West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum named Organicycle its first Sustainable Business of the Year as part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration at the Triple Bottom Line Bast on September 11 at the Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo.
Through a blind vote, the WMSBF board of directors chose five finalists from 27 nominees for the first annual competition, with the winner chosen by a vote of the forum membership. Other nominees included Amway, Cascade Engineering, Herman Miller and Steelcase.
“This recognition is overwhelming,” said Justin Swan, sales and development manager for Organicycle. “When I learned we were nominated, my jaw hit the floor. When a small business is validated by gaining new customers it’s a good feeling, but to be honored by our peers is truly overwhelming and special.”
Swan reflected on the company’s success, which included overcoming many obstacles.
“Dan Tietema (Organicycle president) and I set out to challenge a community of businesses and residents to re-calibrate their throw-away habits,” he explained. “We knew it would be tough, and the cards were stacked against us.
“I think our peers recognize the tremendous uphill climb we have been faced with — not just in starting a small business in today’s economy, but having to carve out a new industry that requires behavior change before buy-in.”
Swan paid homage to the other nominees saying they’ve paved the way for Organicycle to be successful today.
“This award doesn’t exist without the awareness and support these companies have generated over the last 20 years,” he said.