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.

Presentations:

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.

Thank you again to John Ball Zoo for hosting and sponsoring this month’s meeting.

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. 

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.

Event Review, WMSBF News

April Meeting: Circularity Lessons from Carpet and Cradle to Cradle

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hosted its April education and networking program in Holland this Monday, featuring the sustainability lead for the world’s largest carpet manufacturer on circular economy issues and sustainability, Paul Murray of Shaw Industries, at Haworth Inn & Conference Center.

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

Paul Murray discussed Shaw’s approach to sustainability focuses including transparency, material health, material reutilization, efficient use of resources, and social responsibility. He shared his unique outlook on holistic approaches to sustainability and the circular economy, as well as his teams role in helping Bill McDonough create and maintain the Cradle to Cradle model for product certification and integrate it into a company’s culture.

Also presenting at the meeting were Mark Theobald of Environmental Resources Management & Dan Nally of Holland Board of Public Works, who discussed their companies recent award winning work on the new Holland Energy Park.

Presentations:

Thank you again to the Holland-Hope Sustainability Institute for hosting and Environmental Resources Management for sponsoring this month’s meeting.  

Event Review, WMSBF News

March Meeting: WMSBF Annual Conference

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum hosted the West Michigan Sustainable Business Conference last Monday, March 13 at Davenport University.

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The annual half-day event brought together sustainability practitioners and stakeholders from business, government, non-profits and academia to discuss business practices that promote climate and energy resiliency, social responsibility, and a circular economy.

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

Expert panelists offered unique perspectives on how organizations and communities can leverage circular design and waste diversion to unlock economic value, highlighted diverse approaches to clean energy investments and responses to climate change, and discussed how the private sector can take a leadership position on pressing social and environmental issues.

Event Review

February Meeting: West Michigan Climate Resiliency

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum presented on climate resilience in West Michigan during the monthly membership meeting on Monday, February 13 at the Grand Rapids Public Library.

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

Dan Schoonmaker of WMSBF & Danny McGee of Sustainable Research Group introduced their recent work on climate resiliency with local organizations as part of the Climate Resiliency Framework Initiative. A partnership with the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program, the project is developing resources for organizations to conduct vulnerability assessments informed by predicted industry impacts and localized historical climate data and projections, and to establish systems to monitor and respond to identified threats and opportunities.

Featured speaker Jeff Andresen, the principal investigator for the Great Lakes Sciences and Assessments Program which is funding the WMSBF project, discussed climate change in the Great Lakes and West Michigan, and why communities and organizations should consider adaptation within their response to climate change and environmental programs.

Presentations:

Thank you again to the Grand Rapids Public Library for hosting and the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences & Assessments Center for sponsoring this month’s meeting.  

Event Review, Member News

Review: Schupan Recycling Tour

Schupan Recycling hosted WMSBF members to a tour of its bottle recycling facility last week.

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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

December Meeting: Sustainability at Meijer; ReImagine Trash

The December membership meeting at Kendall College of Art and Design featured a presentation on a sustainability at Meijer, as well as Kent County’s ReImagine Trash campaign.

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

Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, discussed Meijer’s approach to environmental management, including its compliance management system, sustainability plan, environmental footprint, and progress on sustainability initiatives.

Dar Baas, Director of Kent County Department of Public Works, also presented on the county’s recently finalized Landfill Reduction Plan: Strategy to ReImagine Trash.

Cheri Holman of US Green Building Council’s West Michigan chapter also spoke on Battle of the Buildings, an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction open to all Michigan area commercial & industrial buildings.

Presentations:

Due to company policy, we are not able to distribute the Meijer presentation.

Thank you again to Kendall College of Art and Design for hosting and Sustainable Research Group sponsoring this month’s meeting.