In April 2014, Blount County applied and was accepted to participate in the Valley Sustainable Communities Program. This program, now in its second year, is being sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and managed by Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA).
The Valley Sustainable Communities Program was initiated by TVA Economic Development in 2013 as part of its community preparedness offerings. Sustainability has become a key issue for economic development organizations and communities as more corporations have demonstrated an increasing commitment to sustainability. In addition, more than 90 percent of corporate real estate executives who responded to a CoreNet Global survey said that sustainability 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.
The goal of the program is to increase the likelihood that communities will be viewed as progressive and competitive by companies planning to invest in new or expanded business locations. BSA and TVA staff will be administering the program and meeting in person with communities’ sustainability teams to help inventory, develop and implement sustainable initiatives and increase awareness of sustainable assets.
The program recognizes communities at three levels – Silver, Gold and Platinum – based on the sustainability programs in place. While a wide variety of sustainable initiatives contribute to a community’s level of recognition, those programs directly related to business and industry support and economic development receive greater emphasis. In its first year, the Valley Sustainable Communities program recognized 13 communities throughout the Valley for their commitment to sustainability. Read more at TVAed.com/sustainable.
“Blount County has already made a significant commitment to sustainability,” said Bryan Daniels, Blount Partnership president/CEO. “This new program provides us with the opportunity to document, further develop and be recognized for our sustainable initiatives, which will help differentiate us in the tough competition for new corporate investment and job creation.”