Contact the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum:

Administrative Assistant
Chris Lockhart

Email • (269) 381-1574
ext. 14

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Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum Event Calendar Coming Soon!

PACE Contractor Training

Lean & Green Michigan PACE Contractor Training - Sign Up Now!

Levin Energy Partners, the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office and the Ecology Center are pleased to announce registration is now open for the first round of Lean & Green Michigan PACE contractor training this fall. We have designed the training to help electrical, mechanical and plumbing contractors, solar installers, energy auditors, architects, ESCOs and other interested companies to make the most of Michigan's rapidly growing PACE market. 

Training will be held at six locations around the state: Warren (Oct. 9), Lansing (Oct. 16), Detroit (Oct. 21), Traverse City (Oct. 23), Saginaw (Oct. 28) and Ann Arbor (Oct. 30).
Attendees will receive a light breakfast, training, a comprehensive manual (electronic and paper), marketing materials to incorporate PACE financing in your proposals, and the opportunity to ask any questions about participating in Lean & Green Michigan. The cost of the training is $150.00 if you preregister. Day of training registration is $180.00.
Once a company has gone through training and completed our new joint Lean & Green-Michigan Saves registration, you will be listed on our new contractor webpage where property owners can use multiple search criteria!
Most contractors have very little to offer commercial clients looking to make energy efficient improvements that take 10-15 years to pay for themselves. PACE fills this gap, providing 100% financing and immediate positive cash flow; it offers you a chance to expand your business and close more and bigger deals.
Lean & Green Michigan welcomes all commercial architects, designers and contractors involved with energy efficiency or renewable energy projects estimated at $200,000 or more on commercial, industrial, multifamily and private, non-profit buildings ranging from simple lighting replacements to comprehensive retrofits to participate.  To learn more or register, visit or email 

The mission of the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum is to promote business practices which demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality, and social responsibility. 

You are invited to join the SWMSBF today!  

Featured Member

Featured Member:  Solar Winds


Being a member of the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum only made sense for Solar Winds Power Systems because of their shared beliefs, discussions, and activities that the organizations had in common. 

Shelbyville-based Solar Winds is headquartered on 40 acres of private forest land that was homesteaded by Founder and Owner, Mike Linsea and his wife, Roz, Vice President of the organization. The Linsea’s have been involved in the environmental movement for over 30 years; Mike began his passion and studies in solar energy and other forms of renewable energy back in the 1970s at Jordan College and Grand Valley State College (presently GVSU). The technologies he studied intrigued him because he was pleased to see that these non fossil fuel energy producers not only worked well in Michigan but made a difference in the way that energy can influence the impact the human race has on the environment. This realization led to the desire to create a business that would include solar. In 2008, which was many years after this enlightening time and after a spending time gaining business knowledge as a manager in a fortune 100 company, Mike decided that is was time to go back to his passion of solar and create Solar Winds Power Systems.

Solar Winds is a Certified Green Business and in 2012 earned the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce Environmental Award. The company is set up to be “green” and practices sustainability. Some examples are heating with a Geo-Thermal system, creating electricity through the use of solar photovoltaic panels, purchasing and using Energy Star equipment, and recycling. Solar Winds has become the top solar installer in West Michigan and has acted as an advocate of renewable energy and sustainable practices as an active member of many organizations that support the ideals of the SWMSBF such as Michigan Land Air & Water Defense (MILAWD), West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC), and Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council (MiEIBC).

Over 70 solar projects have been installed by Solar Winds for commercial and residential clients in Michigan. These projects have contributed to thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity being produced from the sun. Some of the more notable jobs installed by Solar Winds are Fluid Process Equipment located in the WMU Business Park (a 47 kW pole mounted solar array that you can see while driving on US 131 (located on the east side by the Parkview Rd. overpass), B & B Trucking in Kalamazoo (a 20 kW roof mounted solar array located on the parking facilities for their trucks), and Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home in St. Joseph (a 52 kW roof mounted solar array consisting of 208 solar panels. The power produced by this array is equivalent to the electrical use of 8 average homes).  To learn more, call Mike Linsea at Solar Winds at 616 635-7855, or projects and information on the company can be reviewed on their website


The SWMSBF is a program of the Kalamazoo Nature Center

Guiding Principles

The Guiding Principles of the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum are to fulfill its mission as stewards in our community.

The SWMSBF and member organizations will endeavor to:

•  Promote sustainability as business practices that encompass the environment, economy and social responsibility.
•  Strive to surpass conformance to environmental regulations using compliance as the minimum standard.  
•  Follow the waste hierarchy of eliminate, reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, incinerate, and landfill.
•  Develop awareness programs and practices, and implement technologies that safeguard and preserve the environment.
•  Identify the environmental impacts of facilities and materials used in our products, processes and services in order to minimize environmental impact.
•  Encourage environmental organizations, businesses and governmental agencies to cooperate on common issues. 
•  Create opportunities to expand the Forum's concept into a national network of sustainable business forums.

Sustainable Business Forum Founders .

Link to Aggregate    

Link to Kellogg      Link to Perrigo

 Link to the Kalamazoo Nature Center 

The SWMSBF is a program of the Kalamazoo Nature Center.

Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum  •  c/o Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N Westnedge Ave  •  Kalamazoo, MI 49009

| Phone (269) 381-1574  •  Fax (269) 381-2557