group of studentsAurora BayCare Medical Center, a local healthcare provider in Green Bay, Wis., sought the services of the UW-Green Bay Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) to find sustainable solutions to some of its pressing environmental problems: energy and water consumption, waste disposal, recycling, etc. Over three years, seven UWGB graduate and undergraduate students worked as interns on this project. The students came from various backgrounds—environmental science, environmental policy and planning, biology, and business. They conducted research, formulated options, and managed teams that included hospital employees and outside experts from the community. They produced and presented monthly and annual reports, developed educational tools and documents for internal use, and proposed green solution recommendations for everything from reducing printing and paper costs to cutting energy consumption.

Was it successful? The work led to the implementation of several projects that resulted in annual cost-savings to Aurora BayCare of approximately $90,000. Both Aurora BayCare and the students learned the power of applying multidisciplinary perspectives to solve challenging, real-world problems.