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Archive for November, 2013

The Future of Minnesota’s Electric Utilities: The Sequel

November 13th, 2013

Environmental Initiative’s recent policy forum on “The Future of Minnesota’s Electric Utilities” drew a block-buster crowd—you would have thought they were giving away free beer. Especially for a topic as potentially dry and esoteric as the future of electric utilities, one would have expected a much smaller crowd and the deafening sound of crickets. But the meeting room overlooking the iconic Como Zoo was packed and humming with conversation.

Timing is everything, and the electricity industry in this country (and elsewhere in the world) is undergoing seismic changes that deserve the kind of attention they got at Environmental Initiative’s recent forum. Indeed, for anyone working in (or just interested in) the energy sector, it’s impossible to escape talking about what the utility of the future might look like and how it might evolve. It is the right conversation to be having. (more…)

Doing Better, Together: The Waste Reduction Collaborative

November 1st, 2013

“We all do better when we all do better.” That’s a quote we like around here at Environmental Initiative – it sums up our partnership-based mission pretty well, and it’s also one that’s been on my mind lately as I’ve been working on the Waste Reduction Collaborative, one of the newer projects that’s part of our work with the Twin Cities sustainable business community.

The idea for the project was born from discussions with a group of our business partners, who recognized that they’re all working on reducing what they’re sending to a landfill – whether through purchasing less, reusing, or recycling more – and that many of them face common barriers to minimizing waste the way they’d like to. Smaller companies, especially, may have trouble aggregating enough of a certain material to get much value from recycling it, or difficulties starting up a new contract with a waste hauler if they’re not located on an existing route, or just not have the resources or know-how to invest in innovative solutions to help throw out less.

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Georgia Rubenstein

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Senior Manager, Sustainability Program
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