Banner image
Banner image

About WEI

WEI Continues to Deliver in 2021

“Combined with the just-enacted bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Build Back Better Act is milestone legislation that can help move Wisconsin forward and create a more resilient economy that works for all,” said John Imes, Co-Founder & CEO of Wisconsin Environmental Initiative. “From strengthening the middle class, addressing climate change, updating our infrastructure, ensuring income equality, and supporting clean water, and regenerative agriculture — all provisions that will help broaden Wisconsin’s prosperity and make an economic recovery for all possible.”

Here is a recap and highlights of WEI’s work in 2021:

Executive Director, John Imes participated with the American Sustainable Business Network (ASBN) during virtual D.C. fly-in meetings with ten members of Congress including Rep. Mark Pocan (WI) and legislative staff on both sides of the aisleSee John's guest column in support of the bipartisan infrastructure and budget reconciliation bills to address economic, environmental, workplace, and social issues that will broaden Wisconsin’s prosperity. 

WEI sponsored and helped organize the virtual luncheon event 'How Will Bills to Boost Infrastructure Affect Wisconsin's Green Economy?'

The lineup included David Kieve, director of Public Engagement for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Veteran DC journalist Lou Jacobson and two state lawmakers, Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, a member of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee and Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee and vice-chair of the Senate Transportation and Local Government Committee. *WEI is partnering with and on how the state can make the most of possible once-in-a-generation boost to a wide array of programs benefiting the green economy. Watch the event here.

Thanks to and WisBiz Green for also highlighting John’s blog recap of GreenBiz21, the premier annual event for sustainable business that explores market and policy shifts for a more sustainable, just economy.

Historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Act Will Deliver for Wisconsin! 
*Thanks to members of the Wisconsin delegation, including Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Ron Kind, Rep. Gwen Moore, and Senator Tammy Baldwin who voted for once-in-a-generation funding to create good-paying, family-supporting jobs to help build back our state including $6+ billion for roads, bridges, and public transportation, $100+ million for reliable high-speed internet, $79+ million for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, plus $841 million in critical water infrastructure and more! 

From Crisis to Opportunity: Executive Director, John Imes provided testimony for the Joint Committee on Finance.

"...From strengthening the middle class, addressing climate change, updating our infrastructure, ensuring income equality, and supporting clean water, and regenerative agriculture – all actions you can take in this budget to advance a more resilient and sustainable economic recovery..."

Highest-scoring Green Built Certified Affordable Housing Project in Wisconsin! 
Congratulations to West CAP and Gerrard Corporation for their work to develop 1300 Residences, the highest-scoring Green Built Certified affordable housing project in Wisconsin!
Featuring Smartflower solar tracking technology and a 580-rooftop solar panel installation, plus state-of-the-art air-source heat pumps and energy-efficient insulated glass windows, 1300 Residences represents the cutting edge of green-built, solar-based affordable living! By combining innovative energy technologies with conservation measures, 1300 Residences will meaningfully address climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions up to 300 tons per year!

WEI joined Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) Executive Director Joaquin Altoro and other community leaders and partners to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Limerick Senior Apartments and Townhomes in Fitchburg. The 127-unit Northpointe Development affordable housing project will be built to WEI’s Green-Built standards and feature a series of bioswales/bioretention basins to protect a nearby wetland and Nine Springs Conservancy plus over 300 solar panels (PV) electric system.

Executive Director, John Imes visited Sheboygan to tour the “Green Built Certified” Badger State Lofts, a converted former tannery into a mixed-use residential community. *Another example of how we can transform old, underutilized buildings and infrastructure to create jobs and affordable housing while addressing climate change and building a greener Wisconsin economy.

In 2021, the scoring criteria for multifamily projects increased the Green Built Home standard score from 150 to 200 points or more, increasing the positive economic, social, and environmental impact of affordable housing projects statewide!

Thanks to the Monroe Street Merchants Association (MSMA)  for recognizing and celebrating Wisconsin Environmental Initiative‘s volunteer work on Monroe Street, Executive Director, John Imes service on the MSMA board, and the recent sale of Arbor House, a national award-winning inn that John and his wife Cathie owned and operated for more than 27 years! Watch this 2-minute video with highlights of Arbor House over the years and our projects on Monroe Street!

Holiday Glow on Monroe!
Executive Director, John Imes joined Morgridge Center for Public Service Badger Volunteers on Monroe Street to decorate streetlamps with holiday garlands, plus solar light strings donated by WEI: A reminder to shop local every holiday season!

Thanks to the UW Public Interest Law Foundation for inviting Executive Director John Imes to present at their Community Justice Week event. Great opportunity to highlight Green-Built affordable housing projects, green building trends, and policy opportunities at the state, local, and national levels.

Model rain garden project spurs stormwater education
John also joined fellow volunteers to plant two rain gardens located behind Wingra School in the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood. The rain gardens will mitigate and infiltrate runoff from the school's playground to help protect the Lake Wingra watershed and provide educational activities for students.

Thanks to the Morgridge Center for Public Service for inviting Executive Director, John Imes to present and share his experiences with Badger Volunteers including policy priorities and actions we can take to advance a more resilient and sustainable future that works for all. John also spoke with students from the UW–Madison Ethical and Responsible Business Network – ERBN about Triple Bottom Line strategies and the need for a sense of urgency to change “business as usual” and “politics as usual”.

Thanks to PLATO — Participatory Learning & Teaching Organization for inviting John to speak about the many ways we can advance a more sustainable Wisconsin economy. Special emphasis on the once-in-a-generation funding ($500 billion for climate!) from the proposed bi-partisan infrastructure package and Build Back Better Act!

Wisconsin Environmental Initiative is a proud member of the American Sustainable Business Network and attended the ASBN Business for a Just & Sustainable Economy event featuring Climate & Energy Policy and Business for Democracy Policy Working Group meetings; Climate Resilience, Economic Justice and Building the NEXT Economy; plus an event at Ocean View Growing Grounds,  an established community garden, food forest and learning center with local neighborhood residents.

John also attended a great Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council annual conference featuring remarks by Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and presentations for business leaders and sustainability professionals working to advance sustainable principles and best practices.

WEI social media posts reached over 150,000 people in 2021 with 50 posts resulting in over 12,000 link clicks or post engagements. Check out WEI’s Facebook page and be sure to "Like" and leave comments on our social media to let us know how we're doing.

For more on WEI, please visit our website.

Want to support WEI? Please make a fully tax-deductible contribution as an individual donor or join WEI as a sponsor.

Thanks to all our partners and sponsors for another great year!


Annual Reports


WEI 20th Anniversary Videos

WEI 20th Anniversary Video


Video of the WEI 20th Anniversary event at the Wisconsin Union Theater

See the Facebook photo album of the event, here.

© 2023-01-28, All Rights Reserved.
Wisconsin Environmental Initiative

Wisconsin Environmental Initiative
16 North Carroll Street, Suite 840
Madison, WI 53703

Design by Big Rose Web Design

Hoot Communications