Category Archives: Los Angeles Business Council

Clinton Global Initiative Recognizes AEG Farmers Field

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Clinton   Global Initiative Recognizes AEG for their Commitment to Action to   

Create Farmers Field, Nation’s First Carbon-Neutral NFL Stadium

New NFL stadium, event center and modernized Los Angeles Convention Center raise the bar forsustainable entertainment and business development in a major urban area.

NEW YORK — Sept. 20, 2011 —At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting today, leading sports and entertainment presenters AEG were recognized by former President Bill Clinton for their Commitment to Action to invest $1 billion to build Farmers Field, a 72,000-seat, downtown Los Angeles football stadium and event center. As part of AEG’s commitment, the Los Angeles-based organization is working with partners, including the U.S. Green Building Council and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), to ensure that Farmers Field will be the most environmentally sustainable stadium in the world and the first stadium in the NFL to be LEED certified.

We are so proud to have a company in Los Angeles being honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for their proven track record of providing the most innovative solutions to environmental issues while also creating jobs and opportunities for the community,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Their tireless commitment to innovative, environmental programs such AEG 1 EARTH has set the precedent for the sports and entertainment industry across the world to follow.”

Through this Commitment to Action, AEG pledges to work closely with CGI to monitor environmental results and report back on progress. This comes on the heels of a bill passed by an overwhelming 80 percent majority of the California State Senate and Assembly that will require AEG to ensure that Farmers Field is 100 percent carbon neutral for all emissions generated from private automobile trips to and from the stadium and for Farmers Field to have the best ratio of fans to automobiles in all of the NFL. The stadium will prioritize on-site and local projects before purchasing carbon offsets to support local economic development while ensuring positive environmental and social impacts. In addition, as part of their Commitment to Action, AEG will go beyond legal requirements to achieve carbon neutrality for all emissions from energy consumption and mechanical operations of the stadium. Combining these commitments with additional measures, such as water conservation and robust waste and recycling programs, including the donation of durable goods and an in-house composting program, will create the nation’s most comprehensive environmental program for an NFL stadium.

“The Clinton Global Initiative is a forum for visionary companies and leaders who are committed to designing a sustainable future for individuals, businesses and communities, by repurposing business methods and culture to solve critical global problems,” said former President Bill Clinton. “AEG has proven to be the world’s most environmentally conscious venue operators, and Farmers Field will be another true example of their mission to marry design, innovation, social responsibility and community engagement, resulting in a measurable impact for future generations. I commend AEG as a model socially responsible company that is the hallmark of CG

“Farmers Field will be an example of the next generation of sports and entertainment venues, where a world-class fan experience goes hand in hand with social and environmental responsibility,” said Tim Leiweke, AEG president and CEO. “We have focused during the last four years on working with some of the most respected environmental organizations in the country to create a blueprint for the stadium and, through the AEG 1EARTH program, to create the most comprehensive environmental program in the sports and live entertainment industry. Our CGI Commitment to Action underscores AEG’s dedication and accountability for making this vision a reality. We are honored to be recognized by President Clinton and this prestigious organization.”

“Through Farmers Field, AEG is making the most environmentally responsible choice possible, with commitment beginning at the point of development,” said S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman, U.S. Green Building Council. “Investing in sustainable construction and weaving carbon and waste programs into the fabric of a venue, its operations and its surroundings creates the lowest impact on our environment and the greatest return for the company.”

The Commitment to Action at CGI comes just weeks after the groundbreaking environmental components of the project helped garner the support of two of California’s most respected environmental groups — the NRDC and the California League of Conservation Voters.

“NRDC applauds AEG’s commitment operate the most energy efficient football stadium in the nation at Farmers field to develop a best-in-the-nation public transit infrastructure for fans and to offset the carbon emissions associated with all fan travel by cars and busses,” said Allen Hershkowitz, PhD., senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council. “Given AEG’s proven record as the worlds’ greenest arena operators and their commitment to work with environmental and community groups in developing their plan, I have every confidence that this goal will be achieved.”

….“Members of organizations across the city have come together to make Farmers Field a reality,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry. “We know that the entire city — even state — will benefit from the addition.”

 “Our focus locally lies not only on the environmental goals, but on the tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of economic benefits to the state,” Speaker John A. Pérez said. “AEG has been able to generate an opportunity for economic development without sacrificing our environmental standards.”

“The construction of a news sports arena and convention center will create thousands of jobs and be an economic boost for the City of Los Angeles, the region and the state,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “Unlike other stadium projects, this one will be built without any public funds and be built to unprecedented environmental standards.”

AEG’s plan is both environmental and economic. It is estimated that Farmers Field construction will create 23,000 jobs, including 12,000 full-time jobs during the construction process and 11,000 more permanent jobs at the convention center. The Los Angeles Convention Center modernization and expansion and Farmers Field project is projected to generate more than $600 million in total economic activity, raising more than $40 million in new city, county and state tax revenues.

“With record unemployment above the national average, the creation of 23,000 middle-class jobs for construction and hotel workers, stage hands, grips and janitors is critical to Los Angeles,” said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Our top priority is to get men and women back to work in a good job.”

More information and a complete look at the 2010 AEG 1EARTH sustainability report are available at http://www.aegworldwide.com/08_corporate/aeg1earth-report.html.


Photo courtesy WireImage/AEG (Left to Right: Steve Bing, Founder of Shangri-La Industries; Tim Leiweke, President & CEO, AEG; Former President Bill Clinton; Casey Wasserman, Chairman & CEO, Wasserman Media Group)


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Filed under Bill Clinton, Green Blog Network, Green Blolg Network, Green building, Green Business Certification, Greening Los Angeles, Jan Perry, Los Angeles Business Council, Mayor Villaraigosa, Paige Donner, paigedonner.wordpress.com, Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Design, Sustainable Design Awards, sustainable entrepreneurs

>Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

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By Joel Epstein

The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere. http://joelepstein.com/

Sustainable Housing, 30/10 and Public Transit in LA

With last week’s epiphany on how the unions should be investors in LA’s 30/10 Initiative going nowhere, I was free to attend Wednesday’s Mayoral Sustainable Housing and Transportation Summit.

30/10 is an innovative idea for accelerating construction of 12 critical voter-approved transportation construction projects in 10 years instead of 30. The conference, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and now in its ninth year, brought together a well-spoken group of leaders from the real estate, transportation, government, finance and planning communities. With a strong lineup of panelists and the show ably MC’ed by City Controller Wendy Greuel, I found myself busily scribbling away as speaker after speaker described successes and the many challenges they face in working to build sustainable housing and mixed use developments in LA County and elsewhere.

LA remains one of the least affordable residential markets in the country and the conference effectively underscored the importance of removing obstacles to building in the city so that working people can find affordable, sustainable housing in safe neighborhoods with good schools within easy commuting distance of their jobs. Yes, that’s a lot of modifiers.

The three panels that made up the generally well-paced program explored [different] definitions of sustainable communities, resources to support a sustainable community, and best practices for sustainable community development.

 
In the second panel discussion Larry Parks of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco captured the challenge explaining that affordable housing developers and transit-oriented development (TOD) advocates need to do a better job of conveying to the media and policy makers that TOD reduces the amount of household income residents must spend on transportation from 25 percent to 9 percent.

Given my bias toward transit-oriented development and sustainable communities with a strong public transit component, my favorite comments came from Metro’s Art Leahy, Senior Deputy Dan Rosenfeld from Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas’ office and John Huskey, CEO of Meta Housing.

I am paraphrasing, but here is what I heard them say and/or why their comments rang true.

In his comments Leahy forcefully drove home how Metro’s extensive and costly building program supported by revenue from voter-approved Measure R will create a true transit system out of our already extensive collection of bus and rail lines. This will mean a significantly more transit-oriented LA, conducive to greater mobility for those smart enough, or with no choice but, to ride Metro. Unlike some others in this town who advocate for greater mass transit but don’t themselves take Metro, Leahy earns our respect in part because he is a customer, as well as Metro’s CEO, who uses the system as often as he can.

Rosenfeld focused on the need to rally around greater density at Metro stations and to implement changes that make land acquisition and development around the stations easier. He bemoaned the fact that South LA, from Wilshire Blvd south to Long Beach has seen no transit oriented development around its rail stations even though the area has long had the Metro Blue and Green Lines.

Huskey of Meta Housing captured my imagination with his candid comments about the challenges of developing Adams & Central, a new mixed use development in what was once the heart of LA’s African-American community and an R&B and jazz Mecca. Coincidentally, at the recommendation of Councilwoman Jan Perry I had visited the impressive development which includes a Fresh & Easy supermarket just last week. At least during the day, the development and the market are the envy of most mixed use developments and supermarkets in West LA.

Many of the other speakers spoke of LA’s critical 30/10 Initiative, including Metro Board member Richard Katz who reminded us that those who are speaking of the death of 30/10 are underestimating the merits of the program and the hard work that has gone into creating an infrastructure financing model for the nation. Katz’ wise counsel to the media, including yours truly, is worth heeding, just as many were forecasting Measure R’s demise just before it was approved by a two thirds majority of County voters in November 2008.

Given the sustainability theme, the conference featured some nice touches including a cloth conference tote that will make a nice shopping bag now that the County Board of Supervisors has passed a sweeping ban on plastic shopping bags. The wasteful bags have become known as urban tumbleweed that all too rarely gets recycled.

The LABC tote included a soon to be collectible “Watts Is Worth It” reusable coffee mug, grace à the LA Housing Authority’s Jordan Downs Redevelopment.

At breakfast and lunch, what looked like biodegradable cutlery and unbleached paper napkins accompanied the food. Nice, though as Metro’s Leahy noted, is there really a plentiful water source in Las Vegas, where the bottled water provided to the panelists came from? Am I the only one who remembers when conferences provided a pitcher of ice water and glasses to their presenters?

One more criticism of the otherwise excellent sustainable housing and transportation conference. It appeared as if I was as guilty as most of the other attendees in driving alone to the early morning event at UCLA’s Anderson School. Maybe next year LABC can organize a shuttle from the Metro Wilshire 720 Rapid, the Metro 2 and other buses that make stops in Westwood.

All small issues. Kudos to the LABC for organizing this important conference! Oh, one more thing. The Mayor spoke as well.

Joel Epstein is a Los Angeles-based public transportation advocate and also a contributor to the Huffington Post. http://joelepstein.com/

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Filed under 30/10, Green Blog Network, Greening Los Angeles, LABC, Larry Parks, Los Angeles Business Council, Mayor Villaraigosa, Meta Housing, public transit LA, Toxics Free Babies and Toddlers Act, Wendy Greuel

>Los Angeles Goes For FiT – Solar Feed-in Tariffs

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Feed-in Tariff Benefits For Los Angeles

If only Los Angeles could bottle the kind of energy seen during Lakers Day Parades, such as the one on Monday, June 21st, there would be little need for discussions about rate hikes and energy consumption. Until that day arrives, the Los Angeles Business Council has been consulting with local stakeholders and helping Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilwoman Jan Perry and others to come up with a Feed-in Tariff plan for Solar energy. This is how it is proposed to work in benefit to Los Angeles the city and its citizens.
  • Ratepayer cost-savings: Future solar installation costs will continue to fall at the same time that fossil fuel costs will rise. Our study finds that ratepayers will save money over the long-term because a solar program will begin to produce energy more cheaply than the utility’s other potential sources of power within five years.
  • Regulatory climate: California law, AB 32, will require all utilities to meet 20 percent of their power needs with renewable sources by the end of the year, a mandate that will soon increase to 33 percent. A FiT program could be an important component in helping utilities to meet renewable energy goals.

Photo courtesy LA Times Blogs

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  • A magnet for clean-tech manufacturing: A FiT program would signal a long-term political commitment to greening Los Angeles and could be used as an incentive to attract clean-tech firms and manufacturers to our region and keep them here. Germany—which is home to the world’s largest solar market despite its relatively marginal sunlight— has used a nationwide FiT program to help generate more than 100,000 jobs and build a robust green economy.
  • Job creation: A FiT program would create more than 11,000 high-wage private sector jobs to install, maintain, repair, assemble and manufacture solar panels inside the Los Angeles basin.

What Is A Solar Feed-in Tariff Program?

A solar Feed-in Tariff program allows businesses, public and non-profit organizations, and residents to install solar panels on their roofs and parking lots and sell the power generated back to the local utility. Participants receive a payment back from the utility for each Kilowatt-hour fed back into the power grid. FiT programs can generate a cost-effective source of renewable energy, create local jobs, and bring in revenue for businesses and ratepayers. Successful FiT programs have been put in place around the world. LABC has singled out programs in Germany and Gainesville, Florida as particularly effective models that Los Angeles should look to emulate.

 

Contact the Los Angeles Business Council for more information on the Solar FiT program. This month LABC has been building a broad coalition in support of bringing an ambitious 600 Megawatt Solar Feed-in Tariff  (FiT) program to Los Angeles using the guidelines we have developed in partnership with the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. 

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