Climate Action KC Receives Kauffman Foundation Heartland Challenge grant

Climate Action KC Receives Kauffman Foundation Heartland Challenge grant

Initial activities to include Building Energy Exchange and Contractor Accelerator

Grant funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will support CAKC’s efforts in climate action and resiliency outreach in the ten-county region surrounding the Kansas City metropolitan area. An initial success derived from those efforts is the formation of the KC Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex).

The Be-Ex will become a one-stop shop to help building owners, operators and community members drive greater energy efficiency in the local built environment. CAKC’s partnership with the BE-Ex will fulfill its planning goals of regional contractor management, technical assistance for building owners and tenants, and helping users access financial help such as utility incentives. It is the aim of both organizations to achieve net zero emissions for all buildings in the region by 2040.

CAKC recently published its comprehensive Regional Climate Action Plan in coordination with the Mid-America Regional Council. The plan lays out a voluntary framework for local jurisdictions, so they may better align their actions to make the biggest difference for the whole region. Learn more at

“We are incredibly excited to work with a true Kansas City institution in the Kauffman Foundation,” said Roeland Park Mayor Mike Kelly, Chairman of Climate Action KC.  “Through this Heartland Challenge, we hope to further our mutual desire for a vibrant, economically prosperous and healthy Kansas City.“ 

The Kauffman grant funding will be used to support a Contractor Accelerator Program, which helps Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) startups in the construction industry effectively capitalize on the opportunities presented by the high-performance buildings market in the Kansas City Region.

“We know that there is an opportunity right here in the Heartland to create inclusive prosperity through entrepreneurship if we build on the strengths and assets of community – especially those that are excluded and underrepresented,” said Ashlei Spivey, Program Officer for Entrepreneurship at the foundation.

Energy efficiency is a critical way to address the most immediate impacts of climate change in frontline populations,
establishing fundamentally safer, healthier and more resilient communities. Housing advocates, tenants, low-income communities and communities of color will be engaged in program design and implementation.

About Climate Action KC

Climate Action KC is a nonprofit regional collaborative bringing elected officials and community leaders together to reduce emissions, invigorate the economy, promote public health and improve the quality of life across the Kansas City region. For more information, visit

About the Kauffman Foundation

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Mo., that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion in assets to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people–regardless of race, gender, or geography–have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility and prosperity. For more information, visit and connect with us at and