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Archive for March, 2012

Announcing the 2012 Business and Environment Series

March 30th, 2012

A few months ago here on the Initiative blog, I kicked off the fifth year of our Business & Environment Series by asking for your help – in shaping our ongoing sustainability work, and in planning this year’s three Business & Environment Sessions. And in the true collaborative spirit, help us you did! Through conversations with stakeholders, a planning meeting with a group of dedicated partners, an online survey, and a fun, informative evening with about 50 of our friends at Summit Brewery, we heard from you.


Georgia Rubenstein


Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

Building on a Tradition of Collaboration for Cleaner Air

March 21st, 2012

I am honored to have the opportunity to chair Environmental Initiative’s new air quality project, Minnesota’s Clean Air Dialogue. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter (PM 2.5), ground level ozone and four other widespread pollutants and is required by law to periodically reevaluate them. Despite Minnesota’s emission reduction efforts and cleaner air, there is uncertainty about where federal standards will be set and whether Minnesota will remain in compliance.

Our new Clean Air Dialogue has two important goals related to these new standards.  We hope first to be able to avoid exceeding these standards by identifying ways of reducing or preventing increases in ozone and fine particulate pollution.  Our second goal, should Minnesota exceed the federal standard, is to devise the most efficient and effective ways to responding to the problem by engaging our communities, our businesses, our public interest organizations, and our government agencies in collective problem solving. (more…)


Minnesota's Clean Air Dialogue Facilitator, Environmental Initiative and Associate Dean for Environmental Studies, George Washington University School of Law

A Belated Thank You

March 15th, 2012

With the Environmental Initiative Awards nearly upon us and last week’s International Women’s Day, recognition has really been on my mind. Each year, Environmental Initiative acknowledges two people from the community who have been essential to the success of the organization and our mission to build partnerships to solve environmental problems. As a staff we select a Board Member of the Year and Member of the Year.

Environmental Initiative’s work is all about building relationships among leaders from business, government and nonprofits. One of the best things about working here is the opportunity to get to know the incredible people who choose to spend time with us. In 2011, we recognized two wonderful women who have been instrumental in our success and seeing our mission realized. If you see them say thanks and read on for why staff chose them as award winners in 2011. (more…)

Emily Franklin


Director of Communications

Upcoming Event: Watershed Solutions Summit 2012

March 8th, 2012

A note from Environmental Initiative: Today we’re pleased to welcome Jill Crafton as the Initiative’s newest guest blogger, to provide a preview of the Watershed Solutions Summit 2012. Our staff are looking forward to attending the event next weekend, and getting a chance to discuss with stakeholders from all over the state how we can collaboratively develop solutions to improve Minnesota’s water quality. We hope to see some of our readers, partners, and friends there!

Please join us at the Watershed Solutions Summit 2012 as we learn about pressing threats and innovative water projects, and ask our presenters: how do we move from policy and planning to watershed solutions for water conservation, management, ground water, water quality, habitat and production?  From cities to farms – we all play a role in water quality outcomes.



Executive Board Member and Great Lakes Committee Chair, Izaak Walton League
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