New network launches for Vermont climate economy businesses

The Vermont Climate Economy Business Network, a new initiative coordinated by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, launched this month with a networking event at Main Street Landing in Burlington.

The organization is an effort to build community and collaboration among businesses whose products and services aim to reduce, mitigate or prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Climate economy enterprises include those working on distributed/renewable energy, green building, sensor technologies, data management and resource recycling. The resiliency of some working lands businesses — as well as some segments of manufacturing, transportation planning, and community development — are also components of the climate economy.

“The purpose of the network is to provide climate economy businesses with a sense of community, opportunities to explore collaboration, and support to grow their businesses and create quality jobs for Vermonters,” Ellen Kahler, executive director at the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, said in a press release. “Regular meet-ups and other networking and professional development events will be held in the coming year to build relationships, trust and collaboration among Vermont climate economy sector businesses.”

The Climate Economy Action Team managed by the Vermont Council on Rural Development first identified the need for the Climate Economy Business Network.

“Vermont has a real opportunity to position itself as a national climate economy leader,” said Paul Costello, executive director of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. “From the nation’s first energy efficiency utility to the fact that we are leading the nation in the number of green jobs per capita, Vermont continues to innovate in this arena. As more entrepreneurs stay in or come to Vermont, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund will play an essential role by deploying their network development approach for climate economy businesses to grow here.”