Environmentalists from Around the Globe Convene in Atlanta

Conference to be held in Atlanta April 5-6, 2001 to explore the most pressing environmental issues facing our world from a local, national and global perspective.

Published: 29-Mar-2001

--What is the future of human transport?

--Test drive an alternative fuel vehicle

--Remedies to the sprawl dilemma in Greater Atlanta and beyond

--Can "green" services put hotels in the black?

BOSTON, March 29 /PRNewswire/ --More than 300 environmentalists, investors, labor leaders and corporate executives from 20 countries will meet in Atlanta next week to explore the most pressing environmental issues facing our world from a local, national and global perspective. The CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) annual conference will be held at the Swissotel Atlanta on April 5 and 6, 2001.

More than 70 experts will be speaking in 30 workshops, including several of interest to the Atlanta area. Carol Smith, Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), will be part of a panel looking at Global Mobility in the 21st century. The panel will explore the modes of travel that can support the need for mobility with minimal environmental impact. Participants will hear about the World Business Council on Sustainable Development's Sustainable Mobility effort, and the business of car-sharing -- community-based, on-demand mobility.

Th!nk, a brand of the Ford Motor Company, will be at the Swissotel Atlanta on April 6 from 8 am to 4 pm with models from its line of zero emission vehicles. Conference participants (and visiting media) will be able to test drive the vehicles. Ford offers two electric, pedal- assisted bikes and Th!nk Neighbor, a low-speed vehicle designed for suburban environments and closed communities. The Th!nk city is a two-seat, electric commuter car designed for urban driving.

General Motors Corporation has donated their hybrid-electric power train vehicle for use in transporting conference participants to an off-site event. When compared with conventional diesel buses, it produces 90 percent lower hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions, and improves fuel economy and acceleration by 50 percent.

A workshop on corporate and community remedies to the sprawl dilemma will look at efforts to curb sprawl through Smart Growth initiatives. Drawing on Atlanta-based, as well as national and international examples, the experts will emphasize the importance of pedestrian-friendly urban reinvestment and the role of a vibrant transit system in creating productive workplaces and livable communities.

Using the Swissotel as a demonstration site, early adopters in the hotel and corporate meeting worlds will discuss the "greening" of lodging and travel services. "The Green Hotel Initiative" was born out of CERES frustration in trying to sponsor a conference that economized resources. With the billions spent each year on conference and business travel, the goal is to motivate large purchasers of hotel services to push for environmental commitments from the hospitality industry.

The panel will explore the direct and simple actions that companies can take to awaken the hotel industry to environmental principles by using innovative new tools and resources developed by the Green Hotel Initiative.

"This meeting is bringing together, in one place, the most innovative thinking on issues ranging from climate change and the impact of the Bush administration, to the ways in which activists and corporate leaders can collaborate to address some of the world's most pressing environmental problems," says Robert Massie, executive director of CERES.

Additional key note speakers include Professor Robert Bullard, Clark Atlanta University; Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr., Chairman and CEO, Baxter International; Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, Director, United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry, and Economics; Kenneth D. Lewis, President & Chief Operating Officer, Bank of America; Howard Ris, Executive Director, Union of Concerned Scientists; Atiq Rahman, Director, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies; and Deb Callahan, President, League of Conservation Voters.

CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies) is the leading coalition of environmental, investor and advocacy groups working together for a sustainable future. It includes a community of forward-looking companies and multi-national corporations that endorse the CERES Principles, a ten-point code of environmental conduct. For more information: htttp://www.ceres.org

SOURCE CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies)

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