Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council announces Green Masters 2.0 will replace current version

Written by:Vicky Franchino


Since 2010, hundreds of Wisconsin businesses have relied on the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council’s (WSBC) Green Masters program to develop, measure, and improve their sustainability efforts. Thanks to Green Masters, companies of every size and sector have reduced costs, increased their productivity, reduced environmental impact, and accessed new markets. We’re incredibly proud of the difference it’s made for Wisconsin businesses.

But continuous improvement is a critical part of sustainability—and that’s true for Green Masters too! This is why we’ve spent the last few years working with members of WSBC to update and improve our tool. After a launch with a pilot group of users in the spring of 2022, our new program will be available in 2023 for companies throughout—and even outside—Wisconsin. This updated version is easier to use, more customizable and does an even better job helping businesses pinpoint and achieve their sustainability goals on an ongoing basis.


Here are some of the key differences in our updated program:


A process that starts with a materiality assessment. No two organizations have identical sustainability needs and goals. “Sustainability is such a broad issue,” said Jessy Servi Ortiz, managing director at WSBC. “Our materiality assessment guides companies in determining what they should most be paying attention to, tracking, and reporting. And it relies on feedback from key stakeholders both internally and externally.”


For instance, although any business will be concerned about their energy use, it’s more likely to be a material issue for a manufacturing company because they consume large amounts of energy in their day-to-day operations. For a business that operates in an office environment, on the other hand, the impact of employee transportation might be a more material concern.


Once companies prioritize issues, they’ll only see the questions and recommended actions that reflect what they’ve chosen as the material aspects of their business. The results? Guidance that’s targeted to their specific needs and improved sustainability results.


A dynamic, web-based platform. In the past, companies filled out an annual survey on a static document—an inefficient process and one that made it hard to measure improvements over time.


With the new system, each company has a personalized landing page as well as a dashboard where they can see how they’ve scored—both overall and in topic-specific areas—based on what they’ve chosen as their material issues. The dashboard also makes it easy for businesses to see how their choices affect their score.


More priority categories. With the original version of Green Masters, companies needed to take action in nine specific categories to qualify for the Green Masters designation. Version 2.0 allows them to select their priorities based on what’s material to them and offers a broader scope of options to ensure more businesses, from a wider variety of industries, can benefit from the tool.


A new scoring system. In the past, it could be difficult for companies to get a read on how their sustainability efforts stacked up because it was hard to determine how their choices affected their score. Scoring was opaque and entirely action-based: Each action was scored based on a multiplier of how difficult the action was and how much impact it had. The new scoring reflects a three-pronged approach to evaluating sustainability that factors in the following:

  • Systems. How is the business developing and integrating systems to track, measure, monitor and improve?

  • Best practices. Is the company implementing best practices in sustainability for material issues?

  • Performance. How successful has the company been in improving performance and outcomes on something that’s a material issue for them?

In addition, both the points for each action and overall company scores are now completely transparent and instantly updated, making it easy for a company to see the impact of their actions.


Tools are just part of the story

As has always been the case, the technical tools are just the beginning when it comes to the benefits of the Green Masters program.

“Your sustainability program comes with a support system wrapped around it,” stressed Servi Ortiz. “Beyond the tools, you have the WSBC membership for guidance and a community of people who can offer advice and support. And, if you need or want to go farther, faster, you can rely on our WMEP consulting arm for additional help.”

An added benefit: A resource that goes beyond Wisconsin’s borders


Historically, companies with facilities outside Wisconsin had to choose between reporting on their Wisconsin facilities only or creating a business-wide report. With Green Masters 2.0, companies get more options; they can use the tool for an individual facility, multiple facilities, or company-wide regardless of location.


A future goal for Green Masters 2.0 is to have participating companies use it to engage their supply chain. WSBC is currently soliciting users who would like to pilot this tool with their supply chain and invites companies who have been looking for a way to address sustainability issues with their providers to contact them.


Users can get a glimpse of the new platform

WSBC will be hosting their 15th annual conference on November 16 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI. Attendees and current Green Masters program users will be introduced to the new platform through ongoing demonstrations throughout the day. Join the event to see its value for yourself! Learn more at https://www.wisconsinsustainability.com/2022-conference


The Green Masters program is free to WSBC members and costs a program fee for nonmembers.


To learn more, or participate in the Supply Chain pilot, contact Christa Kananen, Program Manager at christa@wisconsinsustainability.com.


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