Last week Cool Choices co-hosted the 10th Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) conference at the American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin.
The event – which draws hundreds of attendees from a variety of Wisconsin businesses each year – aims to create a forum where business leaders who are actively working on sustainability issues can share ideas and insights. The event is unique in that all of the conference presenters are people leading sustainability efforts within a company, rather than consultants selling particular approaches. That means there’s plenty of frank talk about lessons learned, enabling the attendees to avoid repeating costly mistakes while accelerating ideas that have a proven record of success.
Last week Cool Choices completed its 2017 application for the Green Masters program, an initiative of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) – a Cool Choices partner. Green Masters is a recognition and assessment program for Wisconsin businesses interested in improving their sustainability initiatives, and offers businesses an opportunity to benchmark their efforts.
Increasingly, businesses are opting for sustainability. Being environmentally sustainable really just means finding ways to cut waste, which in turn reduces operating expenses – and every successful business wants to reduce operating costs and increase profits.
The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) hosted a terrific conversation around sustainability standards and disclosures in conjunction with honoring its annual Sustainable Business Award winners on June 23rd, in Muskego. We review key points on these topics from three prominent speakers.
Cool Choices recently co-hosted the Eighth Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) Conference at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. WSBC’s conference features businesses talking frankly about their efforts on the path to sustainability. The tales are insightful and inspiring—I always leave the event feeling a bit more optimistic about our ability to address the enormous climate challenges ahead of us.
Our event host, UW-Oshkosh, for example: the Sierra Club ranked UW-Oshkosh the third greenest university in the nation. It was terrific to hear how local officials had accomplished this, engaging the whole campus around sustainable practices, despite a tight budget. Their story was echoed in a variety of other presentations where business leaders talked about saving energy, reducing waste, measuring impacts and mobilizing employees.
And it is not just about the presentations. I also talked to a variety of attendees who were working on innovative projects to green facilities, operations and even supply chains.
The community also highlights the benefits of businesses leading on climate change mitigation. As policy leaders negotiated toward an agreement in Paris, business leaders in Wisconsin talked about their real-world efforts to reduce carbon emissions while increasing profits.
Part of the bliss of coming together each year as a community of business leaders working on sustainability is that it feels good to tell your story to someone who faces similar challenges. The congratulatory pats mean more when they come from someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to shift an organization’s orientation. WSBC has built a community of practitioners and the community is strong, supportive and inspiring.
One of the most compelling aspects of this event is the networking. As usual, I was able to build new relationships. I heard about some difficult challenges and about a few outstanding victories. I helped a few people make connections that will make their quests easier and I heard a story or two I will share in the coming months to inspire others. I encourage you to experience this conference in 2016 to reap the benefits of networking with other business leaders engaged in sustainability efforts.
The WSBC Conference is Designed for:
Madison, WI – July 22, 2013 – Cool Choices and the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, two leaders in promoting sustainable business practices, have established a formal partnership to streamline operations, leverage expertise and increase stakeholder value. Cool Choices, a nonprofit promoting environmentally sustainable practices, has previously partnered with the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council on the Council’s annual business-to-business sustainability conference and their annual state sustainability report. The Council, an organization serving Wisconsin businesses, was established in 2008 and runs the Green Masters Program in addition to the annual conference.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council,” said Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director of Cool Choices. “The Council has done a terrific job of recognizing and celebrating Wisconsin businesses that are leading on sustainability. As a state leader in employee engagement around sustainability, Cool Choices sees the partnership as a great way of linking our expertise to the Council’s existing successes so that Wisconsin businesses can maintain a competitive and sustainable advantage going forward.”
“Businesses recognize the economic, social and environmental benefits to adopting sustainable initiatives – and through our Green Masters Program and annual conference they learn, develop and implement effective strategies to move them toward sustainability,” said Tom Eggert, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. “Our partnership with Cool Choices shines a light on the great opportunity state businesses have to leverage a successful and innovative employee engagement program to meet their sustainability goals.”
Established in 2009, Cool Choices inspires and assists individuals, communities and businesses to adopt practices reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. A Madison-based nonprofit, Cool Choices seeks to make smart practices the norm by making sustainable actions fun, social and easy. For more information visit www.coolchoices.com
Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council
Established in 2008, the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council works with businesses in the state interested in becoming leaders in sustainability. It serves businesses at all stages of development by educating, facilitating information exchange, and providing recognition and support. The Council, which hosts an annual business conference and issues an annual State of the State Sustainability Report, seeks to promote Wisconsin as a gathering place for innovative and sustainable business. For more information visit www.wisconsinsustainability.com