Member News, WMSBF News

November Member News Round-Up

Haris Alibašić has left his position as director of the office of sustainability and energy at City of Grand Rapids for a professorship at University of Western Florida. At his going-away party this week, WMSBF honored Haris with a plaque thanking him for his work on behalf or the city and the forum.

SpartanNash Corporate Responsibility Report is now available at The report provides a timeline of SpartanNash’s corporate responsibility journey, as well as information on the company’s corporate giving, volunteer program, recycling efforts, improved transportation fleet efficiency and focus on local and organic products.

Aquinas College was featured in a GRBJ article recognizing last month’s Triple Bottom Line Bash Sustainable Business of the Year award. 

Bazzani Associates has helped shape the sustainable building culture in Grand Rapids, and is currently working on a small coffee shop next to its offices, “less than $100,000,” while also embarking on the second phase of the more than $10 million renovation of the Kingsley Building, 1415 Lake Drive SE.

In October of 2006, then Governor Jennifer Granholm, signed Executive Directive 2006-11 which directs the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to Promote Green Chemistry for sustainable economic development and the protection of public health. Michigan DEQ is commemorating ten years of Green Chemistry progress in Michigan with this video.

WMSBF Director Daniel Schoonmaker, along with 35 other individuals whose contributions help energize the nonprofit sector, were honored as part of The Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids.

Kent County Department of Public Works announced it recycled nearly 1.1 million pounds of cathode-ray tube TVs and monitors between July and September. With an average weight of 60 pounds per unit, the county estimates it collected and recycled more than 18,300 TVs and computer monitors.

Lead levels in Grand Rapids drinking water remain among Michigan’s lowest. Testing completed this summer shows levels of lead at 4 parts per billion, which is well below the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s action level of 15 parts per billion.

Grand Valley State University’s Norman Christopher discusses his experiences with how diversely the term ‘sustainability’ can be interpreted. Norman suggests that true sustainability engages the 4th leg of sustainability, beyond the TBL of social, economic, and environmental performance, which he describes as focusing on culture, values, and identity.

Several WMSBF members were recognized at Wednesday’s Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies Award Ceremony, presented by Corp Magazine at Grand Rapids Brewing Company.  These include Bazzani Building Company, Cascade Engineering, Comfort Research Inc., Consumers Energy, Herman Miller, JW Marriott Grand Rapids, OpExPros, Steelcase, and Trendway.

The Wege Foundation has named Emily Alemán-McAlpine as Program Officer. Alemán-McAlpine’s career has included her role in corporate philanthropy with Blue Cross Blue Shield and her leadership with not-for-profit organizations, including as Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan.

Holland Energy Fund launched The Holland On-Bill Loan Program on October 31, and offers simple home improvement financing for energy-saving upgrades to City of Holland homeowners repaid through their electric bill. The OBLP gives City of Holland homeowners an easy, cost-effective way to save money through energy-efficient home improvements, with financial support from Holland Energy Fund.

Bazzani Building Company and Maplegrove Property Management LLC to redevelop the “Kingsley Building,” a five-story, 80-year-old building located at 1415 Lake Dr. SE. The partnership will renovate the historic storage building into 41 market-rate apartments with office and storage space on the second floor.

Bartertown Diner in Grand Rapids, which uses local and seasonal ingredients, is now Garden Diner & Café. As part of its new focus, the restaurant will develop a new catering menu to “meet the needs of the community,” while also hosting documentary nights, community yoga and local guest speakers.