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Detroit

Creating a Sustainability Office and Agenda for Detroit

With the support of Bloomberg Associates, the city of Detroit created its first Office of Sustainability and city-wide sustainable action plan.

About

Smart use of our resources is imperative, and we have to do it in ways that prioritize our health, environment, the vitality of our neighborhoods, and our ability to grow our economy so that all Detroiters have access to opportunity.

Mike Duggan, Mayor of Detroit

Relevant Expertise

Enhance City Communications and Resident Engagement

  • Awareness and Reputation Campaigns
  • PSAs and Marketing Campaigns

Implement Sustainable and Resilient Solutions

  • Energy Efficiency and Incentive Programs
  • Heat Mitigation
  • Recycling

Challenge

Upon taking office, Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan sought to strengthen the economic, social, and environmental well-being of Detroit’s residents and businesses. Mayor Duggan worked to bring new, innovative solutions to the municipal government and outline a vision for the future. He asked Bloomberg Associates to explore the possibility of establishing an Office of Sustainability and how to best deliver sustainability benefits for Detroiters such as clean air, access to fresh and healthy food, and reduced utility bills.

Detroit survey

Approach

Bloomberg Associates began by interviewing dozens of individuals and organizations across Detroit to better understand what sustainability-oriented actions had been taken in the past, what progress was made, and what challenges remained. The team also spoke with national experts and conducted a national scan of sustainability offices and strategy plans to identify best practices to be implemented in Detroit. National experts agreed that Detroit should create an Office of Sustainability and Bloomberg Associates worked closely with Mayor Duggan to establish, shape, and design the new office. This included defining the Office’s mission and scope, helping recruit a director, and onboarding staff. With the new office up and running, Bloomberg Associates worked with external partners to secure half-a-million dollars in philanthropic support to craft Detroit’s first-ever citywide sustainability agenda, the Sustainability Action Agenda, which included one of the most robust and innovative community engagement processes in the nation. Thousands of Detroiters provided input into the Sustainability Action Agenda through town halls, surveys, and community meetings.

Impact

Detroit’s Office of Sustainability and the Sustainability Action Agenda focus on delivering concrete economic, social, and environmental benefits for residents. The Agenda includes 43 actions to create a more sustainable city where all Detroiters thrive and prosper in an equitable, green city; have access to affordable, quality homes; live in clean, connected neighborhoods; and work together to steward resources.

 

Since its creation, the Office has helped the City attract more than one million dollars in philanthropic and private funding and deliver tangible, near-term benefits to residents while also addressing some of the City’s key long-term challenges. The Sustainable Action Agenda includes the largest expansion of recycling in Detroit’s history and programs to significantly increase the number of low-income homes receiving energy and water conservation assistance – a key opportunity and need in Detroit. 

Detroit Action Agenda

Metrics

7K+ residents engaged in the development of the Sustainability Action Agenda

$2M in philanthropic support to launch the Office of Sustainability

$780K in private and public funding secured for recycling expansion

16K new residential recycling customers