Take a moment to learn from previous conferences, there are a lot of great topics covered by a variety of speakers.  You can even go back and time and experience the conferences by following the link to each year’s conference page and watching videos of the various sessions., You can also see the progression in the media and overall presentation, which changes from year to year as it is put on by a different group of students.  Please give us feedback on the different conferences, what worked and what could be better.  We will take into consideration any comments for future conferences and would greatly appreciate your input!

2016 Conference

Empire Screen Printing in Onalaska was the host as the conference was held in the western part of Wisconsin for the first time.  Though the crowd was smaller, the keynotes were high powered (highly evaluated), featuring Dairyland Power’s CEO Barb Nick and Empire Screen’s President John Freismuth.  Also, for the first time, the final plenary featured an interview with senior managers from both Kwiktrip and Gundersen Health by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Content.  Breakout sessions included Public/Private Partnerships, Sustainability Tools, Telling Your Sustainability Story and Using Renewable Energy in Your Business.

2015 Conference

For the first time, the conference was hosted by an academic institution.  UW Oshkosh was chosen by the Sierra Club as the third most sustainable campus in the nation, and the conference team chose UW-O to hear more about their anaerobic digestor, LEED buildings and senior management commitment.  The final plenary featured Roy Thilly, former President and CEOof WPPI Energy.  Breakout sessions included Building Systems and Sustainability, Marketing and Branding Around Sustainability, Water as a Sustainability Issue, Sustainability Metrics and Supply Chain Innovation and the Value of Collaboration.

2014 Conference

Harley Davidson was the host of the largest WI Sustainable Business Conference ever!  Excellent keynotes from Harley CEO Matt Levatich and Gundersen Health CEO Jeff Thompson.  Breakout sessions included Sustainability Metrics, CFOs and Sustainability, Targeting Zero Waste, Communicating Sustainability, Supply Chain Sustainability and  Small Business and Sustainability.


The 6th Annual Conference was hosted by Lands’ End in Dodgeville, WI on December 13th, 2013.

The morning keynote was given by Tom Boldt, CEO of The Boldt Company and our afternoon keynote was given by Christopher A. Ruud, Global LED Adoption at Cree.

In addition, for the first time ever, we hosted a comedian, Jeff Havens who discussed generational differences in the workplace.

Despite being hosted 45 minutes outside of Madison, we witnessed a record attendance. Whether it was the beautifully scenic route to the conference, the conference sponsored busing options, or both, we must have done something right to continually grow each year.

2012 CONFERENCE:    

The fifth annual conference was held at American Family Insurance in Madison on December 7th, 2012. The keynote address, “Sustainability at American Family: Raising our Game,” was given by Evonne Steger, Associate VP of Corporate Strategy and Planning at American Family Insurance. Sessions included:

  • Innovation Leaders of Today
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Sourcing to Encourage Sustainability
  • Economics of Sustainability
  • Breakthrough Technologies of Sustainability
  • Greening Your Fleet
  • Workforce Health and Wellness
  • What We Can Learn From Green Breweries


The 4th annual conference was held December 8th, 2011 and was held in Monona Terrance in Madison, Wisconsin. The keynote address was given by Kohls EVP, Ken Bonning who discusses the rationale behind Kohl’s commitment for green power and sustainability. Conference sessions included:

  1. Improving Performance in Existing Buildings, Energy, and Water Efficiency
  2. Small Businesses and Sustainability
  3. Sustainability, Reputation and ROI
  4. What Makes Effective Green Business Leaders
  5. Choosing the Right Sustainability Metrics
  6. Advances in Sustainability Reporting


The 3rd annual conference was held December 8th, 2010 and was hosted by Mirion Construction in Neenah, Wisconsin. . The conference focused on  taking full account of the environmental and social consequences of economic activity. Session themes included:

  1. The Economics of Sustainability: How Sustainability Improved My Triple Bottom Line
  2. Environmental Excellence Programs and Business Success
  3. Identifying and Using Key Environmental Metrics
  4. Tour of Miron Construction
  5. Green Trends in Packaging
  6. Best Practices in Communicating Your Sustainability Message
  7. Best Practices for Internal Organization Around Sustainability
  8. Sustainable Sourcing/Purchasing
  9. Energy Efficient Solutions/Energy Technology
  10. Beyond Environmental Sustainability- How and Why to Integrate Safety, Health, Governance, Labor and Ethics Issues into Your Sustainability Agenda


The 2nd annual conference was held December 3rd, 2009 and was hosted by Discovery World in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The keynote was presented by Jeff Niesen, VP Construction Management, Boldt Company. Sessions included:

  1. Trends in Sustainability and WI Sustainable Business Council Tools for Helping Businesses Get Started on the Road to Sustainability
  2. Greening Milwaukee: How Milwaukee’s Journey Toward Sustainability is a Business Issue
  3. Sustainability and Our Food Systems
  4. Designing your Corporate Sustainability Report
  5. Getting Started on Your Sustainability Program
  6. Water and Sustainability
  7. Injecting Sustainability into Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  8. Corporate Response to Climate Change
  9. Business and the Social Side of Sustainability
  10. WI Green Tier Program: One Tool on a Journey Toward Sustainability
  11. Using Sustainability to get through the Economic Crisis


The first Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference was held December 8th, 2008 and was hosted by Epic Systems Corporation in Verona, Wisconsin.  The keynote speaker was Steve Dickmann, Chief Administrative Officer of Epic Systems Corporation. Sessions included:

  1. Post Election Landscape
  2. What Drives Businesses to Embrace Sustainability
  3. MillerCoors: Developing a Culture of Sustainability & The Challenge of the Brutal Facts
  4. Green Jobs