VBSR
January
2014
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
 
Vermont Businesses...Vermont Values. 

Dear VBSR Members:

We hope the new year has started well for you and your business or organization. Sitting in the balcony at the Statehouse this week, listening to the Governor's budget address, I was reminded about how much our members contribute to the strength of the Vermont economy -- you deliver exceptional products and services, provide quality jobs to your employees and continue to add value to the quality of life here in Vermont. Thank you for all your contributions.

With the start of the new year we would like to welcome three new members to the VBSR Board of Directors: Jennifer Chiodo, Cx Associates; Bret Hodgdon, Davis Hodgdon Associates CPAs; Michael Burak, Burak Anderson and Melloni. They join the other talented members of the VBSR Board and you can learn more about all the Board members here.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the annual public policy survey so we can learn more about your interests and priorities. It is important that we hear from you! We look forward to seeing you soon at VBSR's 2014 Legislative Reception on Feb 12 and some of the other upcoming VBSR events!

Finally, as you may know, we've recently partnered with B Lab to provide our members access to their B Impact Assessment (BIA) tool. I'd like to send a special "Thank You" and "Kudos" to Donella Meadows Institute and White + Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors, Inc. for completing the assessment! If you haven't yet begun to 'measure what matters,' we encourage you to
join our BIA webinar on January 30.

All the Best,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director
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VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
 
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Walk the Talk
Deepen Your Commitment to Socially Responsible Practices

 

As we move into the new year, here are a few easy ways to "walk the talk": 

 

Take 3 Minutes to Weigh-in on Green Employee Benefits Practices: A very short survey designed to gain an understanding of "green employee benefits" offerings and practices at VBSR member organizations. Green benefits programs provide employees with resources and incentives to integrate green practices into their personal and professional lives. Take the green benefits survey today!

 

Plant a Workplace Garden: Champion Member Gardeners Supply Company has partnered with a few different entities to support the Green Thumbs at Work program. Click here to apply for scholarships to plant a workplace garden. 

 

Nominate a VBSR Member (or yourself!) for the 2014 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence: Nominations are being accepted through February 10th. Act now and click here to nominate a worthy organization. Governor's awards will be presented at our Spring Conference in May.  

 

Measure What Matters: Take the FREE B Impact Assessment offered by B-Lab. The BIA is tracking tools that will help you measure your SR progress AND give you tips on how to do better! Still have questions? Join our Webinar on January 30.  

 

Reduce Your Energy Dependence: Business Energy Action is a FREE program that helps you measure and reduce your energy consumption, while connecting you with professionals and promoting your efforts.

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This Edition of E-News Sponsored by:
Vermont Public Television     

For corporate underwriters, VPT opens a door to a very unique and desirable market segment, and to some unique positioning advantages for their companies. At the same time, those underwriters are supporting a vital community resource that benefits Vermonters in so many ways. It's smart business and good citizenship walking hand in hand.
Email Peter Shea to take advantage of this special offer.

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.

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Legislative Session Begins
Help VBSR Advance the Triple Bottom Line Approach in Vermont  

Lawmakers have returned to the Vermont Statehouse and that means VBSR Public Policy Manager Daniel Barlow will be spending most of his time in Montpelier. Help give him the tools needed to be informed in the statehouse. Take our public policy survey today; this survey provides us with statistics and anecdotal evidence that we can use to prove how much our members support action on the items on our legislative agenda. The deadline to help us with this is February 14th.

Another way to get involved in our policy efforts is to attend VBSR's 2014 Legislative Reception. One of our marque events, this year the reception will be held in the Montpelier Room at Capitol Plaza on February 8th from 5 to 7 PM. Mark your calendar! 
 
Finally, please check out our 2014 legislative agenda and let us know if you can help advance any of these objectives. We are looking for members who want to speak with lawmakers or administration officials, testify before committees or even writer letters to their local newspaper. If you this is you, email Dan today.  

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BEA Logo
BEA Hits Goal for Second Year in a Row 
Join 80+ Businesses Taking the Business Energy Action Challenge

BEA has some good news and some great news! The good news is that the 2014 Business Energy Action challenge, now in its second year, has signed up 30 more business committed to reducing their energy consumption by 5% annually over the next three years. The great news is that you can still join these fine companies in taking the BEA Challenge in 2014. Get Started Now! 

Since our last edition, the following companies have joined the cause:









BEA is a VBSR program offered in partnership with the Burlington Electric Department,
Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas, and the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. 
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Intern Logo
Vermont Intern Program Releases Annual Report   
Program Weathers Personnel Change to Make Big Impact

Since 2008, the Vermont Intern Program has helped to fill the gap between the thousands of Vermont graduates without career leads and the hundreds of Vermont employers who lack skilled workers.

Every year we expose students and recent graduates to the diversity of career paths in Vermont, educate them in career readiness, and supply them with opportunities for securing employment in the state. We support employers in creating and growing quality internship opportunities in order to retain a skilled and educated workforce pool.

Our work takes us statewide to identify opportunities for students, career service professionals, employers and community partners. Despite a mid-year change in personnel, 2013 was a very successful year for the Intern Program including the placement of 41 paid interns in each sector. Click here to read the complete report.

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More Changes for Small Business Enrollment Announced 
 
On Tuesday the Department of Vermont Health Access announced additional changes to the small business enrollment process.  Businesses that had opted for a 3 month extension of their 2013 plans will now need to go directly through their insurance carrier to obtain Vermont Health Connect plans in 2014 instead of through the Vermont Health Connect website. Contact your health insurance provider to clarify your status and what your next steps need to be to ensure coverage in 2014. As always, the VBSR Navigators are also available to you and your employees to answer questions and to help you enroll on the Exchange. Contact one of them today to schedule an appointment.  

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Limited Time Member to Member Offers   
Take Advantage of these Offers Today!

Earthshift:  

10% off ($250) Practical LIfe Cycle Analysis (LCA) course in Burlington, VT

Get more info on the class, or email Shelly to sign up today!

   


Vermont Interactive Technologies:

20% off one in state event booked by 6/30/14 for VBSR members, up to 5 sites. 

Email Michelle for more info.  

 

 

Vermont Public Television:

$500 off a year-long Underwriting Sponsorship for VBSR Members*

Contact Peter to start promoting your business today! 

*New clients only. 

   

Interested in learning how to extend a member to member offer? Contact Russ today. 

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Questions about the exchange? Click here to talk to one of our navigators.

Interested in sponsoring E-news? Contact us today.
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Upcoming VBSR Events
 
Mark your calendars! VBSR has some great upcoming events in January, February, and March. Click on their titles to learn more... we hope to see you soon! 

January 30: VBSR and B Lab Host Business Impact Assessment Webinar 

Join VBSR, B Lab and fellow VBSR members in measuring what matters most - the impact of your business on society and the environment. We've teamed up with the folks at B Lab to provide you the B Impact Assessment (BIA) to make this easy and free for you. We'll start with a basic overview of the BIA and answer any questions you might have about the tool. Then, while we still have B Lab representatives on the line, we will give you chance to actually start the BIA on your own and experience the process, all knowing that help is listening and ready to respond. Register here to attend the webinar on Thursday, January 30th at 1 PM.  

 

February 8: Sustainable Communities Forum Local First Vermont

VBSR, Local First Vermont, and Business Energy Action are thrilled to be sponsors of the "Sustainable Communities Forum" at Phoenix Books in Burlington. Join us to discuss ways to improve local communities, the environment, and the lives of working people at the first Sustainable Communities Forum. The speakers - selected for their expertise and/or leadership in creating a durable local economy - will each address the Forum for five minutes. The Forum will be followed by a series of Circles where individuals will meet together for up to ½ hour to network and discuss topics of particular interest to them.

 

February 11: Southern Vermont VBSR Chapter Kickoff Meeting 

Back and ready to roll in 2014, the Southern VT VBSR Chapter will host its kickoff meeting on February 11th in Brattleboro! Join Chapter Coordinator CS Wurzberger (a.k.a. The Green Up Girl) and Scott Buckingham (VBSR Communications and Development Manager) for an an evening of chapter planning/organizing and some good ol' light-hearted networking with colleagues and peers that give a hoot!

 
February 12: VBSR 2014 Legislative Reception
VBSR celebrates the 2014 legislative session on February 12th from 5-7 PM in the Montpelier Room in the Capitol Plaza. Join us for this exciting networking event for members, legislators and Statehouse lobbyists. Cash bar and light refreshments served; no RSVP necessary - just show up and join the fun! For more information visit the event page here. Or check out the photos from last year's reception here.
Sponsorships available, email Dan for more info.

And don't forget to mark your calendar to join us on March 26 for our March Networking Get-Together Hosted by TruexCullins. Sponsorships for this event are still available, email Scott.
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VBSR Bookshelf
Brought to you by: Chelsea Green
By: Elizabeth Ü 
 
"Starting a food business? Raising Dough provides an extremely useful roadmap through the financial landscape. This is a wonderful overview of the tools and techniques for capitalizing your small food enterprise." -Woody Tasch, chairman, Slow Money, and author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

Increasingly, food-based businesses are seen as key solutions to solve our social and environmental problems, and yet entrepreneurs report a surprising lack of access to money to help them get started or grow.

 

Raising Dough is an unprecedented guide that provides social entrepreneurs-as well as their potential supporters-the tools necessary to enable more of these businesses to launch and thrive.

Social-finance expert Elizabeth Ü explains what every budding entrepreneur should do even before they begin asking for money, including choosing an appropriate ownership model. She covers a wide range of possible funding sources, from traditional public and institutional grant and loan programs to cutting-edge, community crowdfunding models.


Click here to learn more and/or purchase the book through VBSR member Chelsea Green.    

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Marketplace News
Vermont Woodworking School Offer
Marketplace Hiring

Have 150 trade credits on the VBSR Marketplace? Check out this offer from the Vermont Woodworking School:  

  

A Day in the Woodshop 
Come spend a day in the wood shop and learn what you want to learn from qualified faculty. You will be equipped with a bench and will work in the space with access to a Master Furniture-Maker. Can be redeemed when semester is not in session. This includes all of summer, over winter break, spring or fall break. Makes a great gift certificate! 150 Trade Dollars  

 

Don't forget! The VBSR Marketplace is hiring! For information on how to join the Help Team, click here! 

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Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 

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Member Jobs
Recently Posted Member Jobs 
Log-on to VBSR's website to post a job. Forgot your password? Send us an email!

Looking for an internship? Click here for our most recent listings. 
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Member News  
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.
 

 

 

Real Goods Solar to Partner on Development of Over 4 MW of Solar Projects in Vermont  

RGS Energy, the commercial and utility division of Real Goods Solar, Inc. has joined forces with Green Lantern Capital to co-develop seven solar projects totaling 4.5 megawatts (MW) in Vermont. RGS Energy will design, install, monitor and maintain the solar power systems. The company expects to begin construction in summer of 2014 and complete it by November. On an annual basis, the solar power systems will be designed to generate more than 5.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity. Over the next 25 years, the solar energy produced would offset more than 204 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent to taking over 19,000 cars off the road or planting over 2.3 million trees (estimated per EPA-based data). The new solar projects will also help Vermont reach its goal of 20% renewable energy by 2017. Check out the full story here. 

 
ECHO and the Fairbanks Museum Team Up
The New Year brings a special treat to ECHO members with FREE admission to the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium in St. Johnsbury, VT for a limited time! All ECHO members can enjoy free admission while all Fairbanks Museum members enjoy free admission to ECHO during the entire month of January! PLUS: Bring your non-member guest to the Fairbanks Museum and they will receive $2 off of their admission.
 

 

Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports a "We Care 2" Finalist      

Vermont State Employees Credit Union recently announced the finalists for the "We Care 2" member giving program. 49 charities from across the state of Vermont submitted an application, with five finalists emerging, including Vermont Adaptive Si and Sports. Check out the full list here. 

   

 

   

The Green Life Relocates   

The Green Life is pleased to announce they have moved locations from 67 Main Street to 151 Cherry Street in Downtown Burlington. The Green Life is happy to be continuing our downtown Burlington location but thought they might benefit with a closer proximity to the Church Street Marketplace shopping area. The Green Life will continue to be a one-stop shop for wonderful organic and eco-friendly products. At our new location, we have a greater focus on baby items, natural mattresses, eco-furniture, vintage and organic women's clothing. Stop by and see them next to American Apparel, and across from the New Moon Cafe.  

       

 

NPI Featured on WCAX  

If you shopped at a Target store between November 27 and December 15 and used a credit or debit card, then your security information could be compromised. The company announced a massive credit-card attack involving up to 40 million accounts. Data thieves stole customer names, credit and debit card numbers, pin numbers, card expiration dates and the embedded code on the strip on the back of cards. And it's not just Target shoppers. John Burton of Network Performance Incorporated joined WCAX to talk about these data breaches that seem to be happening more and more frequently. Check out the interview here.  

 

Seven Days Takes Home Eight Awards  

Seven Days, Vermont's free, independent weekly newspaper, won eight awards at the Vermont Press Association ceremony last month in Montpelier. The awards are an annual competition among the daily and nondaily newspapers in the state of Vermont. Click here to see the complete list of awards Seven Days won, including First Place in General Excellence for a nondaily.

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Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!

  

   Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
 
as of 12/17/12Green Mountain Coffee
Main Street Landing LogoNew Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013


SVillanti and Sons Printers
At VBSR,
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 committed to a multiple bottom line approach to business that values people, planet and profit.

 

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Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
255 South Champlain Street, Suite 11
Burlington, Vermont 05401
(802) 862-8347