Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council: The 2016 State of Wisconsin Sustainability Report

Contact:

Tom Eggert

[email protected]

(608) 279-8608

June 2017 – The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council announces the publication of the 2016 State of Wisconsin Sustainability Report at http://www.wisconsinsustainability.com/wi-sustainability-reports/.

Our eighth annual report uses the format of a corporate sustainability report to look at the challenges and accomplishments of the state using 2016 data. We identify the key economic, environmental and social performance indicators for the state.

This report is produced each year by students from UW Madison. These students come from a variety of programs, and bring a richness of perspective and background that is reflected in the span, diversity and detail in each year’s report.

Some of the highlights of the report include:

Economic:

-Unemployment in WI is at a 15 year low and more people are employed in Wisconsin than at any point in history.

-WI ranked 33rd in the nation for job creation.

-WI ranked last for business startups per 1,000 companies.

Environment:

-WI quintupled the amount of solar installed

-WI has the second highest residential electricity rates in the midwest

-WI has the highest number of reported cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in the nation.

Social:

-Employment on farms in WI increased nearly 25%.

-WI has the lowest rate for strokes in the nation.

-Over 10% of WI’s public drinking water shows elevated levels of lead.

Though we believe we are the only state producing a report like this, our work is modeled on sustainability reports (or corporate social responsibility reports) published by leading businesses. We identify both accomplishments we should be proud of as a state, AND areas 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 highlighting those areas of our state’s performance that highlight our economic performance, our environmental performance, and our social performance.”

“Wisconsin has a strong history of leadership on sustainability—ranging from Aldo Leopold’s work in the environmental realm to Wisconsin’s bi-partisan efforts to create the nation’s first worker’s compensation laws in the early 20th century. Other states will follow Wisconsin to create similar reports in the coming years,” Eggert said.

Tom Eggert is available for interviews or follow-up.

The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council works with businesses interested in sustainability. The Council hosts annual events that bring business leaders together to exchange best practices, sponsors programs designed to help businesses measure and track their progress, and prepares reports and case studies to help guide the sustainability conversation in Wisconsin. For more information visit www.wisconsinsustainability.com