person professional learning opportunities, culminating in January 2015 with a celebration and sharing of project success.
"At Staples we feel strongly about accelerating green and sustainable practices in school districts and in the classroom," says Mark Buckley, Vice President of Environmental Affairs at Staples, Inc. "Green Schools Connect offers a unique avenue to help make a significant impact."
Leith Sharp, a national and international sustainability leader, will facilitate the two-day Launch. Sharp is Director of Executive Education for Sustainability at Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. She has spent 20 years driving sustainability into the core business of higher education.
St. Paul Public Schools, the Minnesota Green Schools Coalition, and U.S. Green Building Council – MN Chapter played a critical role in developing the program with Earth Force over the past year. Stakeholder attendance includes: Staples, 3M, Trane, McKinstry, Made, Bishop Engineering, St. Paul Public Schools, Burnsville Pubic Schools, Lakeville Area Public Schools, River's Edge Academy, Cannon River STEM School, Harvest Network of Schools, City of St. Paul, Ramsey County, MN Pollution Control, MN Dept. of Education, MN Green Schools Coalition, U.S. Green Building Council, MN Chapter, MN Renewable Energy Society, Earth Force, Will Steger Foundation, Center for Energy and the Environment, University of Minnesota, Western Kentucky, and Harvard University.
For more information, contact Kristen Mueller at kmueller(at)earthforce(dot)org or visit http://www.earthforce.org/greenschoolsconnect.
Earth Force is a national 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to engage young people as active citizens who improve the environment and their communities now and in the future. Through Earth Force and our network of diverse partners, young people get hands-on, real-world opportunities to practice civic skills, acquire a deep understanding of the environment, and develop the skills and motivation to become lifelong leaders in addressing community issues. For more information about Earth Force, please visit http://www.earthforce.org or follow us at @earthforce.