About the Sustainable Success Lecture Series

The Sustainable Success Lecture Series is a partnership between the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the UW School of Business Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management.

Featured speakers are from the private and nonprofit sectors and describe their focused efforts on environmental sustainability and its financial and environmental benefits.

Past Lectures

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2023: Batteries and Electrification: Is it Sustainable?

March 23, 2023

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Reports suggest that switching from fossil fuels to batteries and electrification in the U.S. transportation, industrial, and commercial and residential sectors can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent in just a few decades.

But everything has its costs. 

Dig into this topic and more at Batteries and Electrification: Is It Sustainable?, the 2023 Sustainable Success Lecture Series cohosted by UW–Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin School of Business’ Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management.

Three leading experts led a moderated discussion and audience Q & A to explore how electrification affects everything from climate change to national security.

  • Eric Dresselhuys, a UW–Madison alumnus and CEO of ESS Tech, Inc., a company working to accelerate global decarbonization
  • Mathy Vathanaraj Stanislaus, executive director and vice provost of Drexel University’s Environmental Collaboratory institute and board member/advisor of the Global Battery Alliance and Responsible Battery Coalition
  • Emily Pickrell, independent energy journalist and scholar and NGO journalist at the MacArthur Foundation


2021: The Future of Plastic

March 11, 2021

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The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management, and the Weston Roundtable explore the future of plastic with engineers and business leaders who are at the forefront of recycling science.

Currently, recycling is viewed by many as expensive and difficult with experts estimating that only 9 percent of plastic has been recycled since the 1950s. Today, new technology and an improved understanding of plastic chemistry is helping to make recycling and upcycling easier and less expensive. Join us as leading experts discuss the improved recycling methods and circular initiatives that will allow more plastic to be reused and recycled.

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2020: The Business of Renewable Energy

March 26, 2020

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The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and its partners at the Wisconsin School of Business explored the financial and environmental benefits of renewable energy through this virtual lecture. From solar and wind to geothermal and hydropower, participants learned why businesses such as Wells Fargo and Company are investing in the development of new sources of renewable energy and how these investments are leading to reduced carbon emissions and increased resiliency.

RENEW Wisconsin shared information about their efforts to expand renewable energy through advocacy, education, and collaboration with businesses, government leaders, and Wisconsin citizens.

This enlightening discussion of renewable energy and its benefits featured invited speakers:

  • Andrew Kho, Managing Director, Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance (REEF) Team, Wells Fargo
  • Heather Allen, Interim Executive Director, RENEW Wisconsin

Presented in Partnership With:

  • Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment
  • Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management
  • Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance & Investment Banking