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City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office Staff Members in front of Lake Michigan

Mission:

The Environmental Collaboration Office, or ECO, strives to make Milwaukee a world class eco-city. ECO develops practical and racially equitable 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 Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan.

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City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office Staff Members in front of Lake Michigan


Erick ShaCity of Milwaukee Sustainability Director Erick Shambargermbarger, Director 

Erick Shambarger is the Director of Environmental Sustainability for the City of Milwaukee, where he leads the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). He oversees implementation of the Refresh Milwaukee sustainability plan and coordinates Milwaukee's involvement with local, national and global partnerships on environmental sustainability. He oversees all of ECO's programs, including the Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2) program, the Milwaukee Better Buildings Challenge, Water Centric City initiative, the Eco-Neighborhoods Initaitve and green infrastructure work. He led development of the City's Green Infrastructure Plan that was adopted in 2019 and is currently the Project Manager for the forthcoming Climate and Equity Plan. He also negotiated the City's largest solar energy project to date, a 2.25MW solar system on a city-owned landfill. He also launched Wisconsin's first Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program that has financed over $38m in projects in the City. He is also co-founder of the Wisconsin Local Government Climate Coalition (WLGCC.org). Prior to his current role, he served as City Economist in the City’s Budget and Management Division. He holds a Masters of Public Affairs degree from the University of Wisconsin and certificates in Water Technology; Energy Analysis and Policy; and Business Communications.


 

Environmental Sustainability Program Manager Pamela Ritger de la RosaPamela Ritger de la Rosa, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager

Pam leads efforts to reduce energy use in City of Milwaukee-owned buildings, administers the PACE Program, and supports the Better Building Challenge, among other efforts to advance building energy efficiency and sustainability. She also works on expanding the electric vehicle charging network in the City of Milwaukee and advancing the transition of municipal fleets to electric and other low emissions vehicles. As a member of the City-County Task Force on Climate and Economic Equity since 2019, Pam looks forward to helping implement many recommendations of the Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan in this role. Pam is joining ECO after more than 8 years with Clean Wisconsin, the state’s oldest and largest environmental non-profit advocacy organization, where she held the title of Milwaukee Program Director and Staff Attorney. Pam is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and completed a certificate in Energy Analysis and Policy from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. Pam is also on the Advisory Board of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and is an active member of the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association.


 

ECO Sustainability Program Manager Alexis Laverdiere,Alexis Laverdiere, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager

Alexis Laverdiere oversees the City of Milwaukee's Water Centric City Initiative, which includes oversight of the City's Green Infrastructure Plan, and manages ECO's communication efforts. She staffs Mayor Johnson on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and is a delegate for Milwaukee. Previously, she served as Communication Coordinator and Staff Assistant for Mayor Cavalier Johnson and former Mayor Tom Barrett where she coordinated daily virtual and in-person media events, press materials, social media, web content, and community outreach. Alexis holds a master's degree in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University. She also received a master's degree in Corporate Communication and bachelor's degree in Public Relations from Marquette University. Alexis serves on the Marketing Committee for Lakeshore State Park and as Marketing & Communications Chair for the City of Milwaukee's Career Development Employee Resource Group.


 

ECO Neighborhoods Coordinator Mia Rudolph-SchultaMia Rudolph-Schulta, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator

Mia coordinates the ECO Neighborhoods Initiative, working in partnership with teams of residents and stakeholders to plan for and implement effective climate action in neighborhoods across the city. She manages the office's EPA Environmental Justice grant projects that aim to increase residents’ awareness and engagement with environmental health and energy programs and resources. Mia also oversees the care and maintenance of 12 pocket parks and orchards around Milwaukee and supports other neighborhood-level projects, like the Green Congregations Initiative. She is passionate about prioritizing health equity and social and environmental justice in climate action. Mia received her master's degree in Public Health, bachelor's degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, and a certificate in LGBT Studies from UW-Milwaukee. She is co-chair of the Milwaukee Health Department’s Built Environment Action Team and a design team member for the WaterMarks Initiative.


 

Sustainability Program Coordinator Jeremy BelotJeremy Belot, Environmental Sustainability Program Coordinator

Jeremy coordinates the City of Milwaukee’s residential energy efficiency loan program, Milwaukee Energy Efficiency (Me2), along with the City of Milwaukee’s solar program, Milwaukee Shines, to offer opportunities for City of Milwaukee property owners to save energy and money while reducing their environmental impact. He also oversees the office’s effort to integrate federally funded energy efficiency improvements with lead remediation work on residential properties. Jeremy transferred to ECO after 5 years as a Grants Compliance Monitor in the City’s Community Development Grants Administration Office and 2 years as Neighborhood Improvement Project Inspector in the Department of Neighborhood Services. Prior to being with the City, Jeremy worked for 11 years for Layton Blvd West Neighbors as a Project Manager and then Director of Real Estate Development. After analyzing foreclosure data in 2008, he created the Turnkey Renovation Program which utilizes Federal funding to acquire, rehab and sell blighted foreclosures while focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, restoration of craftmanship and green infrastructure to provide move-in ready homes for low to moderate income households.


 

Business Finance Officer Zachary AllenZachary Allen, Business Finance Officer

Zach oversees purchasing, budgeting and other financial accounting within the department. Previously, he served as a Business Analyst at a financial planning software company. Zach grew up in Southwest Michigan and moved to Milwaukee in 2013 to complete his bachelor's degree in Economics from Marquette University. He lives in Riverwest and is a Milwaukee Bucks season ticket holder.

Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan

On June 23, 2023, Mayor Cavalier Johnson adopted the Milwaukee Climate and Equity Plan as part of the Citywide Policy Plan contained in the City's Overall Comprehensive Plan. The Climate and Equity Plan provides the vision and foundation for climate action in Milwaukee and includes 10 Big Ideas to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, increase racial equity, and make the City prosperous for the long term. 

The plan has two primary objectives:

  1. Reduce community greenhouse gas emissions: 45% by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
  2. Improve racial and economic equity by creating green jobs that pay at least $40,000 and are focused on recruiting local people of color.

Community Collaboration

The 10 Big Ideas can be achieved in collaboration among government agencies, businesses, community-based organizations and other partners. The plan is intended to be financed primarily from new federal resources including the Inflation Reduction Act. The plan is the direct outgrowth of over three years of public discussions and planning through the City-County Taskforce on Climate and Economic Equity. The Task Force has transitioned to the City-County Advisory Board on Climate and Economic Equity that will submit an annual report to the Common Council on the status of the plan’s implementation.

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy 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 ECO's Climate Action web page for more information on Milwaukee's action on climate change.

 

Sustainable Energy for All 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.

 

The Global Compact Cities ProgrammeThe 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.

 

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative

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.

 

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2024 ECO Spring Newsletter Cover

Spring 2024 Newsletter

  • Major Solar Projects to Achieve Renewable Goals
  • Food Waste Reduction Grant Award
  • Efficient Buildings Benchmarking Program
  • Post-Earth Month Actions to Reduce Waste
  • 2024 Solar Group Buy Program Launch
  • City Compost Bin Sale Open
  • Learn About ECO with Recorded Webinars

Read the Spring 2024 Newsletter

Past ECO Newsletters

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