People

Allianz Life: A local leader shares insights for global impact

The Sustainable Growth Coalition Best Practices & Learning Lab series event hosted by member organization Allianz Life offered great insights to other members who are not part of the financial services industry. Founded in 1896 and headquartered in…

Introducing non-Native people to an Indigenous Worldview

Two Paths to One: Next Steps to Integrate an Indigenous Understanding into Environmental Work, offered in partnership with Bemidji State…

Dreaming and being thankful with Hope Flanagan

I was so inspired by Hope Flanagan’s words and wisdom when I first met her in spring 2021. Her enthusiasm for the natural world is contagious. Add to that her passion for gardening, cooking, and storytelling and it is almost…

Better Futures: A workforce and environmental solution

The Better Futures-Becker County pilot program was recognized in May 2021 for the innovative workforce approach used when diverting useful goods and materials from the landfill. With the building renovation boom still strong, I wondered how things were going…

“What are you willing to give up?”: Reflections on 25 years as Executive Director

I was blessed many years ago to be asked a powerful question by someone I had only just met. We were talking about Environmental Initiative’s emerging focus on social equity and racial justice, and she surprised me by asking, “What…

Project CAR celebrates 100 repairs at The Lift Garage

Every car owner knows the stress of seeing the check engine light glow red on the dashboard. Suddenly, any normal day is taken over by concerns of finding a repair shop and the potential costs of an unknown repair. For…

Code red for humanity: Our response

The headlines on Monday, Aug. 9 were terrifying: “Code red for humanity,” “Global climate crisis: inevitable, unprecedented and unavoidable,” and “Wake up to red alert on climate crisis.” We have been battered since early 2020 with a seemingly relentless stream…

Policy Forum recap: Community science, technology, and playing nice in the sandbox

Last week, Environmental Initiative hosted its first policy forum of 2021 on Gather.town and Crowdcast. The session, Community Science, Technology, and Playing Nice in the Sandbox brought together: Brandy Toft, Environmental Deputy Director, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Chris Nelson, Environmental Compliance Director,…

Corporate leadership in community building for equity and sustainability

In December 2020, the Sustainable Growth Coalition convened a cross-functional group of C-suite leaders to explore the relationship between equity and sustainability from local and global perspectives. Themes on this complex set of relationships emerged including: Organizations are expected to…

Xcel Energy focused on essential change

For many of us, this past year made laser clear what we value most, and perhaps, what needs to change. That’s also true for organizations like Xcel Energy. We operate in an industry already undergoing significant transformation, driven by technology…