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Aquinas College Named West Michigan Sustainable Business of the Year

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – October 13, 2016 – West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum named Aquinas College its 2016 West Michigan Sustainable Business at its Third Annual Triple Bottom Line Bash.

The Sustainable Business of the Year Award is selected annually by a vote of the WMSBF membership, honoring the local company that best represents the values of the triple-bottom line.

According to school representatives, sustainable practices are a part of all of its operations and programming, including the Sustainable Business program, which was the first undergraduate program of its kind in the U.S. in 2003. With six LEED certified buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council, Aquinas has helped to earn Grand Rapids the distinction of “America’s Greenest City.”

As a signatory of the Second Nature’s Carbon Commitment, Aquinas is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. In 2014 with the assistance of the Wege Foundation, Aquinas launched a Green Revolving Fund to provide funding for campus energy efficiency and has been top of the leaderboard in the nationwide Recyclemania competition. The college’s recent student-led Zero-Waste Initiative has resulted in an over 70% diversion rate from landfills and incinerators.

“Aquinas College has been a leader in the integration of sustainability into campus life and academic coursework,” said Dr. Juan Olivarez, president of Aquinas College. “Sustainable practices are a part of all of our operations and programming.”

Past winners of the West Michigan Sustainable Business of the Year include Brewery Vivant and Organicycle. This year’s finalists also included Amway, Catalyst Partners, the City of Grand Rapids, Disher Design & Development, Grand Valley State University, Herman Miller, Kent County Department of Public Works, and Rockford Construction.

Finalists this year include Amway, Aquinas College, Catalyst Partners, City of Grand Rapids, Disher Design & Development, Grand Valley State University, Herman Miller, Kent County Department of Public Works, and Rockford Construction. Prior winners include Organicyle and Brewery Vivant.

A total of 104 votes were cast, with 53% supporting the college.

Also honored at the event was Deborah Steketee, who was inducted into the West Michigan Sustainable Business Fall of Fame, and alumnus Eric Saigeon, who was honored with the Future Hall of Fame Award.