Quality of Life

How Chattanooga’s Green Initiatives Attract Thriving Business Investments

greenspaces building

The spotlight shines on the Greater Chattanooga region, where innovative sustainability initiatives are fueling economic development and attracting forward-thinking investments. In an engaging interview with the executive director of green|spaces, we explore a personal and professional journey deeply rooted in environmental stewardship.

Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership (GCEP): Could you share with us your journey into the field of sustainability and what personally drives your commitment to sustainable practices within the Greater Chattanooga region?

I (Rick Bowers) was the director of the first Office of Energy and Sustainability for the City of Detroit and led the city’s Green Task Force. Many years later, I am now the executive director of green|spaces. We have all witnessed that climate change is real, and it is essential to do what we can to protect the environment. There are many ways to do this and even making minor changes can make a big impact. I am excited to be back in Chattanooga, where I grew up, to help Chattanooga become more sustainable.

(GCEP): What is green|spaces and how would you define your role there?

green|spaces  is a trusted resource that advances sustainability throughout the Chattanooga area. Our three areas of focus are living, working, and building. Additionally, we make sustainability simple. The term sometimes gets overused and convoluted. My role is to ensure that individuals, companies, nonprofits, and local government understand their role in making our community more susRick Bowerstainable and resilient.

(GCEP): In what ways do you think sustainable business practices can attract new investments to the Chattanooga region?

More and more consumers are concerned with how companies advance sustainability and their effect on the environment. With this in mind, businesses, in turn, want to move to cities and towns whose sustainability and environmental goals align with theirs. With the city’s Climate Action Plan being approved last year, Chattanooga is positioned to attract more sustainable businesses.

(GCEP): What message would you like to convey to potential site selectors or businesses considering the Chattanooga region as a base, particularly regarding the area’s commitment to sustainability?

Chattanooga is poised to partner with other government agencies, nonprofits, and businesses to continue to grow the green industry in this area. Moving from Gig City to Quantum City is one indicator that Chattanooga is continuing to be progressive.


Interview by Marcherie Jamene Savage