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Summit Schedule

The Intermountain Sustainability Summit offered two full days of programming, providing resources for those who are making a difference in our communities. 

Day one ( events included: keynotes, speaker sessions, flash sessions, the Eco Expo, Student Poster Competition, networking and more.

Day two (events included: three workshop options.

Welcome and Morning Keynote

Alice Mulder and President Brad Mortenson, Weber State University 

The Magic of Enabling Action 

Jasmine Sanders, Executive Director of Our Climate

Available
All Day

On-demand Flash Sessions

Pre-recorded flash sessions are available for viewing at any time. See flash session descriptions at end of this schedule.

Eco Expo Hall & Student Poster Competition

Sessions

 

The road to Elektron: A Nuts-and-Bolts Discussion About Renewable Energy Procurement

Presented by: Christopher Thomas, Salt Lake City Corp.; Christine Mikell, Enyo Renewable Energy; Liz Peyton, D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments; Luke Cartin, Park City Municipal Gov't., and Kyle Moore, Rocky Mountain Power

The Elektron Solar project is an 80-Megawatt solar farm scheduled to come online in 2023 in Tooele County, Utah. Come learn how the procurement process unfolded from some of the organizations and individuals who steered the process from development to final regulatory approval.

 

Conservation by Connection: Planning Water Conservation by Customer

Presented by: Stephanie Duer, Salt Lake City Corp.

At its simplest, water conservation is the effort of learning to use less water while not going without. There are many reasons to conserve water, and for a community, it makes sense to plan that conservation effort. Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLCPU) has completed an update of its water conservation plan. Detailed analysis across multiple water use classifications and sub-classifications has resulted in identifying conservation goals over the next 5, 10, and 20 years, by connection. This process quantified water supply and assessed historical demand to ensure newly established goals help us to live within and sustain our limited water resources for current and future generations. Factors such as climate change, future growth, and the character of that growth were considerations in establishing short and long-term conservation goals. The plan identifies tools and resources available to the community for use in their conservation efforts and strives to build a shared water steward ethic that motives us all to achieve the desired, and necessary, conservation goals.

 

A Path for Utah’s Future – Zero Net Energy Buildings (Part 1)

Presented by: Shawna Gabriela Cuan, Elevated Energy Solutions; David Griffin II, Griffin EnerG Consulting; Jeremy Farner, Weber State University; and Kevin Emerson, Utah Clean Energy

Zero net energy (ZNE) is a breakthrough approach to buildings that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, maximizes energy efficiency and conservation, and supplies renewable energy and storage in a highly customizable format. Residential ZNE homes are being built and retrofitted around the United States, including Utah. Advancing the growth of ZNE homes in Utah means improved indoor air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and local air quality pollution, and energy cost savings. This session will highlight the importance of ZNE in Utah. Presenters will explain what ZNE is and how it works; present interactive infographics that show how ZNE is incorporated into a residential home; explain how to obtain ZNE certification; and highlight a real-world case study of a Utah ZNE project. Attendees will learn about ZNE and be able to ask questions to understand how to implement ZNE in their own residential projects.

 

Facilitation for Organizational Change

Presented by: Lisa Bjerke, GreenerU; and Dallase Scott, Trust for Change

One of the most important, yet often underappreciated, skill sets of any profession is the ability to be a strong group meeting facilitator. Whether it is a small staff meeting or a campus-wide strategic planning effort, being a confident and effective facilitator is essential. It not only helps you accomplish your goals, but provides the necessary structure and process for broader organizational change. Learn tried and proven techniques in group facilitation. This session will cover topics such as behavior theory as it pertains to meetings, the role of a facilitator, types of meetings, basic facilitation tools and techniques, difficult conversations and personalities, adaptive facilitation, nonverbal communication, methods of building group consensus, and a holistic process approach to facilitation.

11:00 – 11:50

Sessions

 

Toward a Clean Electric Grid: Opportunities and Challenges with Achieving a Clean Energy Economy and Technological Innovation

Presented by: Vijay Satyal and Nick Schou, Western Resource Advocates; Nate Blouin, Interwest Energy Alliance; and Mike Squires, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems

Evolving the Western electric grid includes efforts to expand the Western electricity market by leveraging greater clean energy resources across state boundaries with automation and efficiency. Furthermore, the Western grid is evolving with a slate of fossil fuel power plants retiring in the coming decade, and their replacement is being powered by clean energy resources, energy storage and demand-side technological solutions. This panel will discuss the latest trends in electricity markets in the West, the growth of clean energy resources, and the benefits to local economies and industries. Specifically, the panel discussion will focus on the benefits and value of expanding the Western electricity market in the Intermountain Region, potential opportunities for clean energy developers and improvements in grid automation and challenges and opportunities for Intermountain utilities.

 

Contribution of the America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Efforts

Presented by: Dave Pacheco and Terri Martin, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Passage of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act can make a significant contribution to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the production of fossil fuels while simultaneously increasing carbon sequestration and storage in plants and animals. To address the climate crisis and stop the loss of nature and biodiversity, scientists worldwide agree that we must protect 30% of the earth’s lands and waters by the year 2030. Attendees of this session will understand, and be given a plan for action, on the outsized role that America's Red Rock Wilderness plays in mitigating global climate change and in reversing the loss of biodiversity by connecting diverse ecosystems across western North America.

 

A Path for Utah’s Future: Zero Net Energy Buildings (Part 2)

Presented by: Shellie Barrus, Habitat for Humanity; Reid Saunders, Community Rebuilds; Amir Haskic, Green Team Realty; and Kevin Emerson, Utah Clean Energy

Zero net energy (ZNE) is a breakthrough approach to buildings that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, maximizes energy efficiency and conservation, and supplies renewable energy and storage in a highly customizable format. Residential ZNE homes are being built and retrofitted around the United States, including Utah. Advancing the growth of ZNE homes in Utah means improved indoor air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change and local air quality pollution, and energy cost savings. This session will highlight the importance of ZNE in Utah and highlight three real-world case studies of Utah ZNE projects. Attendees will learn about ZNE and be able to ask questions to understand how to implement ZNE in their own residential projects.

 

Climate Action in Utah: Your Opportunity to Take Action on Equitable Climate Solutions 

Presented by: Jeff Bousson, Utah Clean Energy; Carl Moore, PANDOS and Salt Lake City Air Protectors; Olivia Juarez, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and Shelby Stults, Advanced Energy Economy

This session will bring together new partnerships and provide opportunities for attendees to learn more about the climate impacts facing our local communities as well as the available resources and pathways to take actions on both a community and political level. This session will briefly communicate the latest climate trends facing Utah and highlight the resources, stories, and tools attendees can utilize to lead-by-example, hold local leaders accountable, incorporate equitable solutions, and rally fellow loved ones to become more involved in their local neighborhoods, communities, and governments. The panel will be comprised of experienced and passionate nonprofit leaders, equipped with eclectic backgrounds and committed to advancing equitable climate solutions for the state of Utah and beyond. Session attendees will be empowered and challenged to think “outside the box” in terms of identifying community/local government engagement opportunities, learning more about local grassroots movements, and elevating conversations around climate and equity.

 

Beyond Picture Perfect Diversity: How to Create a Sense of Inclusion 

Presented by: Dima Ghawi, Dima Ghawi, LLC.

Many organizations view diversity as a statistical goal, achieved by strategic hires and exemplified by a picture-perfect workplace. However, a diverse team without ties of inclusion and acceptance fails to fully harness the true advantages of diversity. In this session, Dima Ghawi shares information she has gleaned from hundreds of interviews and workplace surveys to teach leaders and business professionals how to create a welcoming and inclusive workforce. Through humorous stories and engaging group activities, Dima highlights the insight of a bottom-up approach, the influence of courageous office culture, and the power of affinity groups. Session participants will leave with actionable takeaways which can be employed to create a more productive, engaging, and inclusive workplace for all.

Noon – 12:30

Art Space

Sustainability is not just something to work towards achieving, it is also an opportunity for experiences which move us. Explore eco-centered visual and performance art in the Summit's Art Space.  

12:30 – 1:15

Networking Rooms (Bring Your Lunch)

Come meet with fellow Summit participants to converse with Summit speakers and others about the morning keynote; climate action planning; the role of art in sustainability; professional development and other topics important to you.

1:20 – 1:50

Eco Expo Hall & Student Poster Competition

2:00 – 3:10

Afternoon Keynote

Hazel Henderson, Ethical Markets Media; and Vicki Robin, New York Times Bestselling Author 
Moderated by Alice Mulder and Gavin Roberts, Weber State University 

3:20 – 4:10

Sessions

 

What Keeps the Growth Imperative Entrenched in Our Culture? 

Presented by: Dave Gardner, GrowthBusters

Reporting on our economy, business, and demography keeps our society stuck in an unsustainable system. This session spotlights reporting that reinforces the myths that unending economic and population growth are not only possible, but are universally desired. It amounts to propaganda, though much is unintentional. Like the rest of us, journalists have been programmed from birth to believe in these fairy tales. We dig deep and read between the lines to explore how and why these media narratives have so much power and remain unchallenged. For millennia, values and beliefs have been passed along from generation to generation in tales around the campfire. Today’s campfire is the television, radio and Internet. If we are to transition from a culture of expansion, exploitation and domination to a culture of “enough,” we’ll need to disempower the tales that promote the values of “more, more, more...” Recognition of the myths and falsehoods is the first step in taking away their power. In this session, examples from the media are shared and analyzed. Once we have enough storytellers who’ve reached escape velocity from the gravity force of the mythology, then the stories will change and we’ll begin to see the culture shift we need.

 

Utah’s Air Quality Issue: Problems and Solutions

Presented by: Hal Crimmel, Weber State University; Liz Joy, Intermountain Healthcare; and Kerry Kelly, University of Utah

This panel will address issues related to Utah's air quality issues from the perspective of science--atmospheric chemistry and air quality monitoring; from the perspective of public policy and public engagement, which will touch on regulatory/legislative issues and citizen initiatives, to the perspective of human health and medicine. What are the health impacts of poor air quality and what are the benefits of improved air quality? The overall goal is to identify some of the problems the state is facing, but perhaps more importantly, to share some of the past and current solutions to the problem.

 

Building Electrification in the Utah Context

Presented by: Peter Nelson, Salt Lake City Sustainability; and Tyler Poulson, Building Electrification Institute

Salt Lake City has set an ambitious goal to reduce its community-wide GHG emissions 80% by 2040, and a major step toward achieving this target is the City's commitment to a 100% renewable electricity supply by the year 2030. However, a remaining half of Salt Lake City’s total GHG footprint is derived from non-electricity sources, including fossil gas combustion in the buildings sector. A nationally trending movement to reduce these fossil gas emissions is building electrification, which effectively displaces gas combustion systems in building operations with high-efficiency electric technology powered by carbon-free electricity sources. Equally significant, building electrification eliminates a structure’s contributions to community-wide poor air quality, as well as indoor air quality hazards that have been shown to disproportionally impact underserved communities. Salt Lake City, in partnership with national nonprofit Building Electrification Institute, is currently exploring pathways to regionally scale all-electric construction as a means to power our buildings with an increasingly clean energy supply. Through technical analysis, extensive stakeholder engagement, and collaboration with industry professionals who have already implemented all-electric concepts locally, Salt Lake City’s building electrification effort aims to identify the opportunities and mechanisms to achieve a fossil-free future in our all-important building sector. 

 

Building Ecological Literacy at the Library

Presented by: Rikki Longino and Jeri Gravlin, The Salt Lake City Public Library

The Salt Lake City Public Library runs a 16 bed community garden (The Plot) and a 760 member Seed Library. The space just north of the Main Library downtown has hosted not only community gardeners, but performance art, live music, children's read-alouds and more. During the COVID-19 pandemic The Plot garden has been closed; however, in response to the crisis, we established an edible landscaping bed for public forage, donated over 1000 lbs. of fresh organic produce to the Women's Resource Center, and mailed thousands of seeds to be planted in home gardens across the Valley.

4:20 – 5:10

Sessions

 

Bridging the Divide: Engaging Rural Communities on Climate Change and the Energy Transition

Presented by: Josh Craft, Utah Clean Energy; Max Buckland, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute; Don Albrecht, Western Rural Development Center; and Rebecca Titze, Utah Clean Energy; Suzanne Singer, Native Renewables

Utah (and the West’s) diverse rural communities have experienced significant economic challenges in recent years, as the demand for coal has fallen and work in agriculture and mining has become less labor intensive. In the near term, economic forecasts anticipate that these trends will continue as concerns about climate change grow and our transition away from fossil fuels proceeds. How we engage and work with our rural communities will be critical to achieving a fair and sustainable energy transition. This panel seeks to discuss with leaders in the field how they are engaging with rural communities and how others can be productive partners in this work.

 

Advancing Electrified Transportation Across Utah

Presented by: Mat Carlile, State of Utah; Shawn Grant, Rocky Mountain Power; Hal Johnson, Utah Transit Authority; and Annie Schneider, Utah Governor's Office of Energy Development

To diversify Utah’s transportation options and help remove barriers to electric vehicle (EV) adoption, Utah is making strides on enhancing the driver experience by installing critical charging infrastructure, and leading out on the multi-state REV West initiative, which will develop a framework for creating a regional electric vehicle plan for the West. There are more than 5,000 EVs currently in Utah and this number continues to grow year after year. We will hear from a panel of experts on the EV outlook, available incentives, and utility projects to further build out the EV charging network and electric transit options.

 

Centering Equity in Climate Action Planning

Presented by: Briar Schoon and Stephania Fregosi, Portland Community College

Portland Community College is in the process of updating its Climate Action Plan (CAP), which it hopes to complete in spring of 2021. The College is updating the district-wide CAP with the addition of resiliency; centering equity throughout the process; fostering inclusive stakeholder engagement; using science-based targets for GHG mitigation; and aligning with ongoing efforts and commitments. After a year of working on the CAP update, presenters will share some tools and insights from implementation and how they shifted their approach during the time of COVID-19 to support an equitable planning process. This presentation will provide specific examples of centering equity in climate action planning, all while working remotely during a global pandemic. During this session, presenters will share their efforts to create meaningful and engaging options for participation remotely. Presenters will also provide details and resources regarding the equity training hosted online for the CAP Task Force as well as the PCC Climate Action Equity Guide and other equity tools used throughout the process, including content from meetings. This presentation will end with reflections on what worked well, where there is room for improvement and what lies next, followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience.

5:20 – 6:00

Evening Networking Spaces (Bring Your Own Beverage)

Come engage in conversations with fellow Summit participants and speakers about the afternoon keynote discussion; social, economic, and environmental justice; energy and electrification; as well as other topics important to you.

Available
All Day

On-demand Flash Sessions

Pre-recorded flash sessions are available for viewing at any time.

 

Justicia Ambiental y Justicia Social: Intersectional Approaches to Social Justice

Presented by: Maria Montes, Comunidades Unidas; and Ken Jameson, Utah Sierra Club

This Spanish language presentation describes the nature and pursuit of environmental justice within the broader context of social justice concepts and activism. It highlights principles of equity, inclusion, and diversity that guide the intra-organizational transformation and community outreach activities of two Utah civic organizations: Comunidades Unidas and Utah Sierra Club. Maria Montes and Ken Jameson speak for the two organizations respectively.

 

How Provo Will Get to 60% Renewable Electricity by 2030

Presented by: Ryan King, Thread Wallets; Travis Ball, Provo City Power; and Don Jarvis, Provo Mayor’s
Office

Provo is a conservative city in one of the most conservative counties in the USA. The panel will elaborate how the six-city Utah Municipal Power Agency and Provo City Power were able to utilize modest public and municipal support for reducing their carbon footprint. Ryan King will narrate his transition from a millennial skier worried about shrinking snow pack to an effective community activist. Travis Ball will describe Provo City Power’s odyssey from having no net-metering to setting a fabulous example with a thriving rooftop solar market, an energy-efficient headquarters building, parking areas roofed with solar panels and other energy-wise initiatives.

 

Importance of Careers in Sustainability

Presented by: Morgan Phelps, Acuity Brands

In a rapidly changing world, how do we adapt while continuing to make the world a more sustainable place? It all starts with you. No matter how big or small, your actions impact the world as we know it. Hear this session from young professional and environmentalist, Morgan Phelps. Morgan will share how she started her career in sustainability, what she has learned along the way, how to incorporate sustainability in your career now, the importance of small actions for the future and finding a career that aligns with your values. No matter what stage you are currently in, in your career, education or life, there is always time to help the world become a more sustainable place.

 

Purchasing with a Purpose: State of Utah Development of a Green Purchasing Program

Presented by: Christopher Hughes, State of Utah – Division of Purchasing and General Services

The State of Utah, through the Division of Purchasing and General Services, is currently developing a Green Purchasing program and is looking for insight from the sustainability community on what they would like to see from such a program.  Educational outreach and communication strategies to get the word out about this new program will also be discussed.

 

A Conservative Conservation Conversation… and Other Tricky Things to Articulate

Presented by: Sarah Bateman, Utah County Sustainability Coalition

Fifty years ago the word "environment" was apolitical; today, however, it can be frustratingly divisive. The conservative nature of Utah/Intermountain West political culture must be considered when aiming to move the needle on an issue that is perceived as politically liberal. Environmental diplomacy (any kind of diplomacy for that matter) often requires tough skin and delicate language. Finding our way to common ground can be bumpy, but rewarding. Sarah Bateman will share some of her experiences, both set-backs and successes, establishing sustainability conversations in politically-conservative Utah County. From founding the City of Orem’s Natural Resources Stewardship Committee in 2016, to building a Utah County Sustainability Coalition of government entities in 2019, Sarah has remained committed to navigating obstacles while developing and maintaining relationships that allow these conversations to grow.

 

Approaches to Engagement on Climate Action in Utah

Presented by: Josh Craft, Utah Clean Energy; Tom Moyer, Citizens’ Climate Lobby; and Jeff Robison, University of Utah

This discussion will focus on different approaches to climate engagement among a distinct set of Utah communities. That includes Utah business and community leaders through Utah's Clean Energy's Path to Positive Utah program, conservative leaders and college students, and staff and leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Discussants will offer their perspective about their approach and what their learning has been in the undertaking and then be in dialogue with participants about how these efforts can inform and be informed by other community and climate outreach efforts. Finally, we will reflect and discuss how we can and should view climate change engagement work in light of need for urgent and immediate action on the climate crisis.

 

SoilSHOP: Engaging the Community and Making Connections

Presented by: Kim Bartels, US Environmental Protection Agency; and Mark Anderson, Denver Health Community Health Services

Lead and other heavy metals are common soil contaminants in urban areas and continue to be an environmental health risk in the U.S., especially lead exposures for young children.  The growing trend of urban and community gardening poses new opportunities and challenges.  In 2011, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) with partner agencies including EPA, created the original Soil Kitchen, now known as soilSHOP.  SoilSHOP is a community engagement and health education event to promote lead awareness by offering free soil testing for lead to educate people about lead exposure and provide information about gardening best practices. The intent of these events is to promote community health protection as urban agriculture practices expand in metropolitan areas and reach underserved communities to support health activities at Brownfields, Superfund, and other sites with heavy metals in the soil. Gardening is an activity that can safely continue during the pandemic and healthy gardening starts with healthy soil. During this presentation, attendees will hear about soilSHOP events that have been held around the country and more recently in Colorado communities and learn more about how their organization could plan a socially distanced soilSHOP event to actively engage with community members.

 

Creative Reuse: a Catalyst for Change in a Throwaway Society

Presented by: Sophie Benson and Ian Aper, Clever Octopus.

Clever Octopus will begin with the close examination of an everyday object, walking through its history, its material makeup, its lifetime as “useful” through the lens of its marketed and sold purpose, and its possible future uses. This will segue into a brief history on the rise of “throwaway culture” and how it had to be taught - which means, of course, that it can be untaught. To this end, presenters will demonstrate creative reuse - not as an end-all solution to the crisis of hyper-consumption and pollution, but as a practice for reducing our impact, and more importantly, for unlearning. Seeing objects as their material content instead of their market use reveals what an abundance of resources we have available to us. As per Robin Wall Kimmerer, if we look at each material we use as the history of organisms and lives that created them, maybe we wouldn’t be so wasteful. If we can redefine how we use and reuse products that are meant to be thrown away to make room for a new purchase, then maybe we can redefine our relationship with the materials we use, the systems of energy we harness, and the organisms with which we share this world.

 

Weber State’s Solar Decathlon Net Positive Home

Presented by: Jeremy Farner, Weber State University

Weber State University (WSU) is a Top 10 Finalist in the 2020 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon collegiate competition to design and build a Net-Zero energy home. Students from the Department of Construction & Building Sciences make up the senior project team representing the programs of Building Design & Construction, Interior Design, and Construction Management.

 

 

Local Landscapes, Gardens & Climate Adaptation

Presented by: Natalie Little, USDA Forest Service; Caiti Steele, University of New Mexico; HattieAnn Fassold, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District; John Trimble, Weber State University/Foodscaping Utah; and Megan Nelson, The Nature Conservancy

 

See workshop description →

Building Community is Radical Activism

Presented by: Lindsay Beebe, Utah Sierra Club; Olivia Juarez, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance; and Esther Meroño Baro, The People’s Energy Movement

See workshop description →

Climate Action Planning

Presented by: Tammy Seale, PlaceWorks; Michael R. Boswell, California Polytechnic State University; and Luke Cartin, Park City Municipal Government

See workshop description →