top of page

Sustainable Product of the Year Award

The Sustainable Product Award recognizes the pivotal role of product design or redesigns in driving significant triple-bottom-line enhancement for the value chain. Environmental and social impacts are inherent in products' manufacturing, transportation, and usage phases, making sustainable design imperative. 


This award celebrates individuals, teams, or companies who prioritize sustainability in their product development process. Nominees must demonstrate achievement in one or more of the following areas:


  • Increased Resource Efficiency: Enhancing energy, material, and/or water efficiency. 

  • Emissions and Waste Reduction: Minimizing emissions or waste during product use. 

  • Embodied Energy Reduction: Decreasing the total energy expended throughout the product's lifecycle, including manufacturing. 

  • Materials Innovation: Substituting materials with more sustainable alternatives while maintaining or improving product performance. 

  • Extended Product Lifespan: Prolonging the product's lifestyle to reduce the frequency of repair or replacement. 

  • Circular Design: Designing for end-of-life or circularity, enabling components to be repurposed rather than discarded. 

  • Worker and Community Well-Being: Prioritizing worker and community safety and health throughout the product's lifecycle. 


Innovation and creativity are paramount, as each business and product presents unique challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. We encourage all businesses with products embodying sustainability principles to apply for this esteemed award. 

Applications should comprehensively outline and, if possible, quantify the direct and indirect benefit associated with the aforementioned criteria. Let's recognize and celebrate the transformative impact of sustainable product design on our planet and society. 

Award Eligibility:

  • The business has a presence in Wisconsin. 

  • The business is a current member of the WI Sustainable Business Council (WSBC). 

  • The product is made within the company's Wisconsin operations. 

  • Nominees have not won an award from us within the last three year's in this category. 

  • Anyone can nominate. 

  • The product must be currently available on the market. 


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

*We are now accepting video nominations. Please note that this an optional feature and does not serve as a complete replacement for the nomination form. Videos should be kept to a maximum length of 2 minutes and address the same questions outlined in the nomination form. Additionally, we kindly request that any supplementary documentation regarding the nominee that may be beneficial be included. 



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.

bottom of page