Severn Savings Bank Inaugural Sponsor of Annapolis Green’s New Festival Greening Program

Severn Savings Bank and Annapolis Green have announced a partnership to green special events across Anne Arundel County.  Annapolis Green has created a new program, Festival Greening, available to organizations holding outdoor festivals and events in the area to assist them with efforts at recycling and waste reduction.  Severn has signed on as the very first sponsor of the program and has agreed to sponsor the cost for this program for five events. Waste reduction for the events will be managed by WasteStrategies LLC, a local environmental management company dedicated to crafting long-term zero waste strategies.  Funding of the greening activities will provide events with special containers – Eco-Stations, on-site management and oversight of the effort.  The program will also include an education component for event organizers and participating vendors.

The purpose of the program is to divert recyclables from scarce landfill space, a move that makes economic and environmental sense for the Chesapeake Bay area. Recycling reduces waste and prevents pollution by decreasing the need to extract raw materials from the Earth. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and keeps our air and water cleaner.

Using this program last year’s Maryland Seafood Festival saw 2,560 pounds, or 32.5% of the total 12,600 pounds by weight, and over 50% of the waste by volume, recycled including 160 pounds of grease and 600 pounds of compostable waste.  Prior to the program being put in place 100% of the waste was being disposed of as solid municipal waste, winding up in the landfill.  Currently there is no requirement for festivals in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis to recycle in order to obtain a permit.  However, this is something that Lynne Forsman and Elvia Thompson, cofounders of Annapolis Green, would like to see change. “Right now we are really depending on the festival organizers to do the right thing,” Forsman said.  “We hope one day to be able to rely on the permitting process to include some element of waste reduction to dramatically boost these efforts.  By signing on as the first corporate sponsor for Festival Greening, Severn Savings Bank is leading by example, helping to defray the costs.”

A few of the events Severn will be providing funding for include: La Fiesta del Verano for the Wellness House, the 2012 Maryland Seafood Festival, and the Rock and Roast sponsored by the Box of Rain Foundation.  Kevin Carter, Community Reinvestment Officer for Severn Savings Bank commented on the program, “this is an important program for Severn.  We already sponsor many of these events in a community outreach capacity.  This partnership gives us a way to engage with these organizations on a whole other level and to have an even longer lasting impact on the community beyond just the event itself.  We are proud to be a leader on this front and hope that our efforts will encourage other local businesses to do the same.”

Annapolis Green will continue to build and expand on the Festival Greening program.  Lynne Forsman commented, “we are so excited and truly believe in the benefits this program can provide to our community. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to team up with WasteStrategies to make eco-friendly programming a reality and a learning experience to build upon for the future.  We will continue to seek out events to green and additional partners like Severn Savings Bank to drive the program’s success.”

About Annapolis Green
Connect. Communicate. Motivate. Accelerate. Celebrate. These are the action words that begin to describe the goal of Annapolis Green and the unique niche it fills in this area’s sustainability initiatives. Its mission is to connect the community by communicating an environmental message that is meaningful, positive and motivational, engaging residents, businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and visitors. Annapolis Green’s goal is to make Annapolis the greenest city in Maryland—a place where sustainability is a way of life and a source of pride—by accelerating the work of the legions of dedicated, wide-berthed environmentalists and celebrating successes. Annapolis Green is the home of Green Drinks Annapolis, wildly popular monthly gatherings open to all who are interested in the environment… for the “fun side of eco-awareness… making serious connections.” In person and online, Annapolis Green is a catalyst of leadership, a unifying force, the hub of the area’s environmental wheel.

About Severn Savings Bank:
Founded in 1946, Severn is a full-service community bank offering a wide array of personal and commercial banking products as well as residential and commercial mortgage lending. It has assets of approximately $900 million and four branches located in Annapolis, Edgewater and Glen Burnie, Maryland. The bank specializes in exceptional customer service and holds itself and its employees to a high standard of community contribution. Severn is on the Web at www.severnbank.com.

About WasteStrategies
WasteStrategies is a full service environmental management company helping organizations achieve aggressive pollution prevention measures and reducing exposure by demonstrating regulatory compliance. Services include waste audits, turnkey waste reduction programs, EPA/OSHA compliance programs and environmental health and safety outsourcing.