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Business and Economy

A new project will help Maine businesses shift away from fossil fuels

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Irwin Gratz
/
Maine Public
Sue Inches, an adviser to the project and author of "Advocating For The Environment," says we can succeed in reducing carbon emissions if people are willing to go "all in," the way they did during World War II.

Twenty Maine businesses Wednesday announced the launch of a project that's meant to help other businesses, especially smaller ones, move away from energy sources that produce climate-changing emissions.

The project's organizers touted it at an event held in a conference room that overlooks the Fore Street Parking Garage in Portland, now covered with solar panels. It was described as the first such installation atop a multi-story parking garage in Maine.

Speaker Chris Stanley of Lamey Wellehan shoes told the gathering that becoming more environmentally-friendly began with finding a way to reduce the cost of trash disposal.

"That channel led us to start thinking about recycling. And then we embraced that. That led us to think about sustainability. And that led us to think about energy usage. And, now, here we are," he said.

Sue Inches, an adviser to the project and author of "Advocating For The Environment," says we can succeed in reducing carbon emissions, if people are willing to go "all in," the way they did during World War II,

"We did win that second World War," Inches said. "We did put a COVID vaccine out there in less than a year, we did land a man on the moon. Why can't we bring down carbon emissions? I think we can do it."

The project — called "On The Pathway To 100% Clean Energy" — features a website where businesses can find information about how to plan for clean energy improvements, get help financing them, and locating contractors to do the work.

There's also a logo that participating businesses will be able to display to advertise their commitment to the public.