In October, we are highlighting member organizations with a focus of fighting climate change and its negative impacts on Minnesota communities. While many of our members our doing this work, this edition we’re focusing on Environmental Initiative. 

Mission:  Environmental Initiative catalyzes collaboration across perspectives, power, and systems for social equity and environmental health. They do this by working with business, nonprofit, government and community leaders to address complex and systemic issues.  

Impact on the Climate:  Environmental Initiative has a number of programs aimed at mitigating climate change, including: repairing exhaust systems for low-income drivers to reduce vehicle emissions, grants to help small businesses reduce their emissions, convening air quality leaders to work collaboratively to reduce pollutants, and more. We’ll zoom in on one of those projects here- Project Stove Swap! 

Project Stove Swap is a project of Clean Air Minnesota, a larger Environmental Initiative working group which convenes air quality leaders to reduce pollutants. Project Stove Swap connects residents of all income levels with their local wood stove vendor to swap out their older, inefficient wood stove, identify potential discounts for a new model, reduce emissions, and breathe easier by reducing wood smoke. Through Project Stove Swap, Environmental Initiative works to support community wellness through continuous air emissions reductions.  

Between 2017 and 2019, Project Stove Swap replaced 322 wood-burning appliances in 17 counties, which had the emissions reduction equivalent of removing 985,673 cars from the road each year. Over time, too much wood smoke can also lead to a variety of health issues including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and heart disease. Environmental Initiative also partnered with 13 local businesses and vendors, and leveraged over $1,700,000 in funds to help Minnesota residents breathe easier.  Learn more about Project Stove Swap and how you can participate here. 

Opportunities to engage in Environmental Initiative’s Work:  

Build Your Business Case For Circularity And Systems Change  (virtual event)- Nov. 18th 9:00-10:30 AM

  • “Hear from some of our members regarding innovations in their business models and approaches they are taking to influence their partners.  These sustainability leaders will provide tangible case studies of innovative responses to increasing rates of waste, acting to improve health outcomes and creating access to healthy food.” 
  • Who Should Attend? – Leaders working to advance circularity at their companies through systems change. Professionals working to advance their companies’ sustainability or circularity goals.  Green Team members seeking innovative ideas to advance sustainability at their companies.