Welcome to the
In 2006, Mayor Barrett formed the City of Milwaukee’s Green Team and created the Office of Environmental Sustainability (OES), which spurred energy and activity from community members to examine the practices of City government and develop a plan to become a more sustainable Milwaukee.
What began as one employee working in OES grew into several key environmental initiatives that received notable success through ReFresh Milwaukee, the City of Milwaukee’s official sustainability plan.
Members of the Green Team and OES quickly realized that the key to their achievements in sustainability is largely due to the support and hard work of community members throughout Milwaukee.
The results and various successes of this community collaboration is in every corner of Milwaukee.
Existing buildings within Downtown are being renovated with high-tech energy efficiency systems. The Menomonee Valley recycled polluted land into an eco-industrial district and created urban bike trails that co-exist with new manufacturing operations.
Community gardens and green infrastructure are proudly showcased on Milwaukee’s South Side in the Green Corridor on 6th Street. The 26 homeowners who installed solar panels through the Milwaukee Shines program on the City’s East Side are turning sustainability into a valuable community asset.
The ME3 program is allowing manufacturing companies to reduce waste on the far Northwest Side that is cutting costs for taxpayers and local businesses. The HOME GR/OWN initiative has transformed 20 vacant lots into pocket parks and community orchards on the City’s North Side, which is revitalizing local neighborhoods within this area of Milwaukee.
Neighborhoods all across Milwaukee are experiencing environmental gains, where over 1,300 homes have been made more energy efficient through the Me2 program since 2011.
The City’s sustainability programs are creating local jobs as well. The Me2 program utilizes local contractors who use Milwaukee workers and the HOME GR/OWN program put young men from the community to work to build community assets.
Communities from around the globe are looking to Milwaukee for sustainability solutions as well, which is why Mayor Barrett is sharing Milwaukee’s best practices on energy and water management with global networks like the Compact of Mayors and the UN Compact Cities program.
The success of these City-wide efforts are resulted from the ongoing community support and collaborative spirit of Milwaukee’s residents.
Because of the nature of the relationship between the City of Milwaukee and local residents working towards a more sustainable community, OES officially renamed itself the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO) after ten years of striving to make Milwaukee a world class eco-City.
ECO develops practical solutions that improve people’s lives and the economy, while working to protect and restore the natural eco-systems that are integral to our long-term prosperity.
ECO collaborates with the community, develops global partnerships and implements award-winning programs.
ECO will continue to work with residents, listen to their ideas and collectively push the boundaries on what can be accomplished through collaborative efforts.
Together, the City will continue to be globally recognized as an innovator in environmental initiatives and build a more sustainable future for all Milwaukee residents.