News & Events

Tuesday September 25, 2018 Sustainability Lab @ T-Rex Agenda

Open networking will take place from 3:30 to 7:00 in the T-Rex common area on the 5th floor.

To help us prepare for the Lab, please fill out this Google form and let us know which sessions you plan on attending.


3:30-3:45 Registration

3:45-5:00 Session A: Energy Justice Roundtable

Energy and climate change are civil rights issues.
The Board of Aldermen of the City of St. Louis has called upon the City to transition to 100 percent clean energy in the form of wind and solar and energy efficiency measures within the electricity sector by 2035.  By December 2018, the City is to come up with a plan to do so.  An Advisory Board has crafted four overarching goals to guide development of the December 2018 Plan.  The City seeks input from the Roundtable with regard to these four overarching goals (set forth below). Mary Ries, Legislative Director to City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis E. Reed, will co-moderate this Roundtable.  Please join us.

Plan Goals

  • Cost Effective: Meet electricity needs of consumers in the most cost-effective manner possible or should lead to cost-savings for consumers over the life of the project
  • Health: Improve local health outcomes and health impacts associated with the generation of electricity
  • Equity: Ensure equitable access for low-income communities, communities of color, and other traditionally marginalized groups
  • Jobs: Create additional employment opportunities for residents that meets or exceeds the City’s required M/WBE requirements

Moderated by: Bruce Morrison, General Counsel, Great Rivers Environmental Law Center and Chair of NAACP Environmental Justice Committee
                        Mary Ries, Legislative Director to City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis E. Reed

3:45-5:00 Session B: Sustainability Drivers - Motivations and Examples from the European Energy Efficiency Transition

We will discuss the main drivers and concrete actions being taken by small businesses in Europe, with a focus on how businesses in STL can follow suit. Case studies will explain how European companies are conducting carbon footprint and life cycle assessment calculations, or Natural Capital Accounting, as methods for “visualizing” where you currently stand. This approach identifies impact hot spots, and this information can be used to develop an action plan. Primary take away will be showing how Europe is finding value in a greener business model that is increasingly becoming mainstream.

Morgan will show that the first step is doing some kind of measurement/calculation (with many options for this besides just LEED), and how the information can be used to develop a strategy. Through retail chain carbon neutral transition examples, which will be relevant for small businesses, she will demonstrate how to get started and what can be learned from her European experiences.

Presented by: Morgan Geile, Sustainability Consultant, Ecomatters -

3:45-5:00 Session C: Improving Local Purchasing Transparency in Grocery Stores, Restaurants, and Institutions

Farmers and restaurants both benefit when restaurants are able to advertise that they source locally, but it’s often difficult to make those purchases year round. Farmers are not adequately supported and patrons can be misled in their decision-making if a restaurant isn’t able to buy from farmers consistently but continues to advertise their products. How do make promotion of local products more transparent, given fluctuations in availability, cost, and seasonality of products?

Moderated by: St. Louis Food Policy Coalition

5:00 - 8:00 Special Event: Speaker Series w/ Patty Heyda
     5:00 - 6:00 Open House and Networking
     6:00 - 7:00 Presentation
     7:00 - 8:00 Group Discussions

A St. Louis Redevelopment & Design: It's Complicated.

Finding a balance of economic development and basic social (and environmental) welfare is a challenge in all American cities today, and in St. Louis in particular.  Why is this so hard to achieve?

This talk explores the ambitions, complexities and contradictions of contemporary urban redevelopment in St. Louis through the designer's lens.

The presentation will be followed by a Q and A session and a break-out discussion. Small groups will discuss each other's reactions to the presentation along with any actions individuals can take based on what was learned or discussed throughout the presentation.

Presented by: Patty Heyda

Patty Heyda is Interim Chair of Urban Design (Fall 2018) and Associate Professor of Urban Design and Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Rebuilding the American City.


Experienced sustainability and planning professionals will be available on-site for one-on-one discussions to share their knowledge and experience.  If you would like to talk with this month's volunteer mentor, please fill in the Lab google form.  There will be a sign-in sheet at the Lab registration table to pick a time to speak with Jean.

Jean Ponzi – available from 3:30-5:00pm

As the Green Resources Manager for EarthWays Center, a division of Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Jean Ponzi responds to public inquiries with resources, referrals and information on sustainable practices, products and services.  As a Resource Advisor to the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, a program of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, Jean has since 2010 coached over 190 companies to efficiently integrate sustainable policy and practice into everyday business operations. She is often the face and voice of EarthWays Center in print and electronic media coverage.

Jean served as a Residential Green Building Advocate for the region, from 2007-10, on behalf of the US Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter and the St. Louis Homebuilders Association. She has also worked extensively in our community's K-12 schools.

She represents the City of St. Louis on the executive board of the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District. She has written for, Home Energy, Grist and Missouri Resources magazines and many local publications, in addition to contributing an environmental column, Earthworms' Castings, to The Healthy Planet Magazine since 1997.