Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum Launches Recycling User Group

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum is launching a new recycling initiative designed to help local companies implement waste diversion programs and potentially establish zero waste to landfill goals.

The MGSSBF Zero Waste Initiative is based on a program that has helped Kent and Ottawa county organizations collaborate on shared challenges for recycling and waste diversion. Facilitated by Sustainable Research Group, which also facilitates the Grand Rapids program, the Zero Waste Initiative supports the efforts of Southwest Michigan businesses to keep waste from being sent to landfills. It will promote the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recovery hierarchy, helping to establish a circular economy in the region through education, evaluation, research and joint activities.

The initiative is led by a group of six founding sponsors: Brilliant General Maintenance, Jones Lang La Salle, Lakeland Hospital, Stryker Corporation, Western Michigan University, and Whirlpool. It will meet once per quarter, with educational opportunities and other support provided virtually in between meetings.

Formed in 2013, the Grand Rapids-based Zero Waste to Landfill User group assists local manufacturers in finding alternative disposal methods for troublesome waste products by working across multiple industries, combining small- and medium-sized manufacturers with the likes of Haworth and Herman Miller. Members of the original group already have had considerable success with developing internal recycling programs for materials such as paper, corrugated cardboard and food waste, and were looking to address the last 10 percent of or most difficult materials to recycle in their waste streams.   MGSSBF founder and Green Connection Inc. President Becky Kliss organized the Southwest Michigan group.

The Southwest Michigan group will focus on program implementation and infrastructure development, aligning with other waste reduction activities in the region, and benefit from the experience of the more established participants in the sister group.

Any organization with waste reduction needs may participate for an annual fee of $250 for up to two representatives per company. Organizations that are not members of MGSSBF will be asked to join the organization after one year or pay an increased annual fee.

Learn more at mgssbf.org/zero.

Review: Sustainability Issues Legislative Breakfast

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted its 7th Annual Sustainability Issues Legislative Breakfast on Friday, April 21 at Lake Michigan College.

View photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Also, watch Fred Upton’s interview on the legislative event with WSBT 22.

The meeting included a panel discussion among local elected officials and experts on current issues relevant to sustainability locally and nationally, including conservation efforts and funding, clean energy, and environmental regulation in the Great Lakes, Michigan, and the United States.

Panelists included Fred Upton, U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District; Kim LaSata, Representative for Michigan’s 79th House District; Liesl Clark, President, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council; and Patty Birkholz, West Michigan Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and Member, Great Lakes Advisory Board

Thank you again to Lake Michigan College for hosting and Whirlpool for sponsoring this month’s event.

Review: March Green Drinks at 221 Main

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted their March Green Drinks at 221 Main – Restaurant & Cocktail House.

During the gathering, Forum members spoke about sustainable happenings in the region, as well as the organizations upcoming 7th Annual Sustainability Issues Legislative Breakfast on April 21. The Legislative Meeting will host a panel discussion among local elected officials and experts on policy issues impacting sustainable business and sustainability in Michigan’s Great Southwest, including Congressmen Fred Upton and State Representative Kim LaSata.

221 Main – Restaurant & Cocktail House is a steakhouse & seafood restaurant serving downtown St. Joseph / Berrien County communities, 221 Main offers a menu which includes a selection of dishes inspired by our executive chef and complementary hand-crafted cocktails served in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. A great lunch and dinner destination, 221 Main serves full course meals, with spirits to choose from our over 120 whiskies, bourbons, scotches and ryes. Newly-opened sister restaurant, The Terrace at 221, is located right upstairs. The Terrace is a 21 & over dining establishment focusing on small plates, entrées, fine wine and over 221 whiskies from all over the world!

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum presents Seventh Annual Sustainability Issues Legislative Breakfast

pptBvKFzJpLUznn-1600x900-noPadMichigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum will celebrate Earth Day this week with a panel discussion on Great Lakes conservation, clean energy and other topics at its Seventh Annual Sustainability Issues Legislative Breakfast on Friday, April 21 from 7:30 am – 9 am at the Hanson Technology Center at Lake Michigan College.

This year’s panel is headlined by Rep. Fred Upton, Southwest Michigan’s representative to Congress since 1987, and Rep. Kim LaSata, recently elected Representative for Michigan’s 79th House District, which includes St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and the surrounding areas. Other experts include Liesl Clark, President of the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Patty Birkholz, West Michigan Director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, a former State Senator and current Member of the Great Lakes Advisory Board and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Board of Directors.

Panelists will discuss current issues relevant to sustainability locally and nationally, including Great Lakes conservation efforts and funding, clean energy, environmental regulation, and a selection of questions submitted by MGSSBF members prior to the event.

A hot breakfast will be provided. Event is $15 for MGSSBF members if paid online, $20 for non-members.  Learn more and register here.