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Annual Report

2023

U.S. Green Building Council
of West Michigan

Our mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built, and operated, that improves the quality of life in West Michigan.

1

Presenting Keynote Speaker,

Dr. Brandy Brown

Chief Innovation Officer of
Walker-Miller Energy Services

Dr. Brandy Brown serves as the Chief Innovation Officer of Walker-Miller Energy services, the premier Detroit-based energy services B corp focused on equity in the clean energy economy.  In this role, Brandy leads the Innovation team and is responsible for guiding the development of advanced energy projects, career development, and equitable mobility solutions. Prior to joining Walker-Miller, Dr. Brown served as Climate & Energy Advisor within the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy. In that role she headed the Office of Climate & Energy and was responsible for developing the policy and implementation strategy for state-wide decarbonization efforts, coordinating state departments on climate action, providing guidance to local governments, and advancing renewable energy throughout Michigan. Additionally, Dr. Brown is honored to serve as part of the Environmental Justice faculty for University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability and as an appointee to Michigan's National Resources Trust Fund Board.
2

Presenting Guest Speaker,

Alison Waske Sutter

Sustainability Manager for
the City of Grand Rapids

Alison Waske Sutter joined the City of Grand Rapids as the Sustainability Manager in September 2017. She has over 15 years of experience in the sustainability field and is a licensed attorney. As the Sustainability Manager, Alison is responsible for managing the City’s Sustainability Plan, which serves as the City’s strategic plan and is based on the quadruple bottom line with four pillars – environmental quality, social responsibility, economic vitality and governmental accountability. She is currently focused on developing a comprehensive energy plan for the City, which will include strategies for the City to meet its 100% renewable energy goal by 2025 as well as mechanisms to engage other community stakeholders in steep energy reductions. Before joining the City, Alison’s career included sustainability positions with SpartanNash, a Fortune 400 food distribution and retail business as well as sustainability consulting for the healthcare industry. She began her career as an environmental attorney with Warner Norcross and Judd in 2006. In the past Alison served on the Grand Rapids 2030 District’s Advisory Committee, as Immediate Past President of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and on the Kent County Population Health Consortium Operations Council. She received her law degree and a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Cincinnati. In her free time, Alison enjoys hiking and exploring nature with her husband, son and dog. She also loves eating food prepared with local ingredients, whether from one of our fantastic local restaurants or her talented husband.

A Message from the Executive Director

dear friends, members, and supporters,

What a monumental year of climate investment! With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the recent passing of landmark energy bills by the State of Michigan, there has been significant advancement toward a clean energy future. Michigan is “one of the top 5 states for clean energy commitments, number two in the country in drawing down federal funding for climate and clean energy, and number one in the Midwest for clean energy jobs, clean energy growing twice as fast as the overall economy.” Non energy benefits include investment in human health and long overdue environmental justice for communities most impacted by a changing climate.

These investments by the federal government, concrete action from the state, and the  collaboration inside our community has energized me like never before. The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan (USGBM-WM) works to educate and advocate for sustainable, transformational design and operation of buildings and transportation. In 2023 our focus included student education, community health, and vitality. Through our webinars, in person events and committees of industry experts we worked to guide new and existing programs and tools that will accomplish these goals.

Looking towards my 9th year as Executive Director, I am confident we will see significant progress and I am eternally honored to be working with our members, and alongside our community on these efforts. 

Happy New Year! 

In Partnership,

 

 

Cheri Holman

Executive Director

2023 Annual Report Website View (34)

Going into our 20th year

usgbc west michigan is your advocate to promote
community
vibrancy

Our mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, in a way that improves the quality of life in West Michigan. The organization accomplishes its mission through education, advocacy, programs and competitions including the Grand Rapids 2030 District, Michigan Battle of the Buildings, the Energy Assistance Program, Drawdown Michigan, and our Green Schools Program.

it's all in the numbers

Our Programs & Initiatives

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Grand Rapids 2030 District

The Grand Rapids 2030 District is a strategic initiative of USGBC West Michigan. The program is a public-private partnership committed to creating high-performing buildings and smart mobility options that:

  • Drawdown carbon in Grand Rapids' built environment
  • Increase marketability and profitability for property owners
  • Strengthen the greater community's vibrancy
4

Michigan Battle of the Buildings

The Michigan Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction open to all Michigan area commercial,  industrial & multi-family buildings.  The program is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators.  This is a free program and registration period is open all-year round.

5

E.H.Zero Initiative

The City of Grand Rapids, U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan and Urban Core Collective are launching the Grand Rapids Building Policies and Programs for Equitable, Healthy & Zero Carbon Buildings (E.H.Zero). Transforming the way buildings and homes are designed, built, and operated is one of the most important ways a city can support affordable housing, ensure clean healthy air in our communities and increase our resilience to the negative impacts of a changing climate. E.H.Zero will co-create with community policies and programs to equitably decarbonize Grand Rapids residential and commercial buildings and present them to Commission for consideration and hopeful adoption.

6

Green Schools

Green Schools is a program of USGBC West Michigan that works together with the community to engage students, teachers, and parents in service-learning projects across West Michigan. Our goal is to help create healthy and sustainable learning environments for future generations, specifically. Because of this, in 2019 we rolled out a robust auditing project with the help of experienced green building professionals as mentors. These mentors are committed to guiding students through the audit process and learning key sustainability metrics such as return on investment and net present value.

773K

Operating Budget of USGBC West
Michigan in 2023

graph 1 annual report
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32K

Website views in 2023

25K

All time YouTube viewers and Learners

9.3%

Increase in YouTube subscribers

2023 Annual Report Website View (10)
2023 Annual Report Website View (11)

5

School related visits

1

Scholarship Fund for students to obtain their
LEED GA through our Green Schools Program

8

Student tickets provided for the Michigan Energy Summit
through grant contributions by Trane Technologies

Michigan Battle of the Buildings

The Michigan Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction open to all Michigan area commercial,  industrial & multi-family buildings. The program is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. There is no cost to enter the competition.

At our 2024 Michigan Energy Summit we will be celebrating 10 years of Michigan Battle of the Buildings and all of our wonderful awardees over the years, their achievements, and the energy savings!

2023 Annual Report Website View (16)

$2.9

million

in energy savings back into the
local economy

269

million

square footage competed in the
2022 competition

12K

metric tons of CO2e avoided

2023 Annual Report Website View (18)

92

first place awardees

$93

million

in energy savings back into the
local economy

500K

metric tons of CO2e avoided

2030 District Network

The 2030 Districts Network was established to lead the effort to help newly forming Districts and to coordinate existing District resources and collaborations in cities across the United States. The Network currently has 24 Established districts, with a total of 619 million square feet committed to Carbon Drawdown across the board. There are currently three 2030 Districts in the State of Michigan.

Our objective is for 2030 District members and partners to have equal access to the support and resources needed to reduce emissions in entire built environment by 50-65% by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2040.

2023 Annual Report Website View (22)
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Grand Rapids 2030 District

The Grand Rapids 2030 District is a public-private partnership committed to creating high-performing buildings and smart mobility options that:

  • Drawdown carbon in Grand Rapids’ built environment
  • Increase marketability and profitability for property owners
  • Strengthen the greater community’s vibrancy

We do this through education, advocacy, and providing tools and resources to our surrounding community. Between the years 2022 and 2023 the Grand
Rapids 2030 District has seen an 11.31% increase in buildings participating in the district. For more information or to learn how you can join click here.

305

Buildings participating in the
Grand Rapids 2030 District

20.5

million

Square Feet Committed to Carbon Drawdown in the City of Grand Rapids via the Grand Rapids 2030 District

2023 Annual Report Website View (29)

The built environment is responsible for about 42% of annual global CO2 emissions (Architecture 2030).

2023 Annual Report Website View (31)

Grand Rapids, Michigan

2019 - Inventory of Community-Wide and Government Operations Greenhouse Gas Emissions

2023 Annual Report Website View (36)
2023 Annual Report Website View (37)

Our Staff

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8

12

Office plants

2,098.75

Coffees enjoyed

5

Office pets

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Board of Directors

2023 Annual Report Website View (33)

Congratulations to our 2023 Leadership Awardees!

The USGBC-WM Leadership Awards promote outstanding green buildings, programs, and efforts by recognizing projects, organizations, and people who have made extraordinary contributions to achieving healthy, high-performing green buildings across the state of Michigan.

12

2030 Leadership Award

George Heartwell

13

Legacy Award

Gayle DeBruyn

14

Green Schools Champion Award

Avril Wiers

15

Certified Green Building Award - Commercial

Perrigo - North American Headquarters

16

Certified Green Building Award - Multifamily

The Grand Rapids Housing Commission - Antoine Supportive Housing

17

Certified Green Building Award - Education

West Ottawa Public Schools - 9 EnergyStar Certified Buildings

The Innovative Project Award is designed to honor projects that break the mold of standard building construction, design, and operations. The projects' innovation and astute practices reflect the goals of USGBC West Michigan’s programs. This year we received nine wonderful submissions and voted for the top three.

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Innovative Project Award - 1st Place

John Ball Zoo - Pygmy Hippo Habitat Project

19

Innovative Project Award - 2nd Place

Ford Field UV Light System Study

20

Innovative Project Award - 3rd Place

Lakeside Net-Zero Passive House

Our Resources

Find resources to help guide you through zero-carbon building practices. Click on the menu below to select your category of interest or simply scroll through the page to navigate.

For businesses big and small, there are exciting new funding opportunities for energy efficiency and carbon reduction projects. Here at USGBC West Michigan, we want you to be aware of the opportunities as they become available!

Looking to make a difference in the community? Find local listings of green jobs in the area. Companies partner with us to get passionate professionals to join their teams. Do you have a green job to post? We will post your job at no cost to you. Contact our team!

Energy Benchmarking Services brought to you as a benefit of membership in the Grand Rapids 2030 District.

An energy audit is an analysis of a building that indicates how you can reduce energy consumption and save energy costs. Its insight can lead to significant savings on your business's utility bill and O&M.

Find past webinars, event recordings, interviews with local building owners and partners, information about our programs, and more!

Join us

USGBC West Michigan is able to provide education and connections to equitable carbon & energy solutions, smart transportation initiatives, and healthy building incentives through the support of partners, sponsors, and members like you.

thank you to our 2023 supporters

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