Report turns sustainability lens on Wisconsin

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 :: Green Business
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Sustainability is one of today’s hottest buzz words. Nearly everywhere you look, businesses and organizations promote their sustainability.

But how sustainable is Wisconsin? The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council just put together the 2010 Wisconsin Sustainable Business Report. This report looks at the state of Wisconsin through a triple-bottom line, sustainability lens focusing on key economic, environmental and social indicators in the state.

If you don’t have time to read the whole report, here’s a few highlights:

  • Gross State Product (a measure of the state’s economic activity) declined 2.1% in 2009. However, this was the smallest decline of any Great Lakes state.
  • Energy expenditures (for petroleum, natural gas, coal and electricity) declined to $18.7 billion in 2009.  87% of that amount (or $16.3 billion) was sent to other states or countries.
  • Water use in the state is down 12.2% over the last 5 years while retail customers have increased 4.5%
  • Wind energy generated in the state increased 117% since 2008.
  • WI has lost 170,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000.  Even so, we have lost a lower percent of manufacturing jobs than any other Midwestern state, and currently have more manufacturing jobs per capita than any state in the country.
  • The median hourly wage in Wisconsin is 77 cents higher than it was 30 years ago.  This translates to a median annual increase of 2.5 cents.
  • Voter turnout in Wisconsin is greater than any other state other than Minnesota.
  • Wisconsin is second only to Vermont in the percent of students that graduate from high school.