VBSR Logo Vermont
for Social Responsibility
Will Patten
It wasn't that long ago that business wanted to keep government at arms length.  Now we realize that we are partners. Partners who need to appreciate what we each bring to the table and partners that need to have reasonable but ambitious expectations of each other.
Will Patten

After the first 5 weeks of this legislative session, I've noticed some interesting developments:
  • Despite what politicians say, new revenue sources are most certainly "on the table" because Vermonters and Vermont business people understand the urgent need to invest in our human and physical infrastructure.  It's refreshing to see taxes discussed in terms of what they produce instead of what they cost.
  • It is now commonly accepted that our government can and must play a huge role in our economy.  Laissez-faire is toast.  But there is a new awareness that investments in education, housing, child care and other human requirements are direct investments in economic development.  That's also refreshing.
  • A much more sobering recognition in this year's session is that our state lacks a clear vision for our economic future. There is an ocean of talent, energy and effort across the state that lacks the leadership it deserves.

Through your membership in VBSR, you have many opportunities to participate in the important decisions taking place in Montpelier.  
  • We are circulating a business petition asking the Legislature and the Governor to think long term and not make rash budget decisions.  See below for more information regarding and respond by February 19th.
  • Get your name on our policy email distribution list so you are aware of opportunities to testify on important issues. Email andreac@vbsr.org.
  • Read our public policy statements and contact your representative to support them.  Go to our public policy web page.

Will Patten
Executive Director
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

In This Issue
Who do You Know? Nominations for Terry Ehrich Awards
VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events
VBSR Public Policy Legislative Events
VBSR Public Policy Update
VBSR Internship Update
Young Vermonters are coming home
Carbon Management Workshop
Vermont Leadership Institute
Opinion Article: Using post-consumer waste often bad for environment
Who do You Know?

Each year VBSR honors an outstanding member with the Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business. Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and founder of the First Day Foundation, the Terry Ehrich Award is given annually to a person who exemplifies Terry's commitment to the environment, workplace and community.

The award will be presented at the VBSR Annual Awards dinner on May 4, 2009. Deadline for Nominations is February 28, 2009.
Please visit our web site at www.vbsr.org for more information and to submit your nomination.

2008 Terry Ehrich Winners
2008 Winners:
Nathaniel Group, Melinda Moulton, King Arthur Flour

VBSR Educational, Networking and Community Service Events

2009 VBSR Business Open Studios:
connect, learn, share, apply.

...new name, fresh focus...

Join us for this year's Business Open Studios and learn something new, think something new, meet someone new.

VBSR Business Open Studio co-hosted by
VBSR and Westminster Crackers
Monday, March 9, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
Franklin Conference Ctr, One Scale Ave, Rutland, VT
Discuss the current economic crisis and some initiatives affecting business under consideration in Montpelier, and take a tour of Westminster Crackers. For more info, visit the event listing on our web site.

VBSR Business Open Studio hosted by
King Arthur Flour
Tuesday, April 7, 2009; 5:30 - 7:30 pm
King Arthur Flour, 135 Route 5 South, Norwich
To sponsor this event, please contact Rita at 802-862-8347 no later than March 6th.

VBSR 2009 Spring Conference events...
Save the Dates!

2009 Terry Ehrich Awards Dinner
Monday evening, May 4, 2009
Location to be announced
2009 Spring Conference
Tuesday, May 5, 2009; 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Hilton Hotel, Burlington, VT
For more information on sponsoring the conference or submitting a workshop proposal, please visit our web site conference page.

For more information on all upcoming events, please visit VBSR's web site.

If you are interested in sponsoring or hosting a VBSR event, contact Rita Bothfeld at 802-862-8347 or at ritab@vbsr.org.
VBSR Legislative Events

VBSR Member Statehouse Day
The morning of Friday, April 24th at the Vermont Statehouse - More details to come.
VBSR members are invited to gather at the statehouse to learn legislative process, advocate, and monitor committee meetings.  Contact VBSR at 802-862-8347 for more information or e-mail andreac@vbsr.org
VBSR Public Policy Update

VT Flag Image2009 Legislative Session

Over at the statehouse the activity continues to center on the economic downturn and the associated budget process.  VBSR has just launched a petition drive to inform the Governor and the General Assembly that all options need to "be on the table", and that we need to maintain critical programs and infrastructure especially during these difficult times. Please sign-on to the business petition by Thursday Feb. 19   We need to let Montpelier know that business leaders support a balanced and diversified
approach to addressing the budget and economy of Vermont.

Other recent VBSR advocacy efforts include economic development through development of our local food sector, increased financial and regulatory incentives to develop in-state renewable energy, and support for marriage equality in Vermont.  We have also been closely monitoring the Administration's environmental permit reform proposal and proposal to address the looming crisis in the unemployment trust.  
We are planning a VBSR member statehouse day on the morning of Friday, April 24th so please hold the date ! More details will follow.  It will be a great opportunity to see the legislative process up-close and to help increase VBSR influence and visibility.

Also, please visit the VBSR public policy blog for ongoing updates and information, and please continue to share your ideas and opinions with us.

Contact Andrea Cohen, VBSR's Public Policy Program Manager, at andreac@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347 if you would like to be added to our public policy "e-list" for periodic policy e-mail updates.
Governor Douglas Announces LifeBridge Insurance Program
MassMutual Montpelier, VT - Governor Jim Douglas announced today the full-scale implementation of MassMutual's LifeBridge Program in Vermont.  There have been a limited number of free life insurance policies issued to qualified Vermonters, but MassMutual and their agents are expanding their offerings of the free insurance policies.

VBSR Intern Program Update....

VBSR's Intern Program has placed 28 students in internships  through out the state of Vermont.  Students involved with the program worked in paid internships at businesses such as, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Vermont Foodbank, Light-Works, Know Your Source, and Sweet Clover Market.  Dealer.com, Way Out Wax, and Tamarack Media are just a few more businesses who are posting their internship openings through the VBSR program for 2009.  Currently, VBSR is looking for Businesses who are interested in posting internships for summer.  VBSR will help with posting, recruiting, and managing applicants.  Take a look at our internship page for more information.
Young Vermonters are coming home
Julie Lineberger

"A great deal is said about Vermont losing its youth to out-of-state job opportunities.  Line-Sync Architecture, a small business in Wilmington, has not had that experience.  Quite the opposite: we have found that Vermont holds great attraction for many young workers........"

"We often hear our governor and members of his administration talk about the exodus of young people in Vermont.  In my experience, I have not found this to be true....."

Read More....
Spring Hill Solutions and Carbon Clear
offer a
Carbon Management Workshop
Co-sponsored by VBSR

Burlington-based Spring Hill Solutions has joined with Carbon Clear, a leading international carbon management company, to offer a hands-on workshop addressing the benefits of carbon management to the Vermont business community.

The workshop will illustrate how a comprehensive carbon management program can yield energy and cost savings, create a stronger brand, prepare businesses for regulation, and position organizations for sustainable growth in a low-carbon future. Titled Beyond Footprinting: Managing Carbon for Growth, the workshop will be held from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm on Friday, March 27 at Champlain College.
Vermont Leadership Institute now accepting applications
Vermont Leadership Institute, Class of 2010

The Vermont Leadership Institute, the state's premier civic leadership program, is now accepting applications for the class of 2010. VLI is an intensive 8 month personal and professional development program for Vermont's best and brightest leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

Each year approximately twenty-four associates are accepted to the program. The cohort is a diverse group of people from all over Vermont who have demonstrated effective leadership and who have a desire to contribute to Vermont's public life.

VLI graduates are making a difference in Vermont--leading innovative businesses, creating award-winning non-profits, serving in the legislature and state government, and volunteering in their communities.

Application deadline is March 27th 2009

For more information,
contact Susan McCormack, Director of Leadership

Opinion: Using post-consumer waste to make high-quality paper often bad for the environment

October 30, 2008 (Dead Tree Edition) - I used to think that using post-consumer recycled content to make paper was good, that cutting trees to make paper was bad, and that online editions were greener than "dead-tree" editions. Silly me.

It's taken me years to realize that using post-consumer waste (PCW) in North America to make magazine-quality paper not only does not "save trees", it's often actually bad for the environment. The problem is "up-cycling", the use of low-quality recycled material (such as post-consumer newsprint) to make higher-quality products, such as coated and supercalendered papers.

Newsletter Sponsorship

2007 Employer Guide Banner

2007 Employer Guide Banner

INTERESTED IN SPONSORING VBSR'S NEWSLETTER?  E-mail info@vbsr.org or call 802-862-8347 to secure a space today.

Welcome New VBSR Members!
Planet Hardwood

Vermont Clothing Company

Smith Barney - Robin Lawson

Paul Frank + Collins P.C.

The Growth Coach of Vermont

A. Blake Gardner Photographer
Logic Branch Productions
VBSR Bookshelf
Companies We Keep
Employee Ownership and the Business of Community and Place

by John Abrams

The Companies We Keep

VBSR Bookshelf Information Courtesy of Chelsea Green Publishing:

Chelsea Green Publishing
test image

60 Lake Street, Suite 3G
Burlington, VT 05401

Our mission is to foster a business ethic in Vermont that recognizes the opportunity and responsibility of the business community to set a high standard for protecting the natural, human, and economic environments of our citizens.

We are commited to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.  For more information about our organization visit info@vbsr.org

Membership Information