New Business Sustainability Leadership Forum connects campus innovators, industry leaders, and state officials to address environmental challenges

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Office of Business Engagement are teaming up with prominent businesses to ignite important conversations in the environmental sustainability space.

The Business Sustainability Leadership Forum with UW–Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin (center) at the inaugural full group meeting on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.

The Business Sustainability Leadership Forum (BSLF), which officially launched on Friday, Nov. 17 in Madison, aims to gain important insight from key university-industry partnerships on the most pressing sustainability challenges facing private businesses today. The network initially launched with 14 regionally and nationally recognized businesses, as well as state officials, and environmental sustainability experts from across campus.

UW–Madison Chancellor Mnookin joined the inaugural meeting to welcome the group and challenge its members to work together to turn ideas into action.

“Addressing truly complex and urgent challenges like building a more sustainable world will take more than partnerships. It will take entire innovation ecosystems,” Chancellor Mnookin noted during the forum. “I hope that, together, we will create an innovation ecosystem where we forge new connections and think creatively about how our collective expertise can advance our collective goals.“

Tracey Holloway, atmospheric scientist and professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, agrees, noting the importance of the collaborative nature of the Forum. “I really enjoy learning from the perspectives and experiences of our business partners. Their challenges offer inspiration for new research directions, and it’s exciting to see areas where our work at the university can benefit from business innovations.”

The Business Sustainability Leadership Forum will meet again as a full group in the spring and will hold smaller gatherings to strengthen network relationships and advance Forum goals. Through collaboration, the Forum aims to enhance the economic engine of the state, catalyze job growth, accelerate talent development, and drive innovation in environmental sustainability.