Upcoming Events

September Meeting to Feature Harley-Davidson

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s September membership meeting will feature a spotlight on sustainability at Harley-Davidson as a luncheon at the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon from 12 to 2 pm.

The leading brand in an industry not traditionally known for sustainability, Harley-Davidson has made it one of the strategic pillars of its organization, directly linking its environmental and social impacts with its customers’ dreams of personal freedom and to the motorcycling experience. Its Renew the Ride initiative is effectively translating corporate social responsibility to an outlaw culture.  Among other accomplishments, Harley-Davidson is a nearly zero-landfill manufacturing operation (9.4%), has set sustainability goals for its supplier network, and last year unveiled a prototype electric vehicle, Project Livewire.  It was honored as the Sustainability Leader of the Year this past year by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council.

Rachel Schneider is Director of Sustainability and Strategic Planning for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, a position she has held since 2010.  Previously she was a partner in the environmental law group of Quarles & Brady LLP.  She is an AAEAAQAAAAAAAAMmAAAAJDQ5MDBiZTY4LTVmNWQtNDlhMC04NmVjLWRmNmQ5Yzk4Y2M3Mwactive member of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation and a board member of the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Other speakers to be announced.

WMSBF September Meeting
Monday, September 14, 12 pm to 2 pm
Annis Water Resources Institute
Lake Michigan Center
740 W. Shoreline Dr.
Muskegon, Michigan 49441

Registration open after August 10.

FYI, Member News, Upcoming Events, WMSBF News

Special WMSBF Briefing On Michigan’s Water Strategy August 13

Image of Water Strategy Cover

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a special briefing on Michigan’s Water Strategy for its members and guests on Thursday, August 13 from 1 pm to 2:30 pm at the Grand Rapids offices of Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.  The briefing will feature a presentation from Jon Allen, Director of the MDEQ’s Office of the Great Lakes, and an opportunity for local businesses interested in sustainability to learn more about the plan and provide direct feedback on its recommendations.

Seating is limited in order to provide for a more intimate conversation, so please RSVP below.

Governor Rick Snyder two years ago called upon the Office of the Great Lakes to develop a comprehensive water strategy for the state that takes an ecosystem approach, enhances our economic opportunities around water and strengthens connection to place.  Released earlier this summer, the draft Water Strategy 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.  It provides a a 30-year vision to ensure Michigan’s water resources support healthy ecosystems, citizens, communities, and economies. It is designed to protect, manage and enhance Michigan’s water resources for the benefit of current and future generations.

The OGL will also be hosting six Water Strategy Community Conversations across Michigan this month for general community audiences, including one that evening at GVSU’s Eberhard Center.Learn more about the Water Strategy and read its full text online here.

Comments on the draft are due to the DEQ by Friday, August 28, 2015.

Michigan’s Water Strategy: Special Briefing for Sustainable Business
Presentation and Discussion with Jon Allen, Director, Office of the Great Lakes
Thursday, August 13, 1 pm to 2:30 pm
Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc., 1515 Arboretum Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Space limited, please RSVP below.
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Past Events, WMSBF Monthly Event

WMSBF July Meeting: Sustainability at Spectrum Health and GR Bikes Launch

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s July membership meeting featured a discussion on sustainability issues at the region’s largest health care provider and the launch of the region’s first commercial bike-share program.  It was held at Grand Valley State University’s new Seidman Center and presented by Spectrum Health.

Featured speaker was Steve Heacock, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at Spectrum Health System, and President of Spectrum Health Innovations, L.L.C.  View Steve’s presentation here: CSR July Presentation1

Jay Niewiek and David Bell of the newly formed GR Bikes shared plans for this month’s launch of the pilot phase of a bike share program in Grand Rapids. 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.

More information on GR Bikes will be posted as it becomes available.

FYI

WMSBF In the News

Earlier this summer, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum spent eight weeks at Michigan landfills and transfer centers for the Trash Research Project, the field operation of the Michigan MSW Characterization and Valuation Study.  Read about it in The Grand Rapids Press/mlive here, or in The Grand Rapids Business Journal here.

May’s Green Labs Workshop was featured in the monthly newsletter of the International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories.

FYI, Member News

Spectrum Health Seeking Sustainability Program Manager

Spectrum Health is hiring a Sustainability Program Manager to support the Regional Hospital Network of non-owned facilities and in collaboration with our existing programs. More information regarding position and how to apply can be found at this link:

http://careers.peopleclick.com/careerscp/client_spectrumhealth/external/gateway.do?functionName=viewFromLink&jobPostId=51041&localeCode=en-us

Upcoming Events

Mayoral Forum on Conservation Issues

GR Mayoral Forum Flier (2)

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters is partnering with Michigan Radio and the Grand Rapids Press to host a Mayoral Candidates Forum on July 22 at 6:30 pm at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The event will provide an opportunity for the public to engage with the entire field of candidates in the Grand Rapids mayoral race. 

Grand Rapids residents want to know: what are the candidates’ positions on key conservation issues facing the city and region?

This exciting event will be the foremost opportunity this election cycle for candidates to showcase their positions. We want to showcase your commitment to conservation, too!

As Michigan’s second largest city, Grand Rapids is the economic and cultural capital of West Michigan. We have been fortunate to have wonderful Mayor George Heartwell as a national leader on climate, conservation and sustainable urban development. Due to newly enacted term limits, however, Mayor Heartwell is retiring. With his retirement comes an opportunity to raise the profile of conservation issues through the electoral process and ensure each candidate makes commitments to the electorate on environmental issues.

The Mayoral Forum will be the best way for Grand Rapids residents to learn about and understand the positions of candidates for the mayor’s office. It will also be the best way to showcase how you and/or or your company values the protection of Michigan’s air, land, and water!

Learn more here. 

Upcoming Events

Sustainability Presentation at Women Entrepreneur Group

Sustainable Research Group’s Tera Fowler will be presenting on how to incorporate sustainability into the business models local  entrepreneurs involved in Hook A Sista Up, an organization committed to helping women entrepreneurs launch their business ventures faster and sustain them longer through collaboration and mentors.

Date: Tuesday June 28,  2015
Time: 5:30- 7:30pm
Place: Baker Book House
Address: 2768 East Paris Ave
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Learn more here.

The goal of this session is to provide sustainable business background knowledge to help each participant understand the functioning of a sustainability program and how it can be applied to their organization; helping participants develop an understanding of the business, environmental, and social foundations of sustainability.

Typical, resulting benefits of incorporating sustainability into your business model:

  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Increased innovation
  • Enhanced reputation
  • Strengthened customer relations
  • Strengthened community ties
  • Ability to attract and retain the best employees
FYI

Enter the Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards

GET YOUR NOMINATIONS IN FOR THE GOVERNOR’S ENERGY EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Do you know a person or business in Michigan that represents the best in energy efficiency? Nominate them 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. 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.

Choose from the following categories for a total of eight awardees:

Innovator of the Year
Contractor of the Year
Best Communication or Education Program
Best Projects:
-Residential
-Commercial (private)
-Public
-Industrial/Manufacturing
-Agriculture

The event, happening 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.

Nominate online at mienergyexcellence.org/nominations

Nominations are due by Friday, July 31, 2015

Upcoming Events

Economicology Forum: Environmental Learning in the Anthropocene

Aquinas  Economicology Forum (Dr. Mitchell Thomashow) (1)

Aquinas Economicology Forum
Environmental Learning in the Anthropocene
Dr. Mitchell Thomashow
Aquinas College, Wege Ballroom, Wege Student Center 
Monday, July 20, 7:30 P.M.

The environmental field is dramatically changing, and Thomashow’s presentation will explore how it requires a new iteration of curricular leadership, a new generation of practitioners, and new approaches by colleges and universities. The discussion will include the role of the liberal arts, especially the humanities, a reconceptualization of environmental science, and the foundational concepts that should be at the core of environmental learning.

The Economicology Initiative at Aquinas has been funded by a generous grant from the Wege Foundation.

Dr. Mitchell Thomashow is the author of the Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus (2014), Bringing the Biosphere Home (2002), and Ecological Identity: Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist (1995). From 2011-2015 Thomashow was the Director of the Presidential Fellows Program at Second Nature. Thomashow previously served as president of Unity College in Maine and Chair of the Environmental Studies program at Antioch University.

The Event is Free and Open to the Public

Learn more here.