Smart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner


How to make a profit while making a difference

How do you solve society’s most vexing environmental and social issues while becoming more profitable at the same time? Collaboration. Sound too hard? Shift your frame of reference in order to view communities as partners, not just resources. Shift your frame of reference and treat employees and customers as multifaceted humans, not just as worker bees and consumers.

Posted at 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments


Summit Credit Union’s investment in sustainability has a multiplier effect

Each year, as part of Sustain Dane’s MPower Champions program, we ask area businesses to tackle five sustainability projects. This past year, Summit Credit Union took on seven, one of which multiplied to an additional 19 projects. What’s the secret to Summit Credit Union’s sustainability success? Inclusiveness.

Posted at 01:35 PM | Permalink | Comments


Filament Games takes time to play and wins big

Despite your best intentions, educating employees on workplace sustainability can be a groan-worthy exercise. “Turn off your computer monitor.” Yeah, sure. “Remember to double-side print.” Do I look like some kind of IT expert? “Recycle or compost your lunch.” Commence the synchronized eye rolling.

Posted at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments


UW Health proves sustainability efforts can live long, healthy lives

During a sustainable business workshop last month hosted by CUNA Mutual Group, this question was posed: “If and when you leave a company, how do you ensure that the sustainability initiatives you started there continue on?” Fielding the question was Dave Boyer, CEO and co-owner of MCD, Inc. Dave is a real champion of sustainable business, having institutionalized sweeping sustainability practices during his tenures at two different manufacturing companies in Wisconsin. Without missing a beat, he offered this suggestion: Make it a guiding principle of your organization.

Posted at 11:54 AM | Permalink | Comments


American Family Insurance makes a big collective impact with one small change

You’ve heard this before: “If everyone did just this one little thing, then collectively we would achieve some astronomical results of mind-numbing proportions that would save the world.” Whether it’s shortening showers to save a Great Lakes-sized supply of water or riding your bicycle to save millions in health care-related costs, these data are examples of “running the numbers” on our potential collective impact — of imagining what could happen if we all made one small change. These data are meant to inspire shock and awe — and in that regard, they can be highly effective.

Posted at 01:26 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

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