MNY Sustainability Team in Washington D.C.

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Last week, the Manufacture New York Sustainability Team headed down to Washington D.C. to participate in the Business Summit for a Sustainable Economy held by the American Sustainable Business Council, and speak with government representatives about the importance of policy supporting Made in USA and domestic manufacturing. The trip was a vibrant success.

Business representatives from cities around the country--from Kansas City to Los Angeles--gathered together in D.C. to discuss their success stories of best practices, and create concrete plans to further American sustainable businesses.  

Very cool to walk back & forth on this campus, feeling inspired!

Very cool to walk back & forth on this campus, feeling inspired!

Patrick Duffy and Juliette Donatelli en route to the Business Summit for a Sustainable Economy

Patrick Duffy and Juliette Donatelli en route to the Business Summit for a Sustainable Economy

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is an organization aimed at advancing public policies that foster a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy.  Over 165,000 businesses, and more each day, make up the ASBC's network of business who are practicing sustainable business models. The ASBC believes business must play a critical and positive role in our society, while at the same time, government must play a role in ensuring that markets are well-structured and that public resources are invested with vision and stewardship. The ASBC unites the two to create an innovative and supportive network where American sustainable businesses can thrive.

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Manufacture New York is a recent member of the American Sustainable Business Council and we were honored to be part of the conference. We met with companies such as Seventh Generation, New Belgium Brewing Company, and Common Goods to discuss the importance of domestic manufacturing, Made in the USA, investing in the economy, and clean energy and environmental regulations to address climate change.

Speakers at the conference included Celinda Lake, of Lake Research Partners, a leading public opinion and political strategy research firm providing expert research-based strategy for issues, campaigns, and non-profit organizations, gave a powerful and humorous look into "What is the public thinking about politics and what can sustainable businesses do." 

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking on the importance of preserving public health

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy speaking on the importance of preserving public health

A big highlight of the conference was hearing from EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy. McCarthy understands the economic importance of investing in environmental issues. "Every $1 spent we have spent on compliance with the Clean Air Act since 2009 has generated $4-$8 in economic benefit." She spoke on the need to update federal policies on chemical safety to ensure potentially toxic chemicals are regulated and that public health is preserved. She also spoke about the EPA's dedication to introducing new, stricter standards on emission regulations for new power plants. Her final comments resonated greatly with the audience: "Sustainable business practices...[are] what will keep the US competitive in the global marketplace." And she went on to say, "No one community is going to make a difference on climate change, no one country is going to make a meaningful impact, this must be an international, concerted effort."

 

 

We also toured the U.S. Green Building Council Headquarters to gather ideas how to build out our LEED certified flagship facility in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  

Front desk at the U.S. Green Building Council 

Front desk at the U.S. Green Building Council 

Staircase in U.S. Green Building Council Lobby. Staircase is supported by a thin carbon fiber, almost like a piece of tape, that acts as a support beam. Although you cannot build entire buildings with such material, this was sufficient for the space, and was used in place of putting in a new supporting beam and therefore preserving the visual integrity of the open space. All wooden plants are reclaimed from the bottom of a nearby river and the difference in colors indicated how deep the beam was buried. A waterfall regulates moisture levels and pulls particulates out of the air, improving indoor air quality.

Staircase in U.S. Green Building Council Lobby. Staircase is supported by a thin carbon fiber, almost like a piece of tape, that acts as a support beam. Although you cannot build entire buildings with such material, this was sufficient for the space, and was used in place of putting in a new supporting beam and therefore preserving the visual integrity of the open space. All wooden plants are reclaimed from the bottom of a nearby river and the difference in colors indicated how deep the beam was buried. A waterfall regulates moisture levels and pulls particulates out of the air, improving indoor air quality.

These ceiling tiles in the copy room, an office space notorious for giving off high levels of off-gassing, are made from Ginko leaves. The manufacturer imprinted individuals leaves on these tiles as a reminder of their origins

These ceiling tiles in the copy room, an office space notorious for giving off high levels of off-gassing, are made from Ginko leaves. The manufacturer imprinted individuals leaves on these tiles as a reminder of their origins

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At the end of the tour, we got to see the "Material Wall." Each and every item in the building--from floor tiles to ice maker--is represented on the wall by a swatch detailing their origin, distance from the USGBC headquarters and Green Attributes!

At the end of the tour, we got to see the "Material Wall." Each and every item in the building--from floor tiles to ice maker--is represented on the wall by a swatch detailing their origin, distance from the USGBC headquarters and Green Attributes!

Visiting the USGBC headquarters gave us a tremendous amount of inspiration on how to push the LEED standards at our flagship building in Brooklyn as we build it out.

Visiting the USGBC headquarters gave us a tremendous amount of inspiration on how to push the LEED standards at our flagship building in Brooklyn as we build it out.

You can read the entire schedule for Business Summit for a Sustainable Economy and speakers here.

 

After a full day and a half of meeting and networking with like-minded business owners around the US., the group moved over to Capitol Hill.

Patrick Duffy outside of Kirsten Gillibrand's office

Patrick Duffy outside of Kirsten Gillibrand's office

Bob drops into Mark Warner's office, the representative of her home state! 

Bob drops into Mark Warner's office, the representative of her home state! 

Bob Bland and Juliette Donatelli await visitation to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid's Office in the lobby of the Hart Senate Office Building

Bob Bland and Juliette Donatelli await visitation to Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid's Office in the lobby of the Hart Senate Office Building

Preparing for our meeting with Kirsten Gillibrand!

Preparing for our meeting with Kirsten Gillibrand!

Outside of Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid's Office

Outside of Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid's Office

Juliette Donatelli catching up on politics before entering our meeting with Gillibrand's office

Juliette Donatelli catching up on politics before entering our meeting with Gillibrand's office

We met with Kristen Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer, and Harry Reid's office to shed light on Manufacture New York's initiatives, and how we can work together to support more businesses producing domestically.

Inside the Bloomberg News D.C. headquarters 

Inside the Bloomberg News D.C. headquarters 

The last leg of our Washington D.C. trip ended with a two hour interview at Bloomberg News D.C. offices.

Our Washington D.C. trip was a terrific success, and we believe the first on many!  We couldn't have done it without your support!

 

To the future,

The MNY Team