Environmental Management & Business Institute



Caretaker awardThis award recognizes University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professional field and are widely recognized for their career accomplishments in the areas of sustainability, environmental management, environmental policy, or other closely related areas. If you know of a UW-Green Bay alumnus who meets the award’s criteria, please return to complete the online nomination form to be considered for a future award.

2022 Earth Caretaker Award Recipient

Luc De Baere

Luc De Baere is a Belgian native. He obtained a Bachelor’s in Chemistry (1978) and a Master’s Degree at UWGB in Environmental Arts and Sciences with a focus on Waste Management (1980).
Luc’s graduate work on anaerobic digestion at UWGB landed him, upon his return to his native country, a job with a large Belgian company, owned in the 70’s by Westinghouse of Pittsburg, PA. He was hired to develop a process to produce biogas from municipal solid waste. He became the inventor of the Dranco technology for the anaerobic digestion of organics derived from household solid waste, with several patents in over 35 countries. This technology operates under ‘dry’ conditions in a similar way as the generation of gas in a landfill, but the Dranco technology controls and optimizes the anaerobic degradation so that the production is complete within 25 days instead of 100 years in a landfill.

In 1988, he formed the company Organic Waste Systems (OWS) together with investors in the Antwerp area of Belgium, and became its managing director. The company has constructed and sold more than 35 waste treatment plants in 16 countries, mostly in Europe but also including facilities in South Korea, Japan and China. OWS is currently pursuing several projects for cities in California, Minnesota and other states that are looking to build infrastructure to treat household waste. The OWS technology, combined with some upfront recycling, can achieve 90% landfill diversion, by producing biogas, a very clean compost, clean inerts (glass/stones/ceramics) and a paper/textile fraction as a combustible material. The compost can be used in agriculture and has been shown to increase yields of corn and other crops. Projects range from $10 to 50 million of investment for the Dranco part.

Continue reading about Luc >>

Luc De Baere

Nomination Criteria:

  • Has earned either an undergraduate and/or graduate degree from UW-Green Bay.
  • Has not attended UW-Green Bay in the last 10 years.
  • Must have a distinctive and distinguished record of achievement with recognition and reputation extending well beyond the immediate environment in which they live and work.
  • The record of distinctive achievement should extend over a substantial period of time to assure continuity of performance, stability and maturity.

Nomination Process:

  • Alumni, friends of the University, faculty/staff, and the public at large are invited to make nominations.
  • Nominations are accepted year round (via the website or mail), with the deadline of October 31 for consideration for the award for the following year.
  • Nominees are notified and asked to submit the following for their file:
    • Letter of application
    • Résumé
    • Any additional documentation they wish to provide including letters of recommendation from others
  • Recipients are required to attend the awards ceremony, which will be held during Earth Week.
  • After all the necessary documents have been received, candidates remain active for consideration for a period of three years
  • One award will be presented each year


Contact the EMBI Director:
John Arendt at 920-465-2278 or arendtjo@uwgb.edu