Vermont Businesses for 
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.

Health Care Cost Shift and Other Important Announcements

We have much news to share this month so please read through this entire e-news for all the information and important details. We know you are all very busy so we truly appreciate your interest and involvement!

- Yesterday, VBSR released a policy statement in support of addressing the health care cost shift, and the Administration's financing proposal. We believe that this is good public policy and we hope you will take the time to read the statement and share your thoughts with us, and your legislators, regarding. If you would like to learn more about the issue we have set up a conference call for our members with Lawrence Miller, Chief of Health Care Reform this Thursday at 4:00 pm. (See below for more information). If you are not able to get on the call, please let us know and we can find an alternative way to get information to you.

- We are actively planning the May 13 Spring Conference and we are accepting workshop proposals and sponsorships through the end of the month. Your ideas are very welcome. To help us make this 25th Anniversary Conference the best ever, click here.

- Did you know the Health Department is offering grants to businesses with less than 100 employees to support breastfeeding? The grants will help employers provide women with a private, clean place to express milk. The deadline is Feb 20; check it out here.

By the way we just dropped a new short video, "WHY VBSR?" After you take a look, let us know what your answer is to "WHY VBSR?" We just might use your additions in future communications and videos. Contact Russ with your thoughts.

Thanks for all you do, every day, to support the multiple bottom line approach to business.

Sincerely yours,
Andrea Cohen, Executive Director 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!
   Chas P. Smith, Burlington
Heather Kenner, Burlington
Jessica Pointer, Waterbury
Kianna Jensen, Burlington
Tyler-James Lapointe, Saint Albans
*Also joined Local First Vermont! 
Health Care Webinar with Lawrence Miller 
Members Invited to Call into Health Care Update Thursday, 4 PM  

VBSR has organized an interactive webinar for our members this Thursday, February 19, from 4-5 PM with Lawrence Miller, the chief of health care reform in Vermont. Miller, the founder of Otter Creek Brewing and a former state commerce secretary, will give a presentation and take questions on health care reform efforts in Vermont, including the proposed 0.7% payroll to fund the Medicaid expansion and cost shift. VBSR members are invited to join the meeting from a computer, tablet or smartphone. Learn more here. 

Also, this is the last chance to take VBSR's 2015 Policy Survey! The new legislative session is underway and VBSR's policy team at the Vermont Statehouse needs your input to support socially responsible laws and policies. Click here to provide your feedback.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and covers questions on health care, energy and tax policy. VBSR uses the results of this survey in testimony and messaging to the Legislature during the session. 

Why VBSR?  
6 Leaders in Sustainability Answer the Question in Under 90 Seconds 
Why VBSR? 
Why VBSR? 
25 years ago, a group of business leaders got together to form a business association which better reflected their values. Today Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility has more than 750 members. Why is VBSR still relevant today? Why are business leaders still excited about VBSR? Why is being a member of VBSR valuable? Six leaders in sustainable business answer "Why VBSR?" in less than 90 seconds.
Like what you see? Join us at www.vbsr.org/membership/join
Spring Conference Call for Proposals and Sponsors  
Feb 28 Deadline to Be Involved in May 13th Conference

VBSR's 25th Annual Spring Conference is right around the corner and we want to see YOU there! Join us on May 13th in Burlington as we come together to celebrate 25 years of moving the CSR dial forward.


Plans are being finalized, but our largest event of the year should include two keynote presentations, a networking breakfast and lunch, 15 interactive workshops, 40+ exhibitors, a Vermont-themed cocktail reception, and approximately 300 local thought leaders, professionals, and CSR minded individuals. You won't want to miss this great day of networking and education! 


Have a great idea for a workshop or topic to be covered at the conference? Click here to submit your proposal. Interested in supporting VBSR and gaining visibility? Click here to explore the many ways you can sponsor the conference.


Who Do You Know?
Nominations Open for Terry Ehrich Award for Excellence in Socially Responsible Business 

Named for the late owner of Hemmings Motor News and founder of the First Day Foundation, the Terry Ehrich Award is given annually to a Vermont business person who exemplifies Terry's commitment to the environment, workplace and community. Think you know a someone who fits the bill? Do YOU fit the bill yourself? Click here to submit a nomination before March 15.


*Any VBSR member at a for-profit business is eligible to be nominated. Employees of not-for-profits or public sector agencies as well as past award winners and sitting Nominating Committee members are not eligible. Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged. The award will be presented at the VBSR Annual Awards event held in mid-September 2015.


Click here for a complete list of past award winners, or check out the photos of last year's award ceremony honoring Black River Produce's Mark Curran. 
300+ Attend VBSR Networking Events
THANK YOU for Attending Our Legislative Reception and January Get-Together!

Over 160 VBSR members and friends packed the famous Magic Hat Brewing Company Artifactory on January 22. Guests were treated to free pint glasses, pizza from VBSR member Leonardo's, and some great networking opportunities. Additionally, Magic Hat reminded folks about what it means to work together with the community and spoke about how they try to achieve those goals through public-private partnerships and sustainable brewing practices not being practiced by other large scale breweries. After the event, Magic Hat also donated the profits from the evenings cash-bar to VBSR's Research and Education foundation... to tune of over $600!!!

Just a few weeks later, we hosted our Legislative Reception in Montpelier. What a fantastic time had by legislators and members alike on February 5th at Capitol Plaza! Over 140 guests joined us for an evening of networking with law makers and fellow members. The evening featured lots of discussion (both policy and CSR related!), a chance to catch up with colleagues and friends new and old... and even a little dancing!

Click here for photos of our Get-Together

Click here for photos of the Legislative Reception


Saving Cash
Tips to Include Marketplace Trade Credits in RFPs        


There are many factors that go into selecting a vendor for work, such as previous work together, portfolio submissions, relationships, cost, timing and cultural fit. In tougher economic times, it may be tempting to go with the lowest bid even if it may not be the best overall fit. Using the VBSR Marketplace and Trade Dollars allows your budget to go further and you to consider more important factors than cost in the decision making process. How can you include the Marketplace in your standard RFP?


Here are some examples of language you can put in your requirements:

  • "Our Business uses the VBSR Marketplace. In your quote, please include what percentage of VBSR Trade Dollars you will accept as payment."
  • "We are looking to pay 10% of the final quote in VBSR Trade Dollars."
  • "We will pay for all material costs in cash and would like to pay for 25% of the service portion in VBSR Trade Dollars."
  • "We will select the vendor who allows us to pay the highest percentage of Trade Dollars for this work."

If you need help explaining how the Marketplace works and how your new vendor can spend VBSR Trade Dollars, please give us a call and we'll help! Need to check how much your balance or available credit? It's available on your home screen when you log in. Need more available credit? Contact the Marketplace at (802) 399-4210 or click here to send the team an email.


Remember: the easiest way to grow the Marketplace for the benefit of us all is to bring business in with a new sale! Using the Marketplace as a part of your standard RFP process can save you a lot of cash and contribute to building the new economy in Vermont.


Want more great tips like this on how to use the Marketplace? Follow the Marketplace blog! 


Local First VT
Local First Vermont Seeks Regional Sales Team
Help us Spread the Local Love!

Local First Vermont is seeking to grow our regional sales team for the 2015/2016 edition of the Buy Local Book. If you are in Chittenden or Lamoille county, we need your help!

We're looking for someone who is self-motivated, dynamic, and well-connected in their community. Sales or retail experience is a plus. Position begins in March.

Click here for details on the Chittenden County position, or here to learn more about helping in Lamoille; contact Calen King to learn more.  


    This Edition of E-news Sponsored by:  
Vermont Health Connect



Upcoming VBSR Events
Mark Your Calendars!

February 20: Social Enterprise Workshop 
This workshop examines the structures that social and environmental enterprises currently use to accomplish their missions: nonprofit organizations, traditional for-profits, L3Cs, B Corporations, cooperatives and other business forms that place "Planet" and "People" ahead of or on an equal footing with "Profit."  


In a full-day public workshop, participants will be introduced to a taxonomy of social enterprises and will learn from Betsy Schmidt and a panel of individuals who have been involved in the launch of a range of innovative business models. Panelist will include VBSR members Chroma Technologies, New Chapter, and Vermont Land Trust as well as experts in their fields. VBSR Members can attend this event for only $100. Register today!  


March 11: Women's Meet-up

This special end-of-the-day Meet-Up will bring together women of many ages and backgrounds to make connections and discuss opportunities for women mentoring women. We'll hear from women leaders including Tiff Bluemle (former Executive Director of Vermont Works for Women), Andrea Cohen (Executive Director of VBSR), and Jan Blomstrann (Renewable NRG Systems). Whether your goals are personal or professional, there will be plenty of time for networking, so come prepared to meet women in your community who are looking for and offering mentoring. Tea and cookies will be served; bring your business cards! Info and registration on VBSR.org soon!


March 26: Networking Get-Together Hosted by Danforth Pewter
VBSR members and friends are invited to an evening of networking and education in Middlebury. Engage with forward-thinking business professionals, catch up with old business partners, check out the pewter making process, and learn more about employee well-being and management from founding VBSR member Danforth Pewter. Save the date - complete agenda and details to come!

There are only 5 sponsorships left for this event. Support VBSR and gain visibility: click here to see the perks of sponsorship, or contact us today to support this great event!

College students today want to engage in meaningful work that will bring about positive change in the world. At the same time, financial pressures lead many to question whether it is possible to follow their passions and still earn a decent enough living. Brought to you by Green Mountain College, VBSR and Rodgers Consulting, this conference will explore the challenges and opportunities of doing both.  


Join us for an inspiring series of TED-style talks from mission-driven entrepreneurs and leaders of change in business, government, and education. Engage with these and other leaders in stimulating discussions and meet with them informally. Come make new personal and professional connections and discover how you can make a difference AND make a living. This event is FREE and open to the public. Click here for more info, or REGISTER TODAY!

New Member-to-Member Offers    
70+ Members Want to Work with YOU!  

Over 70 members have expressed an interest in working with VBSR members and are willing to offer a discount to make it happen! Check out our newest offers below, or contact us today to offer a discount of your own.


Health Care Policy Group:
25% off for VBSR members!
Contact: Dave Sterrett Web: www.healthcarepolicygroup.com

 Click here to peruse our complete list of 70+ Member-to-Member Offers. 
Member Events

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

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. 
Member News  
We want your news and press releases!! Submit or post a story on our Facebook page or send us 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.

Vermont Smoke and Cure Making Large-scale Hinesburg Facility Xxpansion
Vermont Smoke and Cure has announced a significant expansion of its manufacturing and office facilities in Hinesburg, Vermont. Demand for the Vermont-based small-batch meats and meat snackshas fueled rapid growth - creating a need for increased facilities to meet market demands. The expansion will benefit Vermont's economy, community and farmers. Read more about the expansion here. 

Green Mountain Concert Services Celebrates 20th Year in Business


Green Mountain Concert Services Inc. (GMCS) is celebrating 20 years of providing physical security services to clients across the Northeast.  Since its creation in 1995 by Middlebury native Kevin W. Cheney, GMCS has been a part of almost every notable special event in Vermont. From music festivals to sporting events, the special event elite have used GMCS to make their events safe. Read more about GMCS here.


Casella Resource Solutions Publishes 2014 Sustainability Report  

Highlights of the report include: In 2013, Casella helped its customers divert over 500,000 tons of recyclables and over 400,000 tons of organics. The company recently built its 6th Zero-Sort recycling facility (in Lewiston, ME) and is actively investing in infrastructure for food scraps recycling. Together with its partners, Casella helped to produce over 227,000 MWH of electricity in 2013, enough for over 30,000 New England homes. The company advances local and renewable energy goals through landfill gas to energy, anaerobic digestion, heat recovery, and solar projects. Since 2005, Casella has reduced its company-wide greenhouse gas emissions by over 50% by investing in improvements to its landfills, facilities, and fleet. The company intends to continue this trend in coming years, while also helping customers to improve their footprints. Click here to read what else Casella has been up to in 2014.



CLiF Announces Grants Available for Rural Libraries 

The Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) is accepting applications for its Rural Libraries program grant through April 1st. The sponsorship provides new books and programming to public libraries in New Hampshire and Vermont towns of fewer than 5,000. Read more about the Rural Libraries Program Grant here. 


Champlain Community Service Awarded $100,000 by The Gibney Family Foundation
Champlain Community Services (CCS), Inc. announces an award of $100,000 over three years from The Gibney Family Foundation of South Burlington. The grant represents an investment that enables CCS to fully launch its School2Work career development initiative for high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Click here to learn more about the award and the School2Work career development initiative. 
City Market
City Market Releases FY 2014 Annual Report
City Market has released their FY 2014 Annual Report, covering July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014.  The report provides details regarding FY 2014 Co-op Membership, Co-op Financial Health, Community Initiatives, Patronage Refunds, Local Food Systems, and Sustainability. Read the highlights and the entire report here.   
Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


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

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