Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Past Program Successes

Over the years, WEI has developed programs and forums that give businesses the opportunity to learn about sustainable business strategies. This allows Wisconsin businesses to gain a competitive market advantage while protecting the state's resources and environment. Check out WEI's program and event highlights below, or take a look at our timeline for more information.

Recent Press

2015 Recap 

2015 WEI Annual Report

2014 WEI Annual Report

2013 WEI Annual Report


WEI Green Built Home standards are a requirement for WHEDA affordable housing projects statewide. Currently WHEDA has 26 projects statewide totaling 1,006 low income housing units built or remodeled to WEI Green Built Home standards. Find out more here.


The Capital Times recently published an opinion article written by WEI Executive Director, John Imes. Imes discusses the sustainable practices of businesses on Monroe Street and their Monroe Street Green certification. Read more here.


New Shorewood Hills home seen as showcase for advanced erosion control practices. The Wisconsin State Journal covered the launch of the Clean Clear Waters Challenge. The event was held at the first certified home and showcased the significance of advanced erosion control practices for the quality of Madison lakes.


Here is the Green Tier 2012 Biennial Report. WEI Director John Imes serves as a Green Tier Adviser.  


The Kansas City Star references the Green Built Home program as a model for Kansas City as the city moves towards implementing credible green home certification.


Atlanta-based architect, Carol Richards, discusses using WEI's Green Built Home program in Buildipedia.com's feature, Green Home of the Month.

Read the 2012 WEI Annual Report.

2010-Germany-Wisconsin Environmental Exchange
2009 -Green Tier Advantage
2008-Green Tier Advantage
2007-Travel Green Wisconsin
2006-Green & Growing Bioindustry Tour
2005-Green & Growing Bus Tour
2004-Wisconsin Delegation to Germany
2003-Environmental Policy Forum
2002-Fact-Finding Trip to Germany
2001-Energy Policy Forum

1999-Agriculture and Land Use
1998-Shoreland Development
1997-Understanding Purchase & Transfer of Development Rights
1996-Quality Urban Development

Germany-Wisconsin Environmental Exchange

WEI International Delegation
Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich

WEI Executive Director, John Imes, was a part of the Germany-Wisconsin exchange, which moved focused on finding new strategies and policies that would allow Wisconsin to achieve a superior environment, quality of life and healthy business climate. In Germany, the delegation brought back several green strategies pertaining to energy, transportation, manufacturing and higher education.


3/20/2010:Wisconsin Group to Look at How Germany Does Green
3/11/2010: John Imes presented about Germany's advancements in biofuels, high-speed rail, solar power, green urban development and technical training at the Green Energy Summit in Milwaukee.

Green Tier Advantage

WEI Policy Forum Event
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

WEI partnered with WDNR on this Green Tier to examine the "whys" and "hows" of sustainable business. Keynote speaker and former IBM senior manager, Bob Willard, set the tone of the two-day session, suggesting companies should manage sustainability like a company asset.

According to Willard, companies can reap huge rewards by increasing efficiency, improving brand image and gaining customer and employee loyalty. Other speakers focused on energy efficiency, business-community partnerships, and environmental management systems as a tool to green your business.


Wisconsin Poised to be Global Leader in Green Economy

Green Tier Advantage

WEI Policy Forum Event

WE I partnered with the DNR to bring together business leaders, community representatives, environmental leaders and government officials to discuss the emerging trends in environmental leadership. The two-day conference featured a keynote address by then-Governor Jim Doyle and remarks from WDNR Secretary Matt Frank, Commerce Secretary Jack Fischer, Senator Mark Miller (D)Senator Neal Kedzie (R) and other business leaders and environmental representatives.


Making Business a Power Force for Environmental Good

Travel Green Wisconsin

2005 – 2011
WEI Program

Together with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, WEI developed Travel Green Wisconsin. This affordable program reviewed, certified and recognized tourism businesses that made a commitment to improving their operations to reduce their environmental and social impact.

WEI developed the Travel Green Wisconsin Certification Checklist, a stewardship tool that gave Travel Green members credible market distinction and helped them evaluate operations, set goals and take specific actions to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.

WEI launched the program in 2006 and managed the statewide business certification, attracting over 270 members to the program by 2011. Travel Green Wisconsin was featured in The New York Times, USA Today, CNN, Chicago Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press.


WEI Executive Director, John Imes, contributed a forward to Green Travel Guide to Northern Wisconsin: Environmentally and Socially Responsible Travel.

Green & Growing Bus Tours

WEI Bus Tour

WEI, The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Department of Natural Resources hosted a regional tour of the state's leading bioindustry projects. Over 100 people, including legislators, state and local officials and representatives from Wisconsin's leading business and environmental organizations traveled together to examine, experience and discuss the future bioeconomy. The tour concluded in Madison with a discussion about advancing and improving Wisconsin's bioeconomy.


11/1/2006: Tour Touts Region's Bioeconomy
4/1/2006: Let's Add Biofuel to the Fire

WEI Bus Tour

In cooperation with the La Follette School of Public Affairs - Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Project, Wisconsin DNR and Wood Communications, WEI launched a bus tour to showcase the progress of Wisconsin's Green Tier program. Legislators, local officials, state regulatory and policy officials and representatives from Wisconsin's leading business and environmental organizations traveled together on regional bus tours to view the state's most environmentally innovative projects.

Event Highlights

WEI 10th Anniversary Event: The Greening of Wisconsin Business

WEI Commemoration

WEI hosted this conference to focus specifically on how businesses can incorporate Green Tier strategies to ensure Wisconsin's environ mental quality and economic success. The event featured a primer on the Green Tier law, highlighted tools and resources, showcased business successes and explored the potential for a "green company" benchmark and brand for Wisconsin, a business climate that attracts clean jobs and investment and furthers our state's long tradition of environmental stewardship. Joel Makower, an award-winning writer, speaker and consultant on sustainable business and clean technology served as a keynote speaker for the event.


9/29/2005: Green and Growing Highlights State's Environmental Progress
10/17 /2005: A Green Brand for Wisconsin Could Help Our Economy and Our Environment

Wisconsin Delegation to Germany

WEI International Delegation

The 2004 Wisconsin Delegation to Germany traveled to Bavaria to examine innovative technology, green building practices and new directions in environmental governance. A diverse group of leaders representing companies, building associations, environmental groups and the state government were chosen to be a part of the delegation that explored how German companies were improving their environmental performance while cutting costs and boosting productivity. As a co-leader of the green development coalition, WEI’s key objective was to learn about German strategies to encourage and expand green building and development in Wisconsin.

Striking the Balance for 2003 and Beyond

WEI Policy Forum Event

The 2003 Policy Forum brought together over 140 government, community and local business leaders to discuss how to address the state's environmental priorities while managing the state budget and improving the economy.

Ensuring Wisconsin’s Environmental Quality through Regulatory Reform and Innovation
2003 WEI Policy Forum Event 

This forum brought together over 130 leaders from the business, industry, government and environment sectors to discuss regulatory reform and environmental quality. The forum challenged participants to look beyond the top-down, prescriptive solutions of the past and examine innovative strategies and policies that can lead to positive environmental results and a more productive business climate.

Event Highlights:

2004: End the ‘Sewer Wars’: Collaboration and a focus on green infrastructure is the key to solving Milwaukee’s water woes...
2003: Green "Smart Growth": The Growth of the Environment and Economy

Environment-Energy Fact Finding Trip to Germany

WEI International Delegation

WEI Executive Director John Imes joined a Wisconsin delegation representing utilities, state and local government, UW-Madison, environmental organizations and media representatives to learn about German technologies and policies which can positively impact the environment and energy reliability in Wisconsin.

Event Highlights:
“Partnerships for Progress:” Innovative alliances between business, utilities, government and citizens

Energy Forum

WEI Policy Forum Event
Oconomowoc and Waukesha

The Energy Forum balanced Wisconsin's need for energy reliability, a healthy environment and a vibrant economy. Events highlighted practices, technologies, and policies that helped connect energy decisions with broader environmental and economic goals.

The Energy Forum Report Identified ways to provide reliable, affordable energy in Wisconsin while positively impacting the environment and economy. WEI briefed the Senate Committee on Energy and Utilities on the recommendations presented in the Energy Forum report.

Implementing Profit-Driven Environmental Management

WEI Speaker Series

William McDonough, one of the most influential practitioners of sustainable design in the world, shared his philosophy and tangible success stories, providing compelling evidence that today’s business leaders truly can enhance their bottom line by implementing environmentally sustainable design.

Shoreland Development in Wisconsin: Balancing a Healthy Economy with a Healthy Environment

WEI Conference

The event brought together over a hundred fifty conservationists, developers, representatives from lake and other associations, and local, county and state government personnel. The goals of the conference were to engage participants in dialogue on shoreland devel opment issues and develop plans for further examination and cooperation. We were joined by Lake Specialist Robert Korth who delivered the keynote address.

Summary Report

Fond du Lac, Eau Claire, Richland Center
WEI Conference

Summary Report

CEO Symposium on Sustainable Business Practices

WEI Conference

Wisconsin CEOs and senior executives from over two dozen Wisconsin companies met at the Wingspread facility in Racine to discuss how leading companies are using sustainable business practices to enhance their bottom line. A highlight was the presentation by Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, a $1.2 billion dollar carpet manufacturer. Anderson described his very passionate and powerful commitment to make Interface the first sustainable corporation. (link to BSR report – scan it)

Understanding the Purchase & Transfer of Development Rights


WEI Conference

Summary Report

Ag & Land Use in Wisconsin: Planning for Viable Agricultural Systems

Wisconsin Dells
WEI Conference

Summary Report

Quality Urban Development Forum

WEI Policy Forum

Summary Report