Marine biologist keynote speaker at Green Summit

BOULDER — Marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols will be the keynote luncheon speaker at the Green Summit: Blending Business & The Environment, a daylong conference presented by the Boulder County Business Report.

The summit is scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7, at the Millennium Harvest House Boulder, 1345 28th St., Boulder.

The conference will include expert breakout sessions, green-business exhibitors, lunch  and an awards reception at the end of the day.

Cost is $49. A reception-only ticket costs $20. Register online at bcbr.com and click on the events tab.

Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer and author. He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature, sometimes simply by walking and talking, other times through writing or images.

A research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, Nichols has authored and co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and reports. His work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, PBS, National Geographic and Animal Planet, and featured in magazines includingTime, Newsweek, GQ, Outside, Fast Company, Scientific American and New Scientist.

Topics of breakout sessions are:

Boulder’s Energy Future: What’s next?
Boulder voters in November authorized the city to create a municipally owned utility. What are the next steps down this path? How will the city go about making decisions related to developing the new utility mandated by voters? Panelists will include representatives from Xcel Energy, the city of Boulder and others invested in this new direction for Boulder.

What the Frack?
Hydraulic fracturing – fracking – has released record amounts of fossil fuels in the Niobrara formation and generated enormous controversy. The panel will discuss the economic and environmental effects of this process on communities throughout Boulder County and neighboring counties.

SlowTracks – Is Boulder on a light-rail fast track to nowhere?
Higher expenses and lower-than-expected tax revenue have forced the Regional Transportation District to delay plans for rail service through the Boulder Valley. Panelists will examine issues surrounding the FasTracks project, including alternatives and possible solutions.

High Fives
Ten companies will make five-minute lightning-round presentations on one of their greatest successes in sustainability, providing actionable ideas and accessible resources for attendees to implement at their own companies.

Building the Business Case
The financial bottom line often is the most important element a company considers when it undertakes sustainability initiatives. Panelists will detail the elements that go into a study of the economic benefits of green initiatives.

Municipal Initiatives
Cities throughout the Boulder Valley are considering new sustainability measures that will have direct impacts on businesses. Leaders from local municipalities will discuss new policies and their effects.

Big Ideas in Clean Tech
Clean tech has emerged as a major industry in Colorado. Panelists will be representatives of established companies and startups in the Boulder Valley that are developing new innovations.

2012 Green Summit Award Presentations
Eco-Hero Awards – Celebrate with the Boulder County Business Report as it honors six Eco-Heroes – individuals who are contributing to sustainable business services. Eco-Heroes Awards will be presented at the end-of-day Green Summit reception.

Boulder Valley Green-Building Awards – The Colorado Green Building Guild and the Boulder County Business Report will honor projects nominated as outstanding examples of construction or renovation sustainability. Awards will be presented at the end-of-day Green Summit reception.

Western Disposal Waste Diversion Awards – Western Disposal Services Inc. will honor six customers who have made significant strides in reducing landfill waste by diverting materials and recycling. Awards will be presented during lunch.

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