Spotlight On Sustainability
PWX@Home works around your busy lifestyle. You can choose one afternoon per month to set aside and embrace an all-new virtual learning experience. The second Tuesday of each month from August through July, APWA will unveil education in 12 key public works focus areas. The series features sessions on relevant topics—most of which were selected for PWX 2020 in varying formats to maximize learning and engagement.
View all 2020-2021 Spotlight On... Series sessions >
The Business Case for Sustainability: Maximizing the Economics of Your Infrastructure Investments
Speakers: Steph Larocque, Doug Melnick, Ed Othmer, James Patteson
The principles of sustainability ask designers to consider the three E’s – Environment, Equity, and Economics. This presentation focuses on how public works professionals can evaluate program choices considering comprehensive life-cycle costs to best serve their communities. Too often, sustainable approaches are not pursued due to a misconception that these features are “cost plus” nice-to-haves. The discussion is, “I’d like to do more and know it’s the right thing to do, but I don’t have the budget….” Decisions are made to pursue compliance minimums, while a better thought-out, high-performance approach, would provide a better long-term solution. The manufacturing, retail, and construction industries have learned this lesson and actively incorporate sustainable practices to gain market advantage. Google, Walmart, and the US Navy all embrace smarter, more resilient investments. They have learned that sustainability spurs innovation, creates consumer trust and brand loyalty, improves employee attraction and retention, and reduces cost. This session will use local government case studies to show how to apply design tools to evaluate more sustainable solutions and conduct comprehensive life-cycle economic analysis. “How-to” tips will be provided on tools like Envision, LEED, and other practical applications. Lessons learned will be shared on how to effectively engage staff, the community, and elected officials to inform and educate them on sustainability.
Public Agencies Can Save the World!: Steps Public Agencies Can Take to Address Climate Change
Speakers: Katie Harrel, Josette Descalzo
Climate change discussions are becoming more and more necessary as changes to weather patterns and coastal communities are observed. California has experienced larger and more severe fires. The southeast has been impacted by stronger and more frequent hurricanes. Glaciers in Alaska are melting. Everyone is experiencing more extreme seasons. Public agencies are in a position of strength, as they are able to identify, plan, and implement policies, programs, and projects that can address climate change, as every initiative counts towards the greater good and future generations. This presentation includes a panel of engineers, public works directors, and elected officials that can discuss the process of identifying and implementing initiatives to address climate change. Climate change projects come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from light bulb replacement to green infrastructure to the creation of a new power source. Come hear how you can make a difference in your community’s future.
C4S Roundtable: Envision Better Projects
Speakers: John Trujillo, Melissa Peneycad, J.C. Alonzo, Youn Sim, Floren Poliseo
Public agencies increasingly use the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system to approach project planning, design, and construction with the triple bottom line in mind, there is a lot to learn from infrastructure owners and project teams who’ve used it and had their project verified. Envision v3 builds upon previous versions of the rating system to help project teams address climate change impacts, consider life-cycle costs, and advance social equity and community resilience. Hear from project teams that have used Envision about the challenges they’ve encountered, the lessons they’ve learned and the benefits they’ve seen, whether using Envision as a planning and design tool or pursuing project verification. Presenters will also address the verification process and discuss how they might approach the next project. This session is supported by the APWA Center for Sustainability (C4S).
Did you attend the live program?
Access the recordings and revisit this content in the eLearning Portal.
Did you miss out?
The recordings will be available for purchase APWA Store in late 2021.
International Infrastructure Roundtable: Applying the United Nations Sustainability Goals to Public Works around the World
This roundtable discussion will focus on how communities and public works agencies in different countries are working toward achieving the targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Speakers and topics include:
- Trevor Sultana, Business Manager for Water Operations at Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Australia, will focus on the importance of sustainable water supply systems (UN Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation).
- Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, Project Director for Carbon Neutral Helsinki at the City of Helsinki, Finland, will talk about the measures the City of Helsinki is taking to make the city carbon neutral by 2035. She will focus on the city’s approach to energy production as well as how the city is reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency (UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy).
- James Patteson, Principal with Blue Heron Leadership Group, and Steve Struthers, Public Sector Strategy Consultant, will explore community based strategic planning at the local government level with a focus on creating a more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable community (UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities).
Small Cities/Rural Communities Perspective On Sustainability
While small cities and rural communities face the same challenges as larger and urban communities to address climate change, build resilience and social equity, and comply with environmental regulations, they often do not have the same resources – whether revenue, expertise or dedicated staff. But they are developing creative solutions to further sustainability. Join this panel discussion to learn more about how sustainability is being advanced in small cities and rural communities.
Principles of Public Works Self-Assessment Workshop
The Principles of PW Self-Assessment virtual workshop has been developed with a focus on understanding the practices and completing the self-assessment process using the manual and software.
Public works self-assessment provides opportunities for continuous improvement for your overall operations, ultimately leading to better quality of life for your community. Look ahead as you plan for a stronger, more resilient operation in which your employees are empowered by this opportunity to share their expertise and knowledge.
Registration is closed. To be notified of future program dates, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) Training
Envision is designed to help infrastructure stakeholders implement more sustainable projects. The ENV SP designation is becoming an increasingly important credential for any professional involved in civil infrastructure. Since its inception, more than 6,000 professionals have obtained their ENV SP credential, which has equipped them with the knowledge to apply the ground-breaking Envision concepts to their daily work.
The purpose of this training is to equip participants to use Envision. In collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, APWA is excited to offer live online Envision Training over four consecutive days for two hours each day. Participants will also be qualified to take the Envision Sustainability Professional (ENV SP) exam. The cost of the exam is included in the training registration cost.
Registration is closed. To be notified of future program dates, email email@example.com.
Third Thursday Advocacy Jam! – May
The focus of federal governments in both the United States and Canada on sustainability issues has only increased in recent months. Canada’s federal government has made climate action a cornerstone of its recovery plan to support and create a million jobs across the country and in the US sustainability, climate, and equity issues are becoming a central element of new proposals for infrastructure legislation. To help public works professionals in their advocacy to elected officials on these critical issues, APWA Government Affairs is in the process of developing new Policymaker Primers on sustainability issues related to recycling and climate change. Please join APWA’s US and Canadian Government Affairs staff for an open-ended discussion of sustainability in public works, our process for developing the new primers, and efforts to address sustainability through upcoming legislation and regulations. Additionally, with this month’s Advocacy Jam taking place during National Public Works Week (NPWW), there will be an update on advocacy efforts aimed at once again ensuring recognition of the essential nature of public works during NPWW. We look forward to hearing your thoughts – join the conversation!
CLL: Climate Change: What Does It Mean For Local Government
May 27, 2021
10:00–11:00 a.m. CT
Many local governments are facing significant challenges due to a changing climate, including more frequent and longer lasting wildfires, drought, flooding, extreme heat and storms, as well as sea level rise. Local governments are also at the forefront of climate action, working to reduce current and future impacts – and public works plays a critical role. This Click Listen and Learn brings together leaders from Broward County, FL, Portland, ME, and Los Angeles, CA, who have developed strategies for resource policy and planning, land management, environmental monitoring, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting natural assets and transitioning to clean renewable energy. Learn about how municipal operations and public works are implementing sustainable and resilient solutions, including through partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
Registration is FREE for Members