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How To Hold a Sustainable Conference

Each year nearly 400 businesses from across the state gather to inform, inspire and incite change around issues in sustainability. This year will be no different, as the Tenth Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Conference will be held on December 13th in Kohler. The Conference does not just talk the talk, but it walks the walk. The conference planning team, the WI Sustainable Business Council and Kohler are working closely together this year to produce yet another carbon neutral event.


The planning team goes to great measures to ensure the Conference serves as a model for sustainability. From reducing food waste and using ceramic dishes, to providing transportation from both Milwaukee and Madison, to a vegetarian menu, every facet of the event serves to reflect the mission of the Conference. Some favorites of past conference goers are the reusable water bottles, mugs, and tote bags that attendees appreciate using long after the conference is over.

For more information on why this is a sustainable event click here.


We are indebted to the Compass Group for calculating the environmental footprint of the Conference, and preparing a summary report of last year’s Conference’s Carbon Footprint. We have prepared a report every year of the Conference. The Conference Sustainability Report from 2016 is available here.

In addition to minimizing the environmental footprint of the conference, we also offset all of the conference’s carbon emissions through the purchase of Carbon Offsets. This past year, offsets were purchased through Native Energy, TerraPass and Green Mountain Energy.


" This past year, offsets were purchased through Native Energy, TerraPass and Green Mountain Energy. "


The conference involves breakout sessions that focus a particular topic in sustainability.

Here is taste of the conversations you could be a part of:


Project Nutmeg-

A Design for Environment Exercise, teaches the basic principles of sustainable design and how to integrate Design for Environment (DfE) into your day job to make products and processes better- even if “sustainability” isn’t in your job title. Participants are grouped in teams and asked to consider what sustainability (people, planet, profit) improvements they can make at each phase of a nutmeg grinder’s product life cycle. Once the product or its function is redesigned, teams present their solution and justification for the choices they made in an eloquent elevator speech to the “client.” Whether you are an engineer, designer, supply chain manager or operations professional, Project Nutmeg will demonstrate how DfE can improve the sustainability position of any product or process you design.

Everyone's Part of the Solution: Employee Engagement -

This session will feature speakers from InPro, Kohler and MSI General talking about why employee engagement matters and how employee engagement relates to sustainability. The speakers will talk about what their companies are doing to engage employees and the benefits they've seen from those efforts. All of the speakers are experienced practitioners of employee engagement and will tell a good story. If you are seeking to understand why employee engagement matters or what you can do to engage employees, this is a great

session for you.

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