Over the years, Sweet Water has partnered with many different types of organizations throughout Southeastern Wisconsin. This collaborative role is an increasingly important part of Sweet Water's mission. One of Sweet Water's long term collaborative partners is CH2M, with whom Sweet Water has worked closely for many years. As environmental and engineering consultants, CH2M understands the importance of water quality and environmental resource management.
Sweet Water recently sat down with Mark Mittag from CH2M to learn more about what kinds of benefits CH2M sees in these types of partnerships and how, in his perspective, they can benefit the community at large.
What types of partnerships and sponsorships has CH2M entered into with Sweet Water?
CH2M is proud to have sponsored many Sweet Water events over the past 6 years. We’ve taken the most active role in the Mini-Grant program as a sponsor of that program each year since 2011. Our sponsorship of the Mini-Grants has involved financial contributions, but more importantly has included an active role reviewing the grant applications and seeing first-hand the commitment to improving our watersheds that so many share in the region. We are excited about our Mini-Grant involvement as a way of giving back to the community.
CH2M has also sponsored the Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference for many years. In 2016, we were also a sponsor of the inaugural Sweet Water Soirée. Being involved in many different ways supports the CH2M mission of helping with the most complex water challenges with exceptional service and integrated, sustainable solutions.
As an organization, how does CH2M decide what groups or projects to support?
Our support of the Mini-Grant program is part of the CH2M Milwaukee office’s community giving. Our community giving focuses on organizations that engage the public, promote environmental stewardship, and relate to what we do every day for a living – deliver projects that make water cleaner and the environment better. This means we look for organizations that have a large, local impact and that share our mission and interest in water and improving the environment. Sweet Water is a great partner providing connections to the community and environmental benefits throughout Milwaukee-area watersheds.
How is this kind of partnership beneficial to CH2M as a company?
What’s great about this partnership is that it first ties back to what both CH2M and Sweet Water are passionate about. For example, presenting at and supporting the Clean Rivers, Clean Lake Conference is an opportunity to share stories about the unique projects we’re working on to improve our watersheds, and to share that excitement with students and other professionals. Secondly, we are able to showcase the value CH2M professionals bring to current and future clients and how we advance the industry and technical issues they find important. We appreciate the benefit of participating in these programs and events in order for others to learn about CH2M through our presence, and to strengthen personal connections.
Why do you think forming these kinds of partnerships is beneficial to the larger business community?
Anytime a business chooses to support change in its community through not just writing a check, but working together for a common goal, it makes the largest impact. Partnerships like the one CH2M shares with Sweet Water demonstrates it is possible for businesses and nonprofit interests to both be a part of a conversation on environmental topics and to really hear each other and make progress. In that way, Sweet Water provides leadership to facilitate these connections between community organizations and businesses, for the greater good.
What do you see as CH2M’s role in watershed health?
CH2M offers innovation. We’ve been in the community for nearly 40 years, and we have deep community roots -- but we also have a national and global perspective with offices around the country and the world. This means we’re able to connect all types of water-related innovations to our community and provide cutting-edge technology to water management. It makes sense to leverage the best innovations, technology and expertise, and, through partnerships like the one CH2M shares with Sweet Water, to apply the best of the best to improve our community.
Personally, how has your perspective of water quality management shifted since you have begun partnering more and having a more active role in Sweet Water?
Sweet Water’s role has been maturing in the watershed and today, Sweet Water is a true leader in the water community. Professionally, it always helps to know more about what’s happening in the community and working with Sweet Water has helped me, and CH2M, understand the needs in our Milwaukee-area watersheds. Personally, collaborating with Sweet Water has taught me a lot about the kind of leadership needed to tackle our watershed challenges. I look forward to staying involved in the coming years.