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Who We Are

Greensburg GreenTown is a charitable nonprofit organization working in Greensburg, Kansas to rebuild the town following the devastating tornado in May of 2007. The town has made a remarkable comeback, reinventing itself as a model for sustainable building and green living now recognized around the world. GreenTown works to make green building and living easily understood, appealing and accessible to all.

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2012 Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference


The first annual Sustainable Disaster Recovery Conference (SDRC) co-hosted by Greensburg GreenTown, GreenTown Joplin, and Saint Louis Univerisity's Center for Sustainability took place on October 29-30, 2012. Following the success of the conference, we decided to make it an annual event. The conference aims to help cities stricken by natural disasters rebuild strong, livable communities by identifying ways to efficiently and effectively weave elements of sustainability into the disaster recovery process, while increasing collaboration among all parties working toward this goal. Our main sponsors for the 2012 conference included: Alberici, Banpu, Monarch Cement, and HEC TV.


At the 2012 conference, presentors included representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Greensburg business owners, city officials from disaster-stricken areas including, and many more. They presented on a wide variety of topics including Corporate Support for Disaster Recovery Efforts, Stategies for Residential Building After Disasters, and Tax Benefits to Incentivize Green. Many of our presenters made their presentation slides available for download. Follow this link for a list of available presentations. (You don't need to create a profile to view the publication.)

You can also view the program book for the conference to see all the presentations, plenary panels and breakout sessions:

Between the plenaries and presentations, exhibitors also had the opportunity to present their products. Our 2012 exhibits included displays from Alberici, Applied Ecological Services, Inc., B and G Drafting Inc., Day & Night Solar, Greensburg GreenTown, GreenTown Joplin, HomeNav, iQpureWood, Logix, Mike Smith, Mueller Prost PC, New Day, the Center for Sustainability at Saint Louis University, the Center for Environmental Sciences at Saint Louis University, TF Forming System, Thermocore of Missouri, and The Greening of Oz.

Saint Louis University's beautiful campus

In order to measure the success of the SDRC we used the following criteria:

1) Sustainable Disaster Recovery has been established as more of a cohesive "industry" and the conference has greatly strengthened relationships among the network of organizations and people working toward common objectives.

2) The conference has raised the profile of sustainability and the value and importance of integrating it into the rebuilding of communities affected by natural disaster.

3) We've positively affected the lives of people in disaster areas, both now and in the future.

4) Students - all attendees - will leave the conference feeling inspired and energized, with passion for sustainability and optimism about the opportunities latent in disaster and recovery.

5) Media coverage has clearly reinforced our message about the need for sustainable disaster recovery.

6) We feel satisfied with the financial component of the conference - even if we have not recovered our investment - because we know that the return on investment is measured in many ways, including the potential for positive revenue in coming years.

7) We've introduced people to products and services (and therefore built awareness and demand for such) that will make their lives, and communities, healthier and more sustainable.

8) We have raised awareness and understanding of, and appreciation for, the work of SLU and GreenTown.

9) The sponsoring organizations (and their hard working representatives) feel energized (as opposed to enervated) after the conference and will want to do it again next year!

10) Sponsors, exhibitors, supporting businesses, and attendees who have invested in the conference are extremely happy that they did so. People will ask about next year's event before they have left this year's.

At the end of the conference, we were pleased to have realized most of these goals thanks to the expertise of the presentors, our engaged audience, and the dedicated staffs at Saint Louis University, GreenTown Joplin, and Greensburg GreenTown. We are eager to begin planning for the 2013 SDRC and we would love to have you there!