Earth Day Business Sustainability Awards

In 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day. Earth Day was established to raise the visibility of what was happening to the planet and to organize support for protecting the environment. Through protests and education opportunities, the modern environmental movement was born. The success of the environmental movement ultimately led business to adopt environmental perspectives and to build a “business case” for protecting the environment.


The business case for protecting the environment is built around minimizing costs (becoming more efficient), minimizing risk (protecting the company), attracting talent, and growing the customer base.  Those same four drivers are now driving business performance and business success in sustainability.  From a business perspective, sustainability is about broadening the traditional focus on the bottom line to a focus on a triple bottom line; economic prosperity, superior environmental performance and successful communities.


In an effort to recognize those Wisconsin businesses who have embraced the principles of sustainability, the WI Sustainable Business Council developed the Earth Day Sustainable Business Awards. The awards were offered for the first time in 2014 and honor businesses for their leadership in developing innovative products, processes, and business models while demonstrating that economic performance and environmental and social performance go hand-in-hand.


By recognizing WI companies with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability, the Earth Day Sustainable Business Awards strengthen relationships with customers, employees, prospective employees and investors. Though environmental or sustainability managers may be the point person for these awards, marketing and public relations professionals will be great advocates for any company that chooses to apply.


A company may apply for one, two, or all three of the awards. In addition, there will be small business and not small business recipients of each award, so that small businesses will only be competing against other small businesses. For additional information, please watch the educational video for instructions on how to apply or click on any of the three award tabs.

The 2016 Earth Day Business Sustainability Awards are now open! The application will close on April 12, so be sure to apply soon! You can check out our 2016 Earth Day Celebration page right here. 


2015 Winners:

Small Business
Sustainable Leadership
Will Allen, Growing Power

Small Business
Sustainable Product
Spring Green Timber Growers

Small Business
Sustainable Process
New Glarus Brewing

Not small business
Sustainable Leadership
Matt Levatich, Harley-Davidson

Sustainable Product
Appleton Coated

Sustainable Process
BRP Evinrude