June Meeting Summary Featuring Cleantech San Diego and Sustainable Investing

Thank you to the 30 members who joined us on Tuesday, June 9, to hear from Jason Anderson, president and CEO of Cleantech San DiegoCleantech San Diego has been working for more than seven years to position the greater San Diego region as a global leader in the cleantech economy. The organization’s mission is accelerate clean technology innovation and adoption of sustainable business practices for the benefit of the economy and the environment. More than 100 local businesses, universities, governments, and nonprofits are members or work with Cleantech to advance their mission.

So how has Cleantech San Diego achieved progress over the last seven years? The organization helps to foster collaborations across the private-public-academic landscape, working with the region’s six universities and more than 80 research institutions along with countless non-profit organizations. One program offered by Cleantech San Diego facilitates introductions by allowing tech start-ups to “pitch for partnership” in front of San Diego’s tech leaders.

Jason also leads advocacy efforts to promote a “Smart Cities” initiative with partners that encourages investment in the San Diego cleantech economy. The organization has focused energy recently on advancing bio renewables; helping to create the next fuel to become competitive with petrol. Cleantech’s K-12 School Sustainability Strategy program works with San Diego County’s 45 school districts to implement energy saving and sustainability measures.

The regional achievements that have resulted because of this work are impressive. Currently, there are more than 850 cleantech companies and San Diego is ranked number four in a National Cleantech Leadership Index (up from number 11 in 2012). Forbes ranks San Diego the nation’s number one best place to launch a startup and we are ranked among the top ten cities in the world aiming for 100 percent clean energy.

Jason mentioned that San Diego was the only U.S. city chosen to be profiled in a National Geographic 50-minute documentary on “World’s Smartest Cities.” View a copy of the program online here.

San Diego is regionally focused, but globally competitive. We are also small enough to get things done; but large enough to make a difference. Because we have established science and tech industries, and our innovation is fueled by a collaborative culture, San Diego is uniquely positioned to become the globally recognized leader in clean technologies and sustainable business practices. When asked, Jason shared with meeting attendees that they can help advance cleantech development by simply talking about and advocating for greater investments. You can help raise the level of awareness that cleantech benefits the economy and also the environment.

Click here to view a PDF of Jason’s presentation: CleanTechSlides_JasonAnderson_June92015
Our second speaker, Judith Seid, a certified financial planner and President of Blue Summit Wealth Management shared how you can you make personal actions to divest from fossil fuels and become more socially responsible with your investments. Often called the “double bottom line,” when you invest from the heart, you can still expect to get returns and support a cause.

A growing number of colleges and universities, cities, counties, religious institutions, and other institutions are committing to divest from fossil fuels in one form or another. This list includes Stanford University (divesting from coal) and the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and San Monica. Many religious organizations have made progress to divest from fossil fuels and there is a growing movement to divest the Vatican. (Look for Pope Francis’ Encyclical on climate change to be released on June 18.)

Judy shared with attendees the common myths associated with “green” investing. One such myth is that returns on sustainable, responsible investments will be lower. But, investing in line with your social and environmental values does not mean sacrificing portfolio returns.

Click here to view Judy’s handout and slide presentation: SustainableInvestingSlides_JudithSeid_June92015
STAY COOL in the News

STAY COOL, along with other elder climate action groups, were featured in a blog post by Ellen Moyer, Ph.D. on Huffington Post titled Elders Take Action on Climate Change. It’s a must-read!
Action Items

On Monday, June 22, the day before Citizens’ Climate Lobby is on the hill to lobby for climate action, you can participate in Congressional Climate Message Day. Plan to call your member of congress or senator to register support for action on climate change. CCL has put together an easy to say script and provides links to online resources for finding your elected officials.

Save the date to participate in Grandparents’ Climate Action Day in Washington D.C. September 9-10, 2015. The Elders Climate Action group, based in the Bay Area, is organizing this event to ask our government leaders to take bold action on climate change. Learn more: www.EldersClimateAction.org.

San Diego residents needs to raise their voice in support of smart transportation planning now.  San Diego Forward, the SANDAG long range plan is in draft stage and the final community workshop is scheduled for June 18 in North County (learn more here). Comments on the draft plan may be submitted via SDForward.com, directly through email at SDForward@sandag.org, via telephone at (619) 699-1934, and through the mail: Attn: Regional Plan. SANDAG offices at 401 B Street, Suite 800, San Diego, CA 92101. Want message points? Email sarah@staycool4grandkids.org for suggestions.


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