Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota's environmental problems. The organization:

  • Plans and hosts events for environmental leaders from businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to share information, network, and learn from one another.
  • Facilitates environmental policy conversations between diverse stakeholders.
  • Takes action and implements on the ground environmental projects to improve our air, land, and water.

As a catalyst, convener, or implementer, Environmental Initiative develops creative solutions to environmental problems with our partners. Our Services »

core values

Better Together
Diverse perspectives create stronger, lasting solutions for our environment.

Open Exchange
We authentically engage to hear all voices, find common ground, and build community.

Courageous Innovation
An entrepreneurial culture filled with leaders who tackle the big problems with our partners.

Outcome Focused
A solutions-minded and action-oriented ethos.

Responsible planning, management, and use of the resources entrusted to us to realize our mission.

Improving our environment, economy, and community by seeking the best of all ideas.


Our founders recognized we do can better for the environment by working together.

In early 1992, leaders from seemingly adversarial interests came together around this vision of partnership. Brett Johnson of BRJP Publishing convened a group of leading Minnesota businesses, environmental advocacy nonprofits, and state agencies to discuss a collaborative model for problem solving. The organization grew out of these early conversations, and was founded under the name, Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI). Ciaran Mannion served as the organizations first Executive Director and worked tirelessly to put MEI’s mission into action.

Now called Environmental Initiative, we carry forward the tradition of building partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems. Outcomes of Environmental Initiative’s work range from thousands of diesel engines retrofitted with pollution-reducing equipment through Project Green Fleet to the Clean Water Legacy Act that aims to clean up state’s lakes, rivers, and streams.

Our founders choose to incorporate the word initiative into our name to reflect their vision that dialogue and collaboration would result in concrete action for a better environment. More than two decades after our founding, Environmental Initiative still represents a nationally unique model for environmental problem solving.