The Synergy Leaders consortium was formed to create green solutions for the metro Detroit region. The group finished its first year with resulting partnerships to solve environmental problems and move towards a green economy.
John Carlos, founder and executive director of GreeningDetroit.com formed Synergy Leaders to foster partnerships for this purpose.
One of the members is Jim Nash, Oakland County Water Resources Commissioner. Nash has concentrated on sustainable policies since 2002. He is a former Oakland County Commissioner District No. 15.
One of his goals is to get funding to protect water ways and through the Synergy Leaders, he meets regularly with people like Michelle Selzer, Senior Environmental Quality Analyst – Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. Selzer oversees the implementation of protection and restoration efforts in the Lake Huron, St. Clair-Detroit System, and Lake Erie basins. Nash said she sends notices of new grants as they become available.
“We’re looking to work with the state to let local government deal with water issues,” said Nash.
Oakland County has the headwaters of five major rivers: the Clinton, Rouge, Shiawassee, Huron and Flint rivers.
“We’re looking to work with the state to let local government deal with water issues. We have to protect it. It’s a very important resource. But local government has limted access to money to fix the problems,” said Nash.
“They definitely want to work with us and when they come up with grants that match what we need, we will definitely work with them,” said Nash.
Art Holdsworth, Oakland County Director of Facilities Management is a also a member of the Synergy Leaders group.
“We’ve been able to use the Greening Detroit platform to promote our OakGreen program,” Holdsworth said. “The Greening Detroit website is incredible with an amazing amount of resources,” he said.
“Our economic development department has been actively recruiting green vendors. We host green summits where people could come in and network,” said Holdsworth.
The group of civic, business and environmental leaders meet three times per year to discuss what they’re working on in an open-table format.
“Sustainability is the triple bottom line. Decisions are made on what is environmentally, socially and economically sound,” Nash said.
You have to be sure everything you’re doing doesn’t harm anybody socially or economically.”
GreeningDetroit.com is an environmental information portal known as the “Big Green Umbrella,” for green businesses and resources in the area “We’ve become known as connectors of resources for the community, bringing people and community leaders from different sectors in the community together,” said Carlos.
GreeningDetroit.com highlights companies that can provide green products and services (manufacturing, industrial, commercial and residential) ensuring global competitiveness; renewable energies; sustainability; industry standards of reduction of consumption; and the healthy side of greening.
“The leaders keep coming to these meetings because of the synergies among themselves and the opportunities that are created with it,” Carlos said.
“It is really good to hear what people of all the different sectors are doing to be sustainable. It’s a really good way to encourage collaboration,” Nash said.
14 Jan 2014 | By KATHY BLAKE firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: The Oakland Press