The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council honored one regional professional and one regional business with Sustainable Business Awards.
The annual awards recognize businesses and individuals for prioritizing sustainability and making strides toward impactful change in Wisconsin. Award winners demonstrate leadership, initiative and innovation and are making measurable efforts in sustainability. Four awards are handed out annually.
Dr. Peggy Murphy, sustainability strategy leader for Kimberly-Clark Corp.’s North America Consumer Products in Neenah, received the Sustainability Champion award. Murphy is K-C’s original sustainability leader and wrote the company’s first sustainability report in 2004. She now serves as sustainability leader for all K-C’s North American operations and is often asked to help mentor new employees with an interest in sustainability.
Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac received the Sustainable Process award for its sustainable stewardship of aluminum for manufacturing. The company’s process for using aluminum in the making of its engine blocks realizes considerable energy savings in multiple ways. The process uses 100 percent recycled aluminum for the die-casting and manufacturing of the engine blocks.
The energy required to melt and purify aluminum scrap is approximately only 5 percent of the energy required to create primary aluminum from bauxite ore. Heat exhaust generated by the furnace that melts scrap aluminum is redirected through a stack heating device to preheat solid aluminum scrap that is waiting to be melted in the furnace. This preheating process saves Mercury Marine 20 percent of the natural gas it would otherwise use to melt scrap aluminum.
The other two award winners were Pam Mehnert, general manager of Outpost Natural Food Cooperative, who received the Sustainable Executive Leader award, and N1 Critical Technologies of Janesville, which received the Product of the Year award for its new line of lithium-ion uninterruptible power supply systems.