Greenhouse Canada

‘An inconvenient truth’ or a consumer opportunity?

May 20, 2010  By Dave Harrison

20, 2010, Ithaca, NY – Is floriculture’s environmental footprint "an inconvenient truth" or
a consumer opportunity?

20, 2010, Ithaca, NY – The 25th annual Seeley Conference is only six weeks away and there are a few
seats left. This think-tank conference is June 26-29 and the theme this year
is: Floriculture’s Environmental Footprint: An Inconvenient Truth or
Consumer Opportunity?


For several years, we’ve
heard about global warming and climate change as issues we need to address. Of
course, the real issues revolve around what it means for the bottom line for
our individual businesses. How will the outcomes of the current legislative
debate impact us? Are there modifications we need to make to stay in business
once the debate ends and the laws are enacted? Will our businesses be able to
remain financially solvent or will regulations force us out of business?

seeley_2010These are but a few of the
critical questions this year’s conference will address and the think-tank
atmosphere of the Seeley Conference will allow for plenty of interaction with
fellow industry leaders.

Kicking off
the conference is Dr. Ron Stavins who is director of the Harvard University’s
Environmental Economics Program. A second keynote will be delivered by Joel
Makower, executive editor of, whom the Associated Press refers to
as the “guru of green business practices.” Steve Windhager of the Ladybird
Johnson Wildflower Centre closes the first day with an overview of the newly
released Sustainable Sites Initiative guidelines.

The second
day starts with case study presentations by representatives from Walmart and
the Food Marketing Institute relating their respective sustainability
experiences. This will be followed up with detailed presentations from Kaji
Kado of PPD Technologies and Will Healy from Ball Horticulture with each of
them discussing procedures for calculating water and carbon footprints using
life cycle analysis. The day will wrap up with case study discussions from
floriculture and nursery industry leaders regarding their respective successes
and challenges in this area.

The closing
keynote address on the last morning of the conference will be given by Robert
Dolibois, executive vice-president of the American Nursery & Landscape
Association (ANLA) who will highlight the responses made by green industry
participants in addressing environmental issues, the importance of consumer and
legislator perceptions about our products and services, and what is being done
in the industry to convey our value proposition of enhancing the lives of
consumers through ecosystems services and other benefits (health, aesthetics,
economic, etc). The final speaker on the program will be Fred Haberman who will
lead attendees in a discussion of how best to tell their story regarding their
sustainability-related business practices.

As always, the think-tank
atmosphere of the Seeley Conference will allow for plenty of interaction with
fellow industry leaders regarding these timely issues. One of the objectives of
the conference is for attendees to have a very concrete, well-defined plan for
addressing the issues discussed as they go back to their respective businesses.
This year promises to not only do that, but provide a very necessary primer on
this critical issue facing the industry.

register online and to find more information regarding the 2010 Seeley
Conference and this year’s program, the conference web site is,
or Facebook users can refer to the Seeley Conference fan page.

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