St. Pete Expo Focuses On Green Industry Growth

Green experts and those curious about sustainability met in St. Petersburg in early April to discuss how to make homes and businesses more sustainable.

Part of that discussion revolved around how the greening of America would help jumpstart the economy and create jobs -- particularly here in the Tampa Bay region.

The Tampa Bay Living Green Expo took place at the St. Petersburg Coliseum on April 2 and 3, 2011, and featured booths, experts, demonstrations and panel discussions that ranged from Conquering Your Sprinkler Challenges to the ABCs of Composting. One of the panels focused on Green Jobs, and featured panelist John Wakefiield, senior VP of EcoAsset Solutions in Tampa.

Wakefield says the outlook for green jobs looks good, particularly in the public sector.

"I think looking into the next five years, the opportunities are ripe," says Wakefield. "What we think needs to happen is for communities in the Tampa Bay area to implement a Pace (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program. If the program was implemented in Tampa, it would provide financing for retrofit appliances. The jobs they would create would help the hardest hit sector: construction and trades."

"I would say that sustainability has emerged as the strongest driver of growth," continues Wakefield. "There are a few things driving that trend: First, rising regulatory and customer pressure for it in the marketplace. Second, companies are in need of the grants out there that reward sustainable efforts, and third, companies are seeing sustainability as a competitive and financial driver -- anything to grow revenue, especially where the economy is right now."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: John Wakefield, EcoAsset Solutions

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