Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 69.30
Liaison Dave Barbier
Submission Date May 14, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Shelly Janowski
Sustainability Coordinator
Facility Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Innovation and entrepreneurship for new uses of vegetable production and processing residuals.

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at UW-Stevens Point won a federal grant in 2016 to focus on adding value to potato and vegetable harvesting and processing residues. The concept is to build an entrepreneurial network and economic development opportunities by making better use of those residuals for food and non-food purposes. Wisconsin is the largest producer of green beans, carrots, red beets and lima beans in the U.S., while ranking third for potato production. Other key processing crops include sweet corn, green peas, cucumbers and onions. Wisconsin grows 40 percent of all green beans in the U.S., 20 percent of all sweet corn and 20 percent of all green peas. As a result, Wisconsin ranks second among U.S. states for harvested acreage and total production of processing vegetables and third for production value. Production and processing of these crops contributes more than $6 billion in economic activity in Wisconsin and supports nearly 30,000 jobs.Production and processing of these crops generates large amounts of residual material such as peels, stems and liquid material. In fact, an estimated 15 percent of all vegetable material brought to a processing plant does not become finished product. Disposing of this material is a persistent problem for the industry. In some cases a small return may be achieved by selling the residual material for use in animal feed but in other cases it presents logistical issues and costs.

However, vegetables and their residual materials contain numerous chemicals such as vitamins, proteins, sugars and lipids, waxes and other aliphatic and aromatic compounds such as antioxidants. The specialty chemical sector manufactures a wide range of synthetic or semi synthetic molecules that have the same or similar effects as those chemicals that occur naturally in vegetables. These synthetic molecules command high prices and fulfill essential needs in the plastics, rubber, fuels, cosmetics and home and personal care markets. They provide a range of functionality including heat stabilization during plastics’ processing, stability to light and preservation of cosmetic goods such as face creams and moisturizers.


Sustainability Gains to Wisconsin's World-Scale Vegetable Production Through Compost Amendment. Two units within the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point have been nationally recognized for sustainability initiatives and a proposal to use compost made of paper mill and vegetable by-products to improve soil and crops within the Central Sands agricultural region.

The Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology (WIST) and Soil and Waste Resources Discipline received one of four $10,000 Honorable Mention Awards in the 2017 Rathmann Challenge, which recognizes sustainable solutions through the Rathmann Family Foundation and Innovation Center in Arnold, Md. Funds are to be used for research and programming to prove the viability of large-scale composting of paper mill sludge, potato and vegetable processing by-products and other materials.

The compost would be used in the Central Sands region to build and sequester soil carbon; improve water retention capacity in the soil and reduce irrigation rates; improve nutrient retention and reduce the requirement to apply fertilizers; and improve crop yield.




Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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