WEDC Announces That Phase III of the Profitable Sustainability Initiative Has Openings for 32 Additional Companies

FOR IMEDIATE RELEASE February 28, 2013    Contact: Joni Geroux, Outreach Program Manager

University of Wisconsin – Stout / NWMOC


WEDC Announces That Phase lll of the Profitable Sustainability Initiative

Has Openings for 32 Additional Companies

PSI Pilot Program Already Has Demonstrated Substantial ROI for Manufacturers, State of Wisconsin

MENOMONIE, WI — An innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin has openings for 32 additional manufacturers.

The Profitable Sustainability Initiative, managed by the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center,headquartered at University of Wisconsin-Stout, and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership

(WMEP), helps small and midsize manufacturers develop sustainable practices that save money and improve competitiveness.  Initiative participants, on average, realized annual savings of $146,783 and broke even on their investment in 10 months.

The PSI, which is open to manufacturers throughout the state, is funded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Earlier phases also received funds from the American Recovery and

Reinvestment Act.  Applications from manufacturers are reviewed for alignment with program goals and objectives as established by the WEDC, as well as the applicant’s commitment to sustainability described in the application essay.  Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This is an innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin. Expanding this program to more manufacturers makes solid business sense for our state,” said Reed Hall, CEO and secretary of WEDC.

“The tremendous success, both in profits and environmental impact, has positioned Wisconsin as the most sustainable manufacturing state in the nation.”

A 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study showed that 67 percent of Wisconsin manufacturers identified sustainability as important to their business, compared with 59 percent of manufacturers nationwide. About 33 percent of state manufacturers at that time reported making good- to world-class progress with their sustainability initiatives, compared with 27.5 percent nationwide.


A resource of the Discovery Center at UW-Stout

Phone. 866.880.2262 Web.

A similar study in 2008 found that only 35 percent of manufacturers in the state highlighted sustainability as an important issue and fewer than 20 percent of the state’s industrial firms were making good to world class

progress in implementing environmental-related initiatives.

The PSI program – the only one of its kind in the U.S. – features a multidisciplinary approach to sustainability,using partners with specialized expertise to help drive improvements. Under the program, a team of energy,

environmental, logistics, lean and finance experts are dispatched to take a 360-degree view of the participants’ business enterprises to diagnose, assess and implement improvements.

Since its inception, the program has led to $47 of economic activity for every $1 of state investment.  Three-year financial and environmental project impacts for the initial 101 participating firms include:

• $44.5 million in savings

• $88.6 million in increased/retained sales

• $11.7 million in investment

• $149.7 million total economic impact

Environmental effects include reductions in:

• Electricity: 22.7 million kilowatt hours

• Carbon dioxide equivalents: 23.2 metric tons

• Transportation: 917,000 miles

• Solid waste diverted from landfills: 26,793 tons

• Air emissions: 51 tons

Interested manufacturers should contact Ted Theyerl, PSI Project Manager at NWMOC at 715.874.4658 or

About the NWMOC:

The NWMOC, under the Discovery Center umbrella at UW-Stout, is a partner in the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The NWMOC and

their NIST MEP affiliates work with small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to help them create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. Last year, through third-party independent surveying, clients

reported over $13.9 million in impacts and 123 jobs created or saved as a result of NWMOC services. The NWMOC provides these services to manufacturers in 33 counties in northern and western Wisconsin to help

them compete in a global economy.


NWMOC: Larry Blackledge at Phone: (715) 232-1649