Student Projects Spring 2012

Sustainability is a broad and multifaceted issue.  This semester we worked with a wide range of “clients” on projects that will support their efforts to move in a more sustainable direction. Some projects did not create a video for this project, but did create a video for other purposes related to this course. To view additional videos from this semester, click here.

Sustainability Reporting at the Lauterbach Group

The Lauterbach Group sought help in redesigning their sustainability reporting to make it easy to manage and understand. They use their report to communicate strategic actions and results internally and externally.  As part of their report, the created an accounting of all their actions to bring sustainability to their business, clients, suppliers and community.  The report developed the baseline for working with their supply chain, and laying the foundation for tracking and reporting on various metrics by our supply chain.

Green Tier for Small and Medium Sized Businesses

Green Tier is a program to provide credible, creative ways to enable business to be a sustainable force for environmental good, enhancing productivity, cutting costs and strengthening the community.  While some small businesses have joined the program, most small businesses are either not aware of the program or reluctant to commit the time to joining the program.  This report covers how to raise the visibility of the program to small and medium businesses.  The report also explains the value of the Green Tier Program to a small or medium sized business.


Alternative Energy at Johnson Health Tech North America

Johnson Health Tech (JHT) has specialized in the design, production and marketing of award-winning fitness equipment.  Johnson Heath Tech has made numerous cost saving and sustainable operations decisions in the past few years, with ambitions to continue doing so as they grow.  This report examined the feasibility of installing wind and/or solar power generation at their local facility, a 220,000 square foot building housing offices, an exercise area and large warehouse.   The final report included a thorough cost analysis of the various options including ROI, financing options (as well as local and federal government rebate opportunities), maintenance requirements/costs and life expectancy.

Establishing an Aquaponic Demonstration Site in Kerala, India

In summer, 2012, a team of UW students went to Kerala, India to demonstrate an aquaponic urban agriculture system.  This report represents the design and planning work that was done before the students left the US.  Specifically, the report develops a project management plan for the summer interns.  The demonstration site in India will become the base for experiments to determine an optimum local aquaponic systems that residents can begin to adopt for their use.

Habitat ReStore Donor Analysis for a 2nd Store

The Habitat Restore, a used/surplus building materials store benefitting Habitat for Humanity, is in the process of adding a 2nd location on the west side of Madison. This report looks at options for securing inventory for the new store.  Ways to engage (and identify) current and prospective donors are developed.

WormFarm’s Fermentation Fest – Developing a Strategy to Earn Income

This report recommends ways for the Fermentation Fest developers to earn income to help make the Fermentation Fest self sustaining by 2014. This food and farming festival with a focus on fermentation sought creative ways to generate income while reinforcing the concept of fermentation as transformative – grain to beer, milk to yogurt, cabbage to kimchi.  The recommendations are designed to benefit local farmers, brewers, cheesemakers and other artisanal food producers.

Yumbutter Packaging (1)

Yumbutter is a Madison peanut butter company and from its marketing material is “one of the world’s most responsible, innovative, and progressive food companies”. This report assesses and analyzes responsible packaging options for peanut butter delivery. Included in the recommendations were criteria like the following:

  • sustainability/resource use of the container
  • transport  of the containers to and from our facility
  • the end-of-life options
  • or other categories you deem important

Yumbutter Expansion (2)

Yumbutter has  partnered with Meds and Food for Kids Haiti (MFK) to help them reach more children’s mouths with their nutritionally fortified peanut paste in Haiti. As Yumbutter grows, they hope to either expand their BuyOne:FeedOne program or develop an alternative outreach program to continue combating acute malnutrition.The report includes recommendations on ways their outreach program can be improved and expanded.

Lands’ End Project

Lands’ End is a 46 year old global retailer based in Wisconsin, offering classically styled American sportswear, accessories and home products for the entire family. This report focuses on the sustainability message implied in the sale of durable clothes.  Lands’ End has developed a reputation for developing, marketing, and selling extremely well made, classically styled clothing. Recommendations include how to position the durability of their clothes against a sustainability backdrop.  The report compares and contrasts the marketing strategies of competitors with Lands End current sustainability messages.

Memorial Union Renovation

This report is designed to inform early decision making with respect to the Memorial Union renovation.  The team defined “sustainable” for building materials and recommended materials to be used in the reconstruction of the Memorial Union.  Specific materials examined include concrete and wood and local, regional, or Wisconsin-sourced product lists and contacts were developed and a database of vendors was developed.