The National Sustainability Coalition is on a mission to take small and diverse companies to a higher level of operational efficiencies in the emerging green economy. In November, the organization launched the Green Construction Education Program. Partners in the initiative are the City of Cincinnati Small Business Enterprise Program, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky African American Chamber, Hispanic Chamber Cincinnati USA, Ohio River Valley Women’s Business Council, Ohio Small Business Development Center at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati and Messer Construction Co.
At the core of the NSC’s initiative is a unique Green Build Boot Camp blended learning initiative designed to give businesses in construction and construction-related trades a basic understanding of sustainability concepts, the emerging green economy and the green built environment. The program has three levels of training that move a participating business along a Sustainability Continuum™ of continuous improvement. The intent is to increase sustainability-based thinking, perspectives and behaviors that are integrated into everyday operating procedures and the culture of the company, with an outcome of a complete transformation to sustainable operations.
“Through the Green Build Boot Camp workshops, we are ensuring that our inclusion program represents businesses of all kinds and sizes. It’s a way to support the development and utilization of small businesses, and especially businesses owned by minorities, women and veterans,” says Tom Keckeis, Messer’s President and CEO.
Messer sponsored the Green Construction Education Program by hosting the first level of basic training at its headquarters on Fishwick Drive in Cincinnati. The NSC positioned the Green Build Boot Camp© as the first step for small and diverse businesses to become marketable in the green construction economy. Over 80 individuals participated in the Level 1 Knowledge component, which is an engaging, interactive workshop that combines 4 hours of classroom instruction with 2 hours of web-based training. The workshop included a “show and tell” virtual tour of Messer’s green headquarters, which was recently awarded LEED Silver EB Certification for an existing building. Participants learned first-hand how transitioning their existing company to sustainable operations can build value and competitive advantage into the enterprise. Messer intends to extend the program through September.