Sustainable Process of the Year

Sustainable businesses are constantly seeking ways to be more efficient, to reduce costs and to engage their employees. The Sustainable Process Award can be for an internal process or a process associated with producing a product or service.  Process improvements can create triple bottom line benefits, whether the focus is on engaging internal stakeholders or on energy efficiency, material efficiency, or employee productivity.


The Sustainable Process award is designed to recognize companies that:


  • Save energy, energy cost or time 

  • Reduce waste and/or material input 

  • Improve logistics and transportation options

  • Collaborate with others to realize sustainability benefits

  • Invest in research and development using sustainability criteria

  • Develop procurement criteria that reward sustainability in suppliers

  • Educate suppliers about sustainability

  • Influence customers to think of sustainable business practices in their purchasing decisions

  • Introduce lean or world class manufacturing principles 

  • Engage employees in sustainability efforts or decision making 



This award seeks to recognize internal process changes that may otherwise be under-recognized or unrecognized. Processes used to achieve sustainability are reliable, replicable and measurable. There are a large variety of award-worthy process changes, so please limit your application to a single identifiable process improvement. 

The 2019 Business Sustainability Awards are now open! The application will close on October 16th! You can see example winners below or click here to view 2018 winner details.

CNH Industrial (Large Recipient)



The Case IH plant in Racine, Wisconsin produces agricultural tractors and components, such as transmissions and valves. They implemented a World Class Manufacturing program designed to: 

   • Involve all employees in continuous improvement and
   • Cut out wastes and losses 
The plant has established a routine review of KPIs for forecasting and monitoring. Thus, action is proactive and some of the wins that they have had include: 

   • Eliminating the need for a touch-up booth through process changes 
   • Replacing older windows with high-efficiency double pane windows 
   • Replacing roll-up doors with high speed doors 
   • Switching to returnable packaging in order to eliminate or “refuse” wood packaging and its associated waste wherever
   • Decreasing the geographic distance of suppliers to the plant.    

General Plastics (Large Recipient)



General Plastics, is a plastic manufacturer in the Milwaukee area.  During plant expansions in 2015 & 2016, their goal was to reduce the number of touches and the distance products and tools had to travel to process a part from start to finish. They eliminated an offsite warehouse and saved time, effort and cost to move products back and forth for production and shipping. They also were able to reduce the number of flow paths parts could travel in the production process for six to three making a 50 percent improvement.   
In addition, since 2012 they have been able to increase inventory turns by 43 percent and our Work In Process (WIP) by 75 percent. To reduce inventory levels while growing the business we worked with our key customers to develop template part programs, kanban, and pull systems, as well as utilizing the ERP inventory allocation system. These improvements enabled them to reduce the total average manufacturing time for an order down to 24 hours.