who we are

MIST is a Chicago-based consultancy blending strategy, metrics, education and design to support sustainable built environments. We work with design practitioners, organizations and institutions. We are the glue connecting silos, disciplines and teams. As systems-thinkers we step back to see the big picture to uncover hidden solutions that buoy the environment, society and economy as a byproduct of reaching your goals. Our expertise enables:

  1. The creation of healthy and high-performance spaces guided by lessons from ecology. From product to neighborhood and all scales in between, we strategically employ the beauty, efficiency and logic of nature to create measurable (and profitable) value in the man-made.

  2. Capacity growth of people and organizations to thrive and sustainably engage the places they inhabit, long after projects are done. Drawing from change management and decision-making psychology, we carefully communicate approaches to make their win-win value self-evident to all audiences, but business perspectives in particular. 

We live at the intersection of these domains. Explore our projects and research.


MIST’s mission is to facilitate meaningful sustainable change. We have a simple philosophy to accomplish that: help you win. No matter what your goals are, whether it's return-on-investment, marketability or something else, we use sustainability strategies as the key tool to attain them. We create and implement solutions that achieve your goals first AND have a positive environmental impact second. If you achieve your mission, we achieve ours.  

We view the world through an interdisciplinary lens. This lets us uniquely identify seemingly unrelated opportunities for innovation.  For instance, collecting rainwater can lead to free energy for your building. Teaching your employees sustainable practices improves their job satisfaction and productivity, leading to company cost reductions. We understand the individual elements (energy, education, materials, behavior, transportation, health, etc.) that comprise the complex environment that is a company, building, campus or city and the people that inhabit them. Most importantly, we understand how these diverse elements are uniquely interconnected and we leverage those connections to your benefit.

About Our Founder

MIST was founded by Mike Stopka AIA, LEED BD+C. Most recently Mike was the Director of Sustainability at the University of Chicago and founder of the Sustainability Department at SCB, a large international design firm.  With 16 years experience in sustainable strategy, development, design, operations, research and education, he has successfully led and implemented over 75 diverse projects with broad range of clients.  View Mike’s full background.

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