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Case Studies

Learn how real Wisconsin companies have captured the advantage of sustainable business practices. The following case studies detail projects to reduce energy, waste, and water; address transportation and supply chain impacts; engage with your community and workforce; and so much more!

Community and Educational Outreach

Title Summary Published
Cardinal Insulating Glass – Packaging Reclamation [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Cardinal Insulating Glass’ program to reclaim packaging from their customers and reuse it. Annual savings of $9,000 and 20 tons diverted from the landfill. 08/2011
Edgewood College – Cafeteria Garden [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Edgewood College’s kitchen garden that supplies Phil’s Cafeteria and supports their local food initiative. Includes discussion of crop selection, labor, and food storage. 08/2011
Edgewood College – Local Food [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Edgewood College’s work with Sysco Food Services – Baraboo to increase the amount of Wisconsin-grown and –processed food served in Phil’s Cafeteria at Edgewood. Forty percent of the cafeteria’s food is now locally sourced, and Edgewood saves money by buying vegetables in-season. Sysco developed a Hometown Harvest program to help other customers use local food. 08/2011
Guide to Successful Corporate-NGO Partnerships [PDF] A Guide from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the Environmental Defense Fund intended as a comprehensive aid to organizing, designing, implementing and measuring the success of corporate-NGO partnerships. Several interesting case studies of successful partnerships are also included in the Guide. Press release about report [exit DNR] 2008
Patagonia, A Trailblazing Brand that Walks the Walk [PDF] A blog article commenting on how Patagonia integrates its environmental message to different programs and brands, like Common Threads, and marketing to build coherence and visibility. 12/02/2011

Energy

Title Summary Published
3M Cumberland - Air Compressors [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant 3M Cumberland air compressor upgrades. The company replaced old compressors and modified usage strategy, leading to energy savings of $3500 per month. 2011
America’s Greenest Corporate Campus [exit DNR] America’s Greenest Corporate Campus: FastCompany highlights Johnson Controls LEED Platinum certified Corporate Campus. 09/17/2010
Cardinal Insulating Glass – Compressed Air [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Cardinal Insulating Glass’ efforts to improve the efficiency of their compressed air system, including a leak study, an engineering study, and the resulting changes they made. Annual savings over $100,000. 08/2011
Central Waters Brewing Company – Radiant Floor Heating [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Central Waters Brewing Company’s radiant floor heating system, which was installed with the construction of the brewery’s new building. The heating system has proven to be an unquestionable success, according to the owners. It is estimated that they save $200-250 per month in heating costs during the cold season, or about 185 therms per month. 08/2011
Central Waters Brewing Company – Solar Thermal Panels [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Central Waters Brewing Company’s installation of solar thermal panels. The panels, which produce an estimated 2500 therms per year, heat water that is then used for brewing, cleaning, and radiant floor heating purposes. 08/2011
Donaldson Company, Inc. – Boiler Management System [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Donaldson Company, Inc.’s installation of a boiler management system. The product cost $7,700, took less than two hours to install, and paid for itself in less than a year through reduced boiler firing. 10/28/2011
Earth Day – Then and Now [PDF] A short editorial by Ray Anderson of Interface commemorating Earth Day and driving his message of corporate sustainability and corporate responsibility. 04/2010
Eco-LCA™ – Life Cycle Assessment with Full Ecological Accounting [exit DNR]  Evaluation of Eco-Life Cyle Assessment (LCA), a full-scale assessment of product use from Ohio State Scientists that includes ecosystem products and services - when applied to various comp anies this analysis can improve resource use planning, marketing and benefit claims for products. 2009
Godfrey & Kahn – Server Virtualization [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Godfrey & Kahn on their project to virtualize their servers. This project brought them great annual energy savings of over $26,000. It also freed up space and reduced maintenance costs. 08/2012
Homburg Contractors, Inc. – Equipment Upgrades [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Homburg Contractors’ aggressive upgrading of their primary construction equipment to efficient Tier 2, 3, and 4 engines. Fuel cost savings vary; other benefits include production efficiencies, reduced maintenance, and increased operator satisfaction. 08/2011
Homburg Contractors, Inc. – No-Idling Policy [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Homburg Contractors’ implementation of a no-idling policy for their diesel-powered construction equipment. Benefits include financial savings and avoided risk to safety and reputation. 08/2011
Industrial Ecology in Practice [PDF] An essay on the ‘industrial symbiosis” of Kalundborg, Denmark where closely situated firms exchange wastes, by-products, and energy. The essay examines the companies involved, and describes/analyzes the way the system evolved. 1997
La Crosse County Landfill – Biogas Utilization [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant La Crosse County Solid Waste Department about their partnership with a private entity to utilize the methane gas collected in the landfill. As a result of this project, the landfill utilizes the gas that would otherwise be wasted in a flare, and its partner becomes closer to its goal of being energy independent. 08/2012
Rockwell Automation - Variable Frequency Drives at Mequon Site [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Rockwell Automation’s installation of variable frequency drives at the company’s site in Mequon. The drives, which are Rockwell Automation’s own FanMaster drives, automatically optimize operating conditions on HVAC rooftop units. 08/2011
Serigraph – Biofilter [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Serigraph’s use of a biological filtration system to remove pollutants from its air and water emissions. The biofilter is the lowest-cost method of VOC control for the printing company and saves up to $16,000 in avoided water sampling costs. 08/2011
Serigraph – Compressed Air [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Serigraph’s efforts to improve the efficiency of their compressed air system, including a leak study and a compressor pressure-setting experiment. Annual savings of over 7% of the system’s energy use and $5,000. 08/2011
Standard Imaging – Geothermal Heating and Cooling System [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Standard Imaging’s installation of its geothermal heating and cooling system, which was done in conjunction of construction of the company’s new facility in 2006. The system saves the company about $10,000 per year in avoided natural gas costs. 08/2011
Standard Imaging – Solar photovoltaic [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Standard Imaging’s solar photovoltaic panels. The dual-axis mounted solar panels were installed in 2009 and generate over 16,000 kWh per year. 08/2011
Tosca, Ltd. – Paint Reformulation Case study on Green Tier participant Tosca, Ltd.’s paint reformulation efforts. The company worked with the paint vendor to make an “EZ Strip” formula, which allows for easier, safer, and less energy-intensive stripping of the paint; and also was able to reduce VOC content in the paint. 08/2011

Governance

Title Summary Published
Guide to Successful Corporate-NGO Partnerships [PDF] A Guide from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the Environmental Defense Fund intended as a comprehensive aid to organizing, designing, implementing and measuring the success of corporate-NGO partnerships. Several interesting case studies of successful partnerships are also included in the Guide. Press release about report [exit DNR] 2008
A New Era of Sustainability [PDF] A survey from Accenture and a report describing the high degree of the perceived importance of sustainability measures by corporations and the actual amount of action or tangible measures. 06/2010
Urban Revitalization: Replicating the Success in Other Cities [PDF] A short article outlining six suggestions for municipalities looking to replicate the success of “Democracy Collaborative” in revitalizing Cleveland’s economy, community. 05/04/2010

Non-Green Tier Cases

Title Summary Published
America’s Greenest Corporate Campus [exit DNR] America’s Greenest Corporate Campus: FastCompany highlights Johnson Controls LEED Platinum certified Corporate Campus. 09/17/2010
Aquafil Group – Understanding of Waste as a Resource [PDF] By examining a close-loop production model, Aquafil Group found that they can use their nylon products at the end of their lifecycle, or any other nylon products even lower-grade ones, and make this “waste” return to high quality raw material again. Their challenge right now is not technology, but lack of publicity to collect more “waste” materials. 03/02/2012
Business as the Cause, Business as the Solution [PDF] A short article by Ray Anderson of Interface, published in the Wall Street Journal, outlining the way Business has created the environmental problems, and economic for that matter, that we face today and charges Business with the responsibility, asserting that only It has the necessary tools, for fixing it. 04/17/2010
Earth Day – Then and Now [PDF] A short editorial by Ray Anderson of Interface commemorating Earth Day and driving his message of corporate sustainability and corporate responsibility. 04/2010
Eco-LCA™ – Life Cycle Assessment with Full Ecological Accounting [exit DNR]  Evaluation of Eco-Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a full-scale assessment of product use from Ohio State Scientists that includes ecosystem products and services - when applied to various companies this analysis can improve resource use planning, marketing and benefit claims for products. 2009
The Future of Interface is Bright & Greener than Ever [PDF] Following the legacy of Ray Anderson’s, Interface’s founder, commitment to do green business, Dan Hendrix, the new CEO, is engaging the company for suggestions on the goal to have zero emissions. Interface is also developing environmental product declarations to increase transparency of its product’s environmental impacts. 01/25/2012
Green Innovation in Business Network 2010 Solutions Labs Series [PDF] Formation of ‘Solutions labs’ utilize an un-conference format of discussion and breakouts in various cities, which garnered an extensive and varied selection of ideas for corporate sustainability based on the experiences of hundreds of well-known companies such as e-Bay, Sun Microsystems and REI. 02/2011
Guide to Successful Corporate-NGO Partnerships [PDF] A Guide from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the Environmental Defense Fund intended as a comprehensive aid to organizing, designing, implementing and measuring the success of corporate-NGO partnerships. Several interesting case studies of successful partnerships are also included in the Guide. Press release about report [exit DNR] 2008
Industrial Ecology in Practice [PDF] An essay on the ‘industrial symbiosis” of Kalundborg, Denmark where closely situated firms exchange wastes, by-products, and energy. The essay examines the companies involved, and describes/analyzes the way the system evolved. 1997
A New Era of Sustainability [PDF] A survey from Accenture and a report describing the high degree of the perceived importance of sustainability measures by corporations and the actual amount of action or tangible measures. 06/2010
Patagonia, A Trailblazing Brand that Walks the Walk [PDF] A blog article commenting on how Patagonia integrates its environmental message to different programs and brands, like Common Threads, and marketing to build coherence and visibility. 12/02/2011
Ray Anderson – The Carpet-tile Philosopher [PDF] A short article about how Interface, led by the late Ray Anderson, commits its way to make no environmental impact in its carpet production. 09/10/2011
Urban Revitalization: Replicating the Success in Other Cities [PDF] A short article outlining six suggestions for municipalities looking to replicate the success of “Democracy Collaborative” in revitalizing Cleveland’s economy, community. 05/04/2010
Wal-Mart Supplier Sustainability Assessment Full Packet [PDF] A copy of Wal-Mart’s ‘sustainability assessment’ tool that was distributed to its suppliers. unknown
Working on All Fronts – How Sustainable Conservation Unites All Sectors for the Environment [PDF] Case Study of how SusCon (sustainable conservation) nonprofit in California that builds cross-sector coalitions for companies to promote and achieve lasting environmental change. Fall 2007

Supply Chain

Title Summary Published
Cardinal Insulating Glass – Packaging Reclamation [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Cardinal Insulating Glass’ program to reclaim packaging from their customers and reuse it. Annual savings of $9,000 and 20 tons diverted from the landfill. 08/2011
Central Waters Brewing Company – Local Sourcing [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Central Waters Brewing Company’s efforts toward local sourcing, including local barley, hops, packaging materials and other ingredients. 08/2011
Earth Day – Then and Now. How Interface is working toward “Mission Zero.” [PDF] A short editorial by Ray Anderson of Interface commemorating Earth Day and driving his message of corporate sustainability and corporate responsibility. 04/2010
Eco-LCA™ – Life Cycle Assessment with Full Ecological Accounting [exit DNR]  Evaluation of Eco-Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a full-scale assessment of product use from Ohio State Scientists that includes ecosystem products and services - when applied to various companies this analysis can improve resource use planning, marketing and benefit claims for products. 2009
Edgewood College – Cafeteria Garden [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Edgewood College’s kitchen garden that supplies Phil’s Cafeteria and supports their local food initiative. Includes discussion of crop selection, labor, and food storage. 08/2011
Edgewood College – Local Food [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Edgewood College’s work with Sysco Food Services – Baraboo to increase the amount of Wisconsin-grown and –processed food served in Phil’s Cafeteria at Edgewood. Forty percent of the cafeteria’s food is now locally sourced, and Edgewood saves money by buying vegetables in-season. Sysco developed a Hometown Harvest program to help other customers use local food. 08/2011
Green Innovation in Business Network 2010 Solutions Labs Series [PDF] Formation of ‘Solutions labs’ utilize an un-conference format of discussion and breakouts in various cities, which garnered an extensive and varied selection of ideas for corporate sustainability based on the experiences of hundreds of well-known companies such as e-Bay, Sun Microsystems and REI. 02/2011
Guide to Successful Corporate-NGO Partnerships [PDF] A Guide from the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI) and the Environmental Defense Fund intended as a comprehensive aid to organizing, designing, implementing and measuring the success of corporate-NGO partnerships. Several interesting case studies of successful partnerships are also included in the Guide. Press release about report [exit DNR] 2008
Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill – Zero Waste to Landfill [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill’s path to sending zero waste to landfills. They found recyclers for all their waste streams at no cost premium over landfilling, helped meet a corporate goal, and ensured confidential disposal of their research products. 10/28/2011
Ray Anderson – The Carpet-tile Philosopher [PDF] A short article about how Interface, led by the late Ray Anderson, commits its way to make no environmental impact in its carpet production. 09/10/2011
Standard Imaging – Local Sourcing [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Standard Imaging’s efforts to source locally and build relationships with local suppliers. In 2010, 29% of suppliers were based in Dane county and 58% in Wisconsin. 08/2011
Tosca, Ltd. – Plastic Stretch Wrap [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Tosca, Ltd.’s plastic stretch wrap. The company developed this light, recyclable plastic stretch wrap to replace corner iron brackets on their reusable cheese boxes that are used for producing and storing product. 08/2011
Wal-Mart Supplier Sustainability Assessment Full Packet [PDF] A copy of Wal-Mart’s ‘sustainability assessment’ tool that was distributed to its suppliers. unknown

Transportation

Title Summary Published
Frito-Lay – Fleet Initiatives [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Frito-Lay Beloit’s initiatives to reduce fuel consumption among their fleet of tractor-trailers. The company installed engine/cab heaters to reduce idling time and also developed solutions to affect driver behavioral change. 08/2011

Waste Management

Title Summary Published
3M Cumberland - Sludge Reduction [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant 3M Cumberland’s efforts to reduce suspended solids in discharge water. They ended up switching from a ‘wet’ cleaning method to a ‘dry’ one for cleaning out process mixing vessels. 2011
Aquafil Group – Understanding of Waste as a Resource [PDF] By examining a close-loop production model, Aquafil Group found that they can use their nylon products at the end of their lifecycle, or any other nylon products even lower-grade ones, and make this “waste” return to high quality raw material again. Their challenge right now is not technology, but lack of publicity to collect more “waste” materials. 03/02/2012
Business as the Cause, Business as the Solution [PDF] A short article by Ray Anderson of Interface, published in the Wall Street Journal, outlining the way Business has created the environmental problems, and economic for that matter, that we face today and charges Business with the responsibility, asserting that only It has the necessary tools, for fixing it. 04/17/2010
Cardinal Insulating Glass – Packaging Reclamation [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Cardinal Insulating Glass’ program to reclaim packaging from their customers and reuse it. Annual savings of $9,000 and 20 tons diverted from the landfill. 08/2011
Federal Foam Technologies – Trim Scrap Baler [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Federal Foam Technologies’ shift to bale their trim scrap instead of compacting it. Baled trim scrap has a much smaller volume than compacted scrap, therefore they are able to reduce their waste hauling expenses significantly. 08/2012
Industrial Ecology in Practice [PDF] An essay on the ‘industrial symbiosis” of Kalundborg, Denmark where closely situated firms exchange wastes, by-products, and energy. The essay examines the companies involved, and describes/analyzes the way the system evolved. 1997
Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill – Zero Waste to Landfill [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Kimberly-Clark Experimental Mill’s path to sending zero waste to landfills. They found recyclers for all their waste streams at no cost premium over landfilling, helped meet a corporate goal, and ensured confidential disposal of their research products. 10/28/2011
Serigraph – Biofilter [PDF] Case study of Green Tier participant Serigraph’s use of a biological filtration system to remove pollutants from its air and water emissions. The biofilter is the lowest-cost method of VOC control for the printing company and saves up to $16,000 in avoided water sampling costs. 08/2011
Tosca, Ltd. – Paint Reformulation [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Tosca, Ltd.’s paint reformulation efforts. The company worked with the paint vendor to make an “EZ Strip” formula, which allows for easier, safer, and less energy-intensive stripping of the paint; and also was able to reduce VOC content in the paint. 08/2011
Tosca, Ltd. – Plastic Stretch Wrap [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Tosca, Ltd.’s plastic stretch wrap. The company developed this light, recyclable plastic stretch wrap to replace corner iron brackets on their reusable cheese boxes that are used for producing and storing product. 08/2011

Water

Title Summary Published
Berres Brothers – Rain Garden [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Berres Brothers Coffee Roasters on their effort to create 2 rain gardens to capture storm water runoff. This project doesn’t only protect the Rock River Basin, but also cut their storm water impact fee by 75%. 07/2012
Rockwell Automation - Green Roof [PDF] Case study on Green Tier participant Rockwell Automation’s green roof on its headquarters in Milwaukee. The green roof, installed in summer 2010, serves to divert hundreds of thousands of gallons of storm water from entering the city sewer system each year. It also provides insulation and aesthetic benefits. 08/2011

Workforce

Title Summary Published
Green Innovation in Business Network 2010 Solutions Labs Series [PDF] Formation of ‘Solutions labs’ utilize an un-conference format of discussion and breakouts in various cities, which garnered an extensive and varied selection of ideas for corporate sustainability based on the experiences of hundreds of well-known companies such as e-Bay, Sun Microsystems and REI. 02/2011
Last revised: Monday November 23 2015