New Network Launches for Vermont Climate Economy Businesses

The new Vermont Climate Economy Business Network will launch this June at a networking event for Vermont businesses whose products and services aim to reduce, mitigate, or prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The Vermont Climate Economy Business Network is a new initiative coordinated by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to build community and collaboration among businesses who are developing solutions to address the impacts of climate change. Climate economy enterprises include those working on distributed/renewable energy, green building, sensor technologies, data management, and resource recycling. The resiliency of some working lands businesses, as well as some segments of manufacturing, transportation planning, and community development are also components of the climate economy.

“The purpose of the Network is to provide climate economy businesses with a sense of community, opportunities to explore collaboration, and support to grow their businesses and create quality jobs for Vermonters,” says Ellen Kahler, executive director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. “Regular meet-ups and other networking and professional development events will be held in the coming year to build relationships, trust, and collaboration among Vermont climate economy sector businesses.”

The first Vermont Climate Economy Business Network Meet-up event will take place on Wednesday, June 7 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Main Street Landing Train Station in Burlington.

The cost to attend is $10 if purchased in advance online at EventBrite. Walk-ins are welcome, but the cost goes up to $15. 100% of event proceeds will be donated to 1% For the Planet.

Special guests include Duane Peterson, CEO and co-founder of SunCommon and Joe Fusco from Casella Waste Management and chair of the Vermont Climate Economy Action Team. Packetized Energy, a distributor of home and small business energy resources and 2nd place finisher in the recent Launch VT competition, will be the featured entrepreneur. Appetizers will be provided by Sugarsnap and a cash bar will be available. The event is being sponsored by VSECU.

The need for the Climate Economy Business Network was identified by the Climate Economy Action Team managed by the Vermont Council on Rural Development to boost economic development by supporting new and existing climate economy businesses.

“Vermont has a real opportunity to position itself as a national climate economy leader,” says Paul Costello, Executive Director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development, the convener of the Vermont Climate Change Economy Initiative. “From the nation’s first energy efficiency utility to the fact that we are leading the nation in the number of green jobs per capita, Vermont continues to innovate in this arena; creating jobs that will help make the state more affordable and prosper while also confronting climate change. As more entrepreneurs stay in or come to Vermont, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund will play an essential role by deploying their network development approach for climate economy businesses to grow here.”

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) is a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the sustainable development of Vermont’s economy. VSJF provides business assistance, network development, strategic planning, and value chain facilitation in agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology sectors. The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to partner with state government, private sector businesses, and non-profits to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont.

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