MGSSBF Hosts Smart and Sustainable Buildings at Whirlpool

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a luncheon and networking program on intelligent buildings and energy efficiency at Whirlpool Global Headquarters on March 21.

See photos on Facebook here.

The program introduced attendees to the potential of intelligent building technology, detailed how it can be used in different building types, and provided a demonstration of Whirlpool’s 26-property local intelligent building infrastructure.

Whirlpool / JLL Director of Operations Dave Clayton and Buidling Management System Specialist Kieth Kiser discussed how Whirlpool has utilized integrated technology and dashboards to improve the performance of properties locally and globally.

Jason Whitman, Energy Efficiency and Consumer Program Coordinator for Indiana Michigan Power, introduced I&M’s current rebate and incentive programs for efficiency improvements.

MGSSBF Hosts Green Drinks at Silver Harbor Brewing Company

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a Green Drinks gathering at Silver Harbor Brewing Company on Wednesday, February 21.

See photos of the event on Facebook here.

During the gathering, Forum members spoke about upcoming events with the organization, including the March 21st Forum at Whirlpool Global Headquarters, featuring a presentations on Whirlpool’s use of smart buildings to improve energy efficiency, and on the latest incentive programs from Indiana Michigan Power. Also occurring at Whirlpool in the morning on March 21st is an energy efficiency workshop for municipalities, schools, universities and healthcare organizations presented by the Michigan Energy Office.  The workshop is free for representatives from those industries.

During the Green Drinks gathering, Silver Harbor Brewing Company General Manager Ben Dahl discussed Silver Harbor buildings sustainable features, including the metal used from Padnos for the interior decorating & bar, and tables made from fallen trees in Berrien County. Silver Harbor also sources locally grown food and hops as often as possible, is moving towards composting and LEED certification.

Review: Doubling the Recycling Rate

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a networking and education luncheon for local professionals interested in recycling and composting on Wednesday, January 24 at the Berrien County Conference Center.

View photos of the event on our Facebook page.

Matt Flechter, Recycling Market Development Specialist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) discussed the DEQ’s work to grow recycling markets, developing a statewide recycling education campaign, expaningd recycling opportunities at all state facilities, modernizing Michigan’s solid waste laws, and establish a sustainable funding mechanism to accomplish Michigan’s recycling goals.

Kate Binder, Sustainability Specialist for Bell’s Brewery, shared the steps the brewery took to establish composting service in a community with no commercially available compost operations.

Katie Venechuk, the Michigan DEQ Recycling and Waste Minimization Specialist for Michigan’s Great Southwest and Jill Adams, Environmental Property Manager for Berrien County Parks & Recreation Department, discussed the county’s latest efforts to promote recycling, including the expected outcomes of recycling grants, projects, and educational resources.

Speaker Presentations are available for download here:

Thank you again to Berrien County Conference Center for hosting this month’s event.

MGSSBF Honors Recent Sustainability Projects at Inaugural Great Green Gala

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum celebrated sustainability in the region last week at the Inaugural Great Green Gala on Wednesday, November 8 at Shadowland on Silver Beach.

See photos of the Gala on Facebook.

MGSSBF honored four organizations with its inaugural Sustainable Business Forum Leadership Awards, which recognizes meaningful efforts toward helping our community more equally value environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic growth. Information on this year’s winners is included below:
Continue reading MGSSBF Honors Recent Sustainability Projects at Inaugural Great Green Gala

Review: Inaugural Great Green Gala

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum celebrated sustainability in the region last week at the Inaugural Great Green Gala on Wednesday, November 8 at Shadowland on Silver Beach.

See photos of the Gala on Facebook.

This year’s event featured a roast of MGSSBF Founder Becky Kliss, remarks from St. Joseph Mayor Michael Garey on the City of St. Joseph’s sustainability initiatives, and the honoring of four organizations with its inaugural Sustainable Business Forum Leadership Awards. This year’s winners included:

Indiana Michigan Power was recognized for its new Watervliet solar power plant.
Krasl Art Center piloted a recycling effort at its annual art fair.
Lakeland Health completed a major efficiency investment to modernize its main campus in St. Joseph.
– Village of Paw Paw was honored for work to improve water quality in its community.

Thank you again to our sponsors, volunteers, and honorees.

Great Green Gala Sponsors: Indiana Michigan Power, Wightman & Associates, Chemical Bank, Lakeland Health, Whirlpool Corporation, Four Elements Energy, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, & Stryker Corporation.

 

Review: Green Coffee at Clifford’s Coffee Canal

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a Green Coffee gathering at Clifford’s Coffee Canal on Wednesday, August 16.

See photos of the event on Facebook here.

During the gathering, Forum members discussed the encouraging partnership among MGSSBSF, The City of St. Joseph, Krasl Art Center, and Berrien County Parks, which allowed for public space recycling in St. Joseph, MI this summer. This partnership marks the debut of recycling at the Krasl Art Fair in St. Joseph, which draws an estimated 50,000 visitors each year.  Approximately 500 pounds of material (plastic bottles, glass bottles, cardboard and plastic wrap) was diverted from the landfill over the 3 day event.  This summer marks the 2nd year recycling has been in place at Silver Beach County Park, located in St. Joseph.  From May through September, bins for the collection of cans and bottles are placed around the park, and cardboard from internal park operations is collection for recycling, as well.  In 2016, approximately 12% of the waste generated at the Park was diverted from landfills into the recycling stream.  The City of St. Joseph placed recycling bins around town and at city beaches during the 10 day Fourth of July holiday, which preceded the Krasl Art Fair.  More than 12,000 water bottles were collected during this trial run.

 

Review: Green Drinks at Haymarket Brewery

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a Green Drinks gathering at Haymarket Brewery on Wednesday, July 19.

See photos of the event on Facebook here.

During the gathering, Forum members spoke about upcoming events with the organization, including the September Green Office Buildings Luncheon, as well the Inaugural MGSSBF Awards Ceremony & Gala in November.

Specializing in classic Belgian and contemporary American beer styles, Haymarket produces an array of brews for every beer palette. Its highly decorated brewer has won over 50 local, national and international awards for his brewing creations including medals from the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival® and Festival of Wood and Barrel Aged Beer. Varieties range from refreshing Pilsners to hoppy ales to rich Imperial Stouts aged in bourbon barrels in our own cellar, a brewing technique that has put Crowley on the national beer map for his pioneering work with the specialty. Its impressive array of 32 tap handles behind the bar feature more than 10 house brewed varieties with space to offer other craft beer selections as well.

Review: Sustainable Local Food Systems

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a networking and education luncheon for local professionals interested in advancing a more sustainable local food system this Wednesday at the Berrien County Conference Center. The event was co-promoted with the Southwest Michigan Local Food Council.

View photos of the event on our Facebook page.

The Sustainable Local Food Systems Luncheon included a panel of experts who discussed trends and issues related to sustainability of food purchasing and production in Michigan’s Great Southwest, offering guidance to any organization that buys or sells food, and any professional or community member that eats locally.

Speakers included Heather Cole, Director of Be Healthy Berrien; Brendan Molony, Sustainability Coordinator at Bronson Healthcare; Janine Oberstadt, LEED Green Associate, Operations Director & Director Corporate Sustainability at Creative Dining Services; and Garrett Ziegler, Extension Educator – Community Food Systems atMSU Extension Greening Michigan Institute.

Thank you again to Berrien County Conference Center for hosting this month’s event.

Review: Green Coffee at David’s Delicatessen & Coffee

Michigan’s Great Southwest Sustainable Business Forum hosted a Green Coffee gathering at David’s Delicatessen & Coffee on Wednesday, May 17.

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During the gathering, Forum members discussed the downtown development in New Buffalo and David’s involvement in the formation of the Downtown Development District, which will make the town more walkable & bike-able, as well as other sustainability efforts at David’s, and the need for an integrated composting program in the region.

Also, members & students of New Buffalo High School who attended the State Envirothon discussed their projects on mycelium filtration and the Aspen, Colorado delegation upcoming this summer, an outreach program offering a way to promote the triple bottom line to high schools.

 

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.