Dear SBN Members and Friends,
The 25th Annual SBN Conference on Sustainable Business was an inspirational marker in time! The Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) was founded in 1988 and has had sported several names, the first being the New England Business Association for Social Responsibility. Looking back at twenty-five years of conferences was a powerful experience, which made it crystal clear how far we have come as a movement.
It was fun and meaningful to have Will Rapp from Gardner's Supply in Burlington, Vermont serve as our closing speaker. Will was a keynote speaker at our Third Conference in 1991. His message in 1991 and 2014 were both on the leading edge of business practices and he continues to push us toward a bright vision for a sustainable economy.
When we take a good look at how businesses operated and how entrepreneurs thought 25 years ago, we can see how much progress we have made. We always want change to happen quickly, but to see profound changes in how business is done in the US today versus 1988, we have strong evidence for optimism. SBN believes we're moving toward a "tipping point" that will shift our economy toward one that is authentically local, green, and fair.
I want to take this moment to thank the thousands of business leaders who have helped grow our movement over the past quarter century. Many of these leaders are still innovating and taking a stand for sustainability every day; but sadly, some are no longer with us. In particular, I want to remember and appreciate by business partner, Jo Ellen Farricker, who helped organize SBN in the early days. I have a deep sense of gratitude for everyone who helped build our movement-- one that I believe will ultimately create a sustainable economy!
Have a great spring!
Executive Director, SBN
SBN's 25th Annual Sustainable Business Conference Makes a Big Impact!
On May 15th, SBN's 25th Annual Conference brought together over 120 business and community leaders for a day of celebration, learning, activism and networking! The day began with our 3rd Annual Sustainability Leadership Summit and presenting sponsor, Dinesh Wadwhani, of ThinkLite. Dinesh told the story of the remarkable new energy-saving lighting technology that his company developed. Following the presentation, SBN Founder and Executive Director, Laury Hammel, gave a brief overview of how our movement and SBN has grown and developed over the last twenty-five years. After Laury spoke, several SBN leaders shared stories on how SBN and past conferences have impacted them in their careers.
|The Five Pillar Breakout sessions featuring panel speakers from various industries were extraordinary and gave participants an opportunity to learn from leaders in all parts of our movement.|
After these inspiring sessions, the Summit moved into the Open Space Technology session. This annual program once again resulted in numerous "calls to action" for which attendees gathered around as we worked together to identify partnerships and collaborations that will make a difference in the coming year.
One of the many highlights of the Summit was the spontaneously organized (by SBN President, Susan Labandibar) phone protest on behalf of City Soil to the Governor's office. When Susan called the Governors office, over 80 conference attendees chanted "Save City Soil!" over the phone (see the article below). We hope this is the new technology of protesting to ensure fairness and to protect our local businesses. As fate would have it, City Soil had a "stay of execution" the next day, and are are working to find a win-win solution. This was a victory for our local sustainable business community!
The Summit ended with the annual customized SBN cheer! This year it was "Go City Soil! Go SBN! Go Earth!"
The afternoon workshops began with highly respected business visionary Will Rapp sharing his ideas on how we together can build a strong and sustainable economy. The Climate Action Liaision Coalition presented a workshop on "Building a New Economy to Stop Climate Change" to a packed room, which generated meaningful discussions and questions. The Massachusetts Sustainable Business Academy presented an equally interesting workshop on "Enacting and Engaging in the New Economy."
This year proved to be another exciting conference designed for networking, sharing, learning and, most importantly, advancing the local and sustainable economy movement in Massachusetts and New England!
|Attendees check out the 25th Anniversary Photo Collage in the 2014 Program, featuring pictures from a quarter-century worth of Sustainable Business Conference gatherings!|
|Our collective efforts have helped #SaveCitySoil!
By virtue of everyone's support in the past week, we're pleased to relay some positive news about our new member, City Soil! City Soil is an organization that cultivates and sustains agricultural projects from neighborhood gardens to commercial farms. Earlier this month, City Soil owner Bruce Fulford received a letter from Franklin Park Zoo vice president Robert George demanding that he vacate the portion of the parcel slated for the evocation center.
Last Wednesday, May 14th, City Soil representatives met with Rick Sullivan, Secretary, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, and other officers in the Governor's office. City Soil was able to explain the situation from their perspective and had a respectful, appreciative meeting.
Secretary Sullivan noted the importance of City Soil and the involvement in the urban agriculture movement in Massachusetts. As a result of their meeting, the eviction of City Soil has been halted and they still remain on their parcel of land on the Legion Highway in Mattapan.
There has been no official decision as of yet, but Secretary Sullivan told City Soil representatives that he will work to find a solution that respects City Soil's right to the parcel in question, while finding a way for both City Soil and Landscape Express to co-exist and access the parcel of the Zoo parking lot. Thanks again to everyone who has supported City Soil. To learn more on the background of the situation, you can find more here.
City Soil and its supporters are in regular contact with Secretary Sullivan's staff and have been told that there should be a new proposal for the Zoo parking lot site by the end of this week. We remain hopeful that a just resolution is within reach.
SBN New & Returning Member Announcement
SBN's network is growing in leaps and bounds! A big welcome to our newest SBN Members:
Design Construction & Consulting Services, Inc.
: Boston-based design and construction firm, specializing in the planning, design and construction of residential and commercial developments, as well as the restoration and renovation of stressed properties.
City Soil: City Soil cultivates and sustains agricultural projects from neighborhood gardens to commercial farms.
Real Pickles: Small, worker-owned cooperative producing pickled products that are raw, vinegar-free, 100% organic, and rich in probiotics.
Welcome back to renewing SBN Members:
Energy Consumers Alliance of New England (Mass Energy): Non-profit organization that has been working for over 30 years to make energy more affordable and environmentally sustainable. They recently provided 100% renewable energy for SBN's Sustainable Business Conference!
Fresh Pond Capital
: An investment advisory firm that helps clients integrate their values with their investments. They also create a space especially for women to find their voice in handling their investment.
: Award-winning Boston moving company built on more the 30 years of experience. Gentle Giant has supported SBN events numerous times and was recently recertified by SBN as Sustainable Business Leader.
Interested in becoming a member?
Take a look and see what you think! Feel free to reach out to Charlotte with any questions regarding your individual, student or business membership!
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!
|Vendor Registration Open for the Boston Local Food Festival on September 14, 2014!| Regular vendor and sponsor registration is open, and we invite all interested farmers, restaurants, specialty food producers, and local food related organizations to participate!
SBN's Boston Local Food Festival, considered New England's largest one day farmers market, is Boston's premier food event connecting eaters and consumers to healthy sustainable foods grown and produced close to home. Attracting thousands of residents and visitors, it provides an ideal opportunity for local food growers and producers to showcase their products and connect with new and existing costumers while growing and supporting the local food movement.
Make sure to mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate our best festival yet, on Sunday, September 14th, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Please help us spread the word to all local food businesses you think might benefit from participating.
*There is an additional $25 discount for SBN members or SBLP participants on all vendor fees. For prices and to register as a vendor, click the button above and fill out our online application!
|Tickets Flying for SBN's Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest!|
Calling for foodies, craft brew fans, homebrew fans, locavores, brew hobbyists, and the curious minded!
3rd Annual Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest
with a special Craft of Brewing Homebrew Showcase* on Friday Night! 3 Sessions
Friday, June 13, 2014, 6:30 - 9:30pm (plus Hombrew Showcase*)
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 3:00 - 6:00pm
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 7:00 - 10:00pm
What is Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest?
Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest is an annual tasting fundraiser presented by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) that highlights and promotes local brewers of beer, cider & mead, artisan beverage makers, home brewers, and food vendors. The Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest is a unique event that not only showcases local beverage producers, but also showcases local brews incorporating local ingredients.
SBN's definition of local starts in Massachusetts and encompasses all of New England. Hyper-Local means local producers (from New England) making products with ingredients from New England. Examples in the past have included brews made with local hops, apples, cranberries, grapes and even local oysters. While having unlimited 2oz tastings from local brewers, you can also sample and purchase delicious local food from vendors like Vermont Smoke and Cure, Taza Chocolate, and more.
What makes Friday night special?
Join us on Friday night for the Hyper-Local Craft Brewfest with a special Hombrew Showcase co-sponsored by Modern Homebrew Emporium highlighting home-brews and homebrewing with local ingredients.
The Showcase, featuring a Homebrew Club Jamboree, will provide a chance for aspiring brewers, brew fans and the curious minded to experiment and learn what is available in the New England region for making their products. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about homebrewing, interact with other aspiring brewers, hear from experts, as well as taste a selection of the brews that will be showcased during the Saturday Sessions.
*Homebrews will only be showcased for the Friday night session. They will be provided by some of the coolest hombrew clubs in the region!
Local Food Sales Continue to Grow as More Farmers Sell Direct
Early this month, the USDA released the 2012 Census for Agriculture data for Massachusetts. Despite the recession, total agricultural sales slightly increased since 2007. Direct sales to consumers even grew by 14%, and the number of farms selling directly by 25%.
This shows a continued strong growth in the local food movement and the achievements of the state's Buy Local Groups like our friends at CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) and the Sustainable Business Network, which is the Buy Local group for Greater Boston. "The strong support of local residents has helped local farms survive and thrive during a very challenging economic time in our nation's history," said Philip Korman, Executive Director of CISA, after the release of the Ag census data. The same goes of course for local businesses that offer farm shares at the workplace, or include local produce in their food products and kitchens.
If you need help sourcing locally or finding a CSA program, please contact our Local Food Program Coordinator Charlotte at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Think Globally, Act Locally! HEET to Launch Squeaky Leak Program |
SBN Partner HEET
is launching their Squeaky Leak program this summer! The project will map out natural gas leaks on every street in Cambridge and Somerville. HEET will accomplish this by driving down every single street with a high precision gas analyzer. The objective of the project is to raise awareness to fix the leaks and conserve fossil fuels.
The utilities companies have mapped the leaks before, but rarely share information with municipalities, and certainly not with residents. Rather taking cost effective measures and fixing the leaks, utility companies instead pass on the additional cost to residents by factoring in the amount of gas that gets leaked. It is estimated that the leaks emit the equivalent of 10,000 passenger cars.
HEET needs help with this great project which will make our cities safer and cleaner. To learn more about the project and how you can get involved, please follow this link
SBN Green Tip of the Month: Unbottle Your Water!
Article by the Center for a New American Dream
Americans buy over 70 billion bottles of water a year-- enough to circle the globe more than 370 times! Disposable plastic water bottles create excessive waste, and bottled water companies are profiting from something that should be accessible to all.
The good news is that more and more cities, schools, businesses, and everyday citizens are saying no to bottled water.
Want to take action? New Dream's Unbottle Water Campaign is full of inspiring stories, resources, and tips to help eliminate bottled water in your community including:
- Step-by-Step Guide: Practical tips and advice to help your community break the bottled water habit.
- Webinar Recording: Learn about successful campaigns to eliminate bottled water at schools.
- Cartoons: New Dream's original cartoon series illustrates why bottled water is such a problem
Click here to join the movement, and help us #UnbottleWater!
| Save the Date for Upcoming Events!
|Check out our Event Calendar for more event information & ticket purchases! RSVP to Taryn Johnson at Taryn@sbnmass.org!