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Archive for August, 2011

Minnesota Farm Bill Forum Recap

August 31st, 2011

Recently, our organization had the opportunity to attend a great event: the Minnesota Farm Bill Forum, put on by the Izaak Walton League of America, along with the Freshwater Society, Minnesota Farmers Union and National Wildlife Federation, focused on the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill that serves as the central agricultural policy tool in the United States.

The Forum had a diverse group of Minnesota agricultural stakeholders (including representatives from the offices of Representative Michele Bachmann, Representative Chip Cravaack, Senator Al Franken and Senator Amy Klobuchar), and presented an opportunity for Minnesotans to give public input on how the Farm Bill can best support our nation’s agricultural system.

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Mark Lundgren

POSTED BY:

Director of Environmental Projects

Introducing Mark Lundgren, Director of Environmental Projects

August 26th, 2011

I have the extreme pleasure of introducing myself to our blog reading public as the newest member of the Environmental Initiative team.

I come to Environmental Initiative from an educational background of science (biology) and engineering (civil/environmental).  My work experience has taken me to three different continents and has centered on the ever-increasing complexity of water resource challenges, trying to find the elusive balance between serving the political, environmental, economic and social demands for this fundamental resource.

I am the father of a two-year-old bundle of energy and have another child due in a handful of weeks so my first few months on the job will be clouded by sleep deprivation and stained shirts.  In my non-work life I revel in various culinary pursuits, the great outdoors, doomed sports teams, and being a huge science nerd. (more…)

Mark Lundgren

POSTED BY:

Director of Environmental Projects

Swapping Supply Chain Stories: Business and Environment Session Recap

August 24th, 2011

Last Thursday, around 60 people gathered at Renewal by Andersen’s manufacturing facility in Cottage Grove – in a bright, window-filled room, of course – to discuss motivations and strategies for greening their supply chains.

This session was the second in our 2011 Business and Environment Series. The three events in this year’s series are designed to provide tools to help diverse professionals more effectively plan, implement and lead sustainability programs in their organizations. It’s clear that looking beyond internal initiatives to the sustainability of your products throughout their entire lifecycle – and greening your supply chain – brings greater opportunity for environmental benefit and cost-savings. However, greening your supply chain isn’t always easy. It requires navigating a complex network of suppliers and customers, managing multiple information requests, tracking lots of new data, and prioritizing and communicating in new ways. (more…)

Ellen Gibson

POSTED BY:

Senior Director, Projects & Programs

Greening the Office: What We’ve Done

August 19th, 2011

There are many things you can do to make your office more green. When we moved in to our current office in 2008, we tried to make smart purchasing decisions, reuse what we could and reduce the environmental impact of our office. Here are some of the things that we do at Environmental Initiative in our day-to-day operations to make our office more energy efficient and sustainable:

  • Documents are printed double-sided whenever possible
  • All food waste and non-recyclable paper is composted
  • Conference room and office lights are turned off when not in use
  • Office supplies that contain recycled and/or recyclable content are purchased whenever possible.
  • Air conditioning is used sparingly, whenever possible, windows are opened for cooling and ventilation. (more…)
Andrea Robbins

POSTED BY:

Director, Engagement and Systems

More Than Just Chatter

August 12th, 2011

How many of you have sat around a table to work on a project or problem with others? It might have started in elementary school when the teacher assigned your first ever group project. As a kid I remember dreading group projects. I remember thinking, ‘What is the point of this? I can get this done faster if I just do it myself.’ Well, I should take this opportunity to thank all of my teachers from kindergarten to college and the mentors I’ve had since then. The reality is most things that get done today are accomplished with the help of many people working together. (more…)

Emily Franklin

POSTED BY:

Director of Communications

The Right Course: Health Care and Sustainability

August 3rd, 2011

Have you ever thought about the environmental footprint resulting from your visit to a hospital or clinic?  The individually wrapped medical supplies, rubber gloves, prescription vials, computers and equipment, the lighting, and more all contribute to this footprint.  Hospitals are the second most energy-intensive buildings in the United States, and generate approximately 6,600 tons of waste per day nationwide.  Many hospitals now understand the connection between environmental impacts and the health of a community, and are taking steps to curb energy consumption, reduce waste, and design facilities that are more environmentally friendly.

Last May, HealthPartners and Environmental Initiative partnered to advance the dialogue on health care and the environment.  At a day and a half long conference, Health Care That’s Healthy: Advancing Sustainability in the Delivery of Care, over 120 participants learned about the business case for environmental stewardship, gained an understanding of best practices, and took new tools and resources back to their facility. (more…)

POSTED BY:

Director, Strategy and Finance - HealthPartners Institute for Medical Education
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