Food Service & Agriculture, Nonprofits, and Sustainability

Brewery wins Sustainable Business of the Year award

November 10, 2015
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Breweries partner on beer
Brewers from Brewery Vivant and Victory Brewing Co. work on creating the beer Bon Vivant. Photo via

A sustainability nonprofit has named the winner of its Sustainable Business of the Year award at its second-annual Triple Bottom Line Bash.

Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids was honored with the recognition last week from the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, or WMSBF.

The neighborhood brewery is a Certified B Corp, was the first brewery in the nation to become LEED certified, is a Certified Bicycle Friendly Business and annually highlights its commitment to sustainability through its “Beer the change . . .” report.

The WMSBF highlighted some of Brewery Vivant’s 2014 sustainability achievements: sending less than 1 percent of waste to the incinerator; donating 11 percent of profits and 233 volunteer hours to local charitable organizations; and reducing energy intensity by 17 percent, mostly due to purchasing 100 percent renewably generated electricity.

Brewery Vivant is also trying to increase sustainability within the brewing community.

It recently helped initiate the creation of a sustainability committee through the Michigan Brewer’s Guild, with a goal of elevating the level of sustainable business and brewing practices throughout the state’s many craft breweries by providing online resources and opportunities to share best practices, according to the WMSBF.

Kris Spaulding, Brewery Vivant’s co-owner and sustainability director, said the business is “humbled” to win the award.


A number of nominees were up for the award: Aquinas College, BIFMA, Busy Bea’s, Clothing Matters, Direct Trade Coffee Club, Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Herman Miller and Steelcase.  

Nominees were chosen by a committee comprised of WMSBF Hall of Fame honorees George Heartwell and Bill Stough, past WMSBF presidents Gabe Wing, Carol Parsaca, Su Paauwe and Jennifer Wammack and WMSBF director Daniel Schoonmaker.

The winner was selected by a vote of the membership.

Hall of Fame inductees

The forum also inducted four professionals into its Sustainable Business Hall of Fame: Renae Hesselink of Nichols, David Rinard of Steelcase, Rich Vanderveen of Mackinaw Power and designer Tom Newhouse.

They are recognized for their individual contributions to sustainable business in West Michigan.

Future award

An additional award was given to a professional deserving of wider recognition, as Perrigo's Brock Rodgers was honored with the 2015 Future Hall of Fame Award. 

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