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Sustainability

Goodwill Donation Drive at ‘Move-Out’ Benefits People and the Environment

When student’s leave campus for the summer, typically not all of their belongings get packed into the car and often end up in a dumpster on the way to the landfill. This year, in partnership with Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, the Office of Residence Life and the Sustainability Office piloted a “Move-Out” donation drive. With student RAs helping distribute donation bags to each room/suite in all of the buildings in housing, students had the opportunity to fill up the bags with reusable items and drop them off at one of seven collection sites. Goodwill picked up several times during Finals week and will do one last pick-up early this week (May 20). Check back here to see the weight of items that will be sold through Goodwill to benefit people across North Central Wisconsin. Much better then ending up sitting in a landfill slowly decomposing over time!

Check out this video from CW14 on the donation drive!   http://www.cw14online.com/dpp/cw_14_star/my_video/Goodwill-and-UWGB-Move-Out-Donation-Drive-

Game On: Why Walmart is ranking suppliers on sustainability

Published on GreenBiz.com, April 15,2013

By Mark Gunther

“Since launching its sustainability program in 2006, Walmart has reduced energy consumption in its stores, installed solar panels on its rooftops, curbed emissions from its trucks and recycled millions of tons of its trash. Now that the world’s biggest retailer has streamlined its own operations, it is turning its attention elsewhere – actually, almost everywhere.

Since last fall, Walmart has rolled out what it calls a supplier sustainability index to thousands of suppliers, asking them pointed questions about their operations and prodding them to better understand and manage their own supply chains.

It’s Walmart’s most ambitious environmental project ever, and if all goes according to plan, it will change the way all kinds of consumer products – clothes, toys, electronics, food and beverages – are made. The typical Walmart stocks 125,000 to 150,000 products (!), and the environmental and social performance of most companies that make them soon will be rated and ranked in Bentonville, Ark.

So Walmart is asking lots of questions of its suppliers. Among them:

How can wheat be grown with less water and fertilizer? How can chemicals of concern by removed from toys? What mining practices were used to extract copper, gold and silver for computers or jewelry? What percentage of your televisions sold last year were Energy Star certified? Do the grapes in a bottle of wine come from a farmer with a biodiversity management plan? How much water was needed to produce those polyester pants?

A Fiendishly Complicated Undertaking

If this sounds like a massive and fiendlishly complicated undertaking, well, it is. It has been in the works since 2009, when Walmart unveiled The Sustainability Consortium, a nonprofit coalition led by the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University that was set up to provide scientific research to undergrid the effort. Since then, a few other retailers (Tesco, Kroger, Ahold, Best Buy) and dozens of consumer product brands (Coca-Cola, Disney, Kellogg’s, Mars) have signed on to the consortium.

Working with research produced by the consortium and its scientists, Walmart last year sent questions to suppliers in about 200 product categories. Hundreds more will be surveyed this year. The surveys will cover about half of the products sold in Walmart, which had revenues of $468 billion last year.

Walmart is ranking its suppliers, from best to worst in each category. The rankings will be shared with its buyers, who are known as ‘merchants’; theydecide what gets onto store shelves and play a vital role inside Walmart. The merchants, in turn, will be compensated in part based on the sustainability performance of their category.

Jeff Rice, who as senior director of sustainability at Walmart oversees the index, told me that it had four broad goals:

  • To improve the environmental performance of its most popular products.
  • To further integrate sustainabiltiy into Walmart by giving responsibility to the merchants.
  • To drive a productivity loop that reduce costs and ultimately benefits customers.
  • To increase customer trust in Walmart and its brands.

As always with Walmart, the opportunity is to drive change at scale. ‘We’re really trying to accelerate the scale of sustainability innovation, not just identify green niche products,’ Rice said.

Will it have an impact? It’s too early to answer that question with any certainty.

Several Walmart suppliers who were willing to talk – any many were not – told me that the index will help build a stronger business case for their own sustainabiltiy efforts. ‘The index challenges us to continually improve,’ said Kim Marotta, chief sustainability officer at Miller Coors, which is working with the farmers who grow its barley to reduce their use of water and pesticides. It also helps her make the case inside the company that ‘sustainability is very important to our business,’ she told me.

Dave Stangis, vice president of corporate responsibility at Campbell’s Soup, believes the index will make a difference. ‘The index validates people who are doing the good work. It’s a wakeup call to others,’ he said. Campbell’s, he said, is working with The Sustainability Consortiium to develop a mapping tool that will help buyers of agricultural commodities such as soybeans, sweet potatoes, or sugar beets avoid purchasing them from places with water risk, or where biodiversity is threatened. ‘We’re trying to be cognizant of the priorities that Walmart has, as well as those of our other customers,’ he said.”

To read more from companies that don’t think it makes a difference, the rest of the article is available HERE.

Final Results for RecycleMania are in!

2013 RecycleMania Results

The final numbers are in! Congratulations to everyone for a solid showing in this year’s competition. The results are cumulative over the entire 8 weeks of the competition. Keep your waste minimization and recycling habits going for the rest of the year!  

Grand Champion Results – 274 participants
College/University Rank Recycling Rate for 8 weeks of competition – %
University of Missouri – Kansas City 1 86.016
UW- Platteville 63 40.004
UW- River Falls 65 39.511
UW – Milwaukee 71 38.588
UW – Whitewater 103 32.411
UW – Stout 115 30.600
UW – Green Bay 137 28.277
UW – Madison 167 25.060
UW – Eau Claire 203 20.964
Wisconsin Technical College 211 19.316
UW – Oshkosh 273 5.422

 

Per Capita Classic – 361 participants
College/University Rank Recycled Pounds per capita
California State University – San Marcos 1 53.105
UW- Eau Claire 11 38.841
Lawrence University 15 34.944
UW- Milwaukee 75 17.066
UW – Platteville 78 16.398
Carroll College 123 12.872
UW – Green Bay 124 12.808
UW – River Falls 126 12.708
UW – Madison 138 11.824
UW – Whitewater 175 10.007
UW – Oshkosh 218 7.941
College Menominee Nation 241 7.071
UW – Stout 260 6.112
Western Technical College 331 2.774

 

Waste Minimization – 167 participants
College/University Rank Pounds of Waste Generated per capita
Valencia Community College 1 3.197
Western Technical College 19 14.363
UW – Stout 37 19.972
UW – Whitewater 55 30.875
UW – Milwaukee 98 44.226
UW – Green Bay 100 45.294
UW – Madison 107 47.183
UW – Eau Claire 167 185.280

 

RecycleMania Week 6 Results

Welcome back from Spring Break!

We’re in our last week of RecycleMania – so let’s make it a good one! When you’re emptying out your car of any road-trip trash – remember to recycle what can be recycled! Results are in for the first six weeks and we’re hanging in there. Our paper/cardboard compactors will be emptied this week, so that tonnage will be added to our totals and will help our overall recycling numbers. Stay tuned!

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

20.43

 

 

 

2012

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

6.85

 

 

 

2012

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

33.52

 

 

 

2012

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

 

Category National Ranking: Week 6 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 203 out of 266 8 out of 10
Per Capita Classic 181 out of 403 9 out of 13
Waste Minimization 105 out of 180 4 out of 7
Pounds of trash generated  27,120  
Pounds of recycling collected  8,260   

RecycleMania Week 4 Results

Week 4 Results are in! We’re holding our own –  middle-of-the-pack for the most part. One thing that will boost up our overall recycling rate is when our two 42 cubic yard paper/cardboard compactors are emptied/weighed toward the end of RecycleMania. All the paper/cardboard you recycle go into these compactors (one is behind the Union and one is behind IS, in case you wondered), so those materials are not reflected in our current numbers.

Keep up your recycling and waste minimization efforts!

Category National Ranking: Week 4 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 195 out of 257 7 out of 10
Per Capita Classic 174 out of 335 9 out of 13
Waste Minimization 100 out of 159 4 out of 8
Pounds of trash generated 25,785  
Pounds of recycling collected 7,560  

 

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

19.87

20.55

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

3.389

4.62

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

17.05

22.49

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

RecycleMania Week 3 Results

Here’s the standings as of last Friday - Keep up those recycling and waste minimization efforts! And come by tonight’s “Go Green” women’s basketball game – booths with info and lots of recyclin’ will be going on!

 

Category National Ranking:

Week 3

Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 193 out of 250 7 out of 8
Per Capita Classic 169 out of 402 8 out of 11
Waste Minimization 99 out of 178 5 out of 6
Pounds of trash going to the landfill   25,785
Pounds of recycling collected   7,560

 

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

19.87

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

3.389

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

17.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

RecycleMania Week 2 Results

Week 2 is in the books (or recyling center and lanfill, in this situation). Our efforts are improving but we still have a lot of room to do better. Less is more if you’re talking about recycling – less in the landfill and more in the recycling bin, so make the effort to recycle what you can! Less is less if you think about what you need to buy in the first place – have a reusable water bottle and that’s one less plastic bottle to be recycled.  It’s all about the choices you make!

The results in the tables below are cumulative – every week counts.

 

Week (Cumulative totals)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Standing
Grand Champion weekly recycling rate, %) 2013

15.34

17.91

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

20.94

20.26

20.29

20.34

29.48

29.25

28.73

31.33

 

Per Capita Classic (lbs/per person) 2013

0.87

2.04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

1.27

2.41

3.58

4.76

9.51

10.52

11.62

15.17

 

Waste Minimization
(lbs/per person)
2013

5.65

11.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

6.06

11.90

17.67

23.41

32.26

35.99

40.45

48.41

 

 

Category Overall Ranking: Week 1 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools) Overall Ranking: Week 2 Wisconsin Ranking (participating schools)
Grand Champion 179 out of 208 6 out of 6 185 out of 228 6 out of 7
Per Capita Classic 179 out of 208 8 out of 9 179 out of 400 8 out of 10
Waste Minimization 86 out of 136 3 out 4 97 out of 181 5 out of 5
Pounds of trash generated 29,355   28,020  
Pounds of recycling collected 5,320   7,840  

Recyclemania Week 1 Results

 

Week 1 Results are posted!

UWGB is participating in three different types of categories in this year’s Recyclemania program.  The Grand Champion category is based on the overall percentage of materials recycled on campus. The Per Capita Classic category looks at the materials recycled on campus based on our headcount to determine a pounds/person recycled. The last category we participate in is Waste Minimization, which looks at the total waste (both trash going to the landfill and materials collected for recycling) on a pounds/person basis.

The rankings in the table below show where, after Week 1, UWGB stands. The overall ranking shows our status among all the schools nationwide participating in that given category. The Wisconsin ranking shows our status among all the schools in Wisconsin that are participating in that given category.

Looks like we have room to improve in all categories! The best strategy is to consider what’s waste, what’s reusable in some manner, what’s not reusable but is recyclable (and recycle it appropriately!), and of course the ultimate, consider the purchase in the first place (no waste and no recycling to even think about!). And remember, with all the new hydration stations on campus, it’s easier than ever to eliminate the expense and waste of bottled water – just fill up your reusable water bottle – easy!

Week 2 results will be posted next Monday. Stay tuned for events happening the week of March 3rd, including an upcycling contest for textiles… 

Week 1 Results (Feb. 3 – Feb. 9)

Category Grand Champion Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 15.342% recycled 179/208 6/6
Category Waste Min. Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 5.655 lbs/person 86/136 3/4
Category Per Capita Classic Overall Rank Wisc. Rank
Week 1 .868 lbs/person 179/208 8/9

It’s Recyclemania Time!

Recyclemania is Back!! The goal, of course, is to both reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we throw out in the trash by thinking before we buy AND if we do need to discard something AND it is recyclable, to put it in the appropriate recycling bin.

Recyclemania is a friendly yearly competition with other colleges and universities in North America and Canada to see who can do the best job of reducing, reusing and recycling. During the eight weeks of February 3 – March 30, we’ll be having our waste hauler record the amount of waste and recycling removed from ALL our campus dumpsters. That volume is converted to weights and entered in the RecycleMania database for all to see … and compare our progress against other schools!

In Wisconsin, the following schools are competing in RecycleMania: Carroll University, College of the Menominee Nation, Lawrence University, Saint Norbert College, UW – Madison, UW – Milwaukee, UW – Oshkosh, UW – Plattville, UW – River Falls, UW – Stout, UW – Whitewater, and Western Technical College. How will we fare against this competition?? That depends on you and your buying/recycling habits!

Stay tuned for events happening the week of March 3rd and check back here for updates on our progress and status.

Recycle Your RECHARGABLE Batteries and Old Cell Phones

Do you have some no longer recharging rechargable batteries or did you replace a cell phone over the holiday break? If so, you have a simple on-campus option to recycle both of these. Our Environmental Health office has set up a number of recycling stations around campus to drop off these items for proper recycling. Just bring in your items, place them in the provided plastic bag, and deposit in the box. Simple!

Locations to find these specialized recycling boxes are:

  • Cofrin Library, 3rd floor
  • Operations Office (IS 1204)
  • HVAC Shop (IS 1067)
  • Grounds (PP 102)
  • Environmental Health office, CL 823