WHO WE ARE
Between our dedicated staff and ever-growing legion of extraordinary volunteers, we have centuries of experience building, teaching and cultivating local circular economies. Together, we’re working to change the way we, as a city, think about our food and our environment.
WHAT WE DO
Our mission is to cultivate local circular economies.
We envision a paradigm shift in production, consumption and waste driven at the local level, generating equity and economic opportunity for all residents.
What is a Circular Economy?
At the facility scale, a circular economy can be described as conventional waste streams from one process being re-purposed as inputs for another, creating a circular, closed-loop model of material reuse.
At the local scale, it can be described as a collaborative economic practice sustained by local circulation of materials, nutrients, knowledge, and money. It’s empowered by transparency, diversity, and inclusion. Read more here.
We equip people and businesses with the tools to live more sustainably through community-driven, hands-on programs and innovative research projects.
Plant Chicago was established in 2011 as the anchor for the project known as The Plant, a collaborative community of food businesses on the southwest side of Chicago. For 8 years, Plant Chicago supported the ever evolving project and brought tangible benefits to the surrounding community.
We are now in the process of renovating an abandoned firehouse as a center for circular economy programming in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago. More on Plant Chicago's history can be found here.
SPONSORS + PARTNERS
Our Auxiliary Board is a diverse group of young professionals who support Plant Chicago's activities + programs.
Rohit Agarwal, West Monroe Partners
Alex Ansari, Alveole
Mark Doose, West Monroe Partners
Charles Espedido, Environmental Leadership Program
Stef Funk, Chicago Food Policy and Action Council
Andre Gordillo, Freight Broker Logistics
Kassandra Hinrichsen, Common Threads
Tara Larrue, Civis Analytics
Judy Li, Energy Foundry
Eric Pearson, Xylem
Erica Ruggiero, McGuire Igleski & Associates
Emily Rhea, Eco Achievers
Tommy Straus, The Urban Canopy
Cecilia Tobias, State of Illinois Department of Human Services
Justin Tringl, Illinois Institute of Technology
Our Circular Economy Advisory Committee is composed of academic and industry professionals who guide our work to cultivate local circular systems.
Ning Ai, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Urban Planning and Policy; Research Associate Professor, Inst. for Environmental Science and Policy
University of Illinois at Chicago
Weslynne Ashton, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Environmental Management and Sustainability
Stuart School of Business, Illinois Institute of Technology
Stephanie Katsaros, Founder
Bright Beat Consulting
Nancy Landrum, Ph.D., Professor, Sustainable Business Management
Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University
John Mulrow, Ph.D. candidate, NSF Research Fellow
University of Illinois
Andre Nogueira, Ph.D, Visiting Scientist
Harvard T.H. Chan school of Public Health
Shantanu Pai, Sustainability Researcher
Illinois Sustainable Technology Center
Sabina L. Shaikh, Ph.D., Director, Program on Global Environment; Senior Lecturer, Environmental Studies and Public Policy Studies
University of Chicago
Tessa Vierk, Co-Founder
Chicago Tool Library
Zach Waickman, Biodiesel Lab Manager, Sustainable Business Management
With many thanks to our current sponsors, in-kind donors, and foundation partners:
Albert Pick, Jr. Fund
Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP
Blue Cross Blue Shield IL
Conagra Brands Foundation
Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
Environmental Law and Policy Center
First Midwest Bank
Huron Paper Stock
Martha Struthers Farley and Donald C. Farley, Jr. Family Foundation
Robert and Toni Bader Foundation
Walter S. Mander Foundation
West Monroe Partners
We partner with organizations, businesses and institutions across Chicago and the world who share our commitment to sustainable food and energy production, and local economic development.
Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council
Back of the Yards Peace and Education Coalition
Holy Cross Church
Illinois Institute of Technology Stuart School of Business
Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design
Windy City Harvest