Nurturing environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metro Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and supporting initiatives to restore the Great Lakes Ecosystem.

What We Fund

Congratulations, John!

We are pleased to announce that John Erb, our founding president and current board chair, has been named the 2019 recipient of the Russel G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy by the Council of Michigan Foundations and the Michigan Nonprofit Association. Given annually since 1995, the award honors individuals with a demonstrated commitment to leadership, impact, creativity, and collaboration in their philanthropy.

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Guiding Principles

The Foundation is committed to the following standards and approaches in support of its mission:


The harmonizing of economic, environmental, and social interests, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Progress towards sustainability is rooted in the actions and decisions by individuals, private enterprises, and local communities, and a special focus on the role of business to help transition to sustainability is a key approach to be encouraged

Organizational effectiveness

A commitment to continuous rigor, accountability, learning, and improvement, and an alignment of programmatic, management, operational, and financial capacities in support of clear goals and objectives


Efforts to bring together multiple, diverse stakeholders to develop solutions that address complex problems

Leadership and key allies

Energetic, visionary champions and leaders who have a broad base of support

Fred & Barbara

Fred and Barbara Erb’s desire to create a better world for both current and future generations, paired with their successful family business experience, their shared love of the outdoors, and their deep sense of fairness and justice, naturally led them to view their philanthropy through the lens of sustainability – development that harmonizes economic, environmental and social interests, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.

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