Event Review, WMSBF News

Review: July Meeting at John Ball Zoo

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hosted a luncheon discussing recent sustainability initiatives at John Ball Zoo and Founders Brewing Co. for its July membership meeting at the Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo.

View event photos on our Facebook page.

Allmon Forrester, Director of Facilities, Planning and Sustainability at John Ball Zoo and John Ball Zoo CEO Peter D’Arienzo discussed the zoo’s sustainability success stories, highlighting its efforts in waste reduction, energy efficiency and sustainable development, including the connection between animal conservation and sustainability.

Cody Green, the Environment, Health & Safety Specialist for Founders Brewing Company, shared how its efforts to sustainably dispose of wastewater from brewing operations led to a partnership with The City of Grand Rapids that will develop a city-operated biodigester.

The gathering also included a tour of the John Ball Zoo Sustainability Assets and Exhibits, which are aimed to both educate and challenge the organization and its community partners to participate in and learn about waste management, in hopes of achieving zero-waste in the years to come.

Member News, WMSBF News

WMSBF July Features John Ball Zoo and Founders Brewing

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a luncheon discussion next week highlighting recent sustainability initiatives at two high-profile local destinations: Founders Brewing and John Ball Zoo.

WMSBF hosts a monthly meeting of approximately 100 local sustainability professionals. This month’s event is Monday, July 17 from 12 to 2 pm at the Bissell Tree House at John Ball Zoo. It is open to the public.

Allmon Forrester, Director of Facilities, Planning and Sustainability at John Ball Zoo and John Ball Zoo CEO Peter D’Arienzo will discuss the zoo’s sustainability success stories, highlight its efforts in waste reduction, energy efficiency and sustainable development, highlighting the connection between animal conservation and sustainability. The meeting will also include an optional behind the scenes tour of the zoo’s exhibits.

John Ball Zoo inspires people to be active participants in the conservation of wildlife and our natural environment. John Ball Zoo houses 1,500 animals and serves a diverse audience of over 500,000 visitors annually. It is building a plan aimed to both educate and challenge the organization and its community partners about waste management, in hopes of achieving zero-waste in the years to come. Since launching a water conservation plan in 2002, it has saved 615-million gallons of water and cut usage by over two-thirds. Green roofs have been added on four buildings, several ‘live’ walls have been installed, and over 150 new trees have been planted in the last eight years.

Cody Green, the Environment, Health & Safety Specialist for Founders Brewing Company will share how its efforts to sustainably dispose of wastewater from brewing operations led to a partnership with City of Grand Rapids that will develop a city-operated biodigester.

Lunch is $15 for members, $20 for future members. Learn more and register at wmsbf.org/july2017.

Event Review, WMSBF News

Review: 2017 WMSBF Annual Meeting

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hosted its 2017 Annual Meeting on Monday, June 19 at the University Club of Grand Rapids, which examined emerging sustainable business concerns presented by racial inequity, the built environment and other social and environmental issues.

View photos of the Annual Meeting on Facebook here.

View slides from the Annual Business Meeting and Strategic Plan Intro here.

Featured speakers included The City of Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Rodney Martin, Diversity Partner at Warner Norcross & Judd, and Eric Foster of Progress Strategies+.

The WMSBF Annual Meeting also presented the organization’s new strategic plan, introduced its 2017-2018 Board of Directors, honored WMSBF 2017 President’s Award winner Jason Kehr of Valley City Electronic Recycling, and announced its new corporate social responsibility & equitable sustainability initiative for 2018.

The 2017 WMSBF Annual Meeting was presented by Warner Norcross & Judd.

Event Review

Review: Michael Brune Event

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter hosted a dialogue with Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune on June 9 at Rockford Construction.  Brune was in Grand Rapids to meet with WMSBF and local Sierra Club members en route to the Michigan chapter’s 50th Anniversary dinner in Ann Arbor the following night.

Read more about the event at mlive.com. 

Member News, WMSBF News

2017 President’s Award Winner: Jason Kehr

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will honor Jason Kehr as the 2017 President’s Award winner at its Annual Meeting this Monday.  The President’s Award recognizes a professional for his or her contributions to the growth and development of West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum.  It is given each year at the WMSBF Annual Meeting.  View past winners here.

Kehr is Managing Partner of Valley City Electronic Recycling. He is a founding member of the WMSBF Solid Waste Task Force and has served on the board of directors since 2015. A tireless advocate for the organization, Kehr is directly responsible for growing WMSBF membership by 5% during his time on the board. He was also a contributor to the Michigan Municipal Solid Waste Economic Valuation Study.

VCER is an R2 Certified electronic recycler and has been serving Grand Rapids and the state of Michigan since 2003.  Jason resides in Eastown with his wife, Marilyn, and their five children.

Event Review, Member News

Review: Schupan Bottle Bill Tour 2

Schupan Recycling hosted WMSBF members to a tour of its bottle recycling facility on Tuesday, May 23.

Photos from the event can be found at our Facebook page.

The program included a presentation on Schupan’s recycling efforts, a Q&A session, tutorials in their demo area, and a guided walk-through of the indoor & outdoor recycling areas.

The 55,000-square foot facility processes 45,000 tons of material each year, including most Michigan deposit containers collected west of US-27, and miscellaneous other items, such as commodity material collected from events and full-product destruction.

WMSBF is trying to find ways to offer more value to its members through member-only events and mixers such as this.  We hope that members will share these opportunities with their colleagues and network so that they might take advantage of these services as well.

Event Review, WMSBF News

May Meeting: Sustainable Cleaning & Maintenance

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hosted its May education and networking program this Monday on sustainable cleaning practices and technologies at the West Michigan Works! Grand Rapids Service Center, featuring speakers Daniel H. Montes, Vice President of Business Operations for Brilliant General Maintenance; Ron Segura, Founder and President of Segura & Associates; and Kristen Trovillion, Sustainability Coordinator for Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Photos of the event can be found on our Facebook page.

Montes and Segura shared their experiences creating and managing sustainable cleaning and maintenance programs for iconic technology and manufacturing brands in Silicon Valley and other markets in the Southwest and Michigan. Montes also discussed common challenges to implementing sustainability programs with janitorial contractors and departments and how to get buy-in from internal and external providers.

Trovillion highlighted Grand Rapids Public Schools’ recent efforts to adopt green cleaning, recycling and sustainable facility management practices. She also discussed the unique challenges of implementing a program in a public school environment and progress to date, including lessons on process, savings and training that can be applicable to all facilitates.

Thank you again to West Michigan Works! for hosting and Brilliant General Maintenance for sponsoring this month’s meeting.

WMSBF News

WMSBF Offering Make-Up Bottle Bill Tour

Back by popular demand, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a tour of the Schupan Recycling Wyoming Facility on Tuesday, May 23 from 10 am to 11:30 am. WMSBF members and their guests are invited.

The State of Michigan recycles 96 percent of the carbonated beverages containers recycled under Michigan’s Bottle Bill law at just two facilities in Wixom and Wyoming.  
The 55,000-square foot facility processes 45,000 tons of material each year, including most Michigan deposit containers collected west of US-27, and miscellaneous other items, such as commodity material collected from events and full-product destruction.

The program will include a presentation addressing frequently asked questions about the Bottle Bill.  Free program with registration. Limited to 15 participants.

All attendees must wear closed-toe shoes suitable for walking in an industrial facility with stairs and an occasionally sticky floor. Glasses, ear protection and safety vests will be provided.

Learn more and register here.

WMSBF News

WMSBF May: Sustainable Cleaning and Maintenance with Silicon Valley-based Experts

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a luncheon discussion on sustainable cleaning practices and technologies on May 8 at the West Michigan Works! Grand Rapids Service Center.

Featured speakers include Daniel H. Montes, Vice President of Business Operations for Brilliant General Maintenance, and Ron Segura, Founder and President of Segura & Associates. The two will share experiences creating and managing sustainable cleaning and maintenance programs for iconic technology and manufacturing brands in Silicon Valley and other markets in the Southwest and Michigan. Segura will also discuss common challenges to implementing sustainability programs with janitorial contractors and departments and how to get buy-in from internal and external providers.

Brilliant General Maintenance provides janitorial services to companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Michigan. It is a national leader in the development of sustainable cleaning solutions, at the forefront of efforts to improve building maintenance through thoughtful process improvement and innovative technology deployment. It has demonstrated how janitorial efforts can advance sustainability goals well beyond the use of green cleaning products, including water conservation, recycling, zero waste initiatives, and robotics.

Ron Segura has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the cleaning industry, including a decade overseeing the cleaning of 4.5 million square feet for the Walt Disney Company as Manager of Janitorial /Document Services for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. Through his consulting firm, he has assisted hundreds of organizations in the reengineering of their operations so that they are able to provide a high quality of service and still meet budgetary requirements.

Lunch provided by El Granjero Mexican Grill, recently named the West Michigan Hispanic Business of the year by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
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