• April 10, 2015
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  • Bill Droessler

The City of Minneapolis recently named Environmental Initiative a “Local Public Health Hero.” How cool is that? This award was presented by the Minneapolis Health Department as part of their National Public Health Week “Healthy Where You Are” effort. The ceremony was held on Thursday, April 9th in the City Hall Rotunda and recognized “Heroes” who are helping the Health Department achieve their goals for a healthier and more livable city. Environmental Initiative won for our contribution to “a Healthy Environment” in Minneapolis.

Gretchen Musicant, Minneapolis Commissioner of Health, presented the award and highlighted our programs creating partnership opportunities for the City, specifically Clean Air MinnesotaProject Green Fleet, and our work with the Minneapolis Green Business Matching Grant Program. Patrick Hanlon, Environmental Initiatives Manager with the City of Minneapolis, nominated us for the award and gave a special nod to our own Bjorn Olson for “tirelessly meeting with business owners . . . to help the business to ease the burden of making changes that clean the air.”

This is an especially rewarding recognition because while our efforts were largely driven to maximize emission reductions, underlying it all we value the associated health benefits. And, it is nice to get a pat on the back. Executive Director Mike Harley pointed out in accepting the award, that we can only do our work successfully when there are willing partners like the City of Minneapolis seeking common ground and solutions to complex, difficult environmental challenges.

Patrick’s nomination included themes common to all of Environmental Initiative’s projects and our core values. Environmental Initiative’s work in Minneapolis is all about public – private partnership, leveraging resources and expertise, and finding workable solutions to pressing environmental problems. Project partners are all playing to our strengths and we are all better together. The health benefits from our work flow directly out of our adherence to being outcome focused with a solutions-minded and action-oriented ethos. Our projects lead to quantifiable emission reductions, which lead to fewer incidents of asthma and other positive health benefits. As the nomination stated, “Without a doubt, everyone in the room for these health awards is breathing a little easier because of the work of Environmental Initiative.”

This recognition and award was even more meaningful as just this week Livability.com named Minneapolis number one on its “Healthiest Cities” list. Also related to Environmental Initiative’s work, this award for Minneapolis took into consideration data “about the environmental components of a healthy city such as clean air and water.” In our own way, along with all of the other award winners, Environmental Initiative contributed to this success for Minneapolis.

We are honored to receive this award and to continue to partner with the City of Minneapolis for cleaner air.