Vermont Stage Company
2013-2014 Season Tickets available,
Sunday Matinees for "Other Desert Cities," "The Bake Off," "Venus in Fur," and
Tickets are great gifts for employees and customers!
The Responsible Company
What We've Learned from Patagonia's First 40 Years
brought to you by: Northshire Bookstore
Upcoming VBSR Events
Making Dough and Making Change:
7:00 - 9:45 PM
October Networking Get-Together
Hosted by:King Arthur Flour
6:00 - 8:00
White River JunctionMore InfoSponsor this event! ___________________
| Last Call!
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 committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.
Greetings VBSR Members, Important news:
Vermont employers are required to notice their employees prior to Oct. 1 about the new Vermont Health Exchange and health insurance coverage options. See more details below with helpful links.
There are penalties for non-compliance so please make this a priority item for September.
On an entirely different note, please join us next Thursday for the Making Dough and Making Change Social Entrepreneurship Summit.
Also, check back to our Facebook page for pictures from a fantastic Terry Ehrich Reception the other night honoring Jan Blomstrann. Jan was interviewed the next day on VBSR's Vermont Conversation, you can link to the podcast
if you missed the show.
As usual, in this issue we have many excellent events and member benefits to tell you about. Keep in touch by bookmarking our website
, visiting our Facebook page
, and dropping us a line if you have any questions. And don't forget to support each other and other local businesses by planning to pick up a new Buy Local Book!
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
|VBSR Partners with Ben & Jerry's and Ashoka
Making Dough & Making Change to Hit Burlington Thursday, September 26th
Join six national thought-leaders discuss what is happening on the leading edge of socially responsible business and social entrepreneurship! This promises to be an inspiring evening of big ideas with several short presentations, a round-table discussion with nationally and internationally recognized presenters, audience Q&A, and plenty of networking opportunities. The Summit will explore big ideas that could transform the social enterprise sector, discuss what we need to do more of (and less of) to cultivate a more robust social enterprise sector, and consider if/how social entrepreneurship and enterprise can meet the very real challenges of sustainable growth and climate change. Click here for more info.
Thursday, September 26, 7:00 - 9:45 PM
UVM Davis Center in Burlington, Vermont
Free and open to the public - no registration required!
Ice cream and networking to follow!
2013 - 2014 Buy Local Book is Here!
Support Local Schools and Businesses
The 4th edition of Local First Vermont's Buy Local Book
is HERE! This year's Buy Local Book offers many valuable coupons plus some new additions to the resource section including festivals, breweries, and community gardens.
The 2013/2014 edition of the Buy Local Book is currently available exclusively through select schools and organizations as a fundraiser for $20 - they keep $10 of each book sold. Check out this list
of participating schools/groups and get your book today!
Starting the week of September 23rd, the book will be available through retail distributors for $15. You can find a list of locations here
. If your place of business would like to distribute the books, OR if you missed out and would like your business to be included in next year's book, please contact Calen
VBSR's 21st Annual Fall Conference
Sponsorships and Exhibit Tables Available
Fall Conference workshop proposals have poured in and it looks like our 21st Annual Fall Conference in southern Vermont will be loaded with terrific workshops! Save the date for Wednesday, November 20th and join us once again in the cozy setting of the Grand Summit Hotel at Mt. Snow in West Dover, Vermont.
Whether you're coming from near or far, definitely plan on coming down the evening of the 19th for a fun-filled reception at Harriman's Taproom at the Grand Summit (all had a blast last year!). Sponsor the Conference:
Three Levels of Conference Sponsorship are available. Act by September 27th to maximize sponsorship visibility! Click here to find the level that is right for you.
And while we're at it, a big VBSR "thank you" to the Vermont Community Loan Fund
, Capital Connections
, LineSync Architecture
, Front Porch Forum
, VT Digger
, and Vermont Public Radio
for signing on as Conference Underwriters and Media Sponsors!
Exhibitors: If you're interested in exhibiting at the conference, please click here
and return the completed form.
We'll be announcing additional conference details shortly, so stay tuned!
Questions about either of these topics or the fall conference in general? Contact Scott Buckingham
for more information.
BEA Seeks 2nd Round of Participants
Join 50+ Businesses in Reducing Energy Consumption
Building on the successes of the first 3 quarters of 2013, Business Energy Action is looking forward to 2014!
From now through December 31st, BEA will be accepting new challenge participants. If you want to join over 50 businesses in reducing your carbon footprint (and INCREASING your bottom line!), or if you know of anyone who would be interested in doing so, find the BEA Enrollment Survey here!
Still not sure if the challenge is for you? Check out this list of fellow participants or click here to see how challenge members are benefiting from the program!
Measuring What Matters
Business Impact Assessment Challenge
More than 40 VBSR members have initiated their Business Impact Assessment to date. Congratulations! We are now challenging our membership to double that number by year's end!
VBSR is the largest state-organized association organized around principles of social responsibility and in many regards is leading the way. We have a terrific opportunity to demonstrate to each-other and the world that we back up our commitment to SR business practices by utilizing standard tools and measurements that allow us to objectively manage and evaluate our SR programs, just like we would measure any other aspect of our organization. What Is the B-Impact Assessment Anyway!?
The B Impact Assessment (BIA) is the most commonly used tool to assess a company's overall social and environmental performance. It does so by measuring the overall impact of a business on all stakeholders (workers, suppliers, customers, community, and environment) through an online, easy to use platform. The B Impact Assessment is a free, confidential service administered by the non-profit organization B Lab. As of March 2013, there are 8,000+ businesses who have registered to use the B Impact Assessment. Based on continuous feedback from users over the years, the BIA has evolved into an adaptable, easy-to-use tool with over 40 versions that are tailored to a company based on size, sector, and geography.
These tools will help redefine success in business so that all businesses compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. We envision that in a generation's time all businesses in the world will measure and manage impact as readily as they do profitability. The B Impact Assessment provides the tools and impact standards necessary to help each and every business participate in this vision, regardless of their current intent or performance.
For more information about the BIA, click here
Ready to initiate your BIA?... click here
Socially Responsible Business Leader Honored by Peers
Jan Blomstrann Presented with VBSR Terry Ehrich Award
Nearly 140 VBSR members, friends and family members of Jan Blomstrann packed the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center on a befittingly beautiful Tuesday night.
Following a hearty networking reception, guests were treated to an award ceremony featuring comments by former Governor Kunin, The Office of Congressman Welch, Jan's close personal friend Sara-Lee Terrat, Julie Lineberger of LineSync Architecture, and of course, Jan herself.
As the 2013 recipient of the Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business, Jan Blomstrann (CEO of Renewable NRG Systems, Inc.) spoke with humility, challenged the crowd to rethink gender roles in society, offered tips for success, and encouraged us all to work with purpose and vision.
Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and a founding member of VBSR, the award is given to a VBSR member who best exemplifies Terry's commitment to the environment, workplace, progressive public policy and community.
Please join us in congratulating Jan, and if you missed the event, check out photos here, or listen to Jan's interview on "The Vermont Conversation." (Below.)
| Health Care Exchange Law
Employers Must Engage Employees by Oct 1
Attention Employers: Prior to October 1st, you are required to notify your employees about the new Vermont Health Exchange and health insurance coverage options.
All employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) must notice employers about current health insurance options, Vermont Health Connect and available tax credits. To determine if you are subject to the requirement, and find a sample notice you can use, click here
. Don't wait! Failure to meet the requirement can result in a $100/day penalty for non-compliance, so put this on your "to-do" list ASAP.
And don't forget, our Navigators are holding "Open Office Hours
" around the state to help answer questions and get you signed up for the exchange. Plus, we've an ever updated website
you can visit to find the latest answers and tools.
"The Vermont Conversation"
Wednesdays, 1-2 PM
With a national holiday and national day of remembrance in September, The Vermont Conversation tackled some heavy U.S. issues in the past month. In addition to covering the events of 9/11 and labor issues in America, host David Goodman focused on home, reflecting on the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and featuring Jan Blomstrann who talked about winning VBSR's Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business.
Tune in to WDEV each Wednesday at 1 PM to check out the show, or listen to a past show below. And don't forget to listen on September 25 for a preview of "Making Dough & Making Change"
with Jay Coen Gilbert at B Lab, Cheryl Dorsey at Echoing Green and Sofia Appelgren from MittLiv (the Swedish winner of B&J's Join Our Core competition)!
September 18: Jan Blomstrann & Her Terry Ehrich Award
September 11: Reflections on 9/11
September 4: Labor Day Special
August 28: Vermont 2 Years After Tropical Storm Irene
psst... Hey VBSR Members... this is YOUR show. Have a topic you'd like us to explore? Email us today.
VBSR Policy Committee Busy
Committees Meeting, Survey Almost Ready
Summer may be winding down, but the policy work at VBSR has not stopped. There are several exciting things coming together over the next few months and we wanted to take a moment to update you about a few of them.
- Our Tax Summer Study Committee held four meetings and work has begun drafting a tax policy for VBSR. With some strong disagreements between the Vermont Legislature and Gov. Shumlin on tax policy - and the future financing of health care reform looming - this is an ideal time for VBSR to form a balanced and researched policy on how the state raises revenue through tax dollars.
- The Energy Siting Study Committee will hold its first meeting on Thursday, Sept. 26th at the offices of Burak, Anderson & Melloni in Burlington. If you are interested in serving on the committee or learning more about this issue - this is expected to be a big issue at the Statehouse next year - please contact VBSR Public Policy Manager Dan Barlow.
- VBSR's 2013 policy survey should show up in your inbox later this month. This survey will take no more than 10-15 minutes to fill out and is essential to helping VBSR determine what issues to focus on at the Legislature and how we can improve conditions for socially responsible businesses in Vermont.
Thanks again to all the VBSR members who are participating in the study committees this year. We are always looking for members to help develop policy and advocate for our issues at the Statehouse - please don't hesitate to contact us
if you are looking to get more involved.
October Networking Get-Together Announced
King Arthur Flour to Host in New Space
Join VBSR and King Arthur Flour as we Get-Together for an autumn evening in White River Junction. Network with like-minded business professionals, check out King Arthur Flour's newest expansion, and learn what SR practices are being implemented and carried out on the King Arthur Campus. Food and beverages provided by our generous host!Click here
for more information or to learn how you can be a part of this event through sponsorship.
Member Benefit Corner
Further the Conversation with VBSR's LinkedIn Group
In the last six months, VBSR has made a concerted effort to revamp our LinkedIn Group
. With new members requesting to join the group weekly, you can now interact with over 800 like-minded VBSR members!
In addition to discussing the latest trends in socially responsible business practices, this group is an excellent way for you to interact and network with others who share the "people, planet, profit" approach to doing business!
Check out and weigh in on these recent topics:
- Great tools for transitions!
- Innovation is group work
- Why should your business incorporate SR Business practices?
- Calling all Working Lands Entrepreneurs
Not a member of our LinkedIn group? No problem! Request to join today.
Not a member of VBSR? No problem! Join today!
We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send Russ an email...
News items will be posted in the "Member News" section of our website and will be considered for inclusion in VBSR's monthly E-News.
Sterling College Launches The Rian Fried Center
Recently, Sterling College announced the launch of The Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems.
The Center, named for the late founder of Clean Yield Group Inc. a Sterling College trustee (and a founding member of VBSR), will be the centerpiece of the College's nationally known Sustainable Agriculture program. The facility will encompass new and improved farm and draft horse instructional spaces, including new construction and renovation of existing structures. Read President Derr's remarks.
GroSolar moving to Rutland
GroSolar is moving in to the historic Opera House office complex in downtown Rutland. The move puts the solar power company under the same roof at Green Mountain Power, as it continues its plan of making Rutland the solar city. NRG Energy and Same Sun have also set up shop in the city. Check out more info on WCAX.
High Mowing/Slow Food Featured in USA Today
"High Mowing Organic Seeds of Wolcott, Vt., was growing fast in 2005 and needed capital to plan an orderly 10-year expansion. The company, founded in 1996 by Tom Stearns, devised a strategy to raise more than $1 million for growth by bringing together investors who put social and environmental concerns ahead of quick financial returns. That concept was a precursor of a larger movement that has become known as Slow Money, addressed in a 2009 book by its founder and chairman, Woody Tasch, titled Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered. The idea is to promote so-called "patient capital," with investors who are more focused on ensuring the health of their local food systems than on getting a quick return on their investments, Tasch explains." Read what Tasch had to say about High Mowing Organic Seeds.
Park(ing) Day Comes to Montpelier (PARK)ing Day, a national movement to temporarily reclaim urban parking spaces, will have a Montpelier iteration on Friday, September 20th. Utilizing up to 6 spaces that were allocated by City Council for the temporary installation of parklets in downtown Montpelier. Locations will be within the walkable downtown lasting throughout the business day. Various uses include table seating, a bicycle demonstration, an evolving art sculpture, green space and work space. Learn more about this groovy event.
Small Dog Opens New Store... In Key West!
Small Dog Electronics, the legendary New England-based Apple specialist store and Apple Authorized Service center, announces the debut of its newest retail store in Key West, Fla. With the opening of the store in the heart of Key West's resort hub, the store will feature Mac computers, iPods, iPads and other accessories in Apple's extensive product line. Congrats Don and crew!
Fairpoint Hits 2.5 Million Pound Recycling Mark
VBSR Gold Member FairPoint Communications, has significantly increased its equipment and materials recycle, reuse and resell program over the past five years. Since the company began this environmental initiative in 2008, it has recycled more than 2.5 million pounds of telecommunications equipment, reused more than 28,700 items and resold more than 40,700 items. "In the fast-paced telecommunications industry, we inevitably have to purchase new equipment for our extensive fiber network," said Bob Oldmixon, FairPoint director of supply chain management. "To reduce the impact on the environment, we can reuse equipment, purchase refurbished equipment, recycle old equipment and resell equipment we no longer use to other businesses in need." Read more about the extensive program.
Seven VBSR Members Recognized
Last week, VBSR Gold Members Vermont Business Magazine and KeyBank Presented their annual 5x5x5 Growth Awards. The list of award winners included a number of VBSR members. Please join us in congratulating Dealer.com, iTech US, High Mowing Organic Seed Company, Instrumart, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, All Earth Renewables, and VEIC.