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Sustainable Product of the Year Award

Through product design or redesign, companies can make substantial triple bottom line improvements for their company and user. Environmental or social impact comes from the use or making of products. The Sustainable Product Award will be given to individuals, teams, or companies for designing, or redesigning, a product with sustainability top of mind.


The sustainable product nominee must demonstrate they achieve one or more of the following results in the manufacturing or the end use of their product:


  • Increased energy, material, and/or water efficiency 

  • Reduced emissions or waste during use

  • Reduced embodied energy, which is the total energy used in the making of the product, plus the     energy necessary for the product’s lifecycle

  • Changed the product material to something more sustainable to achieve the same, or better             outcome(s)

  • Source materials from local (or more sustainable) supply chain partners

  • Extended the product life so it doesn’t have to be repaired or replaced as frequently

  • Designed for end-of-life or circularity (designed so that the parts and pieces can be repurposed   rather than discarded at end of use) 

  • Designed to increase worker and/or community safety and health


Each business and product are different and that creative and unique solutions to developing sustainable products are happening. We encourage any business with a product they consider to be sustainable to apply for this award. 


Nominations should include identification, and, if possible, a quantification of direct and indirect benefits outlined above. 

*We are now accepting video nominations. This is optional and does not replace the nomination form entirely. Please keep videos to 2 minutes in length and answer the same questions as the nomination form. Please also include any supplemental documentation about the nominee that would be helpful.

To submit the video nomination, please use the award nomination link. Fill out basic information and any relevant questions. There is a place at the end of the nomination form to upload your video or provide a link to your video.



2022 Award Winner


Green Bay Packaging Container Board Paper

Green Bay

Manufactured at the Green Bay mill, containerboard liner and medium are the components of the corrugate shipping container (box). The use of 100% recycled fiber reduces emissions and waste and extends life expectancy of the paper fiber up to seven times. It also incorporates mixed paper, a underutilized waste stream. Overall the new mill uses 11% less energy avoiding 96,000 CO2e with its new and efficient equipment and was the first ever to achieve net-zero water certification. The circular water system
includes water recycling and reclaimed water use and has reduced impacts and increased water r
esilience for the mill product, community and the impaired Fox River adjacents to the mill since the miss has no direct river intake or discharge. Green Bay Packaging partnered with Brown County waterwater municipality for reclaimed water and a sustainable storm water design which sends onsite runoff to a regaional retention basin for 80% sediment removal. The advanced technology used to improve the durability of this product and processes allows for additional reuse, safer transportation of goods and an increased number of fiber life cycles.


Learn More About Green Bay Packaging's Sustainability



Past Product Award Winners: 


Sustana Fiber--Envirolife®

De Pere

Sustainability is in Sustana's DNA. Sustana believes in responsible manufacturing and being good stewards of the valuable resources that benefit people, drive the economy and belong to everyone. Sustana’s product and the 2021 Sustainable Product of the Year winner, EnviroLife®, reduces waste by diverting used material from landfills for use in new recycled paper products. As a premium recycled fiber, EnviroLife® uses nine times less water to manufacture than virgin pulp. Additionally, EnviroLife® reduces waste by diverting used material from landfills for use in new recycled paper products. Currently, the De Pere facility recirculates the majority of its water and is pursuing a zero water discharge goal and a zero-waste goal by 2022.


Learn more about what they doing in their operations in this interview with Renee Yardley and Jim Schneider

Gunderson Health System (Large Recipient)



The Udderly Green™ organic soil amendment product line contains a fibrous by-product material sourced from Gundersen Health System’s dairy biogas renewable energy project in Middleton. There are five products available under the Udderly Green™ brand: compost, liquid compost, potting mix, raised bed mix, and all-purpose fertilizer. The fibrous by-product used in the products is composted on site at the digesters by Purple Cow Organics®.
Gundersen Health System originally collaborated with Purple Cow Organics® to offer organic compost and potting soil to employees of Gundersen. Due to the success in the first year of using the products, Gundersen came up with the idea to offer the products on a larger scale to other healthcare systems considering the fact that they are safe and organic alternatives to other soil amendment products available today. 

Nelson & Pade (Small Recipient)



Over the past 20 years Nelson and Pade, Inc.® has been designing, manufacturing and selling aquaponic systems which are used for commercial ventures, home food production, education models and social and mission projects. In a development that brings aquaponics to a whole new level of food production, Nelson and Pade, Inc.® developed the patented near Zero Discharge – Extra Production (ZDEP) system. The ZDEP® reuses nutrient rich water in the system to grow more plants, while at the same time reducing water usage and eliminating a waste-water stream from the system.
Traditional agriculture has many, many challenges including a lack of clean water, the cost, and damage related to long distance transportation of food, overuse of chemicals, an abundance of food contamination issues and the ever-growing presence of food deserts. Nelson and Pade, Inc.® created a solution that has the potential to change the food system while providing better, more nutritious fresh food.

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