Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council: The 2011 State of Wisconsin Sustainability Report

Tom Eggert, Executive Director, WI Sustainable Business Council,
[email protected], 608 267-2761

Wisconsin Only State to Issue a Triple Bottom Line Sustainability Report

August 28, 2012 – The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council announces the publication of the 2011 Wisconsin Sustainable Business Report at http://www.wisustainabilityreport.com. This second annual report looks at the State of Wisconsin through a triple-bottom line, sustainability lens. We identify the key economic, environmental and social indicators for the state.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

* Wisconsin has climbed to No. 20 in the annual rankings of best states to do business in, as compiled by Chief Executive magazine. Two years ago, the state was ranked 41st.

* Wisconsin has the highest high school graduation rate in the country at 89.6% of starting 9th graders who graduate

* Wisconsin is the 6th most equal state in terms of income equality (meaning that we have a much broader middle class than most states).

* 490,000 acres of state forest land is certified to be sustainably harvested under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification

* $16 billion is spent by tourists in Wisconsin each year.

* WI has lost 170,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. Even so, we have lost a lower percent of manufacturing jobs than any other Midwestern state, and currently have more manufacturing jobs per capita than any state in the country.

* Wisconsin was ranked 8th for quality of life by Forbes.

* 60,000 jobs in new technology industries have been created in Wisconsin.

This report is modeled on sustainability reports (or corporate social responsibility reports) published by leading businesses such as SCJohnson, MillerCoors and Kohl’s Department Stores. We have identified leading metrics that track the state’s successes over the last year, and metrics that indicate where there is still room for improvement.

According to Tom Eggert, Executive Director of the WI Sustainable Business Council, “this report is the most comprehensive state sustainability report in the nation. We believe in the adage of ‘what gets measured gets managed’, so we are starting to measure those elements of a state’s performance that contribute to a clean environment, create a desirable place to live and produce strong economic performance.”

This report is targeted at the business community and political decision-makers. We stand with the current administration in our belief that creating jobs should be the focus of the coming year. Our belief is that by understanding the importance of environmental and social issues to the economic bottom line, we can better identify jobs that will exist not only next year, but twenty years into the future.