Inpro Green Gal

2014 Sustainability Recap

Posted 21 January 2015 12:00 AM by Amanda Goetsch

The New Year provides an opportunity to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments, opportunities and lessons as well as a platform to set new goals for the year ahead.  2014 was quite the year at Inpro!  Here’s a glimpse of Inpro’s 2014 Sustainability Program:

Electronic Recycling Awareness Week: Inpro held its third Electronic Recycling Awareness week in 2014! This was an opportunity for employees to bring in all the electronics that were not needed anymore and to assure them these items would be recycled in a responsible manner. Together we recycled over 2,100 pounds of electronics.

Earth Day at Inpro University: This year we had lots of fun raising our own food at the Inpro University. On Earth Day employees and children at the U constructed a raised garden bed and planted lots of fun veggies including Brussels sprouts, purple lettuce and pole beans! Throughout the growing season teachers helped students pick out weeds, water the garden and of course harvest and snack on the healthy food grown right in the playground!  Our Sustainability Manager visited the U weekly leading up to Earth Week to teach students about composting, biodiversity, bees and the environmental services they provide and about how to grow your own fruits and veggies!


Inpro Bee Sanctuary and Honey Sales: Bee populations are plummeting globally and that means big problems for the future of our food supply. Inpro is trying to do its part to thwart this problem by establishing the Inpro Bee Sanctuary.  To kick the project off we established three hives on the Inpro Campus using this as an opportunity to spread the word on all the environmental and economic services bees provide. We also partnered with local Apiarist Andy Hemken to sell honey at Inpro. All the proceeds from honey sales will go back into the Inpro Bee Sanctuary project.


Bring your Own Plate to Lunch Challenge: During lunch days at Inpro, employees are encouraged to bring their own reusable dishware.  During our Bring your Own Plate to Lunch challenge collectively we diverted over 400 plastic plates from going to landfill. Our colleagues got pretty creative!

Green Master’s Program: The Green Master’s Program is a points-based, recognition program for companies who operate within the state of Wisconsin. Companies are rated across multiple sustainability areas including: energy, carbon and other emissions, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, community and educational outreach, workforce, and governance. Inpro has participated in the program since 2011. 


Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): CSAs consist of a cooperative between farmers and consumers. Shareholders/members provide enough money in early spring to meet the farms operating expenses for the upcoming season. In exchange, the members receive a portion of the farm’s produce each week throughout the season. Inpro partnered with Three Brothers Farms to provide CSA shares to Inpro employees.

WMC Business Friend of the Environment Award: In the spring of 2014, Inpro received the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Business Friend of the Environment Award. The Business Friend of the Environment Award highlights what Wisconsin companies are doing in the areas of pollution prevention, innovative technology and environmental stewardship. Inpro won the award for Environmental Stewardship.  The WMC cited, “Inpro is not just a corporate environmental steward. It is a company whose corporate culture creates an environment where each team member from the CEO on down serves as a steward.”

Wisconsin Green Tier Program: In October of 2014, Inpro was accepted in the Wisconsin Green Tier Program. Green Tier is a voluntary program that recognizes and rewards environmental performance "that voluntarily exceeds legal requirements related to health, safety and the environment resulting in continuous improvement in this state's environment, economy, and quality of life." (s. 299.83(1m)(b), Wis. Stats.). Inpro is part of Tier 1 of the program; it is designed to allow participants committed to enhanced environmental protection to distinguish themselves from others. Tier 1 participants are generally environmental innovators with proactive management teams.

Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership’s Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI): The PSI methodology utilizes a powerful and unique process that identifies, assesses and implements profitable sustainability solutions that are custom-designed to fit Inpro. Inpro realized both immediate and recurring profitable sustainability outcomes with demonstrable ROI. We utilized the grant to update a number of our manufacturing machines. The overall impact on the upgraded electronics is an anticipated reduction of PVC scrap by 10,311 pounds, worth $12,880, and 3,218 pounds of ABS, saving $6,017 during 2015.  We are also expecting increased throughput, decreased energy consumption and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by about 20.77 metric tons annually. 

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)® Projects and Credentials: Inpro continued to see a number of requests for LEED® information for products across all Inpro product divisions. We also are proud to announce that a record total 65 Inpro employees earned their LEED® Green Associate credentials through 2014. We are excited to start studying for the new LEED v 4.0 over the coming months.

Compost Program: Inpro’s Sustainable Business Committee launched its composting awareness campaign in 2014. We are continuing to develop this program in order to divert as much usable byproduct as possible from our area landfills.

Greenbuild in New Orleans: Inpro had a successful trip to Greenbuild in 2014. We used this opportunity to showcase our holistic approach to sustainability. Our Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs) received continued recognition from a diverse set of individuals throughout the value change and industry. Our Sustainability Manager engaged in multiple organizations including the Health Product Declaration Collaborative Manufacturer’s Advisory Panel.

Cool Choices: Inpro played a game for 8 weeks in the spring of 2014 called Cool Choices! Cool Choices is a fun, social and easy card game that empowers employees to save money and adopt sustainable practices. During the eight week game teams compete to make the most “Cool Choices” – sustainable actions for points – at home and at work. 51% of the Inpro employees participated in the game for 8 weeks, played 9,833 Cool Choices, saved $31,120 and abated 303,185 lbs. of CO2! Plus, we were sure to have fun and celebrate successes throughout the game period.


Inpro School of Green: Inpro contributed to expanding student’s sustainability vocabulary by hosting its annual School of Green. Inpro employees and a sustainable building expert guided students through a workshop on how building and lifestyle choices have rippling effects on the health of the planet.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability Corporate Report: Inpro released its very first, publicly available, Social Responsibility & Sustainability Corporate Report.  We decided to release this document in order to illustrate what we have done internally and externally to build a robust and holistic sustainability program. It also aligns with our commitment to transparency. We have a great story to tell and now we have an avenue to communicate this to our customers and other stakeholders. View the report here.

Green Building Initiative and Green Globes: In 2014 Inpro became a sponsor of the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes building rating system. Green Globes offers an approach that provides in-depth support for improvements ideally suited to each building project.

Green Team Work: The employees at Inpro are very active in making Inpro the best it can be. That ambition inspires individuals to participate on a number of internal committees. Inpro’s Green Product Committee is made of 13 employees and are tasked to act as an incubator for sustainable product and non-product research and innovation. The Inpro Sustainable Business Committee is comprised of 15 individuals and helps to manage and promote internal sustainability initiatives focused around the triple bottom line. 

Best Energy Practices Sharing: Our CEO, Phil Ziegler, and VP of Supply Chain Management, Mike Sekula, shared some of the ways they measure and conserve energy at home.  Phil and Mike discussed with employees over lunch how to read a residential energy bill, how to conserve energy and cool new technology including Nest that can help you become more aware of home energy usage and save money!


Sample Return Program Launch: Inpro launched a sample return program in the summer of 2014. This program offers customers and potential customers to send back, at no cost to them, samples they had requested. This not only helps architects and designers keep their libraries clutter free but also diverts waste from landfill and reduces virgin material needed to manufacture new samples.

Visitors and tours from Milwaukee Sustainability Roundtable and Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council: Inpro welcomed the opportunity to host two renowned sustainability organizations from the state. The Milwaukee Sustainability Roundtable held a discussion about Sustainability and the role of a company’s CFO during a half-day workshop at Inpro.  The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council held one of its quarterly meetings at Inpro. We were happy to share information about our sustainability program as well as show these groups what we’ve been able to implement throughout the campus.

Launch of Down to Earth Newsletter: Communication is key. That’s why Inpro developed an internal newsletter called Down to Earth to share all sustainability happenings with our employees.  This newsletter covers everything from what to do with all your CSA chard.

Adopt-A-Hwy Launch: Inpro adopted a Wisconsin highway in 2014. Adopt-A-Hwy is Wisconsin’s litter control program and helps to reduce litter along Wisconsin’s highways, build statewide support for the anti-litter and highway beautification programs, educate the traveling public to properly dispose of litter and enhance the environment and beautify Wisconsin’s roadsides.

Inpro launched into Tally: Tally is a newly developed Revit plug-in that holds the promise of delivering whole-building life cycle assessment. A number of Inpro’s products are listed with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data within this tool in order to give designers and builders a tool to reduce the overall environmental impact of an entire building!

Road to Sustainability Campaign: Our Sustainability Manager took to the road in October of 2014, visiting a number of organizations, businesses and architect and design firms on her way to Greenbuild in New Orleans. The goal of the Road to Sustainability campaign was to learn more about what sustainability means to those outside the Inpro organization; finding commonalities to bring people together and having discussions about topics that may be more challenging.

EMS Objectives and Targets: Throughout 2014, the Inpro Environmental Management System Team with the help of all colleagues made progress on our environmental objectives and targets. Objectives included minimizing consumption of natural resources, increasing energy efficiency, decreasing waste to landfill, engaging our suppliers around environmental objectives, engaging employees around sustainability and more.

Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference: Inpro was one of many sponsors to promote the 7th annual WSBC Conference. This year held at Harley, the conversations got our engines running for a more sustainable year ahead. Our Sustainability Manager and VP of Supply Chain were two guest panelists who spoke about employee engagement around sustainability as well as growth in attention to supply chain sustainability.

Engagement with University of Wisconsin-Madison Student Groups: Inpro was fortunate to work with two talented groups of University of Wisconsin-Madison students in the fall of 2014. The first student group focused on carbon and water footprinting and the second group investigated B-Corporations and the trends of restorative business practices.

2014 was an amazing year.  The Inpro Sustainability Program became more robust, we learned a lot, met fantastic new friends along the way and had some fun along the way. We look forward to an amazing 2015 and can’t wait to share it with you along the way! To learn more about our Sustainability initiatives, visit our Corporate Sustainability page.