Portrait Photograph of Tom Eggert

Tom Eggert

Senior Lecturer/ Business Sustainability Outreach Director

Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies | WI School of Business; Founder, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council; Founder, Wisconsin Microfinance

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Tom has been at the forefront of business and sustainability for the last twenty-five years, both teaching classes in sustainability at the University of Wisconsin and founding and serving as the Executive Director of the WI Sustainable Business Council. Tom taught the first classes on campus in sustainability and later was a co-developer of the graduate certificate in Business, Environment and Social Responsibility (BESR) at the WI School of Business. He has written and spoken extensively on the changing role of business in society, corporate social responsibility, socially responsible investing, divestment, and on how the private sector can lead in responding to generational challenges such as climate change. Growing out of his interest in sustainability, Tom founded the non-profit “Wisconsin Microfinance”. Wisconsin Microfinance’s programs provide people living in areas where access to capital is severely limited ACCESS to financial and support services needed to lift their families out of poverty.


  • Tom will talk about Green Economic Development. He’ll touch on energy efficiency, alternative energy, green building, alternative transportation and other opportunities for WI companies to assume a leadership role nationally. He’ll compare the performance of the state against other regional states on some key economic metrics. Come prepared with questions.

    Approximate Length of Talk: Variable

  • For most businesses that make a commitment to being more sustainable, the first thing they do is look for energy efficiency opportunities. Oftentimes, these “early victories” are a springboard for a more comprehensive (and systematic) sustainability program. Tom will talk about several early victories that WI companies have had and will conclude with a broader examination of the energy used in WI and what opportunities may present themselves to WI companies as our energy mix diversifies.

    Approximate Length of Talk: Variable

  • This country’s approach to environmental regulation has evolved over time. While clearly many of the gains we have seen in the quality of our environment can be attributed to actions of the government, continuing trust and belief in the government as the protector of the public is at a low ebb. Many now question whether the traditional role of regulation and enforcement is likely to lead the US to a sustainable future. Tom will talk about the evolution of state environmental regulatory agencies and the development of more cooperative approaches to environmental protection.

    Approximate Length of Talk: Variable

  • Tom will talk about Going Green in the Office, featuring practical examples of what Wisconsin businesses are doing to integrate principles of sustainability into office operations. Expect to leave with ideas what you can do in your office to embrace the idea of sustainability.

    Approximate Length of Talk: Variable

  • Examines the societal and individual costs of a changing climate and looks at the economic potential of developing solutions that reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, replace stuff with information and improve the production of food.
  • Using values that are important to you in making investment decisions was believed to lower your investment return. Recent studies suggest the opposite is true: investing with your values produces better stock market returns.
  • This talk will look at the year’s “hot” topics in sustainability. Topics will include the increase in billion dollar storm events, the likelihood of carbon pricing, the shift to renewable energy, the leadership of young people and the changing roles of local governments, businesses and the federal government.
  • Societal Leadership Transitions: From Public Sector to Private Sector
  • Sustainability in a Small Town
  • The Business of Water
  • The Challenge of Sustainable Consumption in India
  • The Business Case for Sustainability
  • The State of Sustainability Practice in WI
  • Sustainability and Micro-finance
  • Green Jobs 2010
  • Energy as a Sustainability Issue
  • Developing International Partnerships in Sustainability
  • The Evolution of Green Business
  • State of Sustainable Community Development: Notes from the Field
  • Sustainability and the Role of Government
  • Business and Sustainability
  • Sustainability in Wisconsin's Business Community