Our Criteria

Sustainable TC  seeks to take the work out of healthy, sustainable living.  As part of that mission, we seek to connect consumers to the businesses and products that employ a triple bottom line: People, planet, and profit.  In our Green Directory and in the “find it” sections of our website, we list the companies in northwest Michigan that are making an extra effort to build an environmentally sustainable and socially just economy in our region.    We also list those companies from “beyond northern Michigan” we think our readers would want to know about. We sift through all the greenwashing to find the best places to “vote with your dollars,” based on the following criteria:

Eco-Friendly:  Has the company taken extra care to be environmentally responsible in the product or service it offers?  How are the raw materials, production, packaging, distribution,  and disposal/recycling more sustainable than their competitors?  Is it certified as organic or sustainable by a third party?

Social Responsibility:  Is this company a tool for social change?  Does it pay a fair wage to workers and offer benefits to workers?    Does it take care to ensure that its products don’t contribute to abusive working conditions, such as child labor, overexposure to toxins, human trafficking, or sweatshop factories?  Is it certified as union made, fair trade, cruelty free, or otherwise socially responsible?  Is it owned by a woman or a minority?

Business Operations:  Has the company taken extra care to reduce energy consumption and paper waste in its business operations?  Does it use renewable energy or offset its energy use?  Does it recycle its waste?

Quality:  Does the company offer a high quality product or service at a fair price?

As Local as Possible:  Is the company locally* owned?  Are its products or services produced or sourced locally? Does it support our local economy in other ways?  Are its products made in the USA?

The companies listed in our Green Directory were chosen because they stand out among their competitors in one or more of the areas described above.  We strive to find the triple bottom line businesses that are worthy of your voting dollars, and to provide incentives for them to become even more sustainable.

Our listings provide a brief explanation of why each company was chosen, and may link to their Sustainability Survey, to provide the consumer with even more information.  Our goal is complete transparency, and a more informed consumer.  If you think your company should be listed in the Green Directory, You can apply by filling out our Sustainability Survey here.  If you know of a company that should be listed with Sustainable TC, contact us at SustainableTC@gmail.com.  We would love to hear from you!

* While everyone defines “local” in their own way, Sustainable TC considers our local economy to include northwest Michigan:  Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, Benzie, Manistee, Kalkaska, and Wexford Counties.