Nominees were selected by a committee comprised of past honorees and past WMSBF presidents, including Bill Stough, Gabe Wing, Jennifer Wammack, David Rinard, Gayle DeBruyn, Tom Newhouse, Kris Spaulding, Jason Kehr, Alison Sutter and Daniel Schoonmaker. The winner will be selected by a vote of current members. You must vote no later than Monday, October 9. 

Vote Here.

The honor recognizes the local organization that best represents the values of the triple-bottom line:

  • Demonstrates the mission of the WMSBF “To promote business practices that demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality, and social responsibility through education and collaboration.”
  • Demonstrates a clear, compelling vision and core values that underscore how that vision will be achieved as it relates to ongoing sustainability efforts.
  • Demonstrates policies, procedures and/or initiatives that set high standards for socially responsible and environmentally preferable products, services, business practices, and as members of the communities in which they operate.

Meet the 2017 West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum Business of the Year Nominees.



BarFly Ventures is a hospitality group and the parent company of HopCat, Stella’s Lounge, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and The Waldron Public House.

Barfly goes a little farther than most restaurants, in that they recycle and compost up to 90 percent of the waste they generate.  All of its food waste, spent grain, take-out containers, straws, disposable cups, and paper waste is currently composted, and turned back into new soil for local farmers.  It also provides health insurance to all full-time employees. The BarFly family has expanded into East Lansing, Indianapolis, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and several other Midwest cities. Throughout its expansion, the mission has remained the same: Barfly cares about the environment and the world around us, offers a unique dining and drinking experience, and makes sure each and every guest feels important.

  • Awarded #1 in Energy conservation in the 2016 Battle of the Buildings
  • Founding members of the Grand Rapids 2030 District
  • Donated over $60,000 to over 170 nonprofits
  • Composted 3,870 cubic yards in 2016 and donated 13,000 to create productive green spaces
  • Donated $8,000 to local clean water initiatives
  • WMSBF honored it with the Change Agent Award for Emerging Sustainability Programs in 2016

View the latest Barfly Ventures sustainability report here.



Catalyst Partners is a multi-dimensional consortium of knowledge leaders committed to high performance restorative protocols for buildings, interiors and products. Since 2002, Catalyst Partners has specialized in LEED project administration and optimizing building performance. It has grown to be a national and global presence.

To document this impact for buildings, Catalyst Partners provides certification assistance for projects under these certification systems: LEED, WELL, Living Building Challenge, Enterprise Green Communities, and BREEAM.  It acts as the “catalyst” that helps clients establish their measurements and goals.

  • 2016 and 2017 B Corp Best for the World Overall
  • 2016 and 2017 B Corp Best for Community
  • 2016 and 2017 B Corp Best for the Environment
  • 2012 LEED Platinum Certification for Corporate Headquarters
  • 2010 Neighborhood Business Awards: The Gerald R. Helmholdt Grand Award

Catalyst Partners’ B-Corp information can be found here.




With its mission of changing lives and communities through the power of work, Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids, Inc. is dedicated to having a positive environmental impact on its local community through the responsible management of material donations. Goodwill’s goal is to extract the most value from the donations received and ensure that the end-of-life of many of those products find their way into reuse and recycling markets.  In Grand Rapids, Goodwill manages 19 traditional retail stores, an Outlet Center and a boutique store. In addition to selling products in its reuse markets, Goodwill embraces the “Triple Bottom Line” ideology and works hard to get each donation into the right home. Through its job placement and employment, Goodwill also embraces the social aspect of a sustainable business.

  • Recycles over 25 million lbs of household donations annually
  • Places 1,000 people into competitive employment annually
  • Accredited with the US Green Building Council
  • Accredited with the Michigan Recycling Coalition
  • Accredited with Partners for a Racism-Free Community

Goodwill’s annual report is available at



Grand Valley State University offers over 250 sustainability-related courses at the university that contain sustainability “triple bottom line” (TBL) content areas. Students at GVSU can focus on ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) through degree programs in the sciences, sustainability certificates, sustainability themes and issues, sustainability emphasis areas, as well as specific sustainability content courses.

In 2009, Sustainability became the 7th value at the university thereby raising the bar on sustainability leadership and commitment. Since that time, sustainability has been viewed as a lifestyle on campus and in the community. This focus has led to recognition such as GVSU being listed as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada for the seventh year in a row in 2016 by the Princeton Review.

  • GVSU was recognized as one of America’s greenest universities in 2016 by Best Colleges.
  • In the recent year, new LEED building and construction contributed $83 million into the local economy creating 1,764 trade and professional jobs.
  • Its recent Solar Gardens project in partnership with Consumers Energy is the largest solar panel installation in Michigan with 11,250 panels.
  • GVSU was a founding partner of the Grand Rapids Community Sustainability Partnership.
  • GVSU has a current AASHE STARS (Sustainability Tracking Assessment Rating System) Gold rating of 70.80.  It was the first university to achieve a Gold rating in Michigan.

Learn more about the GVSU sustainability journey here.



In pursuit of a gluten-free bar that was high protein and tasted awesome, brothers Marshall and Elliot created the GFB in 2010. Since that time, growth has expanded to 9,000 locations throughout the US, Canada, and now Europe. The GFB is a triple bottom line company with a commitment to social and environmental goals. It runs its own production facility, which for a food manufacturer these days is rare, but it allows them to focus on quality while employing a local workforce and making positive contributions to the local economy and community.

  • Procedures and framework now in place to become a TRUE certified zero waste facility (anticipated certification in Oct 2018)
  • Active member of the 30-2-2 program with approximately 10 returning citizens currently employed at The GFB
  • The GFB now sponsors 24 hours per team member per year of paid volunteer service
  • Increased average hourly rate for production staff by 21% from 2016-2017
  • In process of re-certifying B Corp status (due 10/26) with anticipated new score of 90 (a 12% increase from 2015 score)

The GFB’s B-Corp information can be found here