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Sustainability Series Webinars

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!

Additional webinars coming in 2023. 



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Recorded webinars in the 2020-2022 series:

Carbon Management Technologies for Michigan Industries  (recorded 11/09/2022, 53 min)
Many Michigan industries are facing pressure to transform their operations and achieve goals to reduce their carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions both in the near-term and in the long run. These industries are looking for a holistic, creative approach to meeting these goals, which will likely require industries that have historically been independent of each other working together.

This webinar will cover 1) how diverse Michigan industries may be facing the same pressures and challenges to set and achieve carbon goals and 2) the services, technologies and opportunities for collaboration needed to help set these industries and Michigan on a transformative path to a carbon neutral future.
We will explore the carbon management journeys of Michigan’s heavy industries, including power, mining, fuels and manufacturing. We will review the primary drivers encouraging industries to set carbon management and greenhouse gas emissions goals, such as environmental, social, governance (ESG) factors; local and federal incentives; and regulations and worldwide initiatives. We will discuss how to establish baseline data that can help set the stage for the prioritization of carbon management goals. Finally, we will take a look at new and existing technologies that are either being implemented now or being considered for the future in Michigan, such as hydrogen fuel, renewable energy and carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies.

Presenters: Dan Zbozien and Nicol Nguyen

Nicole Nguyen is a Senior Chemical Engineer and Project Management Professional with Barr Engineering Co. in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She holds a professional engineering license with the state of Michigan and several other states. She has been working on power generation, oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, and mining focused projects over the past 15 years, and she has held positions as lead design engineer, project manager, principal investigator, and construction field engineer. Nicole’s current focus has been supporting the advancement of innovative technologies that promote resiliency and sustainability in the energy sector, which includes advancing technologies in carbon capture, carbon beneficiation, energy storage, and synfuel production.


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: Green Financing for New Development, Building Upgrades and Renewables (recorded 9/22/22, 60 min)
Developers and building owners, have you ever wondered about how to finance energy and water upgrades, or even finance renewables? Property managers and commercial real estate professionals, want to learn more about the new Michigan economic development financing law, Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), enabling lower utility costs, reducing capital expenditure reserves, providing a safer, cleaner, more comfortable indoor environment, while lowering building carbon emissions at the same time? There is a way to meet developer and building owner objectives, without breaking the bank.

Join this webinar to gain insights on how building owners can stay ahead of the new competitive environment, as well as the changing regulatory climate. Employees, learn how to access PACE financing to help building owners drive deep retrofits and sustainable building development. Developers and building owners, learn why using PACE financing may be the remedy to taking no action. In this rapidly changing climate and regulatory environment, delay is not an option.

Presenter: Robert Mattler, Manager at Green Portfolio Solutions, LLC

Robert Mattler is a commercial real estate industry veteran with over thirty years’ experience in both real estate law and brokerage. Since 2004, Bob has been an active thought leader and advocate for green building and sustainability throughout the Midwest. Over the last ten years, Bob co-founded the commercial real estate committee, Detroit Chapter of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) where he has been a guiding force in programming, fundraising, strategic development, community outreach and advisor to various Boards of Directors. Currently, Bob is involved in The Detroit 2030 District, volunteering to help building owners with technical and strategic advice on making their projects and buildings more sustainable.

Robert’s passion for sustainability, economic development and adaptive re-use of the Midwest’s aged building stock places him at the crossroads of local economic development and sustainability through implementation of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing to jump start community development and re-development. Bob was an early supporter and advocate of Michigan’s PACE financing law back in 2011, having published dozens of articles, blogs and spoken often on the topic in front of various legal groups, business groups and at numerous real estate events. As owner of Green Portfolio Solutions, Bob brings advantages of Pace financing to light, as well as utility rebates and other sustainable financing solutions, to building owners and developers interested in saving money and our environment at the same time. Bob holds a BA from Michigan State University, a JD from the Detroit College of Law (now MSU Law School), an LLM in Tax from the Wayne State University Law School and certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED AP BD&C (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, Accredited Professional, Building Design & Construction).  He lives in Bloomfield Hills with his wife and 3 children. 


Keeping Food in the Loop with Food Waste Management (recorded 5/24/21, 60 min) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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) - Recording temporarily unavailable
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.