Growing the Green Economy Blog

Roadmap to the Green Economy for Indianapolis

IN MapOn September 15, The Delta Institute and Sustainindy presented “Tapping into the Emerging Green Economy,” a one-day workshop to promote brownfield redevelopment and lay the groundwork for a Green Economic Development Action Plan for Indianapolis. More than 30 representatives from area businesses, nonprofit support groups, government agencies and service providers attended the session.
The session kicked off with the unveiling of a report developed by Delta Institute under a grant from the USEPA. In addition to defining the green economy and highlighting national green business and job trends, the presentation assessed Indy’s economic assets and competitive advantages, sources of business and political support and other resources. Six significant opportunities were discussed:
1. R & D for Electric Vehicles – A combination of strong academic research and technical capabilities combined with federal goals for hybrid vehicles and stimulus funding for retooling the auto industry is making Indianapolis a strong regional competitor in this area.
2. Manufacturing of Renewable Energy Components – Wind energy has been among the first renewable energy industries to emerge in the Midwest and there are over 250 tons of steel in an average wind turbine. Through informal research, Delta was able to identify more than 1,300 firms in Indiana that may have the potential to manufacture Renewable Energy components.
3. Green Building Products and Services – Green Building has been on a strong upswing throughout the Midwest. As the number of Indianapolis’ green buildings (LEED certified or otherwise) grows, so do jobs in sustainable construction, technical assistance, professional services, green building products and dealers and wholesalers.
4. Waste Reduction, Recycling and Pollution Prevention – Although new energy-related industries are growing rapidly, businesses that help meet other sustainability goals through conservation and pollution mitigation may represent the biggest area of growth…some estimates suggest that these could account for roughly 65% of all clean jobs.
5. Agriculture and Horticulture – Despite harsh winters and short growing seasons, there is an increase in urban and other agricultural enterprises. Many provide transitional job training in landscaping and farming, nutrition and environmental practices.
6. Greening Existing Businesses — Many new jobs are developing to support the greening of the existing business base, which will be critical to maintain the competitiveness of existing businesses in the global economy. Read the full report here:
FINAL IndyGreenEconomyV3091409nonotes
More Information and Resources: A number of agencies and groups at the state and city levels offer helpful information, resources and tools for green economic development and brownfield reuse. Here are some who participated in the workshop and the information they can offer:


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