By Ken Freestone, City of Holland
Holland has a world class 40-year Community Energy Plan with goals that have guided our efforts to reduce our per capita carbon dioxide emissions.
To date, we have made great progress in energy efficiency while maintaining cost effective, reliable and clean energy supplies. But we know that we still have much work to do as a community.
The urgency of addressing climate change has recently escalated according to the Global Environment Outlook-6 (GEO-6) published by The United Nations International Panel on Climate Change. Our Community Energy Plan and the GEO-6 have similar goals.
Our Community Energy Plan goals include strong economics through clean and reliable energy, energy efficiency for homes and businesses, and innovation and well-established strategies to meet our goals.
The GEO-6, with a focus on “Healthy People, Healthy Planet,” also clearly presents the challenges we face and lays out clear targets that include economic opportunities for new industries, creating both solutions and new jobs, and embracing innovation, technological solutions as well as global sustainability.
I believe that Holland has opportunity, with a bold Community Energy Plan, to demonstrate to the world our own best practices in sustainability and our strategic and intentional efforts towards “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” as well as a “healthy community.”
If we lead with technological innovations (inventing, manufacturing and selling solutions), make adjustments in our behavior (smarter or less consumption), and improvements in our business processes, then we will be heading towards strong economics, a healthier environment and healthier people.
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, a program called “New Developments in Smart Energy” will present what’s happening in Holland. At 6:30 p.m. at Herrick District Library, the next Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore program will tell how Holland is leading in many ways to increase our efficiency while reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, and how individuals and a community can make significant impacts.
At the program:
Dave Koster, general manager of Holland Board of Public Works, will talk about the new initiatives underway to further reduce Holland’s per capita carbon footprint and what citizens can do to move us toward the energy goals our community has set.
Robert DeNooyer, of DeNooyer Chevrolet, will offer an auto dealer’s perspective on the current and upcoming line up of General Motors electric vehicles.
Kris Hunter, of Global Battery Solutions in Holland, will share information about emerging trends in battery technology and the exciting opportunities in the near future for battery storage.
Holland continues to deliver “world class” results that demonstrate our concern for healthy people, healthy planet and healthy community.
Ken Freestone is Holland’s residential energy advisor, focusing on home energy retrofits for city residents, and is also co-founder of GreenMichigan.org, a nonprofit focused on sustainability.
If You Go:
“New Developments in Smart Energy”
Living Sustainably Along the Lakeshore series, free admission
6:30 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 22
Herrick District Library, 300 S. River, Holland
This Week’s Sustainability Framework Theme
Community Knowledge: The collective knowledge and energy of the community is an incredible resource that must be channeled to where it is needed.
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Living Sustainably is a collection of community voices sharing updates about local sustainability initiatives. It is presented by the Holland-Hope College Sustainability Institute, a joint project of Hope College, the City of Holland and Holland Board of Public Works. Go to www.hope.edu/sustainability-institute for more information.