Member News

ATR Sets New World Record for E-Waste Collection

WMSBF Member Advanced Technology Recycling set a new Guinness World Record for electronic waste recycling with its Earth Day promotion earlier this spring, collecting some 1.2 million pounds of “e-waste” at six facilities in five states over the course of a week, besting an Australian recycling firm that set the record in 2013.

A ruling from an official Guinness World Records judge took place Saturday April 25 at ATR’s corporate headquarters in Pontiac, IL.

“It was a great challenge. It was a great diversion from the landfills,” ATR co-founder Ken Ehresman told mlive on Thursday, April 30 at the company’s new facility at 3714 Jefferson Ave. SE, one of six company facilities where the cast-offs were collected.

Read more about the record-setting effort here.

Upcoming Events, WMSBF Monthly Event

West Michigan’s First Bike Share Program to Launch at July WMSBF Meeting

Jay Niewiek

Jay Niewiek and David Bell of the newly formed GR Bikes will share plans for the launch of the pilot phase of a bike share program in Grand Rapids at the July 13 WMBSBF membership meeting at GVSU’s Seidman Center. This private venture aims to leverage learnings from other bikeshare models with the technology that’s already in your pocket. A bike share program in Grand Rapids will equitably increase mobility, add to the vitality of the urban core, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

David Bell

The featured speaker this month is Spectrum Health’s Steve Heacock.  Learn more and register for the event here.

FYI, Member News, Upcoming Events

Courses from GreenHome Institute, Including Free Training for Affordable Housing Developers

Grand Rapids-based GreenHome Institute is offering several upcoming courses for residential construction professionals.

Affordable Housing

Thanks to the support of the Wege Foundation, GreenHome Institute is offering a free, comprehensive program for nonprofit affordable housing developers who are interested in developing green, LEED certified homes.

Sign up for classes today!

LEED V4 Green Associates 5 Part Study Group 

These 5 study sessions will prepare you and your team to pass the green associates exam and help you gain essential knowledge of sustainable building concepts. You will learn about LEED intents and goals at the credit category level, while covering basics of the LEED certification process.  The training series will conclude with an overview of recommended study methods, exam-taking skills, and practice questions for the LEED Green Associate exam.

When: Thursdays: 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

  • September 17
  • October 1
  • October 15
  • October 29
  • November 12

Join the study group and purchase your tickets here! 

Coupon code usgbcwmga = 10% off

Green Building Core Concepts & Strategies Course V4

This all-day course will prepare you and your team to pass the green associates exam and help you gain essential knowledge of sustainable building concepts. You will learn about LEED intents and goals at the credit category level, while covering basics of the LEED certification process.  The training series will conclude with an overview of recommended study methods, exam-taking skills, and practice questions for the LEED Green Associate exam.

Date: September 24

Time: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Learn more about the event and purchase your tickets here!

Coupon code usgbcwmga = 10% off

FYI, Upcoming Events

Nomination for Best & Brightest Sustainable Companies Now Open

The Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies is searching for Michigan organizations that exhibit leadership and innovation in their green and sustainability approach. The program recognizes the best-in-class and companies from across all industries are encouraged to participate. Participating organizations will receive feedback and analysis on their sustainability strategy and resulting impact on their financial bottom line which improves the lives of their employees, the local community and global environments.

Nomination deadline is September 11.  Award ceremony is November 19.  There is a nominal fee to apply.

More info here.


DEQ Releases Draft Water Strategy

Image of Water Strategy Cover

In November 2012, Governor Rick Snyder in his Special Message on Energy and Environment called upon the Office of the Great Lakes to lead the development of a comprehensive water strategy that takes an ecosystem approach, enhances our economic opportunities around water and strengthens connection to place. The Michigan Office of the Great Lakes has released the draft Water Strategy that provides a roadmap to achieve a 30 year vision to ensure Michigan’s water resources support healthy ecosystems, citizens, communities, and economies. The Strategy was developed in collaboration with the Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The draft, “Sustaining Michigan Water Heritage, A Strategy for the Next Generation,” was developed through an extensive engagement process that involved a wide array of individuals, communities, organizations, academia, businesses, industries and tribal and local governments across the state. Hundreds of people provided input through regional, community, and individual conversations, a series of presentations, and describing their desires for the future of Michigan’s water resources. The OGL and its partner agencies will be hosting up to five Water Strategy Community Conversations across Michigan to invite comment and discussion on the draft Water Strategy. More information regarding meeting dates and locations will be announced soon.

Related information can be found at

Comments are due by Friday, August 28, 2015.

Written comments on the draft strategy may be submitted to the Office of the Great Lakes, DEQ, P.O. Box 30473-7973, Lansing, Michigan 48909, by fax at 517-335-4053 or by emailing

See below to view the full Strategy as one PDF document or as individual sections online. Support materials are also below.

Full Draft Water Strategy with Appendices (160 pages) 

Full Draft Water Strategy without Appendices

Table 1: Water Strategy Priorities and Measures of Success

Member News

Holland Teens Work on Habitat at Energy Park

HYC Teens 5

Holland Board of Public Works is partnering with Holland Youth Connections to employ five at-risk local teens this summer on outdoor projects to sustain wildlife and beautify Holland’s eastern gateway at the Holland Energy Park.

Projects include assembling a hoop house that will be used for winter plant storage, assembling bat, bird and duck houses, and making other habitat structures out of brush piles, all near the wetlands and nature trails.  Youth will also be planting native plants in the transition zone on the edge of the wetlands area to restore the “ecotone.”  The Holland Youth Connections teens are working on projects outside the construction area due to MiOSHA and youth labor law restrictions about youth working near construction areas.

The City of Holland, along with Escape Ministries, Good Temps, Ottawa County Michigan Works!, West Coast Chamber of Commerce and Lakeshore Advantage, are among the Holland Youth Connections’ community partners.


Nominations Open for Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards

Nominations are now open for the first annual Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards! These prestigious awards are designed to honor the innovators, the trendsetters, and those completely committed to energy efficiency in Michigan. You can shine a spotlight on the people and organizations who are putting in the work to save energy and help Michigan become a leader in this important work by nominating them for one of the following award categories:

  • Innovator of the Year
  • Contractor of the Year
  • Best Communication or Education Program
  • Best Project (Residential)
  • Best Project (Commercial – Private Sector)
  • Best Project (Commercial – Public Sector)
  • Best Project (Industrial/ Manufacturing)
  • Best Project (Agriculture)

The awards event, happening this September in Lansing, is headlined by Governor Rick Snyder, who will select the awardees. The ceremony is exclusive to finalists, their guests, sponsors, and the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Steering Committee.

Nominations are due by Friday, July 31, and can be made online at

Upcoming Events

PACE Training in Kalamazoo

Register today for the June 23 contractor training in Kalamazoo!

Online sign-up is now available for Lean & Green Michigan’s next contractor training seminar on Tuesday, June 23 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Groves Center at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Attendees will receive four hours of training, a manual with all the information needed to use Lean & Green Michigan PACE financing, a USB drive with electronic copies of the training materials, breakfast, and an overview of Michigan Saves, Lean & Green Michigan’s contractor program partner. The cost is $150 per person.

Register today! Companies that complete the training and registration are listed on the Lean & Green Michigan contractor portal, where property owners go to find qualified partners to undertake their PACE projects. 

Lean & Green Michigan Contractor Training
Tuesday, June 23 at 8:00 AM
Kalamazoo Valley Community College – Groves Center
7107 Elm Valley Drive
Room B1100
Kalamazoo, MI 49009

Upcoming Events

Aquinas, WMSBF to Host Andy Hoffman on May 27

Hoffman 1

While the scientific community has come to an agreement on climate change, the political debate remains polarized. On May 27, Aquinas College will be hosting University of Michigan’s Dr. Andrew Hoffman as he examines the cultural debate from a sociological, psychological and political science stand point.

Aquinas College, in conjunction with West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and West Michigan Environmental Action Council, will be hosting this event, “How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate.” Hoffman, a professor of sustainable enterprise, will lead the dialogue on what causes people to reject or accept the scientific census on climate change. He will then offer the audience a path to take action for a more scientifically literate public, socially engaged scientific community and thoughtful mode of public discourse.

WHAT:  How Culture Shapes the Climate Change Debate: A Conversation with Dr. Andrew Hoffman

WHEN:  Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m.

WHERE:  Aquinas College, Wege Student Center – Wege Ballroom, 1607 Robinson Rd SE. Grand Rapids, MI 49506

COST:  Free, open to the public

Dr. Andrew (Andy) Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan, a position that holds joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment. Within this role, Andy also serves as director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise.

Upcoming Events

Green Labs Workshop Subject of WMSBF May Meeting

Sudhakar Reddy

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, Intertek, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality are hosting a Green Labs Workshop on Monday, May 11 at the Michigan State University Secchia Center in Grand Rapids from 12 to 4:30 pm.

The final workshop of the Michigan Green Labs Initiative and the launch of the West Michigan Green Labs Pilot, participants will learn how green lab programs promote green practices and environmentally-friendly, sustainable technology in laboratories that have been proven to reduce energy use by 30 to 50 percent.

The first half of the meeting will include content for a general sustainability audience as part of the regular WMSBF membership meeting.  The practitioner workshop continues at 2:15 pm.  General interest attendees will have an opportunity to tour the Secchia Center at this time.

Learn best practices in waste reduction, energy and water efficiency, green chemistry and environmental safety that will make your laboratory operations safer, more sustainable and cost-efficient. Case studies will feature examples from research, product testing, and health care relevant to manufacturers, municipalities, environmental consultants, chemical engineers, educators and other operators of academic or commercial labs.  The workshop will conclude with a tour of Van Andel Institute.

Dan Doyle:  How to Save 50% on Lab Energy Costs

Speakers include:

  • Daniel L. Doyle, Chairman, Grumman/Butkus Associates and Director, I2SL
  • Eric Saigeon, Sustainability Manager, USA & Canada, Intertek
  • Sudhakar G. Reddy, Sustainable Labs Coordinator, University of Michigan
  • Clinton S. Boyd, Principal, Green Chemistry & Sustainability, Steelcase Inc.
  • Sam Pinto, Facilities Manager, Van Andel Institute

Cost is $15 and includes lunch and parking.

Register here.