Thursday, October 29, 2015

Lewisburg Gets the Gold

Improves TVA Sustainable Community Status from Silver to Gold
The city of Lewisburg, Tenn., has been named a Valley Sustainable Gold Community by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – up from Silver Level status earned in 2013.

The Valley Sustainable Communities Program initiated by TVA Economic Development helps communities document and improve existing sustainability programs to increase their competitiveness when companies are considering investing in new or expanded locations.

Lewisburg completed the program sponsored by TVA, which was developed and administered by consultant Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA), in 2013. At that time, the community achieved a Silver Level Valley Sustainable Community status.

This year, TVA and BSA opened the program again for new communities and for those seeking to upgrade their current status. Lewisburg recognized that the community leadership had implemented several new sustainability programs with even more being planned. With this information, the Sustainable Community Committee re-applied and was pleased to discover that Lewisburg moved up to Gold Level status.

“We are proud that Lewisburg has completed the Valley Sustainable Communities Program,” said Del Boyette, president and CEO of Boyette Strategic Advisors. “The Gold level designation recognizes that Lewisburg has community-wide sustainability in place, with some programs available to support the business community and take advantage of economic development opportunities.”

Sustainability has become a key issue for economic development organizations and communities as more corporations have demonstrated an increasing commitment to sustainability. More than 90 percent of corporate real estate executives who responded to a CoreNet Global survey on sustainability said that it is a consideration in their company location decisions. The typical reasons for this corporate commitment are reduced operating costs for increased profitability and greater employee satisfaction.

“TVA Economic Development’s mission includes working with Valley communities to help prepare them to be ready for economic growth opportunities,” said John Bradley, TVA SVP of Economic Development. “We are seeing that more and more companies have an increasing business emphasis on sustainable operations, and are adding this component to their RFIs as they search for a community where they can locate, grow, and enhance their company’s sustainability commitments.”

 By the end of 2015, 28 communities in the TVA Region have achieved either Silver, Gold or Platinum level Valley Sustainable Community status through the program. Lewisburg will now become one of 14 communities to obtain Gold Level status, including nearby communities such as Franklin and Murfreesboro and larger communities such as Memphis, TN and Huntsville, AL.

Lewisburg Sustainable Community Team members include, Mayor Jim Bingham, Barbara Woods, Lisa Jackson, JECB Director Mike Wiles and Lewisburg ED Director Greg Lowe. The team will receive the TVA Sustainable Community Gold Level Award at a luncheon on December 1 in Nashville.

“This kind of recognition validates our efforts to become a progressive, business-friendly and environmentally sound community,” said Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham. “We are going to continue efforts such as this as we move forward with more plans and projects to make Lewisburg the best city to live, work and do business.”