EGLE Sustainable Series (Webinars) Banner

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy's (EGLE) Sustainability Section proudly presents this series of webinars that deliver examples of real-life sustainability strategies implemented by EGLE's partners.  Focused on the topic of business sustainability, attendees will learn about practices they can employ to create meaningful, measurable changes that benefit not only the environment but also the bottom line!

Check back soon for new webinars in this series!



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Recorded webinars in the 2020-2021 series:


Keeping Food in the Loop with Food Waste Management  (recorded 5/24/21, 60 min)

Residential and commercial food waste management is one of the many keys to reducing methane impacts, reducing landfill use and improving soil health. Learn how food waste collection programs are flourishing across the country. For this webinar, we will focus in on two programs in Columbus, OH and Maui, HI that with FinitePhoenix are creating a hub and spoke model to efficiently process and manage food waste to bagged fertilizer in less than 30 days.

Presenter: Roger Cargill, President and Owner, FinitePhoenix

Roger has been involved in the recycling and waste industry in Michigan for 30 years with a focus on public space recycling, Higher Education programs and the depackaging of food and beverage waste. As the Manager of Michigan State University he provided innovative solutions to sport venues, repurposed loft lumber waste and was essential in creating the foundation that is still active today. As the Director and innovator of Schupan Recycling's Sustainability Services he solely managed 1000's of events and provided service to over 30 million attendees collecting a million pounds of recycled material that would have ended up in the landfill. As the Sustainable Projects Manager at Schupan and Sons he created partnerships with NASCAR, Chrysler, MGM Grand Detroit and DTE providing turnkey sustainability programs still thriving today.


Remanufacturing: Sustainable by Definition. Responsible by Design. (recorded 3/24/21, 60 min)

Like-new, but better, remanufacturing is a standardized process that produces finished goods that are better for the environment, offer better value for end-users and maintain their like-new quality.  How is it done? What should all buyers know? In this episode, learn more about sustainable manufacturing and why the three main attributes associated with the process are: Quality, Value and Green. You will also learn about Manufactured Again Certification-where traditional manufacturing and remanufacturing are held to the same international quality standards. The program also promotes corporate social responsibility, particularly environmental stewardship.

Presenter:  John Chalifoux is the president and Chief Operating Officer of The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing (MERA). Utilizing his engineering background, marketing skills, and extensive knowledge of the automotive industry, Chalifoux promotes the economic, environmental, and product performance benefits of remanufactured goods. MERA, a division of Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), is recognized internationally as a leading organization for companies that view remanufacturing and similar forms of sustainable manufacturing as a core competency.  MERA (and MEMA) is the organization behind the Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act of 2015, the U.S. law that requires federal agencies to encourage the use of remanufactured parts when servicing the federal civilian vehicle fleet. MERA is also the home of Manufactured Again Certification, where manufacturing and remanufacturing are held to the same international quality standards.  Chalifoux came to MERA from the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, where he served as vice president of marketing and business development. Previously, he was a strategy consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers and a marketing and sales executive, working for automotive suppliers Valeo, Freudenberg-NOK, and NTN Bearing. He began his career with Goldman Sachs in New York. Chalifoux earned bachelor's degrees in economics and mechanical engineering from Stony Brook University and an MBA from Michigan State University. He is also a graduate of the NADA Dealer Academy.


Business and Biodiversity: Achieving Company Objectives through Local Conservation Efforts (recorded 11/10/20, 68 min)

Interested in implementing conservation activities at your facility for the first time? Looking for strategies to meet budget-friendly biodiversity goals? Learn how you can increase your company's positive environmental impact through experts at the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC). Over the last three decades, WHC has worked at the nexus between business and biodiversity to help companies implement meaningful wildlife conservation and environmental education projects on and near their lands.

Join WHC's Senior Manager, Conservation Strategies, Rob Campbell for a closer look at how WHC members are utilizing these projects today to not only provide benefit to local wildlife, but also meet a myriad of business needs from securing social license to operate to engaging company employees. Rob will also be joined by one of WHC's corporate members, who will share their unique story on the benefits realized after expanding their on-site conservation activities and make the case as to why they choose to implement these efforts.

Presenter: As a Sr. Manager, Conservation Strategies at the Wildlife Habitat Council, Rob works closely with an array of member companies to deliver targeted products and services aimed at supporting each company's pursuit of unique sustainability goals. In his role, Rob serves as liaison to member representatives across industry sectors assuring they are kept appraised of information relative to their company's initiatives. While earning a MS in Environmental Studies at the College of Charleston, Rob worked with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as an environmental educator to develop curriculum for local primary schools and to teach on estuarine topics. As a native Marylander, he has developed a knowledge base on coastal topics and aquatic ecosystems. Complimenting his passion for the natural world, Rob has extensively studied anthropogenic effects on the environment and holds a graduate certificate in Urban and Regional Development, as well as a BA in Economics and Psychology from St. Mary's College of Maryland.

Business Sustainability UNCENSORED!  (recorded 10/14/20, 64 min)

Employees, have you ever wondered why your organization is not rushing the transition to more sustainable business practices? Managers and business owners, do you wish to gain more perspectives on vital incentives and potential hurdles when making the change to be more sustainable?

Hear from Bill Stough, who has dedicated his lifelong career to advancing environmental practices in businesses.  Bill will share details about why the sustainability imperative cannot be ignored much longer without suffering significant drawbacks.

Join this webinar to gain insights on why businesses may still be on the fence when choosing to adopt or not adopt sustainable practices. Employees, hear examples of how to communicate with management and craft a stronger voice to become a "sustainability champion." Decision makers and business owners, learn why overlooking sustainability is such a critical issue of our time.

Together all attendees can learn how to accelerate the journey in taking advantage of the value inherent in sustainable business practices and start implementing inspiring changes today!

Presenter: Bill Stough is the Founder and past President and Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Research Group, and the current Senior Sustainability Advisor at Foresight Management.  He has proven business skills in the design and implementation of sustainable development business strategies, creation of regional sustainable business networks, and creating baseline performance profiles for an organization's ecological footprint and environmental and regulatory compliance.  He has over 40 years' experience solving environmental problems, implementing sustainable business programs and directing operational and marketing plans.  He was the project manager for developing the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) and was the project manager, in partner with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for setting the "ANSI/BIFMA Office Furniture Sustainability Standard." Mr. Stough is a widely recognized leader in developing environmental programs and sustainable business networks throughout the United States.  He is founder of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and a 2014 inaugural inductee into their Sustainability Hall of Fame.

Create the Pathway Towards Emission Reduction: How to Build a Carbon Inventory  (recorded 9/16/20, 61 min)

Do you know your carbon footprint? A successful pathway to reducing greenhouse gasses starts with building a carbon inventory. Learn how to measure your organizations carbon footprint, engage stakeholders and set goals that will influence future strategies.  In this webinar, you will hear from the Wayne County Airport Authority, an organization that is accredited by the global Airport Carbon Accreditation program, they have inventoried carbon emissions from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport since 2013. You will see a case study from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport that illustrates how an organization can measure its carbon footprint, track trends and progress, achieve its goals for carbon emission reductions, and publicly report on them. Lessons learned, tools for success, and reporting frameworks applicable to a variety of industries will be discussed as well.


Sara Kaplan has been the Sustainability Program Administrator for the Wayne County Airport Authority since 2015.  She has a wide range of experience in environmental engineering and sustainability with professional experience in sustainable agriculture, wastewater treatment, energy efficiency and renewable energy.   She has a Bachelors of Science in environmental engineering from MIT and a Master's degree in environmental engineering from Manhattan College.  She is a registered Professional Engineer in Michigan.

Cathy Farrell has been with the Wayne County Airport Authority over the last twenty-four years.  She currently serves as the Utility Analyst.  With a wide range of experience in Finance, Accounting, and Utilities, she works with the utility provider and tenants, supporting energy efficiency and carbon reduction projects at the airport. She has a Master of Business Administration from Madonna University.

What Happens After the Low-Hanging Fruit Has Been Picked when Implementing Your Energy Reduction Strategy? (recorded 8/27/20, 64 min)

Tracking energy usage is a start to overall energy reduction strategies. But paying attention to that information and knowing what to do to resolve the issues identified during the monitoring process is the next critical component to moving closer toward zero net energy goals. Learn how to track energy usage in a building, what to look for when evaluating energy usage data, and how to use that data to resolve issues uncovered through the data collection process. 

Presenter:  Eric Doyle is an advocate and cheerleader for restorative design and construction practices. He leads Catalyst Partners' team on performance improvement, wellbeing, and certification for American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, Enterprise Community Partners' Green Communities, ENERGY STAR®, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Living Building Challenge (LBC), and WELL Building Standard® projects. He motivates owners and teams to realize their environmental, optimization, and wellness goals. He works to fight climate change one building and multiple perceptions at a time.

He has taught college level sustainable construction courses, facilitated LEED and Green Associate study groups, spoken in depth about the LEED process beginning at Princeton (2007), Greening the Heartland (2008), and multiple other conferences including the American Institute of Architects, Huron Valley 2030 Professional Series (2013), the Michigan Ross - Energy Efficiency in the Residential Sector Conference (2016). He has taught green building concepts to hundreds of professionals throughout the world. As a volunteer in the LBC Ambassador Network, he established a Collaborative in the Great Lakes Region.

Creating and Obtaining Planet Goals - EGLE Sustainability Series (recorded 7/29/20, 70 min)
Learn how to set, track and get the most value from sustainability goals. In 2018 Consumers Energy established its Planet Goals.  They include goals to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity, to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent, to reduce water use by 1 billion gallons, to reduce waste being landfilled by 35 percent, and to enhance, restore or protect 5,000 acres of land in Michigan. These goals were developed from a materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement process. Attendees will hear about Consumers Energy's processes for establishing planet goals, the work underway to reach those goals, along with some of the benefits realized and challenges encountered along the way.

Recorded webinars in the 2017-2018 Series

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - how will they impact your business? (Recorded 2/22/2018, 61 min)
With 193 governments agreeing to deliver 17 goals tackling major world issues by 2030, change lies ahead for business, not only to rethink strategy and business behavior to align with the goals, but also to assess and evidence their impact. In this webinar attendees learn more about - Current business communication on the SDGs; Business and citizen's priorities on SDG reporting practices ; and PwC's support with the UN Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, and GRI, the world's leading organization for sustainability reporting, to create a mechanism to help businesses prioritize and report on the SDGs.

Presenter: Jessica Gehl, Manager, Sustainability Services and Risk Management at PwC.

Can the Green Chemistry Enterprise Connect with Social and Environmental Justice? (Recorded 10/19/2017)
Green Chemistry is the science of making smart choices in how we design, make, use, and dispose of chemicals and chemical products. However, chemists also need to be aware of the potential unintended consequences of hazardous chemicals that may disproportionally impact children and adults in low income, minority neighborhoods. This violates our definition of social and environmental justice where all people, regardless of race or economic status, have the right to live, work, play, and learn in healthy, safe environments. The goal of this webinar is to explore some of these disparities and discuss opportunities for collaboration between the social sciences and the green chemistry enterprise, to better educate the public on the role of chemicals in their daily lives, and understand how the field of green chemistry might offer practical solutions to these disparities.


Life Cycle Assessments (Recorded June 22, 2017)
Join us for a discussion with Rich Helling, Director of Sustainable Chemistry at the Dow Chemical Company, to learn more about Life Cycle Assessments (LCA), including the value proposition of LCA and the first steps to incorporate LCA into your business.  The LCA process assesses the potential environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product's life, and it can be used to help critique product designs and production operations. LCA can help avoid a narrow outlook on environmental concerns by:

  • Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases.
  • Evaluating the potential impacts associated with identified inputs and releases.
  • Interpreting the results to help make better informed decisions.

Presenter: Rich Helling, Director of Sustainable Chemistry, Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Rich Helling is the Director of Sustainable Chemistry for The Dow Chemical Company, located in Midland, Michigan. Rich has been with Dow for 30 years, in a variety of technical and managerial roles in research and development, and manufacturing and sustainability. Rich holds a bachelors' degree from Harvey Mudd College with majors in engineering and history, a masters' degree in chemical engineering practice from MIT, and a doctorate in chemical engineering, also from MIT. He is a LCA Certified Professional.


The Ins and Outs of B Corps (Recorded 5/25/2017)
Many businesses are pursuing objectives beyond profit maximization, and as a result, new types of business organizations are becoming more popular. "B Corps" and "Benefit Corporations" both focus on using business for good, but there are some important differences between them. To learn more about B-Corps and Benefit Corporations, the current legal status of Benefit Corporations in Michigan, how becoming a B-Corp can help advance your sustainability goals, and some actionable steps that you can take now. 

Presenter: Elissa Hillary from Local First


The Business Rational of the Circular Economy (Recorded 4/20/2017, 54 min)
A circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value at all times. This new economic model seeks to ultimately decouple global economic development from finite resource consumption. The circular economy could create tremendous opportunities for industrial renewal, regeneration, and innovation. In this session we'll deep dive on the business rationale of the circular economy; what are the drivers for change, concrete business opportunities and what does circular economy look like when applied in the real world. The format will be interactive with room for exercises, questions and discussions.

Presenter: Maja Johannessen, Government & Cities Program Associate, Ellen MacArthur Foundation


Rebuilding Customer Trust with Stronger Sustainability Communication (Recorded 3/30/2017)
Customer and community trust in business, government, and other key institutions is in crisis around the world, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. With the fall of trust, people now lack full belief that the overall system is working for them. In this climate, people's societal and economic concerns, including globalization, the pace of innovation and eroding social values, turn into fears that degrade local communities.

To help rebuild trust and restore faith in the system, businesses must step outside of their traditional roles and work toward integrating sustainability and social responsibility internally while communicating these efforts in a truthful and transparent way. In this webinar, Mike Hower, a GreenBiz blogger and current communications strategist at Edelman, will discuss how companies can formulate effective strategies for engaging customers and local communities on sustainability - and how this can generate shared value that rebuilds trust while benefiting the bottom line.

Presenter: Mike Hower, Edelman Business + Social Purpose Practice, San Francisco


Using Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planning Techniques to Improve Efficiency and Promote a Safer Work Environment (Recorded 2/16/2017)
In the past 25 years, Massachusetts companies that use large quantities of toxic chemicals in their production processes have reduced their use by over 40%, and emissions to the environment by over 90%. This was a result of employing specific planning techniques for identifying opportunities to improve efficiency and minimize chemical hazards in their work places. Examples of how these techniques have been effectively applied to both chemical and resource use will be presented.

Presenters: Mark Myles and Pam Eliason. Mr. Myles is the Education Program Manager at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute. Ms. Eliason is the Senior Associate Director and Industry Research Program Manager at the Toxics Use Reduction Institute.    


Triple Bottom Line (Recorded 1/12/2017, 66 min)
Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is an accounting framework with three parts: social, environmental and financial. Many organizations have adopted the TBL framework to evaluate their performance in a broader perspective to create greater business value.  

Presenter: Dr. Steven Dunn provides a presentation on TBL, how your company can get started implementing a TBL framework and how you can improve your existing system. Dr. Dunn teaches in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh's innovative Sustainability Management Minor and serves as Chair of the Finance and Business Law Department in the College of Business.

Green Infrastructure for Businesses: What It Is, Why You Should Consider It, and How to Pay for It (Recorded 11/22/2016, 60 min)
Green infrastructure is a cost-effective way to manage storm water, improve water quality, while being beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, when it is professionally designed and correctly located. Utilizing green infrastructure is increasing across the country due to its significant socio-economic-environmental benefits, as well as its emerging relevance in regulatory compliance. 

Presenters: Sanjiv Sinha, Ph.D., P.E. and Rob Pettit with Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. (ECT) joined the MDEQ as presenters for this webinar.


International Standards - Environmental Management & Sustainability (Recorded 10/20/2016, 66 min)
Sustainability is a key component of the new International Standard for Environmental Management System (ISO 14001:2015). In order to achieve true sustainability, all three pillars of sustainability - economic, social, and environmental - must be balanced in equal harmony. Adherence to ISO 14001:2015 is critical to balancing the environmental pillar. This webinar focuses on how your organization can become more sustainable using ISO 14001:2015 and other environmental standards, including forestry certification, climate change initiatives, greenhouse gas validation, and electronic waste certification. Emerging trends associated with water sustainability and supply chain are also discussed in this webinar, in relation to balancing the three pillars.

Speakers from NSF International joined MDEQ for this webinar. NSF International has its global headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Engaging in Food Recovery (Recorded 9/22/2016, 65 min)
Food scraps are the "final frontier" for organics recovery. Food is the most water, labor and nutrient intensive of the wastes we produce. And not all food that is wasted is unfit for a plate. Food recovery should come first. After that, diversion from landfills, then identifying the best options to recover what value we can from what we worked so hard to grow. Learn how your business or organization can avoid wasting this valuable resource. This webinar is geared towards any business or institution that generates food waste in a kitchen or cafeteria or through food processing, as well as anyone interested in learning more about food waste recovery. 

Presented by Sally L. Brown, PhD, a Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington. She is a Fellow in the Soil Science Society of America, and was a member of the National Academy of Science Committee on Soils. She writes a monthly column for Biocycle magazine and a blog for the Huffington Post.

Environmental Preferable Purchasing(Recorded 8/25/2016, 56 min)
Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) means products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose. This applies to raw materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, use, reuse, operation, maintenance and disposal. This webinar will provide the basics on the Economy, Energy, and Environment Program (E3), electronics benefit calculator, and tips for businesses to become lean and green through EPP.

Presenter: Christina Guthrie, Lead Environmental Protection Specialist at the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


Introduction to Green Chemistry (Recorded 7/21/2016, 67 min)
Design for Environment (DfE) is the recognition that the environmental impacts of a product over its entire life cycle is largely determined at the design phase. DfE should form the foundation for a strong sustainability program, specifically for product stewardship. Green Chemistry, defined as a set of principles to minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances during the manufacture of product, is essentially the application of DfE at the molecular level. A central tenet of Green Chemistry is that hazard (i.e. negative impacts on human health and the environment) should be viewed as a design flaw.  

Green Chemistry is a transformational approach to pollution prevention that can make your business more sustainable and, when integrated into the material innovation & exploration stage of new product development, can further lead to business opportunities through innovative design of products and processes. This webinar will provide a basic primer of the principles of Green Chemistry and a discussion of how Green Chemistry can be incorporated into your sustainability strategy.

Presented by Clinton S. Boyd, PhD, Principal-Green Chemistry & Sustainability for the Global Sustainability Initiatives team at Steelcase Inc.


Waste Reduction and Recycling - Making the Right Choices (Recorded 6/16/2016, 61 min)
Recycling and waste reduction is not just about dumpster dives and weights anymore. The now "holistic approach" includes an assessment of the material stream. Programs are changing as material choices, commodity markets, goals and customer expectations are being challenged. A culture of sustainability is about the choices up front that influence the end result. How can "change," including a different way of thinking and collaborative solutions, affect your recycling and waste program?

Presenter: Betsy Hernandez is an Environment Engineer in the Steelcase Global Environmental Performance Department. 


Optimizing Water Usage - Strategies to Increase Water Efficiency and Conservation (Recorded 5/19/2016, 65 min)
Water efficiency activities can be an important strategy to buffer the trend of rising utility costs and conserve our important water resources for other users and environmental services. This webinar will cover available resources to assist with auditing and retrofitting buildings to optimize water usage as well as a case study to showcase how water saving efforts can be accomplished.

Presenters: Cary McElhinney, US EPA and Aaron N. Durnbaugh, Loyola University Chicago


Energy Audits - Who? What? When? Why? How? (Recorded 4/28/2016, 48 min)
Michigan Energy Options has been serving Michigan residents for over 35 years. A large part of their role has been the development of energy audit markets in the state. This webinar will explore the reasons for energy audits, what different energy audit regimes can provide and how to choose the right energy audit for your needs.

Presenters: Ed Love and Scott Durrett with Michigan Energy Options.


Creating a Culture of Sustainability (Recorded 3/17/2016, 67 min)
Creating a culture of sustainability can seem like a daunting task. This webinar will offer a structure to integrate sustainability within your organization and a pathway to begin your journey towards sustainability or to further the efforts you already have in place. Topics include integration within your business plan and vision, the importance of goals and reporting, employee engagement, and accountability.

Presenter: Kris Spaulding from Brewery Vivant will share their secrets to successfully implementing the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) into their business model.


The Business of Sustainability (Recorded 2/18/2016, 65 min.)
The Business of Sustainability webinar will explore the interrelationship between stakeholder preferences, business leadership and environmental regulations and how these drivers can affect sustainable business practices. Case studies and trends will be examined to illustrate how these factors are helping to advance society toward a safer and more sustainable future through business practices. 

Presenters: Ms. Natalie Pryde, Principal Scientist leading the T&M Associates office in Novi, Michigan, and Ms. Maryann Sanders, Senior Regulatory Compliance Specialist at Haley & Aldrich, Inc.

Helping people through positive environmental change.