Dear SBN Members and Friends,
I'm sitting here with 6 weeks at SBN under my belt! Over the past 6 weeks, I've been able to dive right into our programs and events-- from SBLP meetings with an incredibly diverse group of businesses, to helping plan and produce the Boston Local Food Festival, to helping partner on a Sustainable Fashion Event, I feel empowered by the work and future potential of SBN.
As a graduate of Antioch University New England's MBA in Sustainability, I not only support the development of triple bottom line businesses, but I also believe triple bottom line businesses will help us transform our economy to be more inclusive and sustainable.
I see SBN's role in building a sustainable future as leveraging and amplifying the work of social entrepreneurs all over the state. Each time I hear about the work our members are doing, I feel inspired to dig deeper and expand our reach. As we grow SBN, we are better able to provide value to each of you by reaching a wider audience of local businesses.
There are still many members and friends that I have not yet met, and I can't wait to hear your stories. Thank you for the work you do, and thank you for letting me be a part of it!
Highlights of the 4th Annual Boston Local Food Festival
This year's SBN Boston Local Food Festival was glorious in so many ways. More than 10,000 loyal supporters came out to support more than 100 vendors who offered healthy local food to Boston residents and visitors!
Wow! Mother Nature put us to the test this year! Although it rained throughout the morning hours, the New England storm eased up in the afternoon just in time for our programming. Even with the rain, thousands of attendees came ready to enjoy an offering of hundreds of delicious local treats.
The Chef & DIY Demos, presentations and "throwdowns" were among the most popular areas of the Greenway, which was jammed with folks from all across New England. Despite the wet weather, festival-goers created a positive and healthy atmosphere!
Our DIY and Chef Demos rocked this year. The Seafood Throwdown, organized by Northwest Marine Atlantic Alliance (NAMA), between Boston Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital resulted in a tie this year.
The Boston Clam Chowda Cook-off featuring The Rebel Without A Kitchen vs. Boston Shuckin Truck was a huge hit, and after much deliberation, it ended in another tie! Matt Basile's addition of curry and lamb made for a very interesting Canadian version of New England clam chowder, while Boston Shuckin Truck kept it classic. We were all happy to have some fun, enjoy different flavors and develop friends
hips with our fellow local food lovers.
The Family Fun zone was robust and included a wide variety of activities to engage families this year due to our partnership with Boston Collaborative for Food and Fitness.
At 5:00 p.m., our last music performer, The Great Whiskey Rebellion, jammed in the pouring rain. Their upbeat and dynamic tunes had everyone dancing to the beat, as a lingering crowd gathered around the stage.
The 2013 Boston Local Food Festival was a cultural hit for the fourth year running and proved to everyone that this special local food tradition merits continuation for a few more generations. We loved seeing vendors making connections amongst themselves and continuing to build a strong local food network.
Special thanks to the Rose Kennedy Greenway for hosting another spectacular year, and we hope to see you all in 2014!
BIG Thank you to our 2013 Boston Local Food Festival Photographers. To see more photos, check out our Facebook and use the links below!
Amilia James Photography
Melissa Blackall Photography
Local Craft Brewfest rescheduled to Friday, November 22!
Major Fundraiser for Boston Local Food Festival Moves Forward
With New Date, November 22nd
The Local Craft Brewfest, Sustainable Business Network's major fundraising event for the Boston Local Food Festival, was rescheduled to Friday, November 22, 2013 from 6:00-9:30 p.m. due to the government shutdown of the John J. Moakley Courthouse in Fort Point. The event will take place in the same location.
The SBN Local Craft Brewfest is a celebration of local craft brews, where hundreds of supporters and dozens of vendors showcase their beers, ciders, mead, distilled spirits and delicious local food!
"This is a critical fundraiser supporting our local food program, and the last minute cancellation is a major setback for our organization in terms of costs and attendance," said Laury Hammel, SBN's Executive Director.
We are so thankful to our vendors who have already committed to joining us for the new date in steadfast support our mission. As a small non-profit, we are hopeful that the food community will continue to support us.
This year, as in years past, we encourage everyone to "Eat Local. Drink Local. Be Local." The Local Craft Brewfest features over 50 craft beer tastings plus over 20 tastings from local distilleries. Expect to see Battle Road Brewing, Watch City Brewing, Peak Organic, Moonlight Meadery, Bully Boy Distilleries, Turkey Shore Distilleries and Bantam Cider, as well as local bites from the coolest local food producers in town. While you sample the brews, snack on goodies such as Q's Nuts, Taza Chocolate, 7Ate9, Vermont Smoke and Cure and much more.
Tickets for the Local Craft Brewfest can be purchased at
Meet SBN's Sponsoring Member, South Mountain Company, Inc.
South Mountain Company CEO and Founder, John Abrams
Our staff recently chatted with John Abrams, CEO and Founder of South Mountain Company, and we're excited share the inspiring story from our newest SBN Sponsoring Member!
Based on Martha's Vineyard, South Mountain Company is a 38-year-old employee-owned B-corporation offering integrated architecture, engineering, building and renewable energy services. South Mountain Company exemplifies a sustainable business with commitment and passion-- not just for what they do, but also for who they are as a company.
"We became a sponsoring member of SBN to support the valuable work of the organization, and to expand our connections with progressive businesses
throughout the state," said Abrams.
With a mission to "enrich their community by designing and building for the future," they are committed to working towards two critical issues of our time- climate change and wealth inequality.
To combat climate change, South Mountain Company integrates sustainability into the work they do with their clients, as well as the way they run their business. They focus on zero energy buildings and deep energy retrofits, and are currently in the process of making their Martha's Vineyard office and shop a zero energy facility.
South Mountain has also created a system for measuring the carbon footprint of their business operations. With two years of data, their company is making strides towards reducing their carbon footprint and they have a long-term goal of becoming a zero waste and zero energy company.
The decision to convert South Mountain Company into a worker cooperative in 1987 was, according to Abrams, a hinge point in the company's history. They currently have 34 employees, 21 of whom are owners. The rest are on a track to ownership.
"Becoming an owner always seems to increase our employees' commitment to the work that we do and the decisions that we make," said Abrams.
South Mountain is dedicated to creating great lifetime jobs and a supportive working environment. With the highest paid employee making no more than four times what the lowest paid employee makes, they are working to keep wealth inequality low.
"I'm excited for the future of South Mountain Company, and our industry in general. The high performance building world is making great strides, but the urgency only increases each year, as the political will to combat climate change is slow to develop."
One project that he is particularly excited about is a 40-acre non-profit farm on Martha's Vineyard. They are developing an integrated food center complete with a slaughterhouse, commercial kitchen for value-added food products, greenhouse to grow food for the schools, composting facility, and housing for farm workers.
"Projects like this," he says, "and the local agricultural revival in general, is helping to revitalize our economy and attracting the younger generation back to the island."
Thank you to John and the whole South Mountain Company team. We can't wait to work with you this year and truly appreciate your support of our organization. Your commitment to sustainability is truly inspiring.
For more information on South Mountain Company:
SBN's next B2B Networking Group Meeting will be tomorrow!
Join us for our next B2B Networking Group Meeting tomorrow night from 6-8:30 p.m. at The Non-Profit Center in Boston!
The topic for this upcoming B2B will feature an inspiring presentation on "Building a Sustainable and Healthy Company Culture" presented by The Longfellow Clubs.
Longfellow Clubs Managers Laury Hammel, Myke Farricker, Karen Mahoney and Jen Wood will share the dramatic success they've experienced in building a strong and vibrant company culture.
This is a terrific location and we hope you can join us in this inspiring and practical program! Register for the event today by using the links below.
$10 PayPal Member Rate Are you a member of Cambridge Local First? Take advantage of our Member Rate for future B2B Events!
$20 PayPal Non-Member Rate
We're still looking for refreshment sponsors! If you're interested in sponsoring food & beverages for the B2B, please contact Taryn Johnson at email@example.com!
Develop Your Business Core Values and Transform Your Company Culture!
Over two years ago The Longfellow Clubs, which is the third largest health club business in New England, embarked on a project to take their company culture to the next level of excellence and customer service. The results of this effort have been nothing short of spectacular-- giving rise to a transformation in every aspect of the business. This work has been so successful that other health clubs and related organizations have embraced a similar process, which has led to a major shift in how New England health clubs do business.
If you would like your company to have a team of leaders who:
- View their job as a "calling" and are dedicated to achieving your business mission
- Are aligned around a set of core values that forms the foundation for superior customer service, strong sales growth, effective hiring and staff development, and highly efficient operations.
- Appreciate your business and authentically love coming to work
- Are committed to the company's success for the long run
...Then join us for a hands-on and practical workshop on how you can make a positive impact your company culture!
For more information or questions, contact Taryn Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-395-0250.
|SBN Member Spotlight: Bootstrap Compost
Interview with Igor Kharitonenkov Co-Founder & Vice President at Bootstrap Compost
Bootstrap Compost is Greater Boston's premier year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service!
Check them out at www.bootstrapcompost.com.
Tell us a bit about Bootstrap Compost:
Bootstrap Compost is a food scrap pickup service that makes it easy for residents, businesses and events to put their organic byproducts to good use. We pick up your scraps and haul them to local farms for the sake of composting. In the process, we produce a valuable and nutrient-rich resource for local food growers. Some compost stays with the farm, some goes back to our subscribers, and some is donated to local schools and gardens. Essentially, our service helps the people of Boston reduce their waste footprint while empowering the local food system.
Why did you join the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts?
Personally, I've always been a big supporter of SBN. It's so important to have a community that raises awareness about the merits of environmental sustainability. I'm glad that Bootstrap is a part of that and can help other ventures think forward. SBN and all of us members-- I think we're on the cusp of something great. Consumers are becoming increasingly socially-minded and are looking to fund businesses that meet their values. To succeed in this marketplace, you have to start thinking about the triple bottom line. You have to be good for people, good for the planet and good for profit.
Why do you feel sustainability is important to the company?
We have a company and a product here that helps folks achieve and promote a more sustainable way of life. Through Bootstrap, our clients are keeping thousands of pounds of organic material out of landfills every week. We're challenging and rethinking the status quo. It's alarming that every single day, we produce enough food waste in the United States to fill Gillette Stadium to the brim and only 3% of that waste is composted. By throwing away our food scraps, we're throwing away compost, a valuable resource that, in the bigger picture, alleviates our dependence on synthetic fossil fuel based fertilizers. It's not rocket science; we're just looking for a better way. And it starts with one community coming together and collectively making a change. I'm very proud that Bootstrap and our subscribers are helping to make Boston a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city for the future.
Describe a common misconception about composting.
A common misconception about our service - from residents and businesses alike - is a problem with odor. I'd like to reassure everyone that no, your home or office won't smell like the zoo if you choose to sign up with us. Our buckets and bins are cleaned and sanitized; we line our buckets with an aerated bag that helps keep the organics
fresh; and we take away the scraps before they start to biodegrade extensively.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?
That is top secret. Stay tuned.
For more information on Bootstrap Compost, contact Igor
|Announcing: SBN's 12th Annual WBUR Holiday Fundraiser! 12/18/13|
Sustainable Fashion Collaborative Exhibit was right on trend!
The following steps show the process for producing high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. The final fabric is used in the Patagonia vest.
The Sustainable Fashion Collaborative's launch party and exhibit ("Saelvage, Sustainable Fashioned") showcased several Boston eco-fashion designers with its debut on September 29, 2103. This two-week exhibition was a mix of innovative design and sustainably-conscious initiatives-- proving that eco-fashion can be fun and funky.
Find more photos from the spectacular event here!
Contact Jennifer Varekamp for more information about The Sustainable Fashion Collabortive of Boston, or check out their website!
Like them on Facebook!
The SFC Boston team!
From left: Tanja Cesh, Jennifer Varekamp, Annalisa Oswald and Shannon Whitehead.
(Missing: Carlos Villamil and Kate Black)
Thanks for a great evening!
SBN New & Returning Member Announcement
SBN's network is growing in leaps and bounds! A big welcome to our newest SBN Member:
Balanced Rock Investment Advisors: Balanced Rock Investment Advisors is an independent fee-only financial advisor offering portfolio management, wealth management, financial planning, and consulting services to people and organizations of all kinds.
Welcome back to renewing SBN Members:
Intercreativa Design: Intercreativa is a graphic and web design studio with offering creative and professional designs tailored to the need of each client.
The Williams Agency: a full service award-winning integrated marketing and business strategy firm based in Cambridge, MA. We are a boutique agency specializing in marketing with a mission and events that matter.
Thank you all for your partnership and commitment to building a Massachusetts economy that is Local, Green and Fair!
Remember: Think Members First!
What better way to support the local economy and each other than to support SBN members who share your values and commitment to the principals of Local, Green and Fair. SBN is working on new programs to encourage and support greater B2B exchange within the network. Stay tuned for ways to get engaged!
Announcing our newest Sustainable Business Leader Program Partnerships & Participants!
SBLP is proud to announce that four Eastern Bank Branch locations have enrolled in the program! After successfully completing the program at the Lynn Headquarters, Eastern Bank has decided to that four branches should start the program as well.
We are excited to be working with the Central Square, Davis Square, Harvard Square and Downtown Crossing locations. Each of the branches are eager to jump into the program and we are hoping for four more successful certifications.
September's SBLP-Themed B2B was a huge success!
On September 25th, SBN hosted another B2B Networking Group Meeting at SBLP-graduate Basil Tree Catering, where our theme was the Sustainable Business Leader Program (SBLP). Speakers included three local businesses that benefited from completing the SBLP.
Val Shulock, owner of Basil Tree Catering, introduced the SBLP by sharing some of her experiences from participating in the program. Basil Tree Catering was certified in October 2011 after committing to separate waste through composting, recycling and trash; use 100% earth-friendly paper goods; institute a local purchasing policy; and much more.
Following Val was Jess Yarmarkovich, a Project Designer from Nitsch Engineering, who explained some of the benefits her business gained from the SBLP recertification process. Although Nitsch recently moved into a LEED Gold-certified office, SBLP was able to recommend initiatives to cause behavioral shifts and a culture around sustainability in the office. The final speaker was Bob Robitaille, Director of Operations at Insource Services, who shared his inspiring experience of a cultural transition to a greener workplace within the company, initiated by enrolling in the SBLP. Now, employees at Insource turn off their lights, regulate the office temperature, and recycle-among many other things-as if it is second nature.
By the end of the meeting local businesses connected with each other, shared delicious food from Basil Tree, and learned about the environmental, social, and economic benefits of an SBLP certification, making the night a big success.
|Cambridge Local First Launches 2014 Directory!
Photo by Melissa Blackall Photography
On October 8th, Cambridge Local First launched their eighth local business directory at the 2014 Local Business Directory Launch Party! The event was a great success, hosted by the newest Cambridge Local First Member, Workbar.
They featured food from SBN Members
The directories were produced by Ambit Creative Group and will be available at Cambridge Local First businesses coming soon!
Keep your eye out for Cambridge's only local business directory-- and check out photos from the event here!
|Climate Action Liaison Coalition presented Extreme Weather Panel Discussion to packed room
On October 1, the Climate Action Liaison Coalition hosted an interactive panel discussion at The Nonprofit Center in Boston on the danger that rising sea levels are on putting Boston businesses.
The two-hour event, organized by Tech Networks of Boston, was well attended. The morning began with casual networking, then moved into brief presentations by Boston's leading climate adaptation experts. Panel experts included Julie Wormser, Executive Director at the Boston Harbor Association; David Gleason, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at Tech Networks of Boston; Jim Newman, Founder and Principal at Linnean Solutions; and Carl Spector, Director of Climate and Environmental Planning for the City of Boston.
The event was moderated by SBN Executive Director, Laury Hammel, who led an interesting discussion on local climate impacts, how the small business community should prepare for the near-term effects of climate change in our city, and on the City of Boston's plans to protect property, road access and municipal services.
The American Sustainable Business Council and the Climate Action Liaison Coalition, in partnership with the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts and A Better City, sponsored the event.
For more information on CALC, and to find upcoming events, visit:
SBN's Green Tip: Celebrate National Energy Action Month!
Did you know? October is National Energy Action Month! Taking steps to conserve
energy can be easy and could help reduce your business' costs and greenhouse gas emissions. What energy action will your organization take this month? Here are some action tips to conserve energy at the office:
Measuring your impact and finding ways to improve:
- Have a qualified professional perform an energy audit. Check out Prism Energy Services, a local business and SBN member, for more information.
- Install meters to track energy use.
- Collect your utility bills. Separate electricity and fuel bills. Target the largest energy consumer or the largest bill for energy conservation measures.
- Carpool, bike, or use mass transit when commuting to work.
- To save gas, drive the speed limit, accelerate and decelerate slower, remove excess/unneeded weight, reduce unnecessary idling and miles traveled, and make sure tires are pumped up.
- Consider alternative work schedules and telecommuting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from employee commuting.
- Reduce business travel by increasing phone, video, and Web conferencing and training capabilities.
- Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for desk lamps and overhead lighting. Using CFLs instead of comparable incandescent bulbs can save about 50% on your lighting costs. CFLs use only one-fourth the energy and last up to 10 times longer.
- Switch off all unnecessary lights. Use dimmers, motion sensors, or occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lighting when not in use to reduce energy use and costs.
- Turn off lights when you leave at night.
- Use natural lighting or daylighting. When feasible, turn off lights near windows, and use task lighting; Instead of brightly lighting an entire room, focus the light where you need it, to directly illuminate work areas
IT & Electronics:
- Unplug equipment that drains energy when not in use (i.e. cell phone chargers, fans, coffeemakers, desktop printers, radios, etc.).
- Turn off photocopier at night or purchase a new copier with low standby feature. Purchase printers and fax machines with power management feature and use it.
- Coordinate with vending machine vendor to turn off advertising lights.
Heating & Cooling:
- Install programmable thermostats.
- Check furnace ducts for disconnects or leaks.
- Ensure HVAC ductwork is well insulated.
- Insulate water heater, hot water piping and tanks to reduce heat loss.
- Close or adjust window blinds to block direct sunlight to reduce cooling needs during warm months. Overhangs or exterior window covers are most effective to block sunlight on south-facing windows.
- In the winter months, open blinds on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your workspace. At night, close the blinds to reduce heat loss.
- Save paper. Photocopy only what you need. Always use the second side of paper, either by printing on both sides or using the blank side as scrap paper.
- Use coffee mugs instead of disposable cups.
- Turn off your computer and monitors at the end of the work day, if possible. If you leave your desk for an extended time, turn off your monitor.
- Educate employees on building systems and energy efficiency measures and create signage where necessary to remind staff of good habits.
- If you have a sunny spot, install solar panels on your organization's property. There are a few SBN Members that can help your business with solar energy projects. Contact Solect Energy for a feasibility assessment. Also, there are lots of incentives for installing solar energy systems, check them on Blue Selenium Solar's website.
- Change your energy supplier to source from renewables! Find out more from SBN Members Viridian Energy and Massachusetts Energy Consumer Alliance.
Energy Tips sourced from: