Member News, WMSBF News

Meijer Sustainability Lead to Discuss Company’s Efforts at Next Event

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will host a luncheon examining sustainability efforts at one of West Michigan’s leading brands on Monday, December 12 at Kendall College of Art & Design.

Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability, will present Meijer’s approach to environmental management, including its compliance management system, Sustainability Plan, environmental footprint, and progress on sustainability

Petrovskis has 20 years of experience as an environmental consultant, where he also maintained an active applied research program in bioremediation. He is responsible for due diligence, remediation, compliance, and sustainability at Meijer, with particular focus on stormwater management and food

Also on the agenda is Dar Baas, Director of Kent County Department of Public Works, who will discuss the county’s recently finalized Landfill Reduction Plan: Strategy to ReImagine Trash.

The event begins with networking and lunch at 12 pm, with presentations from 12:30 to 2 pm. Learn more and register for the event at at Register by Friday, December 9.

Event Review, Member News, WMSBF News

November Review: Climate Resiliency & Adaptation

The November membership meeting at the Amway Corporate Headquarters featured a presentation on ational and global scale resilience and climate adaptation and other topics.

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See photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Featured speaker Dale Sands, Global Practice Director in the Private Sector Division of CH2M, discussed resilience and climate adaptation, actions the public and private sector are taking to evaluate their vulnerability, and his recent work developing a framework for disaster risk reduction on behalf of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, which was recently used to assess the preparedness of 208 businesses located within New Orleans historic commercial corridors.

Representatives from Amway also discussed Envisioning Ada, a resident-guided community vision for the future of the Ada Village designed to enhance its natural and cultural assets for walkability, livability and sustainability.


This month’s conference presented by Amway.

Member News, WMSBF News

October Member News Round-Up

WMSBF Director Daniel Schoonmaker was honored as one of West Michigan’s 40 under Forty Business Leaders by the Grand Rapids Business Journal this week.  Other member representatives receiving the honor included Elissa Hillary of Local First, John Behrens and Joel Schellhammer of Steelcase, Sara Brooks and Chris Sain of Grand Rapids Community College, Jason Franklin of Grand Valley State University, Rick Jensen and Joshua Meringa of Spectrum Health, Mike Mraz of Rockford Construction, and Stacy Stout of City of Grand Rapids.

Corp Magazine will host Michigan’s Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies at Grand Rapid Brewing Company on November 2.  The competition is a statewide celebration of organizations that inspire and produce green technology to impact the industry and environment. The symposium celebrates those companies that are making their businesses more sustainable, the lives of their employees better and the community more responsible as a whole. Several WMSBF members are expected to be recognized, as in past years. Continue reading

Member News, WMSBF News

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. Continue reading

Member News

Advanced Technology Recycling: Michigan 1 Million Pound CRT Challenge for 2016

Advanced Technology Recycling (ATR) in Grand Rapids announced they have secured a major OEM contract that provides up to 1 Million pounds of free CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) recycling and 500,000 pounds of other CED’s to Michigan Residents until 10/1/2016.  The agreement is part of an ongoing effort by ATR to provide certified and secure end of life recycling solutions within their ever expanding coverage areas.   Michigan OEM Take back program participation has been sluggish in recent years due to increased CRT processing fees which often get passed onto consumers.   The agreement comes midterm in the 2016 program year and poses a unique challenge for collection partners that have been forced to charge a fee in the wake of record low commodity prices.   In 2015 ATR used the One Million Pound Challenge (OMPC) initiative to successfully motivate consumers on Earth day and successfully set a new Guinness World Record for “Most Consumer Electronics Recycled in 1 week across multiple locations”  and collected 1,180,442 Pounds of e-Waste.  “We’re rebooting the OMPC for 2016 and focusing our attention on Michigan” said Brodie Ehresman ATR’s National Business Development Manager based out of their Grand Rapids location. Continue reading

Member News, WMSBF News

WMSBF to Host Program on HR and Sustainability

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present a luncheon examining the triple-bottom-line impacts of employee development and advancement on Monday, July 11 at the Grand Rapids Community College Applied Technology Center from 12 to 2 pm.

Featured speaker is Kenyatta Brame, Executive Vice President of Cascade Engineering, who will discuss the critical importance of worker opportunity and equity to an organization’s sustainability strategy, its long-term profitability, and community prosperity. West Michigan Works! and GRCC Workforce Training will also present on available resources and financial incentives for employee training and development. Continue reading

Member News, WMSBF News

Study Finds Recycling Michigan Garbage Potential $399 Million Economic Impact


Food waste and cardboard among top materials sampled from state’s landfills 

  • Study sampled waste from eight sites across Michigan, sorting approximately 10 tons of material
  • Michigan garbage contains an estimated $368 million of recyclable material
  • Capturing this material would have a $399 million economic impact, or an estimated 2,619 jobs
  • West Michigan garbage contains an estimated $52 million of recyclable material
  • In communities with recycling programs, 42% of garbage is “easily recyclable”
  • Food waste accounted for 13.6% of garbage, the largest source of divertible material
  • Corrugated cardboard a “high-volume, high-value opportunity” material at 8.4%, but more prevalent in commercial waste (10.5% commercial to 5.8% residential)

Continue reading

Member News

Wege Prize Names Finalists

Wege Prize, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD) uniquely transdisciplinary design competition focused on the circular economy, has selected five teams of undergraduate students from around the world to move on to the final stage of the third annual competition based on overviews of their solutions to a “wicked” problem. Now, those solutions will be critiqued by a panel of leading practitioners and advocates of design thinking and sustainability.

At the Wege Prize Awards on May 14, 2016 at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A., the five teams will present their solutions in full to the judges, who will choose a first, second, and third place winner. The top award of $15,000 will be given to the winning team, with awards of $10,000 and $5,000 going to the second-place and third-place teams, respectively.

Teams were asked to create a solution to the following “wicked” problem: How can we create a circular economy? Each team – composed of five undergraduates representing different academic institutions and majors of study – had to design a product, service, or business model that can function within and help create a paradigm shift towards a circular economic model, an economic model in which resources and capital are regenerative.

Continue reading

Member News

WMSBF Board Applications Open

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum is now seeking applicants for its 2016 to 2018 board of directors term.  Candidates should be willing and able to lend their vision and leadership to enhancing the direction of the forum over the next two years. You will find a summary of the responsibilities of board membership here and any further detail will be available upon request.

A slate of eight candidates selected by the nominating committee will be presented for a vote of the full membership in May.   We are anticipating five returning board members and three open seats.  Our bylaws require at least two directors rotate off each year.

The 2016-2017 Board of Directors will be presented to the membership at the Annual Meeting on Monday, June 20.  Retiring board members will be honored at the time as well, along with the 2016 Recipient of the WMSBF President’s Award.

Current vice president of the board Alison Sutter, manager of corporate responsibility for SpartanNash, is President-Elect.

Interested parties can apply by completing the Board Application Form here.  Deadline for applications is April 15th.

Contact Daniel Schoonmaker at for further details.