April 2019

Happy Earth Day!

My name is Kevin Banas and for the last 3 years I have had the pleasure of running the Green Masters Program. However, this May I will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin with my Masters degree in Civil Engineering, which means sadly, this will be my last month running the program. Before I get into the topic for this month's newsletter, I would like to thank everyone that has applied to the program over the last 3 years. Without your interest and dedication to sustainability, the Green Masters Program would not be nearly as effective or as visible as it is. Upon graduation this spring, I will be starting my career as a Water Resource Engineer and I look forward to utilizing my sustainability knowledge within the water engineering field. If you are interested in gaining a deeper understanding of the innovative coastal protection strategies being utilized within the field of engineering, feel free to read my recently completed thesis regarding " living breakwaters". I just want to say that I’ve truly enjoyed the challenge of running this program and I am extremely excited with the sustainability progress that is occurring here in the great state of Wisconsin!

Now on a more relevant note, Earth Day is a great day for all of us to take a step back and appreciate all that we have accomplished over this past year. Whether you installed solar panels on the roof of your manufacturing facility, or started an office recycling program, all actions big or small, have a positive reaction. It is safe to say that sustainability is alive and well in the state of Wisconsin!

However, for a large majority of businesses, sustainability is nothing more than a trendy buzz-word. Minimizing the impact that your business has on the Earth, may be something that interests you, though with limited background knowledge, as well as limited time, implementing the appropriate measures is not feasible.

The good news is that there is a totally free resource available to all Wisconsin businesses that can serve as a blueprint for your sustainability initiatives. The Green Masters Program is an assessment and recognition program for Wisconsin businesses interested in improving and being recognized for their sustainability initiatives. Any business located within the state of Wisconsin is eligible to apply and as long as you have completed 1 action in each of our 9 categories of sustainability, you are accepted!

If you are looking for a way to celebrate & support Earth Day, what better way then taking your first step towards a more sustainable future? Make your Earth Day Pledge and submit your application to the 2019 Green Masters Program!

Green Masters Program: Company Spotlights

In preparation for Earth Month, we decided to reach out to a couple Green Masters level companies as a way to highlight the success that they have had with regards to sustainability. The Green Masters program prides itself on the fact that it can be successfully utilized by any company, big or small, experienced or inexperienced. That is why we decided to seek out two companies that have successfully transformed their businesses to become more sustainable, while taking very different paths.

Green Bay Packaging (GBP) has been awarded the Green Masters designation for 9 straight years (the most of any company in the program)! Since inception and as a pilot company of the Green Master Program, GBP has initiated and implemented advancing systems of core sustainability areas to accomplish awareness, key performance indicator (KPI) transparency and improvements across the company.

On the other hand, Trout Springs Winery is a small business that was awarded Green Masters status for the first time last year. Implementing measures related to carbon emissions reductions and water usage have allowed Trout Springs Winery to become a Wisconsin leader in sustainability.

We decided to reach out to these two Wisconsin companies and ask them a few questions related to their recent sustainability success, in order to provide some high-quality knowledge from a couple industry leaders.

Click the links below to find out how Green Bay Packaging & Trout Springs Winery have gotten where they are, and how the Green Masters Program helped them get there!
Upcoming Events:
CUB Utility Bill Workshop Hosted By Outpost
April 23 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm | Wauwautosa

April 25 | 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm | Mequon

April 27 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Milwaukee
CUB and Outpost Natural Foods invite you to attend a 30 minute talk by CUB’s Executive Director Thomas Content. You are also invited to bring your utility bill and schedule a time at the utility bill clinic.

Enjoy complimentary refreshments and then listen in on the 30-minute presentation.

Free Utility Bill Clinic: Sign up for a 15-minute time slot to speak with a knowledgeable CUB staff member with questions about your utility bill. Time slots available after the program.
Modeling Your Mission with Abi Barnes and Nic Herdrich
April 23 | 5:00 - 7:00 pm CST | Madison
Do you believe in business as a force for good? There's so much interest in social entrepreneurship but do you know that means and how social entrepreneurs can distinguish their social mission using new certification and legal structures? Do you know the difference between Certified B Corp (“B Corps”) and Wisconsin benefit corporations? (Hint: They are not the same thing in Wisconsin)

Join us Tuesday, April 23 when two local prominent experts -- Abi Barnes and Nic Herdrich -- will be on hand to answer questions and learn the difference between B Corps and benefit corporations, as well as why one or both of these options might be right for your business.
The WAEE 7th Annual Energy Efficiency Expo
May 13 | 7:30 am - 4:00 pm | Madison
Join us as we celebrate with exhibitors bringing the latest in products, services and technology. All contributing to energy efficiency in our state.
Restoring the River of:
Striking a Balance Between Ecology, Development and Quality of Life
May 14 | 8:30 am - 4 pm CST | Mt. Pleasant
Come see what 15 years of ongoing restoration looks like in the Pike River watershed in Racine and Kenosha counties. The Pike River flows through urban, suburban and rural landscapes and has an interesting story to tell. While the watershed was the first watershed in Wisconsin to receive an EPA-approved 9-Key Element Watershed Restoration Plan, work had already begun on 7 miles of stream corridor in Mount Pleasant. Now, the local communities are working to balance the “Wisconn Valley” development, the largest foreign investment in U.S. history, while protecting past, present and future environmental investments. Learn from the stakeholders who have found — and continue to find — the “win-win” resiliency while networking with other practitioners along the way.
Energy Efficiency Summit
May 14 | 7:30 am to 1:00 pm | Eau Claire
Explore new advances in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for your business and your customers. Join us for an inspiring half-day event that features multiple breakouts dedicated to helping businesses and trade allies gain insights to new and emerging markets in the electric utility industry.

Local and national energy experts, along with Xcel Energy Account Managers and staff, will share tools and technologies to help you identify and optimize energy conservation measures for your business and set the stage for what the future holds. Engage with Xcel Energy staff on a wide range of topics from managing power quality to tips for better understanding your utility bill. The first 100 attendees that register will be eligible for a special prize.

Make sure you're at the table. Space is limited.
AWS Foundations & Training Program
Foundations of Water Stewardship 9/10/19

Advanced Training

Specialist Training
Whether you are located in the Great Lakes region, middle-America or the Pacific Northwest water risks surround you. 

A first step in gaining awareness of your particular water risks is to understand how different types of water risks are material to your operations. 

Are you looking to mitigate water-related risks at your sites or even within your supply chain? Do you need a strategic framework to help identify water risks and opportunities and then put an action plan into place to address those risks and opportunities? If so, then WMEP can help your organization through AWS training. After the training, you will be equipped to advocate for water stewardship and implement the International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard) at sites within your organization (industrial, agricultural or municipal). 
Additional Resources
How Businesses Are
Addressing Climate Change
Click below to view an in-depth report/tool developed to help businesses deal with climate change.

In the News
Report: Great Lakes feeling effects of rapid climate warming
Ousted Wisconsin utility regulator warns deadlock could stall projects
What investors actually want from sustainability data