NWEC Offers Business-Oriented Look at Sustainability

Published Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sustainability means different things to different people. But increasingly it means something to almost everyone, and businesses need to know how to meet the expectations of their stakeholders - including customers, employees and investors.

The "Sustainable Business" track at the Northwest Environmental Conference (NWEC) & Tradeshow features local and national experts on this evolving topic. Companies represented on panels include Alaska Airlines, TetraPak, the Portland Trail Blazers, WestRock, Waste Management, Union Pacific Railroad and Nordstrom.

"Sustainability is for every business. That's a message we want to make loud and clear," said Craig Riley, Sustainability Services Practice Leader for environmental and engineering services firm AECOM, who chaired the committee overseeing the sustainability track and will speak on a panel on trends in sustainability.

Another panel called "Beyond Operations" will focus on how an innovative approach by one business helps another business improve its environmental performance. For example, Clean Harbors' Safety-Kleen provides Kleen Performance Products by re-refining used oil and turning it into high-quality motor oil under the company's Eco Power brand. "Using Kleen Performance Products in our fleet offers significant environmental benefits while delivering a high-quality product that is equal to or better than oil from original crude, and at a comparable price," said Dan Wessel, Vice President of Business Management who oversees supply chain management for Enterprise Holdings. "It's the responsible business choice for our fleet, for our customers and for our bottom line."

The NWEC will be held December 5-6 at the Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach. Co-hosted by Oregon Business & Industry, the Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC), Washington Department of Ecology and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, it is the Northwest's largest environmental conference and trade show.  

The conference is designed by Northwest regulated businesses and provides those who attend an opportunity to stay on top of new and changing environmental laws and regulations, as well as learn new sustainable business practices that are good for the environment and bottom line.

Riley emphasized that the conference is designed with business in mind. "There really isn't any other conference like this in the Northwest," he said. "We want to attract and bring in everyone we can for this conversation."

If you haven't attended the NWEC before, this would be a great year to check it out. In addition to the sessions on sustainability, expert panels will address other regulatory and environmental issues. To register for the conference, click here