At the close of 2018, Rochester, Minnesota was awarded the state’s first LEED Gold City designation by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in recognition of the City’s effort to achieve significant municipal sustainability and resiliency goals. Kevin Bright, energy and sustainability director for the Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency (DMC EDA) and City of Rochester is excited for the next chapter, which includes a new voluntary energy benchmarking program for Rochester businesses.
The Rochester Energy Benchmarking Program provides a platform for Rochester business and building owners to track their energy use and identify ways to save money on utility bills.
“The creation of the benchmarking program is an important first step to help businesses identify ways to reduce their operating costs by saving energy,” says Bright.
On April 24, 2019, the Benchmarking program will host a training session for interested organizations at Rochester City Hall in Room 104 from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. This session will help organizations create and efficiently complete a benchmarking profile which is the core of participation in the program.
Another educational resource for Rochester businesses and the public is the DMC EDA’s monthly sustainability series, now in its second year. The series, in partnership with the USGBC, is held the second Wednesday of each month at the Rochester Public Library from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. and is free to attend.
Rochester, Minnesota was recently recognized as the state’s first LEED Gold city by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The honor came as a result of the City’s effort to achieve significant municipal sustainability and resiliency goals.
LEED – or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – certification was created by the USGBC and is a globally-recognized green building rating system. It provides a framework to create healthy, efficient, and cost-saving green buildings.
Over the past six months, the Destination Medical Center (DMC) monthly sustainability speaker series has generated enthusiasm, sparked new ideas, and inspired attendees to make changes that better the environment and our community.
DMC’s Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright is pleased with the response to the series thus far. “Attendance and the email list has been steadily growing organically since December,” he says. “It’s been rewarding to see community members not only get behind these efforts but take an active role in Rochester’s environmental future.”
This summer, the sustainability series will continue with three diverse topics to further the community-wide conversation.
With spring officially underway, warmer days are on the horizon! With those temperature changes come some additional options on the horizon: walk or bike to work, create a home garden, or attend some local events going on in Rochester moving forward.
Destination Medical Center Economic Development Agency and City of Rochester’s Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright offers seven “Bright Ideas” to help you save energy as we head into spring and summer. Hopefully, you are able to find one or more of these ideas that may be applicable to your commute, home, or day-to-day activities.
2018 is just around the corner. And whether you see New Year’s Day as an arbitrary date or resolve to undo all the bad habits you’ve developed during 2017, the New Year presents an opportunity for each of us to take inventory of our lives – and our impact on the environment.
DMC Economic Development Agency Energy and Sustainability Director Kevin Bright shares some simple ways to live more sustainably in the coming year.
Sustainable development is essential for economic growth and a key priority of the DMC initiative. Improving community health, exploring alternative modes of transportation, and reducing consumption of water, waste, energy, and emissions are just a few of the goals outlined in the DMC plan.
But these goals cannot be achieved by a single person or organization. To achieve a sustainable future for America’s City for Health, it will take an informed and engaged community working together.
DMC is launching a monthly speaker series to help initiate a community-wide conversation about sustainability.
Sustainability is an increasingly hot topic in community development and construction, but it’s hardly a new concept. One of DMC’s guiding principles is for the initiative to be a model for sustainability that will strive to implement ecological urban design and building practices to improve and enhance the environment and quality of life.
To help achieve this goal, DMC and the City of Rochester hired Kevin Bright as a shared Sustainability Director to support the community’s efforts to go green. The position is funded by a two-year McKnight Foundation grant.
A new report states that Rochester’s new six billion dollar Destination Medical Center district should expand existing district energy systems, encourage or require developers to follow state efficiency building requirements and maximize onsite renewable energy. The multi-billion-dollar plan calls for attracting developers over the next two decades to construct 12 million square feet of offices in an effort to create 35-to-45-thousand jobs.
Johnson incorporates fresh vegetables from a new 11,000 square-foot garden on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital also sources ingredients from a farmers market it hosts every Thursday in front of the hospital. Patients are able to order from room service at times convenient for them. And a new bistro featuring delicious and locally-sourced fare will serve employees and visitors.
Johnson’s efforts garnered him a nomination for a National Restaurant Association Award in the “Operator Innovations in Sustainability” category.
Not bad for a 50-bed regional hospital in a rural community between Madison and Milwaukee.
It gets one thinking about the possibilities with DMC – to have an organization like Mayo Clinic work with local farmers and farmers markets, to promote sustainability, to make nutritious foods fun, exciting and palatable, and to get rid of the institutional Jell-o once and for all.
Rochester offers health care that is world-class. Many local restaurants such as Sontes, Prescott’s and Four Daughters Winery are already developing locally-grown and sustainable menus that are being met with rave reviews. Having an organization like Mayo Clinic promote healthy lifestyles through its food service would continue to help set it apart from its competitors.
Do you think it’s a good idea? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.