We catalyze collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health.
Our work in 2021 demonstrated a commitment to centering people and implementing projects. As the global COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest continued dividing people’s attention, we focused deeply on cultivating leadership to drive change. In this annual report we highlight our impact.
The phrase, “Think globally, act locally,” seems more relevant today than when introduced a century ago as our interdependence and our knowledge of systems has increased. Listening to the wisdom of community, gaining insight from experts, and creating opportunities for youth were a priority for us last year.
Navigating a changing world requires intention, and we make time for internal development. Our staff and board are exploring innovations in collaboration, monitoring environmental impacts of policy and practices, and honing daily patterns to incorporate justice into all decisions.
Environmental Initiative’s mission, vision, and values provide a daily touchstone as we walk the path toward social justice and environmental health for all beings. Join us in our work.
2021 At a Glance
1,000 growers implement conservation practices
Air pollution reduced
600+ participants in virtual programming
Work in 10 states
7 awards given to environmental changemakers
11 interns hired
Launched environmental justice internships
Northside Safety NET is an annual environmental justice internship program for North Minneapolis youth age 16-24. The program aims to increase exposure to and interest in careers related to the environment, sustainability, and green enterprises.
Kept Minnesotans on the road and emissions out of the air
Project Clean Air Repair partners with car repair shops to reduce emissions from older passenger vehicles. Project CAR reimburses garages for identifying and fixing vehicle exhaust systems in cars of lower-income residents.
Reduced diesel air pollution in Minnesota and beyond
Project Green Fleet connects fleet owners and operators to reduce air pollution by upgrading older diesel vehicles and equipment. Environmental Initiative coordinates installation of equipment, quantifies emissions reduced, and administers large-scale grant funding for Project Green Fleet.
Cleaned up harmful chemicals and forged new partnerships
The Clean Air Assistance Project connects small business owners with the resources and funding they need to replace equipment and reduce their emissions.
Implemented regenerative agriculture on a large scale
The Midwest Row Crop Collaborative explores and implements new approaches to agricultural challenges. MRCC is a space for members to refine strategies and incubate solutions to issues facing the farmers whom we all depend on.
Led agricultural innovation on a community scale
The Headwaters Agriculture Sustainability Partnership serves both agricultural and environmental communities as a forum where innovative ideas can be considered, supported, accelerated, and implemented with the partnership’s diverse experience, skills, and networks.
Shared expertise to improve circularity
Circularity is an opportunity and a necessity for organizations faced with meeting environmental, social, and financial goals. The Sustainable Growth Coalition convenes member organizations to facilitate learning and action in pursuit of a healthy future.
Board of Directors
Top row from left to right: James Trice, Michelle Stockness, Nick Martin, Robert Blake, Kristin Huetmaker, Joey Vossen, Halston Sleets
Bottom row from left to right: Chris Nelson, Sagar Sunkavalli, Eric Sannerud
Not pictured: Levi Brown, Allison Bryant, Gail Cederberg, Raj V. Rajan, Joe Smentek, Amy Senter, Katie Swor, Shiela Ugargol Keefe, Anita Urvina Davis