Sustainable Business: An Industrial Revolution

As early as the latter part of the 19th century, visionaries such as G. P.March, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold set the stage for Rachel Carson’s 1962 book, Silent Spring. These works brought awareness of “environmentalism”– and its relevancy – to the everyday citizen.

As this awareness grew, the first reaction was to increase governmental scrutiny. As certain business practices were recognized as being disruptive of human and ecosystem health, complex and often expensive regulations were enacted. Complying with these new regulations has proven to be a challenge for many, but for others it has also inspired a creative shift away from “business as usual.”

Early on,West Michigan businesses took proactive steps by developing innovative approaches to promote profitable business activity that was also environmentally and socially responsible. In 1994 several of these companies partnered to found the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. Our goals were, and continue to be, to define and promote the concept of “sustainability;” to demonstrate leadership through the innovation and adoption of best practices; and to build a network that contributes to healthier communities – economically, environmentally, and socially.

Although many obstacles remain in the transition to sustainable commerce, businesses increasingly recognize the competitive advantages achieved through more sustainable business models.While sensible regulation and compliance still play a role in promoting change, it is the internal drivers, and their champions, that are setting the pace. WMSBF strives to provide resources and facilitate connections to support that transition.

Green. Sustainability. Triple Bottom Line. Beyond Compliance.

What do these words mean? What’s the impact of these concepts on business, community and you?
Mission     The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum is here to help. The WMSBF is a non-profit organization comprised of regional companies, academic institutions, government and non-profit entities and individuals that are united and committed to sustainability. We support the concept known today as the “Triple Bottom Line”, which goes beyond “financials” to measure three elements of sustainable business: environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social responsibility.

To promote the adoption and implementation of sustainable business practices we invite organizations to learn and grow with us. At our monthly informational and  networking meetings, we share up-to-date information on new technologies, solutions and best practices. Our members are engaged in work groups –developing resources, creating partnerships,mentoring, and expanding avenues for communication. Our annual conferences are designed to provide actionable information to help your organization go beyond compliance, to develop and measure strategies to achieve success within your own triple bottom line.

Build, Lead, Educate and Initiate

The WMSBF is here to Buildup our region by increasing the number of individuals and organizations in West Michigan committed to a “Triple Bottom Line” philosophy.

We Lead by example, creating an information-rich, state-wide resource for knowledge and solutions.

We Educate and share new information and best practices.We act as advisory liaisons providing practical feedback on resources and educational courses.

We Initiate, support, and leverage existing and emerging technologies and link them to business goals and practices such as quality management and Lean.

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum meets on the second Monday of every month.We welcome guests to explore our sessions and meet our members. For a membership application and other information go to:
http://www.wmsbf.org.

Goals and Objectives

Membership fees

Students. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20
1-2 employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$60
3-10 employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$150
11-100 employees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$300
101+ employees. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500