SBN Banner
SBN Newsletter  

March, 2015 

In This Issue
Save the Date for these Upcoming Events!

April 7 - Stand Up for Solar! @ the State House 


May 15 - 26th Annual Sustainability Leadership Summit @ Lesley University

Check out our Event Calendar for more event information & ticket purchases! 
Dear Members and Friends,

For all of us in the Boston area it's been a very tough winter. But for local and independent businesses it's been particularly challenging with the multiple snowstorms basically shutting down much of the local economy for many days.  In case you didn't notice the calendar tells us it's officially spring--without the calendar how would we know?  :-)  Fortunately, even given the weather, SBN has been busy and we were able to squeeze in a few terrific events between blizzards. Read all about them in the articles below.  

SBN and Local First members were fortunate to have Paul Saginaw (the founder of Zingerman's) and Zing Train pay Boston a visit and spend two days with us sharing their knowledge and wisdom about how a local and independent business can thrive in today's economy.  Quoting Paul, "It's great to encourage residents to patronize local businesses because local purchasing helps build a stronger local economy, but our aim as community-based entrepreneurs is to have our customers do business with us because of the terrific products we offer and the extraordinary customer service we give."  SBN will be offering future workshops on raising the bar for customer service with local businesses throughout Massachusetts.  

The 26th SBN Sustainable Business Conference and Sustainability Leadership Summit is coming up a soon and it will be another excellent opportunity for sustainable business leaders to come together and find ways to collaborate to build our businesses and grow our sustainable economy. You can register now and keep an eye out for future announcements. Don't miss the highlight of the sustainable business calendar!  

Sustainably yours, 

Laury Hammel
Executive Director

SBN's Local Specialty Crop & Local Food Trade Show is a Huge Success!
Left: Atlas Farms Center: A view of the Trade Shows Right: MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux with Lilac Hedge Farm
SBN held two trade shows - The Local Specialty Crop and Local Food Trade Show - at Northeastern University on Tuesday, March 10. The Trade shows attracted 59 vendors and over 120 participants from various local restaurants and institutions. There were six workshops on best practices for building a local food business and how to do business with local producers and more. The new Commissioner of MDAR, John Lebeaux, was present to give a welcome address and speak with the vendors for the whole day. Several meaningful trade connections were established and the day was a big win for our local food system!

SBN's 26th Sustainable Business Conference & Sustainability Leadership Summit Set for May 15

Over the years SBN's annual conference and summit has been a place where leaders in sustainable business have come together to make new connections and partnerships, gain information, and share best practices. SBN's ideas that were revolutionary in 1988, have proven to be the wave of the future as business leaders from all over the world have adopted a multiple-bottom line philosophy. And with the advent of climate change, the sustainable business standards that SBN promotes have become essential practices for working to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

The summit is invitation-only and open to SBN members and other community and business leaders. In the afternoon, there will be workshops open to the public. Watch future e-mails for information about these workshops. The Summit will be held at Lesley University's Brattle Campus and registration is now open!
Over 20 Local Businesses Participate in the ZingTrain! 

Between the blizzards, Paul Saginaw and Katie Frank managed to make their way to Boston to deliver three events surrounding customer service. As the owner of Zingermans, a small deli in Ann Arbor, MI, Saginaw has found success by delivering extraordinary customer service. The main event, Pathways to Extraordinary Customer Service, had 22 local businesses represented. 

These businesses included:

JP Local First and SBN co-hosted an evening conversation with Paul Saginaw and engaged over 50 people engaged with this legendary entrepreneur about providing extraordinary customer service. Providing resources to improve our member's businesses is part of what we can do to grow an economy that is local, green and fair! 
Sustainable Business Leader Program Updates 

SBLP Launches Partnership with RenewThink

RenewThink from Salem, MA is a Sustainability Advisory led by Arend de Jong. RenewThink helps businesses and organizations become more sustainable, from first steps in greening your operation and reducing the negative impact of your 'footprint', all the way to creating positive impact with sustainable products and services. They provide a clear and practical analysis, advice on an overall sustainability strategy and approach and with execution, supported by a solid business case. They believe that business will make the difference in sustainability when it makes sustainability its business.

SBN and RenewThink are embarking on a partnership to expand the benefits of SBN membership, and in particular, its Sustainable Business Leadership Program (SBLP) to the North Shore area. RenewThink will be the executing partner for the SBLP program there, delivering the structured approach to address the sustainability challenges of your small business. The proven six-step certification program is aimed at improving the environmental performance of businesses, identfying practical, local, and sustainable solutions that fit your unique business needs, reducing your environmental footprint and, crucially, saving you money. The steps are standardized and undertaken by every business enrolled in the program. The recommendations, the action plan and the support provided are customized to the needs and situation of your individual business. Fees are affordable and based on the square footage occupied by your business.

Are you a small business based North of Boston? Interested in becoming more sustainable, and participating in the SBLP? Please contact Arend de Jong at RenewThink; or 781-996-9093 for a free consultation. 

Cambridge School of Weston

The SBLP is extremely happy to announce that the Cambridge School of Weston is the first high school to be certified as a Sustainable Community Leader! It was a pleasure to work with so many talented and driven leaders at the school, ranging from administrators and faculty, to staff and students.

CSW excitedly jumped into the program and was committed to lead the change in sustainability. A major accomplishment of the program was a sustainability plan for the whole school. This plan was holistic, and included everything from purchasing decisions, down to lowering thermostats. It was more than physical change that happened on campus. Sustainability has become a part of the culture, from new student orientations to boarding community dinners. CSW has achieved a lot and we are proud of their accomplishments and leadership!

Dedham Exchange

SCLP is also excited to announce that the Dedham Exchange has been certified as a Sustainable Community Leader! The Dedham Exchange is a non-profit gift shop run by a volunteer staff of all women. The Exchange has incorporated sustainability into their daily practices and into their vision as a gift shop. The 100 year old Exchange has updated its mission statement to incorporate sustainability into the core of their practices. From reducing junk mail and creating a hazardous waste program, to using eco-friendly cleaning products and creating a formal sustainability plan, the Dedham Exchange has exemplified leadership in sustainability! We are so proud of their accomplishments and are happy to have worked with such a wonderful group.
Sign On & Urge Governor Baker to Support Solar!

Solar energy is growing quickly in Massachusetts with 
major benefits for our environment and our economy.
The solar industry supports more than 12,000 jobs in Massachusetts and solar is helping many small business owners keep their energy costs under control.

But right now, utility companies are trying to undermine some of Massachusetts' most successful solar programs.

We know the voices of small business leaders matter a lot to Governor Banker. We're working hard to build support behind a goal of getting 20% of Massachusetts' electricity from solar by 2025. 

Make your voice heard!

Please consider signing this letter to urge Governor Baker to support solar. To add your name, 

Or Join us at the State House on Tuesday, April 7 to lobby for solar energy! Sign up here!

Please contact Ben Hellerstein with questions. 
SBN Wishes Roxbury Technology All the Best After 
Roof Collapse

Long time SBN member, Roxbury Technology Corporation (RTC) and iconic green and local business suffered a roof collapse on Wednesday, March 4. They experienced major structural damage due to heavy snow and ice and the back wall of the manufacturing floor. Fortunately, the accident happened early enough in the morning and was loud enough that the employees working in the building were able to escape safely. 

As of Wednesday, March 11, the company moved into a temporary location at 65 Sprague Street. Please consider supporting Roxbury Technology by becoming their customers! Even during this tough time, they will be accepting new orders. E-mail with questions or to place orders. 

SBN wishes RTC owner and founder Beth Williams all the best in their rebuilding and reorganizing of their business. 

SBN New & Returning Member Announcement

SBN's network is constantly growing! A big welcome to our newest SBN Members:


The Delta Foodservice Group starts by 

understanding your vision and working with you to spell it out. The Foodservice Group is made up solely of battle tested foodservice industry veterans with a variety of skill sets. The Delta Foodservice Group also offers a comprehensive training program for foodservice businesses.


  Effie's Homemade Founded by lifelong friends Joan MacIsaac and Irene Costello, Effie's Homemade is inspired by Joan's mom, Effie. She grew up in rural Nova Scotia and recognized the honest and simple flavor of oatcakes. Their goal is to rekindle forgotten recipes. 



Fair Food Network plays an important leadership role in realizing the vision of a more 
sustainable and just food system. Their work focuses on improving healthy food access, informing public policy, strengthening funding strategies, and expanding networks and sharing knowledge. 

 Area Four in Kendall Square and Union Square in Cambridge, believes that great food comes from great ingredients, and those products that are raised and harvested locally, in a sustainable manner, will not only taste better, but will also be better for the environment, the local economy and our health. Area Four believes that it is important to know where our food comes from and believe in preserving local farms, ranches and fishing grounds. View a list of their purveyors here. 


Welcome back to renewing SBN Members!


  Boston Building Resources inspires, educates and empowers homeowners to increase the efficiency and value of their homes. They focus on affordable solutions that help all of their neighbors. Boston Building Resources is located near Roxbury crossing, learn more here




EBI Consulting provides environmental risk and 

compliance management, due diligence, energy efficiency, and engineering services to organizations seeking to improve operations, lower costs, manage risk and exceed stakeholder expectations. Founded in 1989, EBI strives to ensure integrity and ethical conduct in all of their relationships.


Somerville Sustainable Cleaning is an environmentally sustainable commercial janitorial service provider, committed to delivering service excellence at an unmatched value. Somerville Sustainable Cleaning is committed to quality, affordability, and sustainability.



Costa Fruit & Produce has been servicing the foodservice 

industry for more than 60 years. Founder Manuel Costa Sr. said that their goal is,"applying New World technologies to Old World Values, we seek the same today and every day." Costa offers a complete line of fresh products that include fresh fruits and produce, dairy, and value added fruits, vegetables and prepared salads. Learn more here.


Prism Energy Services strives to provide owners and management of commercial facilities with cost-saving energy efficiency measures, conducting business according to exacting technical and ethical standards, while focusing on the long-term relationship that adds value for their customers. 


New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's mission is to improve 

local and regional food systems by training the next generation of farmers to produce food that is sustainable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate and making this food accessible to individuals regardless of age, mobility, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. In doing this work, New Entry provides critical training, career development, and economic opportunity to new farmers.


Insource Services offers three distinct practices that support the fundamental needs of an organization: finance, human resources and technology. Insource is credited with improving efficiencies, increasing productivity and helping clients realize sustainable growth. Their biggest contribution is enabling an organization to focus on fulfilling its primary mission. 



Rainbow Solutions provides services and resources to help individuals and organizations live and invest responsibly to create a better world for ourselves and future generations. Founded in 1998, Donna Clifford and Dorothy Emerson are here to help individuals, organizations and businesses move toward greater social and environmental responsibility. 


Cambridge Eats & Beats is an independent, family-owned collection of three restaurants and two live music clubs between Harvard and Porter Squares in Cambridge. The restaurants consist of Cambridge Common, Christophers and West Side Lounge


Cambridge Naturals, located in Porter Square, was founded in 1974 with the vision of establishing a community natural health store. Their vision is to provide the best choices in nutritional supplements for health and wellness, clean body care products and organic foods. They are committed to sourcing products locally, organically, and ethically via fair trade and direct trade channels, and donate a portion of their profits to social and environmental organizations that impact the community. 


Equal Exchange's mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are 

economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic & sustainable world. Visit their cafe in Boston or find their products at your local grocery store!


Ace Creative is a full service graphic design firm specializing in design for education and nonprofits. They work with some of the area's most progressive nonprofits to spread their message and impact their missions. Contact Ace Creative to tailor your next project!


Sustainable America's goal is to bring together like minded 

groups to foster awareness through open dialogue and educational outreach and to act as a catalyst for the development and funding of innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to the food/fuel connection. 



Interested in becoming a member?  


Take a look & see what you think! Feel free to reach out to Alex ( 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!   

Take the Pledge to Divest!

As a community of mission-driven entrepreneurs, investors and change-makers, we need to harness our collective power to create a more just, humane and sustainable world. Divesting from fossil fuels and investing in climate solutions is one way we can rally together to create a clean energy economy. The financial, environmental and moral cases have been made. Now is the time to take action. Click here to sign the pledge. 

During these especially cold winter days, we know how appealing it is to get your vehicle warming up before you hop in. We encourage you to think about the long term costs & while you shiver during the first few minutes of your ride, take comfort in the fact that you're minimizing your impact on the planet! Learn more here

1. It saves gas: If you idle for 5 minutes warming up your car in the morning, 3 minutes at the bank drive-thru and 4 minutes listening to the end of an NPR story in your driveway, you've burned enough gas to drive 24 miles.

2. It saves money: Americans spend a whopping $13 million every day on unnecessary idling. (That's 3.8 million gallons of fuel, wasted!) Also, idling is actually illegal in some states, and violators can pay steep fines if caught.

3. It saves the planet: For every 10 minutes of idling you cut from your life, you'll save one pound of carbon dioxide-a harmful greenhouse gas-from being released into the atmosphere.

4. It makes us healthier: Idling is linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer. Kids are especially vulnerable because they inhale more air per pound of body weight, and lots of idling happens near schools.

5. It makes us smarter: Breathing exhaust fumes can damage brain cells and may be linked to autism. A study in New York City showed that kids with a high exposure to combustion engine byproducts had lower IQs by age 5. 

6. It's good for your engine: Idling can damage engine components. According to the California Energy Commission, "Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does not operate at its peak temperature. This leads to the build-up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption." And did you know that today's cars warm up more efficiently when they're driving than sitting in a driveway? They do. 

7. It's quieter: Noise is pollution, too.

8. It's contagious: Turning off the car sets a good example for your kids and other passengers, and gives a chance for you to educate them about the dangers of idling.

9. It doesn't stink: Do you enjoy breathing in exhaust fumes? Yuck.

10. It's easy: Just turn the key when you'll be stopped for more than 10 seconds. That's all there is to it.


Source: Sustainable America
local logo pnggreen logo pngfair logo