April 2016
Vermont Businesses for 
Social Responsibility
Just Good Business.
Members and Friends:

Interested in improving your business and your triple bottom lines? Then come to our spring conference on May 12 for chance to learn from other values-led companies. If you register today, you'll get a discount -- the early bird deadline is May 5th, and I hope we'll see you there!

Also, if you're interested in showcasing your business to thousands of new customers, please note that the deadline for putting a coupon in our Buy Local Coupon Book and Resource Guide is May 15th. This year, your coupon will also be in our new Local First mobile app! Click here to find out how to sign up.

Lastly, it's not too late to tell us what you think VBSR should do in its next strategic plan. Members, please click here to provide feedback on where you feel VBSR's priorities should be... we'd like to hear your opinions!

Thank you for being a part of the VBSR community!  

Jane Campbell
Executive Director
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members! 
Individual Members: 
Adam Palazzo (Burlington)
Stephen Pilcher (North Ferrisburgh)
Jadelynn Ye (Burlington)
 *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
Let's Grow Kids 
Learn more at www.letsgrowkids.org/business, or connect with the Let's Grow Kids team at  
VBSR's 26th Annual Spring Conference! 
Spring Conference Early Bird Deadline Next Week
300 Attendees, 40+ Exhibitors, 15 workshops. Register Today. 
VBSR's 26th Annual Spring Conference is only 2 weeks away! This year, we're thrilled to welcome Sonia Kowal as our keynote speaker. As president of Zevin Asset Management, Sonia Kowal is responsible for corporate matters, business practices, strategic planning, and marketing. She is also a member of the firm's investment committee, where she incorporates sustainability issues into decision-making.

In addition to this great keynote, we're happy to announce we'll be featuring an interactive plenary panel featuring new and existing ways to keep your investment dollars local. If you've ever considered investing in local organizations but thought it was only something millionaires could do, this hour-long session will challenge that thought process!

You won't want to miss this great day of networking and education.

Want more info? Click here for complete details, including our updated agenda, lodging options, Sonia Kowal's complete bio and more. Special thanks to Black River Produce for underwriting our local menu this year! 
50+ Attend April Networking Get-Together at Northshire Bookstore
VBSR Brings Local First Vermont Home! 

Under beautiful, sunny skies, more than 50 VBSR members and friends packed Northshire Bookstore on April 13th for an evening of networking and education in Manchester Center.

Guests came from as close as across the street, and from as far away as Bennington, Rutland, Brattleboro and Burlington! In addition to sharing business cards, guests swapped stories of corporate social responsibility, enjoyed food and drink provided by our host, and discussed the prospect of using business to make a positive impact in the lives of their employees and community.

VBSR also announced that Local First Vermont, a program started in Southern Vermont, would be expanding the Buy Local Coupon Book and Resource Guide into Manchester Center and other towns in the southern part of the state.

Collaboration was a recurring theme of the night as many speakers discussed the importance of working together as a business community, and one sponsor, RGS Energy, even gave away their podium time to fellow member The Green Up Girl to discuss her initiative to save the old Santa's Land property in Putney by turning it into a rare breeds zoological park.

The feeling of love for our host Northshire Bookstore was palpable, with many sponsors taking their time to thank Chris Morrow and Northshire for their work in the community. Chris in turn took time from the podium to talk about the importance of thinking about buying from local businesses first, the resurgence of independent bookstores, Northshire Bookstore's efforts to go green with solar arrays and electric car charging stations, and the benefit of offering employees flexible work schedules.

Learn more about the event and check out the photos here! 
The House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee votes to approve the Senate amendment to the Ban the Box bill last week.
Ban the Box Bill Goes to Governor
House members concur with Senate version of bill

H.261, the Ban the Box bill, will soon be signed into law.

The Vermont House voted last Thursday to concur with the Senate version of the bill, clearing the final legislative hurdle before the proposal goes to Gov. Shumlin for his signature. The Governor supports the bill and signed an executive order last year banning the box for state jobs.

The bill eliminates the criminal history question on most job applications in Vermont (there is an exemption for jobs with existing state and federal prohibitions against hiring individuals with specific criminal convictions). Employers can still ask about a criminal history during a job interview and conduct background checks. This provision simply gives a job applicant the opportunity to explain their story -- and what they've done to change their life since a conviction.

VBSR was proud to lead the charge on this bill with members Northland Design & Construction, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, WrightJones Law, and Burlington Labs serving as essential advocates in support of the proposal. The proposal was also reviewed and written by the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee and the Senate Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs Committee. 

VBSR Business Members Take Climate Change Message to Montpelier 
Employees from Member Companies Meet with Legislators on Earth Day
Executives from some of Vermont's most iconic brands and companies converged in Montpelier on Earth Day to call on legislators to support a speedy transition to the low carbon economy of the future. New science suggests that the impacts from climate change may come sooner and be more destructive than previous climate models predicted.
Representatives from Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Seventh Generation, Danforth Pewter, Alchemist Brewery, Capstone Community Action, and VBSR held a State House press conference Friday morning highlighting the economic and environmental opportunities for Vermont in moving away from fossil fuels.
Ashley Orgain from Seventh Generation at last week's State House press conference.
The coalition also announced that more than 500 businesses have signed Energy Independent Vermont's petition in support of establishing a state-based carbon pollution tax as a mechanism of moving Vermonters off of fossil fuels.
"Tackling climate change is mission-critical for Seventh Generation in caring for the next seven generations," said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation. "You can't live a healthy life on a sick planet. It's imperative that we lead the way in taking actionable steps to slow the climate crisis."
Recent reports suggest the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is already underway but it's not just far off places that are experiencing changes. Vermont's most recent winter was the warmest on record for the continental United States, breaking temperature records in both Burlington and Montpelier. These disturbing trends pose a profound threat to Vermont, its economy, and its companies.

In addition to the press conference, more than 80 people, including many employees of VBSR members like Ogee, RGS Energy, Andy Robinson, CVOEOBurak Anderson & Melloni, Downstreet, Goddard College, Renewable Energy Vermont, and Donella Meadows Institute, attended lobbying classes in the morning and met with their legislators as part of Earth Day of Action: The People's Lobby Day, an event put on by VBSR, Energy Independent Vermont, Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry's.

Click here to learn more.
VBSR Coming to a Town Near You
Join Us!

VBSR's Event Calendar is FILLING UP FAST! Check out these upcoming events for a chance to network, learn new CSR techniques and/or join our partners in advocating for a cleaner planet.

VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by Red Wagon Plants 
June 23rd, Hinesburg
VBSR members and friends are invited to join us for an evening networking and education at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg! Join us as we "Get-Together" in full bloom to talk CSR, sustainability, and the importance community involvement. This event is open to the public and is free for VBSR members and state officials, $10 for nonmembers. Registration opens soon!
Sponsorships available! Contact Russ or learn more here. 
VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by SunCommon 
July 28th, Waterbury
Join us at SunCommon's new Net Positive office building! Save the date, details to come!
Contact Russ for sponsorship information.  
Using the Marketplace for Staff Development
Save, Grow, Plan, Learn. 
Almost every time we talk about the VBSR Marketplace, the same question arises: "What can I buy?"

Over the past year, VBSR members have been buying and selling on the Marketplace more than ever. Just what kind of business has been happening lately?

All kinds:

  • Printing: Postcards, brochures, business cards and more.  Are you using a local vendor for all of your printing? Start Now! 
  • Buying tickets to the Shelburne Museum.
  • Attending Story Lab by Common Good Vermont.
  • Renting space for a meeting at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. (That was us!)
  • Buying gear for a farmers market booth from Vermont Clothing Company.
  • Getting acupuncture from Open Community Acupuncture.
  • Hiring a podcast editor from Coffee Table Publishing.
  • Buying locally made food for a staff meeting from Skinny Pancake, Pingala, and many other vendors!
  • Buying new signage from Design Signs. (Again, that was us!)
The Marketplace helps you Save, Grow, Plan and Learn. How can we help you?

Would you like to list one of your events or workshops? Log-in to post or view offers or contact Amy to get signed up to start using the VBSR Marketplace to Save, Grow, Plan and Learn today. 
Intern Logo Need help this summer?
VT Intern Program Grants Access to Qualified Interns 
It's not too late to hire a summer intern! There are still lots of qualified candidates out there looking for summer opportunities, and we can help you find them. The Vermont Intern Program helps you connect with a statewide pool of college students and recent graduates, and provides direct support with everything from conceptualizing positions and drafting job descriptions to supervising millennials and best practices for internships.

We post and promote positions and then direct applicants to apply to you. Applicants receive advice on application materials, support with career readiness and access to networking and professional development activities. Plus, if you use our program to hire an Intern, they will receive a FREE Student Membership to VBSR. Our only requirement is that your internship take place in Vermont and pay at least Vermont's minimum wage ($9.60/hr).

Your participation not only helps to diversify your applicant pool, but  also brings visibility to your company/organization and encourages young Vermonters to consider you as a potential employer. Join these fantastic members who have recently participated: Aqua Vitea, Breezy Hill Marketing, Sugarsnap, Bluehouse Group, Pride Center of Vermont, and Vermont Housing Finance Agency!

Want more information? Visit our website: internvt.org or contact Program Manager Roxanne Vought
Member Events
Upcoming Member Events
May 13: 2016 Spring Symposium Series: Dysgraphia (Stern Center for Language and Learning)
May 14: Co-op Home Brew Social at the Generator (Full Barrel Co-op)
May 17: Nonprofit Leadership Summit (Downs Rachlin Martin 
May 31: Professional Certificate in Collaborative Selling (University of Vermont)
June 5: John Dewey Cooking Institute (University of Vermont)

June 8: 5th Annual Water Quality Conference (Vermont Environmental Consortium)

June 23: Women Helping Battered Women Rebranding Event (Women Helping Battered Women)

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.

    iShare Charitable Donations Program Donates Over $100,000 To Nonprofits

    Image Outfitters, a socially and environmentally responsible advertising specialties company is proud to announce that they have just passed the $100,000 mark donated to nonprofits via their iShare Charitable Donations Program. Image Outfitters is the first and only advertising specialties company in the United States to become a certified B Corporation and has been championing social responsibility by donating 10% of each new sale to the nonprofit of their client's choosing. Learn more.

    ANEW Place Launches StoryShaper Monthly Giving Program

    For many who are homeless, the story ends with a warm place to sleep tonight.  At ANEW Place, that is where the story begins. ANEW Place is built upon the stories of their brave guests.  Every human being is a story. And every story matters. Everyone can find hope, overcome their past, learn that change is possible, and step into a new future.

    ANEW Place is excited to announce the launch of their new monthly giving program called StoryShapers. Through a committed, consistent, and continual partnership, StoryShapers invest in the stories of homeless adults and become a part of the life-changing process that each person walks through to get to their new beginning. As a StoryShaper, you can disarm shame, dignify steps forward, and shape ANEW story.
    Learn more.

    City Market, Onion River Co-op Awards Grants to Local Food Projects
    City Market congratul
    ated their 2015 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant recipients and offered over $54,000 in grant funding to local food projects at a recent Grant Celebration that also launched the 2016 Co-op Patronage Seedling Grant process.   
    City Market sent over $926,000 in Patronage Refunds to more than 11,000 Members in November 2015. As part of the Patronage Refund process, the Co-op offers members the opportunity to donate their checks to strengthen Vermont's food system. Members who receive Patronage Refunds support these donations by choosing not to cash their checks within the required 90-day time period. This year, uncashed Patronage Refund checks from members are funding 6 local food projects from community organizations doing amazing work in Vermont. Learn more.

    ACEDC Endorses First Addison County Kiva Zip Loan for Caroline's Dream

    The Addison County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), Vermont's only Kiva Zip Trustee, has endorsed the first Kiva Zip loan in Addison County for Caroline's Dream, a handcrafted skincare products producer based in East Middlebury.
    Kiva Zip is a loan program within the global non-profit Kiva that offers 0% interest loans for small businesses and entrepreneurs in the United States through crowdfunding. Kiva Zip Trustees are individuals or organizations who recommend borrowers to the Kiva Zip program. Trustees are an integral part of the model because of their ability to vouch for an entrepreneur's character and reputation. Learn more

    Vermont PBS' Qulture Nominated for a New England Emmy

    Vermont PBS's series Qulture, which explores some of the cutting-edge aspects of Montreal's arts scene, was recognized with a nomination for a New England Emmy for its first episode. 
    Qulture is still going strong and will air its new episode online May 6 at www.vermontpbs.org/qulture and on television May 27 Learn more.
    VNRC Seeking Nominations for Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership 
    The Vermont Natural Resources Council is accepting nominations for the 2016 Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership. Applications are due May 2, 2016 and can be found online at vnrc.org

    This year, VNRC seeks to honor an individual whose leadership at the local or regional level has brought about positive and lasting change in the way communities across Vermont integrate growth and conservation. Individuals who have demonstrated similar leadership at the state level will be honored in alternating years. Learn more

    Vermont Leadership Institute Currently Accepting Applications

    Since 1995, the Vermont Leadership Institute, part of The Snelling Center for Government, has been the state's pre-eminent leadership development program. There are currently more than 500 program graduates actively influencing Vermont's future in business, public policy, corrections, education, community development and in a wide range of volunteer and non-profit sector activities. Learn more.

    The Green Up Girl on a Mission to Turn Santa's Land Property to a Rare Breeds Zoological Park
    VBSR member C S Wurzberger, The Green Up Girl, has known since she was a little girl that her mission was to inspire people to care for the earth and its animals. And now she is maybe getting the chance to do this on a grand scale while drawing more people to Southern Vermont.

    Wurzberger is looking to build a Zoological Park & Conservation Center that connects children, teens, and adults with rare and endangered species of livestock and poultry. Just as there are endangered elephants, rhinos, and orangutans, there are also over 200 species of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry, such as the Mulefoot Hog (featured left, critically rare with fewer than 200), Milking Devon Cow (about 500 in existence), and many others. Learn more.
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
    The VBSR Marketplace 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


       Ben and Jerry'sGardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
    Marketing Partners New Chapter newRenewable NRG 8/2013

    S      VSECU
    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.


    Find us on FacebookView our profile on LinkedIn Follow us on TwitterContact Us

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