Sustainable Long Island hosts 1st Sustainability Conference!


Sustainable Long Island was proud to host the region’s first-ever conference on sustainable development: “Rethink, Rebuild, Renew: Creating a Sustainable Future for Long Island.”  At the conference, more than 350 business owners, municipal leaders, builders, architects and others interested in creating a livable and vibrant future for Long Island came together to find practical information and the resources they need to implement sustainable development principals and practices.

Speakers at the event included County Executives Steve Levy and Thomas Suozzi; Long Island Association President Matthew Crosson; ERASE Racism President Elaine Gross; Long Island Regional Planning Board Executive Director Michael White; and Julius Walls, President and CEO of Greyston Bakery, one of the most innovative, sustainable companies in the country.

The conference featured discussions and workshops on four major areas of sustainability: Sustainable Business Practices; Sustainable Design; Sustainable Energy; and Creating Sustainable Communities: Business and Government Working Together.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say regarding the importance of sustainable development, Sustainable Long Island’s work, and the conference:

“Sustainable development recognizes that creating a region with a thriving economy and healthy environment for all Long Islanders requires a comprehensive, integrative approach to decision making, one that was sorely lacking when Long Island was first developed. Long Islanders live with the result of that lack of planning: suburban sprawl, fragmented transportation systems, depleting natural resources, segregated neighborhoods, deteriorating downtowns and lack of housing options. Incorporating sustainable development is essential to Long Island’s future, and we’re thrilled that so many people took part in this new way of doing business by coming to our conference.”—Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director, Sustainable Long Island

“What is Long Island’s vision, in a time when one-size-fits-all no longer works? The task is to model a process—and a uniquely Long Island project—and in doing so, inspire the region. It’s time to incorporate new, workable ideas into our thinking and create communities that benefit all Long Islanders, not just the powerbrokers.”—Joye Brown, Newsday Reporter and Columnist

“The often-conflicting challenges facing Long Island, including environmental preservation, tax stability and the need for workforce housing, require the type of long-range, innovative planning advocated by Sustainable Long Island, and we enjoyed exchanging thoughts and ideas at the conference.”—Steve Levy, Suffolk County Executive

“Designing and building energy efficient, sustainable buildings isn’t just smart business, it’s critical to the future of our region and our country. Sustainable Long Island’s conference is giving business owners and all Long Islanders the essential information they need about why and how they can bring these state-of-the-art building technologies into their office and residences. I’m proud to be part of the green building movement, and of Sustainable Long Island’s event.”—Russell Albanese, President, Albanese Organization Inc.

“Sustainable development means adapting the way in which we build housing and commercial space to changing circumstances; changing population, changing lifestyle, changing environmental demands. Some of Long Island’s past development is now proving to be unsustainable as the needs of Long Islanders change, and as our view of our environment changes. Going forward, we need the kinds of initiatives discussed at the Sustainable Long Island conference to ensure that Long Island continues to grow in an intelligent and sustainable manner.” —Matthew T. Crosson, President, Long Island Association

“Insuring a sustainable future requires Long Island to come together and build consensus on where and how it will grow. Sustainable Long Island’s efforts to include everyone in this conversation are critical to the Island’s success.”—Christopher Jones, Vice President for Research, Regional Plan Association

“Our Healthy Nassau campaign builds upon existing initiatives and adds new ones to sustain a healthy environment. We are all concerned about global warming. As we wait for Washington to act, the county government is currently purchasing 10% of our electricity from wind power. We use biodiesel in our entire non-emergency diesel fleet and Long Island Bus is one of the cleanest bus fleets in the nation. We are also preserving our last remaining open space and farm land and creating new organic farms on county land. We continue to plant trees and create greenways and bike paths, and we are establishing sustainable landscape practices to reduce the use of water, pesticides and fertilizer.” —Thomas Suozzi, Nassau County Executive

“This conference provided participants an opportunity to see how sustainable development is not a burden to be endured but rather a real benefit to be embraced.” —Elaine Gross, President, ERASE Racism

“Many Long Islanders have jumped on board the ‘going green’ trend­—everything from using recycled, eco-friendly products to buying solar panels and hybrid cars. Business owners, government leaders and others who care about our region want to make the changes needed to create a bright future for Long Island. The Sustainable Long Island Conference gave them the resources they need to start on that journey.­—Gordian Raacke, Founder and Executive Director, Renewable Energy Long Island 

“The grass roots, bottom up efforts of Sustainable Long Island and their partners are transforming the community, changing the psychology and image of New Cassel and leading to an exciting social and economic revitalization.”— Richard Guardino, Vice President for Business Development, Hofstra University

“Americans are only about 4% of the world’s population, but we consume 27% of the world’s oil market. Despite the fact that burning fossil fuels is directly contributing to global warming, Americans continue to increase the demand for energy. This reliance upon a depleting resource that is causing a climate crisis is simply not sustainable.” —Neal Lewis, Executive Director, Neighborhood Network

“The university serves multiple roles: as creator, curator, and critic, and also as teacher, actor, and partner. For the environment, this means that the university not only generates knowledge, but also preserves what is known so that we can pass it on … to improve our world.  As a consequence, I believe that the university is morally obligated to act on what it knows, and should not separate its behavior from its knowledge.” —Robert Scott, President, Adelphi University, discussing Adelphi’s green building initiatives

“Sustainable development is creating new opportunities for companies to meet the growing demand for green products.  The Sustainable Long Island conference is an important step to highlight the activities in the region, and demonstrate how business owners can both expand their markets and create jobs while minimizing their environmental impact.” Tzipora Lubarr, Project Manager, Sustainable Initiatives, New York Industrial Retention Network

“The caliber of the experts, contributors and vendors was outstanding, as well as everyone’s level of participation and willingness to share important knowledge. Professional and well-organized, this conference was a clear win. I continue to be impressed by what Sustainable Long Island has done, and continues to achieve as the champion of sustainable development on Long Island.”Eric D. Hieger, Psy.D., Knowing Point

2007 Annual Conference Program

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