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Next Generation Green Masters

Written by Randy Bertram and Jessy Servi Ortiz

Since 2010, the Green Masters designation has been the preeminent means for the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) to recognize leaders in sustainability across the state.

The tool is free to WSBC members and has been used by hundreds of Wisconsin businesses, large and small, as a guidepost and catalyst for developing their sustainability programs and measuring and gauging their progress against others.

Except for the quantity of and specific actions asked about, the Green Masters structure and user interface have remained the same since its inception. Participants record actions taken in an annual survey. Each action is scored based on its difficulty to achieve and its impact. Points have historically been unknown to users. The businesses that score in the top twenty percent are recognized as Green Masters level businesses and are recognized at the annual WSBC Conference.

The next generation Green Masters will launch to a pilot group of users in the spring of 2022.

The new version significantly changes the user interface, program structure, and scoring. The user interface has moved away from Qualtrics, a popular survey tool, to an independent web-based application. Participants will now have a personalized, independent landing page and dashboard. They will see how they have responded previously, update their actions and see for themselves how their progress impacts their score.

The next generation Green Masters uses a materiality assessment tool to help businesses decipher their priorities. Participants will now start the process by selecting which sustainability topics are material to their business and stakeholders. They can prioritize issues and answer based on what they are currently addressing. This simplifies the process, and companies only see the questions and actions of what they have chosen as material aspects to their business.

In this iteration, points for each action and total scores are transparent and instantly updated. For example, participants will know how many points are available for establishing an energy baseline, normalizing a key performance indicator (KPI), or for a percent reduction in their normalized energy use. Points are weighted evenly on systems and outcomes; you will now get points for integrating systems and management practices into your business and for the actual results you achieve.

In the new platform, the Green Masters dashboard will be visible to users and visually display how they have scored based on the “material” elements incorporated selected. The dashboard illustrates the company's overall score and their individual topic scores. Businesses will see what actions they can take to improve their overall score.

The web application is designed to stimulate increased participation, value creation, and recognition for business members. The pilot group will test the platform and provide

feedback and it’s the current plan to make it available to members in the summer of 2022. Future enhancements will provide additional benchmarking features and comparative analytics. Expanded industry sectors will also offer more granular comparisons on the overall scores and individual elements.

The sustainability landscape has changed significantly in the last decade. Green Masters helps businesses of any size and sector reduce cost, increase productivity, reduce their environmental impact, and access new markets. It allows companies to develop processes and systems for integrating sustainability across their business while measuring and improving along the way. It is the most cost-effective means to build credible sustainability credentials. The structural changes and upgrades to the next generation Green Masters program position it for the next decade and the next generation of sustainable practice in business.

For more information on the Green Masters tool, you can email Jessy Servi Ortiz, the Managing Director of WSBC, at or visit our website at

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