110 N. Millward St.
Where Conservation Meets Adventure
Starting in 2014, the SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is a program of the Center for Jackson Hole—a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the coalition of interests devoted to our public lands by investing in the future of their constituencies.
Through the SHIFT Festival, which explores issues at the intersection of conservation, outdoor recreation, and cultural relevance; and the Emerging Leaders Program, which trains a culturally diverse cohort of young outdoor recreationists to lead the conservation conversation; these two programs advance cutting-edge ideas that are revitalizing the American conservation movement.
The 2017 SHIFT Festival’s theme explores “The Business Case for Public Lands:” How investments in outdoor recreation and the conservation of public lands create vibrant, resilient economies in communities around America. Considering outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs each year according to the Outdoor Industry Association, making the business case for protecting public lands (especially in today’s political climate in the U.S.) has never been more pertinent.
SHIFT connects businesses, nonprofits, elected leaders, athletes, journalists, and many more stakeholders from around the country to overcome the risk of fragmentation and lack of diversity in the fight to protect public lands. Come to the “crucible for conservation”—Jackson Hole, and enjoy passionate and empowering presentations, discussions, workshops, and films as well as the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in all of their autumn glory.
The 2017 SHIFT Festival has been STOKE Certified. For updates regarding SHIFT 2018 events, head to shiftjh.org.
Sustainability ManagementSection Performance - 73%
SHIFT’s management team utilized the STOKE Sustainability Management System Template to create their own comprehensive set of policies and procedures for their sustainability initiatives and goals. The SMS is the sustainability equivalent of a floor plan, operational programme, delegate management system, and banquet event order all rolled into one. It guides all management practices, staff training, policies and procedures, goals and implementation strategies. This is their go-to document and your guarantee for an epic event that enables you to #STOKEresponsibly.View Criteria
Maintaining strong communication lines with the public and various community stakeholders about the event’s plans for the future is a vital strategy for SHIFT’s success in advocating for the protection of public lands. Besides doing year-round engagement through digital newsletters, breakout sessions, and grassroots activism, SHIFT uses the Whova app to run a paperless communication platform with all attendees about the SHIFT Agenda and sustainability initiatives. SHIFT completed a comprehensive communications strategy before the 2017 event that adheres to the STOKE template for ensuring transparent, honest, and consistent messaging across all platforms to mitigate the risk of greenwashing. This way, you stay informed and can get stoked on authentic sustainability programs that your festival pass.View Criteria
- 1.1 Sustainability Management System
- 1.7 Communications Strategy
Social and Economic Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 78%
Beyond what’s on stage, there are a variety of opportunities for an event to expose you to local businesses who offer goods and services that reflect the local environment and culture. Collaborating with local entrepreneurs in such a way that these entrepreneurs are integrated into the event, creates a more authentic and impactful experience. SHIFT embraces this throughout the SHIFT Summit, but the People’s Banquet demonstrates best practices in supporting local entrepreneurs. Through a collaborative effort with Slow Foods in the Tetons six months leading into the event, SHIFT sources food from all local farms in Wyoming and Idaho and pairs these producers with local restaurants and chefs in Jackson to a create a unique menu that utilizes primarily fermented ingredients to keep it all local due to the time of year. The result is an epic finale to the three-day event with a farm-to-table menu and local craft beer, spirits, and wine selections to pair with the half vegetarian and half responsibly raised meat menu.View Criteria
Making sure everyone—no matter what their ethnicity, sexual identity, or economic status is—has an equal opportunity to attend an event, should be a defining trait for any sustainable event. SHIFT takes this seriously as it is devoted to bringing a more diverse audience and voice to the national conversation over the use and protection of public lands. Over $27,000 in scholarships are offered to those in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) to cover cost of attending the ELP and SHIFT Summit and 50% off tickets for the SHIFT Summit are offered to college students. Innovative nonprofit organizations that leverage outdoor recreation for conservation gains are honored as SHIFT Award Official Selections through the SHIFT for the Planet forum which helps connect these organizations with funding sources and attend the event for free.View Criteria
Event operators should share the stoke of sustainability beyond their venues and contribute to the enhancement of local community development projects in line with community priorities. Outside of the main event, SHIFT partnered with Teton Science Schools to present to local elementary students about the importance of conservation, recreation, and public lands. During the event, SHIFT staff and volunteers educate surrounding communities about the importance of zero waste efforts as well as 100% Green Power adoption for local residents through Lower Valley Energy and Energy Conservation Works.View Criteria
- 2.4 Support Local Entrepreneurs
- 2.7 Equal Access
- 2.1.2 Community Development - Education
Cultural Heritage Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 95%
Sacred cultural, historical, geological, and archaeological sites provide unique characteristics to event destinations by framing the history and culture that defines the region. Maintaining these sites and respecting the cultures who value them most, is something SHIFT inherently values as an organization dedicated to protecting public lands. SHIFT conducts year-round engagement and advocacy work to protect public lands and for 2017 they hosted a panel called “Bears Ears: 10,000 Years of Public Land” which included presentations and advocacy resources from the Native American organization, Utah Diné Bikéyah. Keep it Public, Wyoming also provided letter-writing opportunities for attendees to urge public officials to protect public lands and anyone who wrote a postcard was entered into the raffle.View Criteria
The motivational speaker or most popular artist should not be your only attraction. Advocates for the outdoor and action sports lifestyle seek out the best events which feature unique cultural and environmental interpretive experiences that engage, educate, and empower attendees with new knowledge or perspectives they didn’t have before. Something profound they can take home with them and share in their circles. Beyond SHIFT’s use of the Whova App to communicate various environmental and cultural interpretive experiences to complement the event’s agenda, the SHIFT Summit included panelists and speakers from all different types of backgrounds (Native American groups, State officials, National Park rangers, etc.) to give rich context to public lands and recreation conservation and activism stories and strategies. SHIFT also partnered with the Jackson Hole Historical Society on interpretation about the history of Jackson and its heritage in conservation with Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.View Criteria
- 3.3 Protection of Sacred and Significant Sites
- 3.4 Interpretation
Environmental Impacts ManagementSection Performance - 82%
100% of SHIFT’s energy demand was supplied with renewable energy through the Lower Valley Energy Green Power Program, which purchases clean energy from the Horse Butte wind farm south of Idaho Falls, ID and the Foote Creek wind farm between Rawlins and Laramie, WY. Lower Valley Energy (LVE) is the local grid supplier who offers this Renewable Energy Credit (REC) program to residents and businesses of Jackson and SHIFT partnered with LVE and Energy Conservation Works to promote the program and encourage more residents to sign up. There is no on-site renewable energy at any of the venues and no generators were used during the event, but SHIFT hopes to get one of its venues to invest in on-site renewables in the future.View Criteria
Through a partnership with Westbank Sanitation, local farmers, Teton Science School volunteers, and Teton County Integrated Waste and Recycling, SHIFT recycled 143 pounds and composted 156 pounds of waste across all three venues over three days to become a zero-waste event. The only waste in the event was brought in from attendees, which SHIFT hopes to eliminate next year. Klean Kanteen provided aluminum pint cups to all pass holders as well so attendees could reuse their cups all three days and then take them home. Attendees who posted photos of themselves participating in zero waste efforts were entered into a raffle to win a jacket from local apparel company, Stio.View Criteria
SHIFT’s carbon footprint of 122.42 metric tons of CO2 included 5.65 tons of avoided CO2 emissions thanks to carpool strategies, public transit partnerships, zero waste efforts, and the Green Power program. The Scope 3 emissions of attendee and vendor travel, which made up 99% of the event’s emissions, are being offset through a reforestation project in the Rocky Mountain West through the National Forest Foundation (NFF). SHIFT’s donation will plant 213 trees on public lands in their backyard, which should sequester 123 tons of carbon over 100 years based on the types of species planted according to the NFF. SHIFT hopes to find a local verified carbon offset project in 2018.View Criteria
The way that events purchase the ‘stuff’ they need to operate can be a powerful tool for encouraging and supporting locally produced sustainable goods and services while reducing wasteful byproducts. SHIFT itemized all of their purchasing needs and categorizing each item as disposable, recyclable, refillable, or compostable and made goals for increasing waste diversion before the products even arrive at the venue. This purchasing audit also identified ways for the event to purchase more locally sourced goods and Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and tea through its venue partners. Furthermore, SHIFT strengthened its relationships with responsible lodging partners in the area who have sustainable tourism programs as well as local farmers and chefs for the People’s Banquet. SHIFT 2017 was also a paperless event thanks to their implementation of the Whova App.View Criteria
- 4.2 Renewable Energy
- 4.4.4 Waste Management
- 4.4.1 Emissions Management
- 4.1 Sustainable Supply Chain Management
Commitment to a Sustainable Future
We have been working towards this goal for two years and we’re honored to not only have earned the recognition as a sustainable event, but to also be the first STOKE Certified Event. As the organization who developed the Principles for Advancing Outdoor Recreation and Conservation, working with STOKE to improve the environmental and social responsibility of our event was a perfect match and complementary to the evolution of SHIFT over these last few years.
Thank you to all our vendors, attendees, advisors, volunteers, and especially our venues. We could not have done it without the support of the Center for the Arts, Snow King Resort, and the Pink Garter Theater. The sustainable event management tools and templates STOKE provided along with their expertise greatly reduced the barrier to entry and now we have a proven system we can replicate and enhance each year. Our goals for 2018 include:
- Reduce our vendor and attendee travel Scope 3 carbon emissions through better planning and coordination.
- Find a local verified carbon offset project in the Rocky Mountain West that benefits public lands and recreational opportunities.
- Increase the number of local residents who sign on to the Lower Valley Energy Green Power program to source more clean energy from local wind farms.
- Reduce the amount of outside waste brought in by attendees to the event.
- Conduct a local cleanup event with Friends of Pathways.
- Bring back the bike share program if weather permits.
Thank you for taking in an interest in SHIFT and our fight to protect public lands and we hope to see you at the next SHIFT Summit or Emerging Leaders Program.
Christian Beckwith – Director