DEQ Announces $250,000 in Grants for Recycling to Three Organizations, Including WMSBF



The DEQ today announced $250,000 in Community Pollution Prevention Grant funding to three Michigan organizations for projects to improve recycling.   In April 2014, Gov. Rick Snyder announced his plan for improving residential recycling rates in Michigan. These grants will help inform state and community decision makers as they pursue these needed improvements to local recycling.

Organizations receiving awards include:
• Michigan Recycling Coalition, $99,800
• Northeast Michigan Council of Governments, $99,900
• West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, $50,300

Through the Community Pollution Prevention Grant Program, the DEQ provides grants to non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments, local health departments, municipalities, and regional planning agencies. Grantees must fund at least 25 percent of the total project cost.

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will conduct a waste characterization study for West Michigan counties and the state in partnership with its member organizations Grand Valley State University, Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr and Huber, Republic Services, Valley City Electronics Recycling, Kent County Department of Public Works, Muskegon County DPW, Rapid Recycling, New Soil, Organicycle and AL & S Solutions.  The total project cost is estimated at $70,000.


Free July webinar on hazards of antibacterial cleaning products

Originally posted on Our Kitchen Table:

Hosted by the Great Lakes Green Chemistry Network Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse
“GreenScreen® Assessments of Antimicrobials Triclosan and Triclocarban,” 3 p.m. TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

Presented by Beverly Thorpe, Consulting Co-Director and Co-founder Clean Production Action and Fe De Leon, Great Lakes Toxics Policy Expert and Researcher Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)

Beverly Thorpe

Triclosan and Triclocarban are widely used as antibacterial/antimicrobial agents in many products including cosmetics, personal care consumer products, textiles and food contact materials. GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, a recognized tool for comparative chemical hazard assessment, was used to assess the environmental and human health profile of both of these chemicals.
GreenScreen® classifies Triclosan as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 1 (Avoid – Chemical of High Concern) and Triclocarban as a GreenScreen® Benchmark 2 (Use –  but Search for Safer Substitutes).  These results will add new support for the growing movement to restrict Triclosan as well as demonstrate the value of comprehensive chemical hazard screening for…

View original 231 more words

Member News, Upcoming Events, WMSBF Monthly Event, WMSBF News

July Meeting Features Governor’s Water Strategy, Plus Holland’s Project Clarity and New Energy Park

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present a luncheon program examining state and regional water quality initiatives, plus a sneak peak of the new Holland Energy Park, on Monday, July 14 at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland from 12 to 2 pm.  Presented by Holland Board of Public Works and Project Clarity.

Governor Rick Snyder has tasked the state government of Michigan with creating a vision for how it will manage water quality and quantity in the near and not-so-near future. The “water strategy” aims to steer water-related policy in all forms for the next 30 years toward sustainable, beneficial use.  The Office of the Great Lakes is spearheading this effort in partnership with several other state agencies, examining topics such as invasive species, water withdrawal, water quality and infrastructure, storm water, legacy pollution and restoration and coastal resilience, among other issues.  Jon Allan, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, will speak on this important work.

Allan served as advisor to the Great Lakes Compact negotiations, co-chaired Michigan’s Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council and the Water Resources Advisory Council that was tasked with formulating the state’s implementation of the Great Lakes Compact Agreement. He also served as chair of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Quality Committee.  Recently, he served for a number of years as a member of the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Jon recently completed his tenure as co-chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Recreation.

Travis Williams, Executive Director of the Outdoor Discover Center Macatawa Greenway will provide an update on Project Clarity, an initiative to permanently clean, restore and maintain the waters of Lake Macatawa. Water quality research in the Macatawa Watershed led to the development of a comprehensive restoration plan that identified five key areas in which to focus efforts that would make significant improvements in water quality.  From project staff, “Project Clarity is a story about water. It’s a story about people. It’s a story about hope for the future. And the story is just beginning. Everyone has a role to play in this story: from residents to government officials and farmers to business owners. Come and learn how you can be part of the story.”

The City of Holland has launched a comprehensive 40-year energy plan to become a world-class leader in energy security, affordability, sustainability and efficiency. As an important steward of the community’s energy assets, Holland Board of Public Works is developing a cleaner power generation source for Holland’s future. Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager, will describe the initiatives and investments being made toward that goal. He also will discuss the new Holland Energy Park, the quest to have it obtain the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s highest accreditation, and how community engagement is guiding it to be far more than a new power plant.

Tours of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute will also be available immediately after the meeting.

Cost for lunch is $10 for WMSBF members, $15 for non-members

Learn more here.

Upcoming Events, WMSBF Monthly Event

June Meeting: Ford’s Path to Sustainability, Plus Beneficial Reuse


West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present a luncheon program featuring one of the nation’s leading sustainability practitioners on Monday, June 23 at the University Club in Grand Rapids from 12 to 2 pm.  Presented by Warner Norcross & Judd.

John Viera, the global director of sustainability at Ford Motor Co. has helped to bring a whole new view of sustainability to his company in the past five years. Before he was promoted to his current position, Viera says many people at Ford saw sustainability as more of a philanthropic venture than a business factor — and the sustainability director position was viewed mainly as a public relations role. Under his tenure, Ford has created a long-term product strategy based on stabilizing its carbon dioxide emissions, has increased its use of recycled materials in its vehicles and has created the first human rights code in the auto industry, which specifies working conditions — such as temperatures and fair wages — for its employees.

Viera will talk about his secrets to success, such as finding ways to make the business case for sustainability for every element of the company — including product development, manufacturing, purchasing, human resources and more — in order to build support throughout the ranks.

Warner Norcross & Judd Partner Troy Cummings will discuss Michigan House Bills 5400-5402, the new Beneficial Use Reform Act. If passed, the legislation will amend the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act in an effort to promote the use of beneficial use byproducts such as power plant ash, foundry sand and pulp and paper mill residuals. Advocates for the law believe that encouraging the responsible reuse of low-hazard materials will reduce disposal costs for manufacturers and provide economical savings over other raw materials that would otherwise be needed, extend the capacity of landfills and conserve resources, assure the safety of the materials for potential use and promote the concept of sustainability.

Cummings, chair of the WNJ Government Affairs practice group, represents businesses, municipalities and associations on matters before the Michigan Legislature and state agencies, including healthcare, environmental, natural resource, economic development, tax, banking and other issues.

Cost for lunch is $10 for WMSBF members, $15 for non-members.

Learn more and register here.

Update:  A third speaker was planned for the event but had to withdraw due to a personal conflict.


MIPL Seeks New Executive Director

​Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (Michigan IPL) is currently seeking an Executive Director for our expanding office. This is a full time position in Southeast Michigan.

Michigan IPL’s mission is to deepen the connection between ecology and faith. Our current focus is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable practices in houses of worship, of all faiths, throughout Michigan. We participate in grassroots outreach, education and advocacy efforts around climate and energy issues, and facilitate energy efficiency and renewable technologies programs.

Michigan IPL celebrated its 10th year in operation last year and has 225+ member congregations across the state. The organization is also one of 43 state affiliates of the National IPL. Michigan IPL has received many awards over the years, including White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives and EPA recognition through their ENERGY STAR for Congregations award.  More information here: http://www.MichiganIPL.org

This position is critical to ensuring the smooth operation and continued growth of the organization and its membership. The ideal candidate is a nonprofit executive who is committed to environmental protection, enjoys working with a diverse group of people, can manage multiple staff, and has strong set of relationship building skills.

Read the job description here.

Member News

AIA Honors Integrated Architecture for Rockford Construction HQ

The American Institute of Architects Michigan said last month that Rockford Construction’s renovated 38,000-square-foot space in Grand Rapids has been named one of the nine Michigan buildings that will receive a Design Award for design excellence.

Integrated Architecture in Grand Rapids served as the architect for the project, at 601 First St. NW.

The institute said that Integrated Architecture will receive the award in the building category on Saturday at its annual Design Awards celebration at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing.

Rockford Construction moved into the $4.7-million building last fall.

The building is topped off by a green roof that covers about 3,300 square feet and contains a variety of plants, perennials and grasses.


Wege Speaker Series 2014: AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan

On April 24, Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association spoke at Aquinas College for the 18th Annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series.  The U.S. will soon have 1,000 wind farms in 39 states. This translates into 15 million homes using energy that was generated by wind farms. You can see how Michigan fits into the picture and listen to the full talk above.

Upcoming Events, WMSBF Monthly Event

Save the Date: Climate Resiliency Conference



West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership will host the West Michigan Climate Resiliency Conference on Monday, October 6 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.  More details to come.

West Michigan has suffered through years of increasingly extreme weather events that have overwhelmed infrastructure and impacted organizations of all shapes and sizes.  In the past 18 months we have experienced serious flooding, extreme temperatures and precipitation in summer and winter, unpredictable growing seasons, low lake levels and weather-related power outages.

These events and national trends highlighting climate change adaptation and resilience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy have many of the region’s foremost institutions actively considering how susceptible core functions are to climate change. Such efforts will benefit local business and communities regardless of opinions on climate change as popularly defined.

The West Michigan Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative is a partnership of West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, Michigan State University, Penn State University’s Rock Ethics Institute, the Rand Corp. and other collaborators designed to help our region better respond to extreme weather events and other impacts commonly associated with climate change.  Learn more here.


Active Commute Week Review

Active Commute Week was May 12-16, a local celebration of National Bike To Work Week organized by Greater Grand Rapids Bicycling Coalition and a host of volunteers.  A few highlights from this year’s event:
  • More than 250 people logged active commutes, either as individuals or as part of an employer team.
  • Nearly 1,000 active trips were logged in the five-day period. 
  • 106 bicycle commutes were tallied on Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 16.
  • The number of Bike to Work Day Pit Stops grew from 15 in 2013 to 24 in 2014.  
  • The Rapid’s year-round West Michigan Rideshare program drew a substantial number of new users.
On to the winners of the ACW Challenge:
Employer Challenge:
Individual participants – Highest Number of Total Trips:
  • Bicycling – Otto Selles
  • Walking – Jolene Vos-Camy 
  • Carpooling – Eric Doyle 
  • Transit – MarQuita Dean
Individual participants – Highest Number of Total Miles
  • Bicycling – Tom Jager 
  • Walking – MarQuita Dean 
  • Carpooling – Scott Prentice 
  • Transit – Mary Morgan 
Finally, the competition was fierce, but the following organizations were recognized as the winning Bike to Work Day Pit Stops:
FYI, Upcoming Events

Detroit 3 Supplier Matchmaking Summit

Pure Michigan Business Connect, in partnership with the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, Women’s Business Enterprise Council – Great Lakes, and the Veteran Owned Business Roundtable, will be hosting an invite-only supplier matchmaking summit featuring Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company, General Motors and 40 of their tier one partners on July 22nd, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Procurement teams from the Detroit Three automakers and their tier one partners have provided over 300 procurement needs and are seeking qualified Michigan suppliers to discuss specific sourcing opportunities.

Please click the link below to apply for a chance to attend this summit. Each application will be reviewed and selections will be determined by participating procurement teams based on the data collected in the application. Space is limited, so invitations will only be sent to those companies that are the best fit to fill specific needs. The priority deadline to apply is June 20. Companies applying after the 20th will only be considered if there are needs that have not been addressed through the initial application window.

Link to Applyhttp://www.puremichiganb2b.com/b2b-web/#DetroitThree

Please Note: Completing this application does not automatically confirm participation on July 22nd. All applicants will be informed whether or not they’ve been selected to participate on or before July 3rd, 2014.

For questions, or if you have difficulty accessing the application, please contact the PMBC team at businessconnect@michigan.org.