Environment & Public Lands
2:41 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Salt Lake Chamber Makes Business Case for Clean Air

Utah business leaders are making a case for why clean air is integral to a strong economy. At the Salt Lake Chamber’s 2nd Annual Clean Air Conference this morning panelists from the Utah division of Air Quality, Wasatch Front Regional Council and Overstock.com discussed how environmental responsibility can benefit bottom lines and improve quality of life for everyone. 

Utah-based Overstock.com started small by conserving supplies, recycling and shortening supply chains. Paul Graziano is Director of Talent Management for the company. He says those initiatives provide obvious benefits. He adds corporate social responsibility also attracts customers.

“Customers are pretty savvy these days and if a customer has a choice between purchasing merchandise from one company that takes sustainability efforts seriously and another company that doesn’t than they’re going to choose a company that has those sustainability efforts as part of their corporate social responsibility," Graziano says.

He says a healthy environment attracts customers and businesses to the region in the first place.

Andrew Gruber is Executive Director of the Wasatch Front Regional Council which is consists of local governments forming long-term plans for land use as the region grows. Gruber says the vision is to create more options for commuting, living and working along the Wasatch Front.

“If we grow in that way we’ll actually save money on infrastructure that we wouldn’t otherwise have to build, we’ll reduce the amount of traffic congestion, that will improve our economy, the flow of goods and commerce and workers getting to their businesses, it will also improve our air quality," Gruber says.

The Utah Division of Air Quality is currently finalizing a plan to help bring the state back into compliance with federal air standards.