Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council: 2021 business sustainability benchmarking program, the green masters program, now open

[March 2021] The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC) is excited to announce the opening the 12th year of their sustainability action planning program, The Green Masters Program. At a time when the need for sustainability and business resilience is high, the program acts as a guide to integrating sustainability into any organization.

The Green Masters Program is an, objective, points-based recognition, assessment, benchmarking and certification program that enables Wisconsin businesses to advance their sustainability thinking and programming. Businesses of any size or sector are eligible to receive certification and recognition for the actions they are taking to be more sustainable.  Developed in collaboration with Wisconsin businesses, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and WSBC the Green Masters Program supports the development and integration of sustainability and a system wide approach to managing organizations.

Eligibility requires businesses to take at least one action in nine key sustainability areas: energy, GHG emissions, water, waste, transportation, supply chain, workforce, governance, community, and educational outreach. The Program is a tool that helps identify opportunities for improvement and is a comprehensive idea generator. The program questions serve as a guide to develop, grow, and enhance your sustainability actions and initiatives.

Wisconsin businesses continue to improve their sustainability thinking.  In 2020, the average score for participants was 534, compared with an average score of 448 in 2017. To put that into perspective, the average score was only 70 in 2009!  Over the last two months, we’ve updated the Green Masters application to reflect the most current state of sustainability.

The program includes three tiers of recognition: Green Apprentice, Green Professional and Green Master. Companies earn designations based on points earned through a questionnaire they fill out. The top 20 percent of companies in the program reach Green Master status, with 27 companies achieving the designation in 2020.

Jessy Servi Ortiz, managing director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, says WSBC and its Green Masters program can help companies figure out a formula, all while providing tools to benchmark progress and collaborate with peers. “We really believe we’re at that cusp with sustainability that it’s not really just ‘it’s nice to have’ anymore. It’s really becoming something that businesses need to pay attention to,” she says.

Successful applicants receive a certificate of recognition, use of the logo, a dashboard graphically showing how their performance compares against others in their sector (free for all new applicants, $100 for returning applicants) and the opportunity to network and share best practices with other companies and industries. We distribute a press release celebrating the accomplishments of any company that requests it.

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to  contact [email protected] For more information about the program, go to www.wisconsinsustainability.com.