At the EcoWorks 7th annual breakfast in September, Jim Newman of Farmington Hills, Managing Partner of Newman Consulting Group, LLC, was named a Sustainable Communities Champion for 2015.
Known as the “Dean of Green,” Newman is one of the country’s most experienced energy efficiency and green building experts. He was recognized by EcoWorks for his exceptional leadership in both implementing energy efficiency and sustainable building practices and teaching them to others.
In his acceptance remarks, Newman noted his long history of working on sustainability issues, as well as the impact everyone's efforts will have on future generations.
“Thank you so much. I’m certainly very honored to be recognized as a Sustainable Community Champion by EcoWorks, and lucky to have been here to hear Governor Granholm. I’ve been involved with energy conservation, reducing Greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency since the oil embargo of 1973 – (I was 10 then), long before organizations like USGBC, or Green Globes, or many of the others with which some of you are familiar were even around. And I’m lucky to be doing what I love my entire working career.
I’m humbled to be among today’s other honorees, whose work creates impact on the scale from hyper local to global. And also to be among past awardees, some of whom I know well whose efforts in sustainability I’ve admired for some time, and many of whom are where today. Local gardens, cultivated by local people to take care of local people, people working together to replace streetlights and fix potholes in streets – wow! Doesn’t occur in a lot of places.
I came to Detroit from Boston, and lived and worked in Detroit for many years. As far as I’m concerned, I am a Detroiter, and it makes me really proud to see the efforts of local people having local, national and international impact on the sustainability stage. I’m really excited about my new Ford Fusion that is averaging well over 35 mpg (thanks John (Viera, Director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters, Ford Motor Company), as well as the advances in technology that we’re seeing that are being developed right here in our state.
Several years ago, when I was on a radio show about green and sustainable concepts and happenings, I was given the nickname “Dean of Green,” and it has stuck to this day. People would call in looking for the “Silver Bullet” for sustainability, and we had to tell them there was no silver bullet - but rather a mix of many things that could be done.
Sitting here, we all know that there is not one answer to the sustainability question. There are many, and each one is significant and important. The more we do to work toward global sustainability, the more energy we save, the more money we save, and the better we leave our planet for future generations.
That’s part of the triple-bottom line, or 3-legged stool as it’s referred to: It’s People, Planet and Profit. And you need all three – the stool falls over if one let is missing. That’s what I talk about when I speak to audiences of building engineers, facility managers and especially business and building owners, because that’s what they want to know. How do you keep your employees and your tenants healthy and satisfied, and your costs down so you can stay in business?
I teach them how to conserve energy and improve indoor air quality. But for a business to remain in business it must be profitable. So we also talk about ROI and life cycle analysis.
I’ll leave you with this thought: There is a Native American proverb, which I often share, even when I speak around the world: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” I have three children and nine grandchildren. So again I thank you for this honor, and for the work you do toward leaving them a better place to live. Let’s all keep up the good work, and get more people involved in doing it. It is so important!
And again, EcoWorks, I think you for this award from the bottom of my heart.”