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Vanguard prepares for annual sustainability conference

The school’s Students in Free Enterprise chapter is coordinating the event.

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: February 07, 2012 01:45 PM

In an effort to inform, educate and further the discussion into the importance of developing environmentally responsible business practices, the Vanguard University chapter of Students in Free Enterprise is preparing for the school’s annual Environmental Sustainability Conference.

The conference serves as a showcase for top business and industry leaders in sustainable and green business areas, hosted by the chapter at the University campus. This year’s lineup of speakers represents a new wave of businesses that are committed to bringing about change locally and on a larger community scale, and integrating sustainable practices into their business models.

The keynote speakers at this year’s event are Andrea Robinson of ARC Sustainability and Jennifer Schwab of Sierra Club Green Home, two companies that specialize in developing new ways of incorporating environmentally friendly practices into standard business and lifestyle models.

"Smart business leaders know that sustainability is not a trend and that restoration is the goal. Beyond being simply the right thing to do from an ethical perspective, sustainable businesses are efficient businesses. They understand the impacts of their resource use and supply chains, as well as the growing power of the informed consumer, to choose socially and environmentally responsible products,” Robinson said. “The CEOs, CFOs and companies that are going to have relevance in the future are the ones determining how to not just survive, but how to thrive sustainably."

Founders and company directors will also be on hand from Portola Coffee Lab, which serves organic fair trade coffee; 31 Bits, which sells jewelry made by internally displaced Ugandan women; and Project 7, which makes and sells a number of consumer goods and supports several causes and organizations with the profits. All three companies are located in Costa Mesa. Other organizations and companies represented at the conference will include Clean Tech OC, Goodwill of Orange County and The Ecology Center, among others.

The event will provide attendees with information and resources on sustainable business and life practices. The daylong event will offer networking opportunities among speakers and business professionals, as well as interactive workshops and an exhibitor fair.

The Environmental Sustainability Conference will be held on Friday, Feb. 10, at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to register for the conference, visit Vanguard’s website.

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