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Green Bag Lunch Series kicks off Nov. 15 with 'Governmental Leadership in Sustainability' forum
Monthly sessions to spur development of best practices in community sustainability

October 25, 2012

Media Contacts:
Will Wallak, GreeningUSA | | 315.443.5887
Khris Dodson, SyracuseCoE | | 315.443.8818

Nov. 15, 2012 | Green Bag Lunch
Governmental Leadership in Sustainability

Guest Panelists:

  • Chris Anderson, Director of Research, Association of Towns of the State of New York
  • David Coburn, Director, Onondaga County Office of the Environment
  • Sam Gordon, Senior Planner, Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board
  • Greg Michel, Founder, Eco Aha!, and Consultant to the City of Syracuse Bureau of Planning & Sustainability

Photo of a young man completing a puzzle maze.


Green Bag Lunch Series

GreeningUSA's 12 Traits system and Nov. 2012 launch of the Green Bag Lunch Series (presentation slides; pdf, 1.7 MB)

Click on a session topic to register.


GreeningUSA and the Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) Center for Sustainable Community Solutions are seeking the help of green professionals interested in sharing their expertise to compile a comprehensive best practices manual on community sustainability for municipalities.

To bring together experts and professionals alike, the two organizations are launching the Green Bag Lunch Series. This set of 12 monthly lunchtime forums is designed to jump start the formation of groups that will address a wide range of community sustainability topics and best practices.

The first Green Bag Lunch forum, Governmental Leadership in Sustainability, will be held on Thursday, Nov. 15, 12-1 p.m. at the SyracuseCoE, Room 203, 727 East Washington St., Syracuse. This first session is targeted to anyone involved in any area of the public sector. This includes local government employees, elected officials, vendors, consultants and anyone with a role in a municipality's sustainability initiatives. Several guest panelists with sustainability expertise are being sought to participate in the Nov. 15 Green Bag Lunch, which will be moderated by Peter Arsenault, GreeningUSA board member and director of the group's 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities Rating System.

All Green Bag Lunches are free and open to the public. Seating at each will be limited, and early registration is encouraged. Organizers are seeking industry experts on various community sustainability topics to serve as guest panelists at every monthly session.

“This is a great opportunity for local professionals to get involved in—and be recognized for their contributions to—the most comprehensive community rating system in the country,” says Arsenault. “At each Green Bag Lunch, we’ll brainstorm what’s working in green communities and identify the volunteers who will continue crafting the model of community sustainability that municipalities can use.”

Each monthly Green Bag Lunch topic will be explored by attendees who work in related industries. See the full Green Bag Lunch schedule at right. All sessions will typically be held the second Friday of the month, 12-1 p.m., at the SyracuseCoE, Room 203. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch. Complimentary hot and cold beverages will be available.

Through each Green Bag Lunch session, separate expert groups of volunteers will be formed to collaborate on creating the 12 Traits of Sustainable Communities Rating System best practices manual’s different sections. These expert "virtual" committees will primarily collaborate online via tools such as wikis and forums. Group meetings will also be held locally as needed.

“We’ll be creating the 12 Traits best practices manual using a process similar to the U.S. Green Building Council’s development of the LEED Rating System,” says Arsenault. “All those contributing to the manual will be recognized for their efforts.”

For more information on the Nov. 15 Green Bag Lunch or the series, and on volunteering as a guest panelist, contact Laura Cardoso at 315-443-1846 or, or Peter Arsenault at 315-439-2458 or

To learn about Green Bag Lunch session or series sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane Brandli, GreeningUSA president, at or 315-657-3024.

GreeningUSA is a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization focused on enhancing the sustainability of communities. It is governed by a 12 person all volunteer Board of Directors. Through education, research, partnering and advocacy, it is advancing the vision of American communities that are much more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence is a federation of firms, organizations, and institutions that creates innovations to improve health, productivity, security, and sustainability in built and urban environments. It engages collaborators at 200+ companies and institutions to address global challenges in clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality and water resources. The SyracuseCoE's Center for Sustainable Community Solutions works to translate environmental research, technology and policy into real and tangible change for the communities.

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