August 8th, 2019
On Aug. 8, 2019 Governor Whitmer announced that the State of Michigan would start a program to lead by example on environmental sustainability in its facilities. “I have directed Departments to implement more sustainable practices in state buildings and reduce energy usage where possible,” said Whitmer. “These steps are a win-win for the environment and taxpayers. By improving our government’s environmental footprint while lowering energy costs we’re able to prove that sustainable practices can and will work across our state from rural, forested locations to downtown Detroit.” Many state departments are involved in this initiative including the Department of Natural Resources, where a pilot program has been introduced that aims to integrate renewable energy into the day to day operations of the department, and the Department of Corrections, where efforts have been made to create our states first “green prison” at the St. Louis correctional facility in Jackson. The Department of Technology, Management and Budget has also been instructed to double down on past sustainability efforts, as well as carry out energy audits in departments with some of the largest carbon footprints in the state, like MDOT and MDHHS.
The lead by example approach continued to move forward on Sept. 17 when the Governor released Executive Directive 16. The Directive requires all state buildings to implement a recycling program where feasible. This effort would also be overseen by the DTMB, and was put into effect immediately with the release of the executive directive.