Local Business Leaders To Brief Mayor Berke, Regional EPA Administrator

Monday, July 28, 2014

With severe weather events causing economic losses across the country, business leaders will join Mayor Andy Berke and Heather McTeer Toney, Southeast Regional administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for a roundtable on Monday to discuss the impact of climate change on Tennessee businesses. The event is organized by Business Forward and will take place at 212 Market Restaurant.

“Cities and communities, like ours, are already taking action,” said Mayor Berke. “Local businesses and local government are busy crafting innovative solution to increase sustainability and cut carbon pollution – all while growing the local economy and creating new jobs.” 

Local business and community leaders will talk about the impact of climate change on Chattanooga and the actions they are taking to address or mitigate the problem.

“Restaurants use more electricity and emit more greenhouse gases than any other type of retail business. 212 Market is committed to doing the right thing by buying local foods, reducing waste, and using solar energy,” said Sally Moses, owner and manager of 212 Market, a locally owned restaurant, and host of today’s roundtable. “Once known for having the dirtiest air in the country, today Chattanooga hosts a variety of environmentally responsible projects and 212 Market is proud to be part of that.” 

In addition to adopting more sustainable practices, local business leaders will discuss how climate change is affecting their businesses and the local economy.

“As an internet retailer, timing is critical for SmartFurniture.com in terms of managing our supply chain and distribution. Recent increases in weather volatility and storm severity have brought to light just how vulnerable we are to climate change. There were several days during the first quarter of this year when severe weather caused huge disruptions to our logistics networks. These disruptions are particularly concerning because there are very few ways for us to mitigate the risks,” said T. J. Gentle, president & CEO of SmartFurniture.com. 

During the session, the EPA Southeast Regional Administrator will take questions and gather input from business leaders on the best policies to curb climate change while helping businesses. Other participants will include Elizabeth Hammitt of EPB, Cindy Todd of The Tennessee Aquarium and Michael Walton of green|spaces.

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