Introducing the 2018 MPower Graduates
Posted: 2:33PM March 14th, 2019 | Comments
Earlier this year the 2018 MPower Cohort graduated with a celebration! It was a reflection on what the champions and their green teams accomplished in this past year. The cohort worked their way through the monthly Sustainability Sessions and learned about green strategies regarding Transportation, Waste, Energy, IT, Water, Food and more. The goal of the sessions is not only to learn, but also to inspire projects at the individual businesses that make an impact on their community, environmental footprint, and bottom line. Each graduate accomplished several notable projects, some of which are shared below.
Congratulations to the 2018 MPower Champions!
Artisan Dental is an independent dental practice in downtown Madison committed to providing exceptional quality preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental care. They have sustainability built into their core mission: “to optimize the health and happiness of our patients, team members, suppliers, community, and the environment through exceptional quality care and sustainable business practices.” Through working with MPower, they created a green team, and worked on projects relating to waste reduction, energy, and strategic planning. Their waste reduction project revealed that many dental products and packaging are recyclable but are not currently recycled in the industry. By implementing best practices for recycling single use dental products and packaging including Invisalign aligners, they will prevent this waste from going to landfill and become changemakers in the dentistry field. This is a prime example of sustainability leaders in action, because it aims to disrupt the norm in the industry and set an example that manufacturers like Invisalign will find it difficult to ignore.
Formed in 1954, Covenant Presbyterian Church is a pillar of their community. Part of their mission states “Together, with hearts, minds, and arms wide open, we reach out to others in love.” The church took this approach towards the MPower program, and named their green team the Creation Care team. Covenant’s projects aim to provide an example for people in their church and community. They are targeting five areas of the Church operations for their projects. For example, they are developing a master grounds plan that will install a compost bin and enhance the parking lot with strategic greenery. This plan will reduce parking lot and roof runoff, provide wildlife habitat with pollinator plantings, and reduce energy use by using shade trees on south side and recycling cooling water. We’re excited to see the beautiful results of this project later this year!
Dean Health Plan has been helping southern Wisconsin residents make the most of their health insurance coverage for over 35 years. This past year while participating in the MPower program they developed their version of a green team, called the Coalition for the Preservation of the Earth. Their main project this year focused on office waste. They conducted a waste audit and found that many documents were unnecessarily put in the sensitive medical information wastebasket which is not recycled for privacy. Their plan is to educate the office on what documents need to be in the sensitive medical information basket and what can simply and safely be recycled. This is a great example of how different industries have very specific sustainability hurdles that can be overlooked in standard sustainability models. Congrats to Dean for identifying and addressing this matter!
Established in Madison in 1977, Therma-Stor manufactures heat recovery water heaters, residential dehumidifiers, and commercial dehumidifiers. Their team developed five comprehensive plans primarily on the topics of recycling and energy. One of these projects is their pallet recycling program, which allows Therma-Stor to reuse pallets that would otherwise be thrown away. The pallets that are unable to be used are being sent to a shredder that allows them to be re-purposed as wood chips on playgrounds. This saves them approximately $20,000 per year and has saved 1,196 pallets from going to landfill to date! This project is a perfect example of how turning waste streams into revenue streams can majorly affect an organization's triple bottom line. Way to think creatively Therma-Stor!
This year we were so impressed to see these four very different organizations tackle their sustainability issues head on. Across industries, the MPower program accelerates sustainable change and makes the Madison Region a place we are proud to pass on to future generations.
Over the past ten years of work with the MPower program we have learned so much about the sustainability needs of organizations in our community. This year we’re taking that knowledge and developing a new and improved version of the program. Stay tuned for MPower 2.0, coming 2020!