Environmental Initiative - Home

Archive for June, 2013

It’s Not Just About Minnesota Anymore

June 27th, 2013

On July 17-18 the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) will host its annual Environmental Health and Safety Compliance Excellence conference at General Mills Inc.’s headquarters in Minneapolis. As part of this event, the members of NAEM’s Upper Midwest chapter will take the opportunity to discuss how local, regional and global compliance issues affect Minnesota business. Here are a few of the issues I expect we’ll address at the chapter meeting next month:

Karen Yeadon


Manager - Environment, Health, & Safety at Emerson Process Management

Report From Abroad: Exploring Organic Waste in Bangalore

June 22nd, 2013

Hello everyone, and greetings from Bangalore, India! I’m in the middle of a five-week trip here as part of my work with Acara, a program at the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. With a few colleagues, I’m exploring the opportunity to start a social venture focused on organic waste management. Its the end of week three, and its incredible how much I’ve seen and learned already.

We started this project almost a year ago, in the fall of 2012. As part of my graduate degree at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, I was in a course called Design for Sustainable Development. Over the semester, I worked in a group with three other University of Minnesota students and three students from the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar, in northeastern India. Our charge was to use design thinking to develop a business model that addressed a social problem in India (more on design thinking for social innovation here). We took on the topic of organic waste, and developed a project that would assist apartment buildings in composting their organic waste and creating rooftop vegetable gardens. Many long discussions, iterations, and competitions later, here we are to learn more about how we might put some of our ideas into action.


Georgia Rubenstein


Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

Event Recap: Sustainable Infrastructure

June 11th, 2013

Hi there, I’m Cora Ellenson-Myers. I’m a volunteer at the Environmental Initiative, researching what businesses around the state are doing on sustainability. I’m a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, studying Environmental Science, Policy and Management. I went to the June 5th Business and Environment Session, Sustainable Infrastructure: Calculating Costs, Evaluating Returns, Making Decisions, and Georgia asked me to write a blog post to recap the event, seeing as she is in India!

There was a great turnout, despite the rain, from a huge variety of organizations. Four presenters spoke: Rick Carter from LHB; Robert Heller from Quality Bike Products; Richard Murphy from Murphy Logistics; and Michael Pesch from St. Cloud State University. They spoke about their experiences with green infrastructure, and highlighted how to make investments in environmental sustainability work with a business’s bottom line.



Volunteer, Environmental Initiative

Weekly Wrap-Up – 6/7/13

June 7th, 2013

With all the rain, this week’s wrap-up is all about water. What water stories have I missed? Drop me a note and let me know or leave a comment here.

  1. Did you know that 45 trillion gallons of water is used for the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year worldwide? (Minnesota Public Radio).
  2. U.S. water systems and infrastructure need $384 billion in improvements according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Bloomberg BNA).
  3. Great Lakes Governors discuss ways to better manage the economy and ecology of some of the world’s most important freshwater resources. (Editorial, The Detroit News).
  4. Rushing waters and rainbows at Grand Portage State Park. Check out this amazing video. (MinnPost)
  5. Dreaming of a family trip to the Boundary Waters? Here’s 10 ways to get your kids canoeing. (Sanborn Canoe Company)
Emily Franklin


Director of Communications
Environmental Initiative - Home