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Business in Grand Rapids work to cut emissions, energy use and water in half

John Eisenschenk
Creative Commons

A new effort led by the private sector in Grand Rapids will try to cut water, energy use and transportation emissions in half over the next 15 years.

More than a dozen businesses, including Spectrum Health, Consumers Energy, Rockford Construction and SMG, which manages DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena, have agreed to the general concept. A new committee will draft details of the plan this year.

Dan Scripps heads the Institute for Energy Innovation, a non-profit organization that’s coordinating the effort.

“At this point we’ve done a lot of initial engagement, brought people on board who are willing to say yes they’re willing to go forward on this. Now we get to go a lot deeper,” Scripps said.

Several other cities have signed onto the plan, including Toronto and Seattle. Scripps says it's important more cities collaborate with the private sector to find ways to slow climate change.

“I think Grand Rapids is the perfect place to do this because we’ve seen a lot of private sector sustainability leadership,” Scripps said.

Grand Rapids has one of the highest rates of LEED-certified buildings per capita. The city government has plans to get all its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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