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WEI’s Groundbreaking Work in 2018


Wisconsin needs a solid new direction — a green growth strategy that respects our heritage and tradition of environmental stewardship while embracing a more collaborative, practical and effective way forward. Here’s a recap and highlights of WEI’s work in 2018:

  • WEI Executive Director John Imes attended GreenBiz 18, the premier annual event for sustainable business leaders with more than 1,000 influential professionals from the world’s largest companies, government, and NGOs — to connect and explore successful new directions, technologies, systems and policies to build the clean economy. WisPolitics/WisBusiness highlighted John’s blog about the event for readers statewide.
  • WEI works with the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters as part of the statewide Climate and Energy Leadership Network. John served on the steering committee and moderated a panel on Workforce Development at the Academy's "Leading the Charge" Summit at UW Eau Claire.
  • WEI partnered with the Morgridge Center for Public Service Badger Volunteers to support Main Street Green initiatives and help the 100 locally-owned independent businesses on Monroe Street “Survive and Thrive” during major street reconstruction.
  • Groundbreaking for Green Built Home certified projects statewide in 2018 included over 2,000 homes and WHEDA low-income housing units built or remodeled to WEI’s Green Built standards.
  • Executive Director John Imes was quoted in a story on the possible environmental impacts of Foxconn related housing developments, new infrastructure, road expansion, and commercial construction. “The concern would be if we take the same old, low-road approach to economic growth that diminishes the environment, hurts workers and our communities.” Previously, John challenged the state and Foxconn to “Take the High Road” in a guest column published in the Wisconsin State Journal, Milwaukee Business Journal and WisPolitics/WisBusiness news sources.
  • WEI is one of more than 3,600 Signatories of We Are Still In a movement that represents over one-third of the U.S. population and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy. This major commitment to climate action and emission reduction goals includes more than 2,100 companies, many that are small or medium-sized firms, but several large Wisconsin corporations are listed, including Johnson Controls, Kohler, and Organic Valley. To see a video of company commitments, watch We Are Still In.
  • John served on the Baum Revision team that proposed a transformative project to restore the landmark Garver Feed Mill on Madison’s East Side as an artisan food production facility and high-profile visitor destination. The vibrant mix of uses will include an event and meeting venue, dedicated office space for local food-related and sustainable non-profits, retail/café, plus a Microlodging Showcase of up to 50 tiny (right-sized) homes. Complementing the uses will be a full array of public and educational uses including urban agriculture, outdoor conservation, and sustainable building technologies.
  • John also served on committees and the Lake Wingra Partner Focus Group to advocate for low-impact development strategies, best practices in erosion control and the use of green infrastructure to reduce flooding and capture stormwater runoff before it enters waterways.
  • WEI helped distribute the Greater Madison Vision Survey to collect input on how the Capital Region should grow and develop, featuring four different futures that consider many facets of life in Madison, including transportation, roads, water, and the environment. John also serves on the Greater Madison Vision Steering Committee.
  • WEI attended Verge 18, a three-conference event packed with more than 2500 attendees including leaders from companies and utilities, city and regional governments, policymakers, NGOs, solution providers, and startups — all focused on finding ways to accelerate the clean economy through technology and sustainability.  WisPolitics/WisBusiness news service highlighted John’s recap of each day for their readers statewide.
  • WEI social media posts reached over 60,000 people with 27 posts resulting in over 5,000 link clicks or post engagements, 571 likes, and 576 new followers.  Check out WEI’s Facebook page available here.

2018 showed us that a more vibrant and sustainable economy for all is possible in Wisconsin, but only if we take a more collaborative, practical and effective approach moving forward... Together!

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




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Wisconsin Environmental Initiative

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