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Published May 20, 2008
Volume 16, Number 5


June Summit Lays Ground for Great Race for Clean Air 

Revving up for a major initiative to slash the region’s carbon footprint due to commuting, a consortium of Bay Area organizations will roll out plans for the Great Race for Clean Air challenge to Hacienda employers and other local businesses next month.

The Great Race for Clean Air is “a friendly competition” among Tri-Valley employers to encourage their employees to use commute alternatives such as walking, biking, car- or van-pooling, and public transit “rather than driving solo to work,” explains Stephanie Anderson of Community Focus, one of the groups active in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the area.

The actual contest will take place in the fall, but some advance legwork is necessary, hence the June 12 half-day informational summit. Roger Barnett, chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation, will deliver the summit’s morning address, while Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty will speak at lunch. Shaklee has earned its “green” credentials not only through its natural nutrition and green cleaning products but also as “the first company in the world to become Climate Neutral Certified and totally offset CO2 emissions, resulting in a net zero impact on the environment,” according to the Hacienda-headquartered firm. Supervisor Haggerty has taken a leading role in improving transportation throughout the Bay Area, supported by extensive experience with infrastructure policy along with key committee assignments and chairing numerous regional transportation agencies.

The summit’s breakout sessions will offer participants the opportunity to explore best practices and share ideas with other employers and experts in the field. Topics covered include how to start or enhance an employee transportation commute–benefits program; measuring the program’s success; effective  marketing strategies and incentives; and innovative programs that help make commute alternatives work.

Companies can register for the Great Race for Clean Air at or after the summit. Then, with the assistance of a member of the Tri-Valley Air Quality Resources Team, they will start to assemble the information necessary for evaluating the success of their efforts.  Employees will be surveyed to gather baseline data on current commute activity during a one-week period in August. The campaign swings into full gear in September and October as the team shares ideas, tips, and best practices to support and encourage the use of commute alternatives. A second survey conducted in early November will measure mode shifts and CO2 changes as a result of the two-month promotion.

The summit, hosted by the Tri-Valley Air Quality Resource Team and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, at Oracle, Inc., 4500 Oracle Lane. “It’s a great opportunity for local employers to do their part to help preserve the environment,” enthuses Anderson. For the day’s agenda or to sign up, contact Anderson directly at (415) 975-2955 or via email at sanderson@communityfocus.org.

 

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