For the Benefit of all: West Michigan B-Corps proliferate

Michigan now has 14 registered B-corps, companies that are certified in environmental and societal stewardship. GR is home to 11 of these conscious companies. Check them out!
Michigan now has 14 registered B-corps, companies who are certified in environmental and societal stewardship. With the state's fastest growing economy, it's no surprise that Grand Rapids is home to 11 of these conscious companies. Check out the list and explore why a few of them chose to pursue this certification and way of doing business.
The Image Shoppe
756 Fulton St. W, Suite 202
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

“B Corp certification was a good way for us to validate who we’ve been at the core since founding the company, while also providing accountability. It's helped us document baselines for our sustainable practices and create goals to continuously improve upon them.

  • Forming a Diversity & Inclusion task force and changing our hiring policy to an Inclusive Hiring Policy
  • Measuring and documenting our waste: compost, recycling & landfill. We reduced our landfill by 53% in 2017 over 2016 totals.
What does it mean for customers?

Our tagline says it best: 'brand marketing ally.' We’ve been a pretty transparent company from day one, and B Corp certification really backs that up. For us 'brand marketing ally’ goes a level deeper than ‘partner’ and you’ll hear our team using it regularly: 'Are we being an ally for this client?’ We consider an ally to be someone who knows you very well, looks out for your best interest, has your back, and pushes you to be a better person (company).” —Karen Tracey, President and Creative DirectorBrewery Vivant
925 Cherry St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

“Being a B CORP gives us more to think about as a company & inspires us to reach and stretch. From affordable healthcare, retirement planning, profit sharing, volunteering in the community, working towards zero waste, and donating 10% of profits to charitable causes, we want Brewery Vivant to serve as a beacon in the beer industry, while elevating the business community as a whole.” —Kris Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant (courtesy of Local First's website)

Atomic Object (Grand Rapids office)
1034 Wealthy St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

“B Corp certification tells me that what we’ve built isn’t just a collection of one-off decisions or the founders’ quirks...It is a validation of our cohesive strategy of treating people well and thinking about more than just revenue. I want Atomic to be a place where our success is defined in terms of products, profits, people, and place. The B Corp community recognizes and measures a broader, multi-stakeholder definition of ‘doing good,’ and that is Atomic’s future.” —CEO and Co-founder Carl Erickson

959 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids MI, 49506

Next Door Photos

"We’ve always been excited about the impact that we’ve had on the community, but now we have the transparency to help validate our commitment to social and environmental sustainability. Becoming a Certified B Corporation cements our commitment to our employees, our local community, and customers in a deep and meaningful way." —Toby Blom, Managing Partner

Highland Group
645 Cherry St SE # 200
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

“We became a B Corp because we wanted external validation of the values Highland Group operates and to demonstrate that one can be a small company and still have a positive impact on social justice—starting in our own backyard.

"Holding ourselves accountable to B Corporation’s high standards of performance, transparency and accountability helps us measure our accomplishments, and gives us a yardstick for continuous improvement.” —Jennifer Crowley, Partner

Essence Restaurant Group
44 Grandville Ave SW #360
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

"As a food first organization, Essence Restaurant Group believes the path of enriching our local food systems lies within transparency and the relationships that are built by supporting local and independent businesses. Our B Corp certification holds us accountable and measures the success of our vision." —Lauren Jaenicke, Marketing and Sustainability Director
The GFB (Gluten Free Bar)
4053 Brockton Dr SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

In an article published last year in Rapid Growth, Managing Editor Lauren Fay Carlson explored GFB's B-corp certification:

"Perhaps the Rader brothers biggest point of pride—besides having built a successful business off of a healthy snack and headquartering it here in their home town—is their certified B Corp status. Defined by B Corporation defines this special designation on their website: 'B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.'

'It aligned with our values here,' says Elliott, who, together with his brother, had from the start desired to limit GFB's impact on the planet, pay living wages, and hire local employees, among other things. After 1.5 years with the certification, Elliott notes, 'We're proud to be a Michigan B Corp.'"

Catalyst Partners
502 Second St NW #200
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

"B-Corp provides leadership metrics for Catalyst Partners to validate best practices, identify opportunities for improvement and learn from other like-minded businesses. We especially like the accountability it mandates as an independent, transparent, third-party verified benchmark." —Keith Winn, President

Cascade Engineering Company
3400 Innovation Court SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Better Way Imports
201 W Washington Ave #100
Zeeland, MI 49464
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