ESG Framework

A Message from Luke Gaalswyk

At Ever-Green Energy, we are dedicated to making progress that serves the interests of our partners, communities, and team members. This year marked my first full year as Ever-Green Energy’s President. In early 2024, I was appointed CEO, succeeding Ken Smith who led our company in achieving tremendous strides in the advancement and decarbonization of community energy systems. Looking forward, Ever-Green will continue to build on this momentum, focusing on reliable and efficient operations of heating and cooling solutions that help our clients reach their full potential and realize their energy goals.  

Our environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting efforts highlight our commitment to accountability and transparency by providing key ESG metrics for the systems we develop and operate. We made remarkable progress this past year. We pursued innovative solutions to advance decarbonization in buildings through exploration of waste heat recovery solutions. In Duluth, Minnesota, we partnered with the City of Duluth in securing Department of Energy funding to study the feasibility of using waste heat extracted from Duluth’s wastewater treatment plant as heat for buildings. The City of Duluth and its project partners are now pursuing additional federal funding to allow for detailed design and construction of this innovative system.

Our partnerships with higher education institutions entered key milestones in 2023. At Oberlin College, we began drilling geothermal wells for the campus energy system. Our team also completed carbon neutrality studies for Kenyon College and Denison University. Ever-Green announced a new collaboration with community developers in Minneapolis for the establishment of a sustainable mixed-used development using low-carbon district energy technology. Data has been gathered and is being analyzed from test wells for the aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) system that will serve the development.    

Sustainability is an ongoing process at Ever-Green that is rooted in our core values. As energy system operators and advisors, we have a responsibility to find technically and financially feasible solutions that drive advancement and decarbonization of the systems on which we work. I am thankful to the Ever-Green team – our dedicated employees, board members, and our partners – for their commitment to advance this mission and bolster our communities. I am proud to share Ever-Green’s third environmental, social, and governance report for 2023.

Thank you,

Luke Gaalswyk

President and CEO

A Message from Ken Smith

I am proud of the remarkable progress Ever-Green has made over the last 25 years. In this moment of monumental energy system transformation, our company is well-poised to lead transformative projects. This year, we have contributed our expertise to projects and planning that will help to inform the decarbonization of the built environment on campuses and in communities. While we are helping our clients with innovation navigating change, we stay true to our core values. We center the people we serve by delivering reliable, cost-effective, and efficient energy services. 

Throughout our history, we have been guided by one of our fundamental values of operating with excellence. I have witnessed our team’s exceptional ability to advance legacy systems and successfully transform them to sustainable and efficient operations. At Duluth Energy Systems, a 91-year-old steam system, we made great strides in transitioning the system away from coal dependency. Today, forty percent of the system’s heating load has transitioned from steam to hot water, with more to come. And an innovative geo-exchange energy system that recovers heat from the wastewater treatment plant is being evaluated for the community.

Increasingly, the application of circular economy principles is playing a pivotal role in our future and that of our clients. Some promising avenues for Ever-Green are waste heat recovery and networked geothermal. I am thrilled to see these solutions we have been exploring for decades now coming to fruition, and Ever-Green playing a role helping communities apply circularity into their plans and projects. We are living in an exciting moment of systems transformation aided by historic climate funding and legislation. In Saint Paul, we have studied the feasibility of waste heat recovery from the state’s largest wastewater treatment plant along with the support from our long-time partners in the city, regional, and state governments. We are hopeful that with the help of Inflation Reduction Act funding, we will be able to accomplish this innovative feat. 

We have come a long way in this journey of energy transformation. I am grateful to our dedicated team, our partners, the communities and clients we serve for their continuous support. I am also thankful for the opportunity that I had to lead a remarkable team. The future is bright for Ever-Green.

Thank you,

Ken Smith

Senior Advisor to the Board of Directors

Ever-Green’s ESG commitment extends throughout the business and operations, building from the company values that guide our everyday and long-term actions. We formally adopted a company ESG Policy that serves as the foundation for future company actions and guides our annual reporting of ESG metrics. Our ESG Policy is shaped by our employees, board of directors, customers, and the communities we serve.

The following information contains key ESG metrics and details with reference to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. The latest metrics are for the reporting period January 2023 – December 2023. There have been no significant changes to Ever-Green’s size, structure, and ownership within this reporting period.

Ever-Green will update the ESG metrics annually. We welcome feedback on these reporting efforts and guiding principles directing our company to be good stewards.

Ever-Green works to continuously advance the energy systems we manage and our day-to-day operations. Implementing the materiality assessment survey in 2022, which takes a stock of the ESG topics most important to our stakeholders, has bolstered this effort to include a larger audience in driving change across the organization while assisting in focusing on goals that are important to those that matter most to the company: our customers, communities, and team members. Ever-Green’s goals for fiscal year 2024 (October 1, 2023-September 30, 2024) include the following:

  1. Advance System Development
  2. Build on the 2023 Employee Survey results by working with departments and teams to create actionable plans
  3. Refine and operationalize company strategic priorities and framework
  4. Evaluate opportunities to utilize federal and state clean energy project funding sources (e.g., IRA, DOE Funding Opportunities, etc.)

Reporting inquiries can be directed to Amy Stanton, Director of Environmental Health and Safety at

Learn more in the Content Index with reference to the GRI Standards