Local Businesses Make Green Growth a Priority


Local business leaders came together this week in Oakland to talk about what “visionary companies” are doing to respond to climate change and lower the country’s reliance on fossil fuels, hosted by Oakland’s Sustainable Business Alliance and One Pacific Coast Bank.

“Weare committed to achieving social justice and environmental wellbeing,” said Kat Taylor, CEO of One Pacific Coast Bank, speaking at a press conference Monday afternoon at the bank’s headquarters in downtown Oakland.

The bank’s profits are re-invested in local low-income communities served and environmental projects, she said.

“Given the right ground rules, we have no doubt that business will rise to solve these critical issues.”

Also speaking was David Browdin, co-founder of American Sustainable Business Council, which represents more than 170,000 businesses across the country.

“If you listen to the rhetoric … you might conclude that all business executives think climate change is a fraud,” he said. But the reality, said Browdin, is that “Most (small business owners) do not see eye to eye with the oil and gas industry. Small business owners across the country take climate very seriously.”

Other speakers at the press conference included Marissa LaMagna, executive director of Bay Area Green Tours; Maritessa Bravo Ares of Green for All, which works to build a green economy while simultaneously lifting citizens out of poverty; Judy Wicks, co-founder of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies; Eric Fenster, CEO of Berkeley restaurant Gather; Adam Lamoreaux, CEO of Linden St. Brewery in Oakland; and Mike Hannigan, CEO of Give Something Back, an office supply company.


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