Leading companies collaborate to launch new circular economy initiative

Minnesota’s proud history of corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship has reached a new tipping point. Today, more than 25 businesses and organizations announce the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition, a business led partnership harnessing their expertise to advance the next frontier of corporate sustainability – the circular economy.

A circular economy is an economic system that values and preserves all types of capital – financial, natural, manufactured, human, or social. In this system, nothing is lost or wasted, and all resources are utilized to their highest potential. The end result is an economy that decouples economic growth from the consumption of finite natural resources.

Minnesota’s business community is leading the charge to advance a circular economy by going above and beyond addressing environmental performance in their operations and supply chains to identify what progress can be made by working across sectors and across industries. Coalition members see the adoption of circular economy principles as a way to uncover business growth opportunities, drive innovation, and ensure a healthy and sustainable region. And, one of the defining characteristics of the group is commitment to real action.

“Minnesota has a rich legacy of corporate philanthropy and collaboration,” said Jay Lund, Chairman and CEO of Andersen Corporation, a founding member of the Coalition. “Climate change, water risk, waste – these complex environmental issues affect our economy, our natural resources, and our communities. The Coalition provides an exciting opportunity for leading businesses and organizations across the region to identify new solutions to these systemic challenges.”

Coalition members will identify and scope projects that advance clean energy, convert organic waste into valuable resources, and protect or restore the natural water cycle. Advancing clean energy projects is an early priority for the group’s work together.

“Minnesota is uniquely gifted to lead the crafting of a more socio-environmentally responsible society. Our community hosts a well-diversified economy with strong leaders in industry, services, agriculture, some of the best of North American academia, and a well-educated population led by progressive thought-leaders,” said Dominique Conseil, President of Aveda and founding coalition member.

Environmental Initiative, a local nonprofit organization is convening and facilitating the coalition. “Moving towards a future where our economic growth doesn’t deplete our natural resources or create harmful waste is a massive challenge. But, collaborating to achieve positive environmental outcomes at scale is what Environmental Initiative does,” said Mike Harley, Executive Director. “We’re excited to be convening such a passionate group of businesses and organizations to work towards this ambitious vision.”

About the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition
The Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition is a business-driven collaboration of more than twenty leading companies and organizations working to re-imagine business as usual through the acceleration and advancement of a thriving circular economy.  Members include: 3M, Andersen Corporation, Aveda, Best Buy, Cargill, Center for Energy and Environment, Dow Water, Ecolab, Ever-Green Energy, Fredrikson & Byron P.A., General Mills, Greater MSP, Great Plains Institute, Great River Energy, HealthPartners, Hormel Foods, Institute on the Environment – University of Minnesota, Medtronic, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Metropolitan Council, Pentair, Target, Tennant Company, Tunheim, Uponor, Wenck, and Xcel Energy.

About Environmental Initiative
Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems. Environmental Initiative convenes and manages the Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition.

Contact:
Emily Franklin, Director of Communications
952-239-8907
efranklin@environmental-initiative.org

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