EPB, the Footprint Foundation and green|spaces Chattanooga have collaborated to create and pilot “Green | Leader,” the nation’s first-ever, location-based professional sustainability credential, in an effort to "enhance local leadership and expertise about how to better preserve our community’s natural resources and scenic beauty."
With funding from the Footprint Foundation, the eight-week program was administered by green l spaces in both an online and in-class format. Seven EPB employees, who serve as leads for EPB’s Environmental Stewardship initiatives in each EPB building, were the first to graduate from the program. Green l Leader focuses on Chattanooga’s environmental issues and history while educating students on global and national trends. Students were given tasks and projects that were specific to the Chattanooga area as well as skills that can be practically applied in most any organizational setting.
The curriculum references scientifically valid data from a variety of institutions including the Global Reporting Initiative and the UN Climate Report as well as business tactics from EPB’s Environmental Stewardship programs, research from the TH Chan School of Public Health’s Leith Sharp, and the Harvard Business School.
"This program will help to build a pipeline of leaders prepared to take organizations through the processes necessary to realize the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits,” says Kelley Cureton, director of the green l light program at green l spaces.
“EPB’s mission is to increase the quality of life for the people we serve, so it makes perfect sense to collaborate on a program that will equip and empower individuals to make healthy choices for our community and our environment,” says Elizabeth Hammitt, director of Environmental Stewardship and Community at EPB. “ As Chattanoogans, we know our community’s current economic success is founded in the tremendous environmental progress we’ve made since the 1960s, and we must continue and build on those efforts.”
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has committed to offering the program online, allowing students to take the course at their leisure and earn the credential. The estimated date for its availability will be in December 2019.
“As a Carnegie Community Engaged Institution, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Center for Professional Education takes great pride in being a part of collaborative opportunities that deepen the rich connection between the university and its community,” says John Freeze, director of the UTC Center for Professional Education. “The local approach to the Green Leader program, focusing on the impact that can be made in our immediate area, is unique and exciting. Being a part of the delivery of the program gives us great comfort in knowing that we are a part of making our community a better place to live, work, and play for generations to come.”
2019 Graduating Class – EPB
1. Adam Collins, EPB Human Resources
2. Hayden Cronan, EPB Field Operations
3. Elizabeth Hammitt, EPB Community Development
4. Nathan Hollingsworth, EPB Safety
5. Jess Sanders, EPB Network Operations
6. Andrew Thompson, EPB Technical Operations
7. Ann Woods, EPB Technical Operations