Master of Sustainable Business  

Case Studies in Sustainable Business


The organizations listed below are engaged in a sustainable transformation.

Examples in West Michigan


Steelcase was founded in 1912 as The Metal Office Furniture Company by a few people with a strong commitment to integrity and doing the right thing for their customers, employees, business partners, associates and neighbors. Today, their portfolio of solutions addresses the three core elements of an office environment: interior architecture, furniture and technology. >More Information
Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos launched their business in the 1950s. What they discovered over 50 years ago still remains true today – that people and relationships are at the core of any successful business. Amway remains a thriving, multibillion-dollar international business, improving people’s lives and representing opportunity in more than 80 international markets and territories. >More Information
Bazzani Associates
At Bazzani, green design is not just one kind of service they offer. Green building is the only thing they do. It's who they are, and it's who they’ve been for over 25 years. Their mission is to lead the industry in sustainable development and building practices that improve the economic, social, and environmental health of the communities they serve.
Sustainable Research Group
SRG is in business to help manufacturers, service companies, governmental and institutional organizations identify, document, and improve their performance to the triple-bottom-line defined as performance that simultaneously improves the integrity of ecological systems, the vitality of the economy and the advancement of social equity. >More Information
Metro Health Hospital
Metro Health’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of their communities through “The Metro Way.” They believe in taking health care to a better place by striving for excellence, treating others with integrity, respect and compassion, using effective communication and teamwork, and demonstrating a commitment to the universe, environment, community, organization and one another. >More Information
Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit system of care dedicated to improving the health of families and individuals. Their organization includes a medical center, regional community hospitals, a dedicated children's hospital, a multi-specialty medical group, physician groups and a nationally recognized health plan, Priority Health. >More Information
Saint Mary’s Health Care
Founded in 1893, Saint Mary’s Health Care is at the forefront of medicine in West Michigan. As a progressive leader in cancer treatment, neurosciences, orthopedics, diabetes and endocrine care, kidney transplants, and integrative medicine, they’re continually investing in new technologies, specialist physicians, vital medical research as well as comprehensive new facilities. >More Information
Priority Health
Founded in 1986, Priority Health is a nationally recognized health insurance company based in Michigan. Priority Health consistently beats the national average in containing health care costs. They serve half a million people and 8,500 employers across Michigan. >More Information
Rockford Construction
Rockford Construction was founded in 1987. Today, Rockford Companies includes Rockford Construction and Rockford Development Group, L.L.C. Best known as Rockford, the organization has more than 150 employees and is ready to do business in 41 states across the country. Rockford works to support local disadvantaged businesses along with encouraging workforce diversity - in their offices and on sites. >More Information
Herman Miller
Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is an American manufacturer of office furniture and equipment, as well as modern furniture for the home. Herman Miller is consistently recognized as one of Fortune Magazine's "Most Admired Companies," having placed at the top of the list for Furniture companies for the past 18 consecutive years. >More Information
Cascade Engineering
Cascade Engineering is a multi-business manufacturer and marketer supporting multiple brands. They manufacture for and market to a variety of industries such as automotive, commercial truck & bus, solid waste & recycling, furniture, material handling and renewable energy. They employ a sustainable business model based on diversification, innovation and sustainable development. >More Information
Local First was founded in 2003 by a group of local business owners led by Guy Bazzani. Today, Local First has grown into a nationally recognized organization representing nearly 600 locally owned businesses in West Michigan. Local First is a non-profit premier organization advocating for local business ownership in the Midwest. >More Information
Van Andel Institute
Founded by Jay and Betty Van Andel, Van Andel Institute’s goal is to have an impact worldwide on medical science and education. The Institute supports Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) and Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) in achieving this goal. Located in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Institute has led the expansion of the life science industry in this region. >More Information
Progressive Architecture
As a 101 Best and Brightest winner for four years straight and an elite winner in two categories, Progressive AE’s clients reap the rewards of having smart and healthy people contributing to their success. They’ve designed an award-winning health and wellness program and host over 100 learning events each year. Progressive AE has also long been known as a long-standing community leader. >More Information
Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community

Pilgrim Manor Retirement Community was founded in 1963 by members of the Congregational/United Church of Christ in West Michigan (UCC). Pilgrim Manor, a nonprofit corporation, provides a community for older adults of all faiths that enables them to meet their on-going physical, social, and spiritual needs affirming their dignity, meaning, and worth. >More Information


Other (Regional/National/International) Examples


New Seasons Market - Portland, Oregon

New Seasons Market buys locally, keeping more of the money the community spends right at home where it belongs. Mixed in with familiar products such as Frosted Flakes and Bumblebee Tuna, New Seasons Market has everything its customers need. Founded in 1999 and located all over Oregon, the company keeps a true commitment to its community by promoting sustainable agriculture and maintaining a progressive workplace. >More Information
Patagonia - Ventura, California
Patagonia grew out of a small company that made tools for climbers. Alpinism remains at the heart of a worldwide business that still makes clothes for climbing - as well as for skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. In each sport, reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between nature and people. Their values reflect those of a business started by a band of climbers and surfers, and the minimalist style they promoted. The approach they take towards product design demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility. >More Information
Aveda - Blaine, Minnesota
Aveda™, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences™, was founded in 1978 with the goal of providing beauty industry professionals with high performance, botanically based products that would be better for service providers and their guests, as well as for the planet. Aveda manufactures professional plant-based hair care, skin care, makeup, Pure-Fume™ and lifestyle products. Headquartered in Blaine, Minnesota, Aveda is available in Aveda stores, and in nearly 7,000 professional hair salons and spas in 24 countries worldwide. >More Information