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

MADISON–An innovative program to promote sustainable manufacturing in Wisconsin has availability for 32 additional manufacturers. The Profitable Sustainability Initiative, managed by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) and the Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC), helps small and midsize manufacturers develop sustainable practices that save money and improve competitiveness.

PSI participants, on average, realized annual savings of $146,783 and broke even on their investment in 10 months.

The Profitable Sustainability Initiative (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.”

Buckley Brinkman, CEO of the WMEP noted that sustainability continues to be a crucial issue for state manufacturers and the PSI program has been key in getting more businesses involved in reducing the environmental impact of their operations while generating operational improvements.

“The Profitable Sustainability Initiative is the most effective program in the nation to jump-start efforts to reduce environmental impact while driving profit and creating a competitive advantage,” Brinkman said.

A 2011 Next Generation Manufacturing Study showed that 67 percent of Wisconsin manufacturers indentified 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 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 dollars of economic activity per every dollar 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 Randy Bertram, Director of Sustainability Services at WMEP at 262.707.7775 or [email protected]

PSI Partners

Northwest Wisconsin Manufacturing Outreach Center (NWMOC) provides business assistance and management expertise to small and midsize manufacturers and is part of the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

Focus on Energy (FOE) works with Wisconsin manufacturers to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. FOE provides information, resources, and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled.

SCS Engineers delivers economical and environmentally sound solutions for solid waste management and other environmental projects throughout the world. SCS Engineers provides engineering, construction, and long-term operations and maintenance services to private and public sector clients.

LogiServe®, a logistics management firm with offices in Wauwatosa and Rome, Ga., helps clients achieve optimum cost and performance in transportation, logistics and supply chain activities through tactical and strategic approaches.

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, with staff totaling more than 1,350, Baker Tilly provides a wide range of accounting, tax, assurance, and consulting services. Ranked as the 16th largest* firm in the country, Baker Tilly serves clients from offices in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Washington D.C., and throughout Wisconsin.

About WMEP

WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers.  Since 1998, WMEP has helped to generate more than $2 billion in economic impact and create and save more than 14,000 state manufacturing jobs, according to results documented by customers.  WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.  WMEP also partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.  For more information, visit