Sustainability Summit

Sustainability Summit

The Greenhouse Grower Sustainability Summit is the event for horticulture professionals seeking ANSWERS, SOLUTIONS, and OPPORTUNITIES through sustainable growing and operations practices.

In response to increased demand for answers and information, Greenhouse Grower magazine will host the inaugural Sustainability Summit.


The three-day event will help horticulture professionals identify answers, solutions and opportunities through sustainable growing and operations practices. An expert speaker faculty will be on hand to deliver the latest information and answer questions on what sustainability means today and what will it mean in the future.

Session Topics

1. What is Sustainability and Where is it going? Dr. Charles Hall, Texas A&M University. Dr. Hall will define sustainability as it pertains to horticulture and give us a look at how our businesses will be impacted in the near future.

2. Sustainability Consortium, Who What, Where and Why? Linda Brown, SCS. About 2 years ago, WalMart initiated the formation of the Sustainability Consortium, managed by the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University. Linda Brown will explain the reasoning behind the formation of the consortium, the tasks it is charged with and the progress to date.

3. National Agricultural Standard and the ANSI Process. Dr. Will Healy, Ball Horticultural Company. Dr. Healy will update the audience on the procedures and progress of the ANSI committee in regards to the adaptation of the National Agricultural Sustainable Standard and what the eventual impact will be on the Industry.

4. A look at the European view of Sustainability. Arthij van der Veer, MPS. The European community was among the first to embrace sustainability as a business philosophy and management tool. Arthij van der Veer will provide insight into the establishment of the MPS sustainability standard and their efforts worldwide.

5. VeriFlora–What is it all about? Dr. Michael Keyes. Dr. Keyes will explain how and why VeriFlora was established and the benefits of third-party certification.

6. Principles of Sustainable Production. Dr. Roberto Lopez, Purdue University. Many misconceptions exist about what constitutes sustainable production methods. Do you need to eliminate chemicals? Can you still grow in plastic trays? Are certain fertilizers prohibited? Dr. Roberto Lopez will set the record straight and tell us what’s involved in initiating sustainable production methods to produce high quality and economically advantageous ornamental plants.

7. Grocery Stores and Sustainability. Sandy Hering Grocery stores are considered one of the most competitive retailing segments. Grocery retailers were among the first to adopt sustainable products and practices in an attempt to add value and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Sandy Hering will explain why and how food retailers employ sustainability to produce a competitive advantage and how greenhouse growers can learn from their experience.

8. Economics of Sustainability. Dr. Charles Hall. Dr Hall will take an in-depth look at the costs associated with embracing sustainability and the opportunities sustainability offers for improving your bottom line.

9. Leveraging Your Sustainable Initiatives. Annie Gardener, Green Penguin. So you’ve embraced sustainability, initiated programs to enhance your business’ sustainability and maybe even obtained third-party certification. Annie will define how to use these efforts to add value to your products, differentiate your business and improve profitability.

10. Case Study Industry Panel. Panel discussion. Representatives from various industry segments will discuss their views on sustainability and provide a look at their real life experiences establishing sustainability initiatives in their businesses. The panel will includes representatives from B&H Flowers, PP&L, Overdevest Nursery, Tagawa Retail Garden Center, Cole Greenhouse and Plug Connection.

11. Chain Retailers and Sustainability. Whole Foods *

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