The Green Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota

In Phillips, an economically disadvantaged neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of citizens concerned about the social and environmental implications of a proposed garbage transfer station established the Green Institute to oversee alternative eco-industrial networking projects. The Green Institute built and operates the Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (PEEC), a commercial facility for high-growth, innovative businesses producing products and services to help restore the environment, while providing living-wage jobs to the area.

The Green Institute has turned the existence of numerous abandoned buildings in the neighborhood from a liability to an asset by developing the ReUse Center and DeConstruction Services, a neighborhood-run business that salvages and resells building materials. Some of these materials were used in the construction of the Green Institute's own building, which has won awards for its sustainable design considerations for occupant health and energy and material efficiency. For example, the building cuts energy use by about 55% through a geo-thermal exchange heating and cooling system, and has 100% day lighting for all work areas. In addition to the ReUse Center and DeConstruction Services, the Institute seeks other recycling and exchange opportunities among the tenants, off-site businesses, and the local community.

A fundamental goal of the Green Institute is to bring living wage jobs to the Phillips area, an area of concentrated poverty and unemployment. Because of these socioeconomic factors, Phillips was included in the federal Enterprise Community area designated for Minneapolis. The Green Institute has received federal funding as part of this program. The Green Institute employs 40 staff members and has an annual budget of $1.8 million. Funding sources are diverse, including program revenue, local, state, and federal government grants, foundation support, and contributions from private corporations and individuals.

For more information, please contact:

Michael Krause
The Green Institute
1433 E. Frank Avenue, Suite 7A
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone (612) 874-1148
Fax (612) 874-6470