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Charlotte Sustainability Summit 2024

Charlotte Sustainability Summit 2024

Environmental sustainability can sound like a complex global problem, and it is - but there are innovative local nonprofits, local government, corporations and local businesses that are working to make Charlotte a leading-edge city in environmental sustainability.

The Charlotte Sustainability Summit debuted in 2018 and was produced by Sustain Charlotte and UNCC’s Sustainability program. After a pandemic-induced hiatus, SHARE Charlotte and Carben Events were proud to relaunch the event to continue educating Charlotteans on how they can make more sustainable choices.

The sold out, full-day event took place on June 8th at UNCC Dubois Center. It included multiple workshops and discussions from different nonprofit organizations, and city, and county leaders to highlight the impact of collaborative efforts in advancing sustainability in Charlotte.

Kicking off the day included a welcome from Dimple Ajmera, Councilwoman at Large with the City of Charlotte. Then, we heard from Sarah Hazel, the City of Charlotte’s Chief Sustainability and Resiliency Officer who provided an overview of the plan for a  Carbon Free Future for the City of Charlotte.

Plus, our co-presenting partner Albemarle’s Vice President of Sustainability and Investor Relations Meredith Bandy highlighted how they are committed to building a more resilient world and partnering to pioneer new ways to move, power, connect and protect with people and planet in mind. 

We offered two session blocks on 8 different sustainability topics:

  • Waste Not, Want Not: How to be responsible with your waste in Charlotte. Panel Discussion moderated by Zachary Turner of WFAE. Panelists included: Daniel Heaton of Envision Charlotte’s Innovation Barn; Jonathan Hill with Keep Charlotte Beautiful; Joe Hack of Solid Waste and Recycling for the County
  •  How to conserve wildlife in your backyard and beyond. Panel Discussion moderated by Maria Delgado with CLTtoday. Panelists included:  Alden Picard of the NC Wildlife Federation; Caroline Burgett of Charlotte Stormwater; Kristin Dean of Carolina Raptor Center
  • Air Quality and Equity. Panel Discussion moderated by Tony Mecia with the Charlotte Ledger and panelist to include: Jeffrey Robbins of CleanAIRE NC; Jane Singleton Myers of TreesCharlotte; Sarah Hazel of the City of Charlotte’s Office of Sustainability and Resiliency
  • Aligning Transportation Choices & Walkable Communities for a Sustainable Future. Meg Fencil with Sustain Charlotte
  • How supporting local food systems benefits your community. Panel Discussion moderated by Kristen Wile with Unpretentious Palate. Panelists included:  Michael Bowling of Carolina Farm Trust; Samantha DeRosa of Farmers Market Management Services; Cherie Jzar of Deep Roots Farm
  • From Source to Sink to Stream: Understanding and Protecting Your Water Supply. Led by Brandon Jones with Catawba Riverkeeper
  • Conservation and Connections: Pathways into a Sustainable Future. Led by Brittnay Brown and Jane Love of Catawba Lands Conservancy and the Carolina Thread Trail
  • Why public spaces are important to sustainability. Panel Discussion moderated by Tim Miner of Charlotte is Creative. Panelists included:  Beth Poovey of Partners for Parks; Erin Chantry of the City of Charlotte’s Urban Design Center; Chris Matthews of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation

The topic of our keynote was “Empowering Charlotte’s Sustainable Future” to highlight how we are equipping future generations to be more sustainable.

Included in this were inspiring words from Fridays for Future Charlotte,  a youth organization led by 3 sophmore girls from Myers Park High School who were  inspired by Greta Thunberg. They meet every Friday at 4 pm at Freedom Park to peacefully demonstrate on a variety of climate-focused issues by holding signs with information and petitions. The group focuses on education and often engages in conversations with bypassers, young and old, about the issues. They urge citizens to get involved in the climate issue and use their voices to speak out. 

Our Keynote speaker was Laetitia Morrisson with Discovery Education who led a panel discussion that included Luke Johnson with NucorMarcey Stone with Honeywell and Eric Supil with Trips for Kids Charlotte. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms and partners with corporations to provide equitable access to no-cost learning resources for educators and students.  

They have formed a Sustainability Coalition to provide educators with a sustainability curriculum in response to a survey where 80% of teachers have said they lack the resources to teach students about sustainability. Their goal is to empower over 10 million students by 2030 as global citizens for sustainable development through a dynamic partnership with industry leaders.

Wrapping up the day, we had a networking session with local nonprofits so attendees could learn more about them and how they can support these organizations:

  • Sustain Charlotte
  • Innovate Tech Charlotte
  • NC Wildlife Federation
  • EarthShare
  • Partners for Parks
  • Carolina Raptor Center
  • Charlotte Heat Mappers
  • TreesCharlotte 

We are thrilled that our 200+ attendees left the 2024 Charlotte Sustainability Summit informed  and excited to take action to create a more sustainable future for Charlotte!

A huge thanks to our co-presenting partners, Wells Fargo and Albemarle for their continued support of these environmental and sustainability events. Plus, deep gratitude to our supporting partners Charlotte Center City PartnersUptown Charlotte and Boingo Graphics 

All leftover food was dropped off in the Parkview Community Foundation located in West Charlotte to be provided to their residents.

Stay tuned to our social media channels for updates and announcements for next year - Instagram and Facebook!

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