RSVP here.

If sustainability has gone mainstream in management practice and management science, why are so many social and environmental problems getting worse?  This month the forum welcomes the director of the nation’s top-ranked sustainable business school and author of Flourishing: A Frank Conversation on Sustainability for a discussion on how businesses must redefine sustainability in response to a fundamentally new state of human existence.

Andy Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan; a position that holds joint appointments at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment.  Within this role, Andy also serves as Director of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise. He has published over 100 articles and book chapters, as well as 11 books, which have been translated into 5 languages.  He earned his PhD from MIT.Hoffman 1

Hoffman will discuss the implications of an emerging cultural shift to sustainable business, the necessity of “dark greens” and “light greens,” the waning meaning of environmental rhetoric, and the difficulties of forming a social consensus around climate change. He believes that conceptions of sustainability are presently based on traditional notions of business strategy and eco-efficiency, defined by existing routines and processes. But the notion of Anthropocene (human life as a geophysical force able to alter the climate) highlights the emerging reality that we now face something fundamentally new, requiring new and different forms of market shifts and responses.

Also on the agenda is a case study on the renovation of designer Thomas Newhouse’s green roof, the first of its kind in West Michigan. Experts from Ecometrics and Advanced Green Architecture will discuss how the 35-year-old, self-invented, self-planted live roof (designated a certified wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation) was updated with a state-of-the-art, locally designed and manufactured green roof system.  A preview of a presentation planned for Greenbuild 2014, the project team will explain how they focused on creating added value beyond stormwater and energy benefits by designing specifically for increased biodiversity and wildlife habitat.  Attendees will learn basic design principles associated with habitat restoration on green roofs along with a review of the project installation.   

The meeting will also serve as a kick-off to the 2014 WMSBF Green Leaders and Future Green Leaders Competition, the forum’s third annual essay competition and eighth annual scholarship competition.   Full-time students are free with RSVP thanks to a donation from Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.  Hoffman will also be offering a special talk for students after the event, from 2 pm to 3 pm, in the same room. 

RSVP here.


Andy Hoffman
Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise

Erik Cronk and Jeremiah Johnson
Green Roof Consultants
Advanced Green Architecture

Sam Pobst
Green Building Consultant
Eco Metrics

Monday, February 10
12 pm to 2 pm
Aquinas College Wege Ballroom
1607 Robinson Rd SE
$10 members/$15 non-members
Students free with RSVP.

This month’s program sponsored by Eco MetricsAdvanced Green Architecture, and Thomas J. Newhouse Design, with additional support from Aquinas College and Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown.