Green Space: Goodwill launches Green Works in 94,000 sf East Side facility

Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit has spun off Green Works, Inc. as a new Detroit-based wholly owned subsidiary. Green Works is located in the newly-refurbished 94,000-square-foot building formerly occupied by Detroit Heading at 6421 Lynch Road on Detroit's East Side. Future plans being considered include turning the facility into a single stream recycling facility.

The company offers environmentally friendly asset recovery services, and is the first stand-alone enterprise venture undertaken by Goodwill. The company's long-term plans include providing asset recovery and reclamation services to other Michigan utility companies, municipalities, and manufacturing and industrial companies.

Specific examples of Green Works services include: the extraction and processing of mineral oils drained from retired DTE transformers, which then get sent to a DTE Energy facility to be reused as fuel; and the processing of the metal resources in transformers, power lines and other assets to their purest form for recycling or resale. Green Works has been providing these asset recovery services to DTE in-house since 1942, "long before green was ever a word," says Lindsay Chalmers, Goodwill's vice president of business development. "None of these materials are ever going to hit a landfill. This is the highest example of asset recovery possible."

When DTE decided about a year ago to focus solely on its core business of providing electricity, Goodwill jumped on the opportunity to grow a service into a business. Green Works currently employs 45, five of which are brand-new hires.

Green Works' earnings, which are projected to be $4 million this year, will go to Goodwill Industries to support its mission to educate and train Metro Detroiters who face employment challenges and to help those individuals earn job opportunities. Half of Goodwill's operations are funded by businesses that the organization runs; Green Works is the first that will operate under its own 501(c)3.

Source: Lindsay Chalmers, Goodwill Industries
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh