The Environmental Collaboration Office, or ECO, strives 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 ecosystems that support our long-term prosperity. We collaborate with the community, develop global partnerships, offer award-winning programs, and implement the Refresh Milwaukee sustainability plan.
Erick Shambarger, Director
Erick Shambarger is the Director of Environmental Sustainability at the City of Milwaukee, where he leads the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). ECO was created by Mayor Tom Barrett to develop practical solutions that benefit Milwaukee’s environment and economy. Mr. Shambarger developed the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program and PACE financing program. He developed Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge program, chaired the City’s Energy Reduction Team to reduce energy use across City operations, and promotes innovative storm water management practices and green infrastructure. He oversees implementation of ECO programs and the ReFresh Milwaukee sustainability plan. He also leads ECO's involvement in national and global partnerships. Prior to his current role, he served as Deputy Director of ECO for 5 years, and as City Economist in the Budget and Management Division before that. He holds a Masters of Public Affairs degree from the University of Wisconsin and certificates in Water Technology and Energy Analysis and Policy.
Elizabeth Hittman, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator
Elizabeth directs ECO’s solar program, Milwaukee Shines, and is working to make it easier for home and business owners in Milwaukee to install solar. Elizabeth also works on green infrastructure and sustainable water projects with the goal of establishing Milwaukee as America’s Water-Centric City. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Management from UW-Stevens Point and a master's degree from UW-Milwaukee in Urban Geography. Prior to joining ECO, Elizabeth served as the Executive Director for the Wisconsin chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. In 2011 she joined the Midwest Renewable Energy Association as the Director of their Milwaukee office and worked on three U.S. Department of Energy grants expanding solar training across the Midwest and reducing the soft costs of solar. Elizabeth serves on the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Environmental Consortium, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences Professional Master’s Advisory Board. She was recently named to Midwest Energy New's 40 under 40 list.
Matt Donath, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator
Matt directs Milwaukee’s energy efficiency programs and initiatives including the Better Buildings Challenge, Me2, and PACE financing program for commercial buildings. He also coordinates the City’s Energy Reduction Team, working with other departments and facilities staff to reduce energy use from City operations and buildings. Matt leads the City's interdepartmental EV planning team that is working to increase the use of clean fuel vehicles within the city fleet and also make them more acceesible for residents of Milwaukee. Prior to joining the ECO team, Matt worked in the Department of Administration where he partnered with ECO to help complete several projects. Matt received his Bachelor of Science degree from UW-La Crosse and his Master’s in Public Administration from UW-Milwaukee.
Dynasty Ceasar, Environmental Program Coordinator
Dynasty Ceasar coordinates the HOME GR/OWN program. She works to implement useful and equitable pocket parks and beautification projects by building strong and meaningful relationships with residents and community stakeholders. Dynasty has been a leader in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood, serving as the President of the Lindsay Heights Community Planning Council and Community Organizer. Prior to joining the ECO team, Dynasty worked closely with the department on the Lindsay Heights’ Identity Project, which was a resident led initiative that resulted in the creation of signage. Dynasty has also worked with the Department of City Development on Anti-Displacement initiatives and was a member of the Fond Du Lac and North Avenue Comprehensive Plan Advisory Team. Dynasty is passionate about supporting Milwaukee residents in their endeavors to create environmental representations of themselves.
Erin Keleske, Water Centric City Program Assistant
Erin works to make Milwaukee a Water Centric City through green infrastructure and reducing the City's consumption of single-use plastics. Erin received her Bachelor's degree from Kenyon College in Biology and Environmental Studies. While at Kenyon, Erin interned in the Office of Green Initiative where her work led to the installation of a solar thermal array, a commitment to LEED Gold Certification, a Green Revolving Fund, and the first steps towards Carbon Neutrality. She was nationally recognized as recipient of the Charles J. Ping Student Service Award from Campus Compact for her work organizing conservation service events. Erin also served as President of the Environmental Campus Organization, Manager of the Brown Family Environmental Center, and worked in a statistical macroecology lab conducting research on climate change over the last 65 million years.
Milwaukee's Vision for Community Sustainability
On July 16, 2013, Mayor Barrett launched Milwaukee's first Sustainability Plan. The ReFresh Milwaukee Plan is a citywide strategic plan to develop a sustainable future for the community. ReFresh Milwaukee provides the vision for community sustainability over the next 10 years and seeks to make Milwaukee a center for sustainability innovation and thought leadership.
This plan sets goals and targets for individuals and organizations to achieve and provides a citywide roadmap for improving the environmental, economic and social conditions of Milwaukee's neighborhoods. ReFresh Milwaukee is a call to action to the community and connects residents, businesses and other groups working on sustainability issues.
Visit ReFreshMKE.com to read the complete plan and how you can be involved. Download the Complete Report HERE.
In advance of the global climate talks in Paris, Mayor Barrett has joined the over 100 US Mayors in joining the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (formerly the Compact of Mayors). This is the world’s largest coalition of city leaders addressing climate change by pledging to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, tracking their progress and preparing for the impacts of climate change. Visit Milwaukee.gov/Climate-action.htm for more information on Milwaukee's efforts to address climate change.
Milwaukee participates in the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative. The City earned this designation because of its innovative programs to facilitate energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, and its world leading cluster of energy, power can control companies and academic institutions. Milwaukee was one of the first five cities to join and is the only North American city participating as a Building Efficiency Accelerator. Read more about Milwaukee's story here!
The City of Milwaukee is proud to participate in the Global Compact Cities Programme (or Cities Programme), an urban component of the United Nations Global Compact; the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative. The United Nations Global Compact recognises that cities, in particular, have the potential to make enormous strides in creating sustainable societies – where economic, ecological, political and cultural issues are integrated and advanced. To that end, the Global Compact Cities Programme is dedicated to the promotion and adoption of the Global Compact’s Ten UN Principles by cities, and provides a framework for translating the principles into day-to-day urban governance and management. Read more about how water resources have sustained Milwaukee since the city's founding and have helped make the city great Milwaukee's "blue" revolution here.
The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational coalition of over 110 U.S. and Canadian mayors and local officials working to advance the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. The Cities Initiative and local officials integrate environmental, economic and social agendas and sustain a resource that represents approximately 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater supply, provides drinking water for 40 million people, and is the foundation upon which a strong regional economy is based. Members of the Cities Initiative work together and with other orders of government and stakeholders to improve infrastructure, programs and services and increase investments that protect and restore this globally significant freshwater resource.