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Sustainable Biz (9)

GRAND RAPIDS — Once companies harvest all of the proverbial low-hanging fruit in the pursuit of sustainability, they’re faced with tackling far more challenging and complex issues within their operations.

ZEELAND — Companies undertaking large office remodeling projects can struggle to find sustainable ways to handle old furniture and supplies rather than discarding them in a landfill. 

Q&A: Vincent Stanley, Patagonia

Written by | Sunday, 26 April 2015 22:00 |

Since Yvon Chouinard began selling reusable climbing pitons from the trunk of his car in 1957, Patagonia has built a reputation as a sustainable and environmentally conscious company. While the clothing and equipment retailer’s sustainability efforts have expanded over time, it took the Ventura, Calif.-based company nearly two decades to fully understand its responsibility to its customers, the environment and society, said Vincent Stanley, who serves as director of philosophy at Patagonia, a certified Benefit Corporation (B Corp). Stanley, Chouinard’s nephew, is helping to spread the company’s philosophy internally while also working to promote the benefits of corporate responsibility to others. Prior to a May 12 public event hosted by Local First to tout the region’s B Corp community, Stanley spoke with MiBiz about how sustainability can impact profitability.

Norman Christopher is West Michigan’s de facto swami of sustainability.

Sustainable businesses are by their nature engaged in many facets of corporate social responsibility.

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition and its partner organizations encourage professionals to ditch the car and use a healthier and more eco-friendly method to get to work during the inaugural Active Commute Week this May.

Amway Corp.’s broad-based business didn’t always pay attention to sustainability issues, but that is starting to change as going green is increasingly seen as having a strong business case behind it.

Sustainability is increasingly being defined not just by “green” — which can have a number of convoluted meanings — but by companies crunching large matrices of waste and energy use data and coming to meaningful solutions.

Many businesses seem to be running a popularity contest as to who can be the most sustainable. There’s no shortage of “green” claims in the marketplace. But regardless of all the social posturing involved in sustainability, there is no arguing with the improvements being sustainable can have on a company’s bottom line.

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