Green, vice president, general counsel and corporate
secretary for the Manitou Group, speaks to a crowd of
more than 100 on Friday.
McLean Bennett/ Daily News
WEST BEND — Carbon
dioxide levels are up. A West Bend manufacturer is
trying to help reverse that — one truckload at a time.
A corporate official with the Manitou Group, a global
construction and agriculture equipment manufacturer with
a regional headquarters here, said that his company has
already begun implementing carbon-cutting initiatives
devised over the last year by a group of master’s-level
business students in Australia.
It’s showing results.
“A very favorable impact,” James Green, vice president,
general counsel and corporate secretary for the company,
said of the effects the truck rerouting efforts have
already had on Manitou’s carbon emissions.
The Manitou Group is based in France, but its North
American headquarters is located near downtown West
Bend. The company here also operates under the Gehl and
Mustang brand names and specializes in producing farm,
construction and other industrial vehicles and
“And it’s only just begun,” Green added, noting the trucking initiative —
essentially aimed at optimizing delivery routes with an
eye toward cutting exhaust — will “only amplify” as
Manitou continues putting the idea into practice.
The concept was the brainchild of a trio of students
from a Sydney, Australia, master’s-level business
school. The students partnered with Manitou recently as
part of a United Nations program aimed at pairing
business schools with companies around the world in an
effort to drive down global emissions.
They weren’t the only ones involved in the partnership.
Another group of business students at a university in
the United Kingdom worked on their own environmental
initiative for the company, this one involving
rebranding some of Manitou’s marketing efforts around
sustainability. That idea, too, Green said, has taken
off with the company.
Pal, a student at Macquarie Graduate School of
Management in Sydney, Australia, on Friday presents
details of a proposal he and two other students helped
design to reduce emissions for The Manitou Group, a
global farm and construction equipment producer with a
regional headquarters in West Bend.
McLean Bennett/ Daily News
The proposals by both
student groups were the centerpiece of an hours-long
event Friday at the company’s West Bend campus. More
than 100 people attended presentations led by the
students on their work. Later, attendees voted on their
favorite idea, though Green said both proposals showed
“I wouldn’t say any one is more creative than the
other,” he said.
Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who spoke briefly at
the event, said he applauded the company for working at
cutting its pollution. He later told a reporter he was
excited by the progress the initiative promised, noting
he hoped the efforts would help make Wisconsin a leader
in burgeoning international efforts to curb carbon
levels. “Too often, we see growth as a short-term
prospect,” Barnes said.
“For the sake of our earth,” he added, “we need to be