The Milwaukee County Office of Sustainability supports and leads initiatives to improve Milwaukee County's operational efficiency and effectiveness, protect and restore natural resources and enhance the quality of life for Milwaukee County residents.
We work to integrate environmental stewardship and climate resiliency into County operations, infrastructure, and services, and are responsible for coordinating the Countywide sustainability program.
633 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 1004
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Phone: (414) 278-4837
Energy Program Manager
Energy & Climate Action
The Office of Sustainability is working to cut energy use by 20 percent in Milwaukee County facilities by 2020. Relative to 2014, energy use in county facilities (electric, gas, steam and chilled water) was 11 percent less during 2018. By using energy more efficiently and seeking cleaner sources of energy, Milwaukee County government can reduce its operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, which supports the county’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. Our office researches, shares and implements energy management best practices with internal and external partners - including the City of Milwaukee through its Better Building Challenge. During 2018, we worked with We Energies, the City, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Milwaukee Area Technical College, UW-Milwaukee, and Marquette University to establish a new program for businesses to support utility-scale renewable energy projects in Wisconsin ("DRER" tariff).
In 2018, Milwaukee County established a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program for commercial property owners. Administered through the statewide Wisconsin PACE Commission, PACE is an innovative program that enables property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. Projects financed using PACE can generate positive cash flow upon completion with no up-front, out-of-pocket cost to property owners - eliminating the financial barriers that typically prevent investment in revitalizing aging properties. The result is improved business profitability, an increase in property value and enhanced sustainability. For more information, visit PACE Wisconsin or contact the Program Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Sustainability strives to reduce, reuse or recycle solid waste generated from Milwaukee County operations. Observing these "3Rs" helps the County reduce its landfill disposal costs and earn revenues from the sale of recycled materials. Moreover, waste diversion conserves natural resources and supports approximately 97,000 jobs in Wisconsin (source: Recycle More Wisconsin). Construction and demolition (C&D) debris, such as wood, shingles and brick or concrete, comprises more than 25 percent of landfill waste in Wisconsin (source: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources). To reduce C&D waste from Milwaukee County operations, Architecture, Engineering, and Environmental Services (AE&ES) has established a 50 percent waste-diversion goal for the county’s new construction and major renovation projects. Our office works with AE&ES staff and contractors to ensure compliance with this goal and to identify opportunities for additional waste diversion. Additionally, we are helping Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport develop a Recycling & Solid Waste Minimization Plan.
The Office of Sustainability supports and promotes efficient and safe alternatives to automobile travel, including carpooling, taking public transit, bicycling and walking. Since 2014, we have hosted an annual Bike to Work Day for Milwaukee County employees. During 2015 to 2017, we hosted a workplace bicycling challenge with UWM, MMSD, Marquette University, Alverno College, MATC and Froedtert Health that grew to over 250 participants. In 2017, from May to September, bike challenge participants pedaled a total of 164,670 miles and accrued the third-most points of any National Bike Challenge league. During 2019, we will help Milwaukee Transport Services study facility improvements and/or modifications that will be necessary to support a fleet of battery-electric buses.
The Office of Sustainability collaborates with Milwaukee County departments to incorporate economic, social and environmental sustainability into their planning. In 2016, we helped the Milwaukee County Zoo develop a Clean Energy Plan. The plan sets goals and provides actions the Zoo can take to reduce its energy and water use while increasing its use of renewable energy. Currently, we are helping Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport implement a Sustainability Management Plan for its operations. The plan supports the "quadruple-bottom line" of the airport: economic viability, operational efficiency, natural resource conservation and social responsibility.