Environment

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About Us

The drive for environmental sustainability is changing the global landscape. Declining resources, increasing demands for transparency and easier access to information, rising consumer and government expectations and intensifying competition mean the rules of the game have permanently changed.

California has a long history of enacting innovative environmental policies, with Silicon Valley serving as the standard-bearer in the quest to develop the programs and technologies necessary to help surmount our most pressing environmental challenges.   The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is proud to work at this intersection of innovation and policy – helping foster solutions that benefit our region, state and nation. Our top policy priorities are corporate environmental sustainability, water infrastructure financing, and climate change.

Our Staff

Mike Mielke, SVP, Environment and Energy, mmielke@svlg.org

 

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Mike Mielke is the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Sr. Vice President, Environment & Energy. In this capacity, he works to advance state and federal policy specifically related to climate change mitigation and adaptation; corporate environmental sustainability; water quality, supply and governance; and hazardous and solid waste.

Mike Mielke moved to Silicon Valley in 2008, after living in Washington DC for more than thirteen years. He and his wife Cary live in Redwood City with their son Joshua. Mike and his family greatly enjoy spending time hiking the Bay Area’s many scenic trails in search of the next awe-inspiring vista.

Mike’s life’s work involves promoting stronger and more sustainable businesses and communities. He has held jobs in the non-profit, government, and private sectors, including posts with a number of consulting firms, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the National Estuary Program. His direct experience encompasses assignments in the developed and developing world, where his work required close collaboration with business, non-profits, local and national governments, and bi- and multi-lateral donor organizations.

Prior to joining the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Mike was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Sustainable Business Network of Washington, a non-partisan not-for-profit dedicated to working with companies and local governments to advance the principles of corporate social responsibility. Prior to running SB NOW, Mike worked as an international development consultant, serving in posts such as Afghanistan, Thailand, Egypt and all across the southern Caribbean.

Mike holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy, with a specialization in Ecological Economics, and a B.S. in Environmental Science. Mike is also a board member with Sustainable Silicon Valley.

 

Sarah Qureshi, Esq., Sr. Associate, Environment and Energy, squreshi@svlg.org

 

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Sarah is an experienced attorney, policy advisor and legislative advocate who specializes in issues of clean energy, climate change adaptation and mitigation, California water issues and corporate sustainability.

As a practicing attorney, Sarah has worked on multiple civil and family law cases, as well as regulatory proceedings in the clean energy and energy efficiency space. She also has extensive experience advising policymakers, developing and running policy workshops and panels, building coalitions within the business and non-profit communities, and advising decision makers. Sarah has greatly enjoyed working on energy and environment issues as both a legislative staffer and advocate for the business community and looks forward to continuing working in this space to help achieve progress on these critical issue areas.

She is currently the Sr. Associate for Energy and Environment at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and she previously served as Legislative Counsel to U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC-07) and as a Legal Fellow to U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). She earned a B.A. in Government at the University of Virginia, a J.D. at the Catholic University of America and is a member of the Maryland State Bar.

 

Lauren Boyd, Water Resources Associate, lboyd@svlg.org

Lauren is the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s Water Resources Associate. Prior to her current position at the Leadership Group, she was Water Resources Associate at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and a Coordinator, Energy and Environment, for the Leadership Group. In these role, she engaged executives and key influencers on water resources and energy and environment issues.

Lauren also served on the Board of Directors of an education non-profit, and was an intern for the U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassy Ouagadougou. She graduated with honors in May 2015 from University of California, Berkeley, with an English major and minor in public policy.

 

Environment Committee 

The Environment Committee works with the Leadership Group to ensure long-term environmental and business sustainability by advocating for balanced, efficient, and effective policies and programs.

Committee Co-Chairs
  • Dr. Rosalind Grymes, Lead, Planetary Sustainability, NASA-Ames Research Center
  • Lori Duvall, Global Director, Green Social Innovation, eBAY
Our 2017 – 2019 Priority Issues
  • Support climate change mitigation efforts
  • Advance policies that allow clean and efficient energy to scale.
  • Executive Champion: Ian Monroe, CEO, Oroeco
  • Staff Lead: Mike Mielke, SVP, Environment and Energy
  • Support Corporate environmental sustainability
  • Within the broader context of corporate social responsibility efforts, advance corporate environmental sustainability drivers and showcase solutions that protect the environment while growing new markets and/or reducing costs.
  • Executive Champion: Jon Chorley, CSO, Oracle
  • Staff Lead: Mike Mielke, SVP, Environment and Energy
  • Ensure Silicon Valley has the water it needs to thrive
  • Support CA WaterFix and promote technological innovation and financing.
  • Executive Champion: Tom Fallon, CEO, Infinera
  • Staff Lead: Mike Mielke, SVP, Environment and Energy
  • Support wetlands restoration and flood mitigation efforts in the San Francisco Bay
  • Educate the public on the importance of wetlands and help guide SF Bay restoration and regional flood protection.
  • Executive Champion: Kyra Whitten, VP Corporate Communications, Lam Research
  • Staff Lead: Lauren Boyd, Water Resources Associate

Check back soon to view the full 2017 – 2019 Environment Committee work plan.

Are you a member of our Environment Committee? To access our Environment Committee Only webpage, click here.

Past Wins

Climate change Guidance

The Leadership Group’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard task force, composed of representatives from the fossil fuel, biofuel, electric vehicle, utility, venture capital, and high tech sectors, delivered recommendations to the Administration to increase regulatory and market certainty and ensure the state meets its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Water Advocacy

Coordinated with Governor Brown’s administration on the Bay Delta Conservation Plan draft to help restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta habitat and put in place a dual-conveyance water delivery system that will help secure water supplies.

Drinking Water Access, AB 115 (Perea)

The Environment Committee supported this bill that gives small disadvantaged communities the ability to treat contaminated drinking water across regions that have little resources.

No on Prop 23 – Protecting California’s Green Economy

The Leadership Group played a key role in the victorious 2010 campaign to defeat Proposition 23, serving on both the Executive Committee and Steering Committee for the campaign.  Prop 23 would have done enormous damage to California’s leadership of the green economy. The Leadership Group was actively engaged throughout the campaign, including early advocacy in Sacramento, CEO and senior executive briefings, media engagement, hosting high-profile public events, recruitment of coalition members and campaign fundraising.

State Water Policy – Historic Reform

The Leadership Group, together with our R.E.A.L. Coalition partners, helped secure passage of a historic water policy and bond measure package in 2009.  The comprehensive deal represented a major step towards ensuring a reliable water supply for future generations, as well as restoring the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and other ecologically sensitive areas.  The package established a Delta Stewardship Council, set ambitious water conservation policy, ensures better groundwater monitoring, and provides funds for the State Water Resources Control Board for increased enforcement of illegal water diversions. The bond, which was the centerpiece of the package, still has not been put before the voters. The Leadership Group is currently working with a number of organizations to address water infrastructure financing that will have broad public support.

Green Chemistry Policy – Transparent, Rational & Scientifically-Based Decision Making

The Leadership Group played a key role in the state’s landmark green chemistry initiative, which aims to reduce or eliminate the use of chemicals that persist in the environment and  pose a threat to public health in favor of safer alternatives.  The Leadership Group’s Green Chemistry Task Force provided the Department of Toxic Substances Control with dozens of specific recommendations, many of which were adopted and then later codified in AB 1879 (Feuer) and SB 509 (Simitian) – both supported by the Leadership Group and signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2008.

Events 

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Silicon Valley Energy and Sustainability Summit - Since 2013, the Leadership Group has held an   annual Energy and Sustainability Summit. This Summit brings together over 300 business, nonprofit, and public sector leaders to discuss best practices, lessons learned and practical solutions in applying innovative technologies (such as Information Communication Technologies) and practices (such as Big Data Analytics) to achieve energy and sustainability goals for the future.

 

Please check back soon to view information about our past events.

 Resources 

Please check back soon to view helpful resources.