December 2016
Vermont Businesses for  
Social Responsibility
People. Planet. Profit.
Dear VBSR Members and Friends,

It's time for New Year's resolutions and new beginnings. That means it's time for networking and a new legislative session!

When you come to our Networking Get-Togethers, conferences or other events, our goal is to have you leave with at least one new contact, idea, resource or inspiration. And I cannot tell you how often I've been told "What I really like about VBSR events is the networking with like-minded business people."

So please mark your calendars for our January 19th Get-Together Hosted by Champlain Community Services in Colchester and our May 17th Spring Conference (the 27th one!) in Burlington, and stay tuned for more Get-Togethers between those two dates.

Also please take a look below at the issues we'll be working on in the State House. As always, please let Dan Barlow know if you'd like to get involved with an issue. And if you're a member, don't forget to take VBSR's 2016 Public Policy Survey today!

In summary, thank you for helping us expand the possibilities for corporate social responsibility through education, networking and a public policy voice!

Sincerely ,
Jane Campbell
Executive Director

P.S. We're hiring! If you or someone you know is passionate about supporting local, Vermont-based businesses, visit our website to learn more about our part-time Local First Vermont Manager position.
Upcoming VBSR Events
We hope to see you soon!
January 19: VBSR Networking Get-Together Hosted by Champlain Community Services (Colchester) Sponsorships Available!

February 8: VBSR's 2017 Legislative Reception (Montpelier)
Sponsorships Available!
May 17: VBSR's 27th Annual Spring Conference (Burlington) - Save the Date!

Log-on to VBSR's website to post an event. Forgot your password? Send us an email! 
VBSR Welcomes and Thanks our Newest Members!  
Individual Members: 
Christopher Bendel (Burlington)
Sophie Bokelman (Burlington)
Kianna Haskin (Waitsfield)
Mikael Verlaque (South Burlington) 
  *Also joined Local First Vermont! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:

VBSR Staff   
Wishing You a Happy and Successful 2017
Thank you for your support! 
VBSR Announces Legislative Agenda, Honors Representative Head
Sold Out Crowd Packs VBSR's Legislative Breakfast in Burlington  

More than 150 VBSR members and friends, and legislative guests attended VBSR's 2016 Legislative Breakfast on December 15th. During the event, we announced our 2017 Legislative Agenda and honored Representative Helen Head for her work in helping pass key pieces of legislation last year, including VBSR supported Earned Paid Leave and Ban the Box.

"I am deeply honored by this award," Rep. Head said. "A team of legislators, starting with members of my committee, worked tirelessly to pass Paid Leave and Ban the Box. The effort to pass both bills was strengthened by inspiring testimony from business organizations. VBSR played a prominent role."

VBSR will focus efforts on redefining the definition of independent contractor and financing the clean up of the state's lakes and rivers during the 2017 legislative session. The legislative agenda also includes work on revamping state procurement practices to attract more "high road" employers, making quality child care more affordable for working Vermonters, and reforming the state's tax code by putting a price on carbon.

VBSR's 2016 Legislative Breakfast was hosted by Main Street Landing, with Presenting Sponsor Cx Associates. Supporting Sponsors included Action Circles, The Alchemist, New Moon Cafe, SunCommon, Three Penny Taproom, and WrightJones PLC.

Photos of the event can be found on our facebook page. The complete 2017 Public Policy Agenda can be also be downloaded.  
Download the App 200 Apps Sold
Buy Local Book Enters 21st Century!
The Local First Vermont Mobile App is catching on! To date, about 200 apps have been activated, and the feedback so far has been positive!

Anyone interested in saving money and supporting local businesses can now download the FREE app on Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

Once downloaded, you can pay $20 (the same cost as the book) to activate all 230+ coupons valued at $3,000. Through the app, coupons are searchable by location, name, keyword/sector, and even distance from the user... you'll never forget your coupons again!

VBSR Marketplace Logo Marketplace Records Best Year Ever... Again!
Nearly 150 Marketplace Transactions in 2016
Thank you for a great 2016 with the VBSR Marketplace. For the second year in a row, we had our best year of terms of number and volume of trades. Together, we did nearly 150 transactions of products and services valued at nearly $40,000!

We're thrilled when Vermonters like you are able to continue your triple-bottom line approach to business by turning your extra capacity into local purchasing power. And while we thank our supporters for a great year, we would be remiss if we didn't share a few testimonials of the service we received in 2016! 
  • "A fantastic use of trade dollars, time and service!"
  • "Seemless! I really didn't even do anything other than ask and receive!"
  • "Really great way to receive a service!!"
  • "A great way to create new relationships."
  • "Every penny makes a difference."
  • "Looking forward to future transactions with VBSR members!"
VBSR Networking Get-Together in St. J
Nearly 100 Attend Event Hosted by DRM and MVZ Holdings

Networking in St. J On November 30th, nearly 100 forward-thinking business leaders packed the Kingdom Taproom in Saint Johnsbury for an evening of networking and education. Guests were treated to hors d'oeuvres and beverages provided by Co-hosts of the Networking Get-Together, Downs Rachlin Martin and MVZ Holdings.

During the evening, VBSR members and friends shared business cards, laughs, and ideas about how to better incorporate social responsibility into their business practices. DRM and MVZ Holdings also took some time to address the crowd about how each organization seeks to improve their community. DRM's focus was on volunteer efforts and community service, and they encouraged business owners to get their employees out and into the community, while MVZ lead an inspiring talk on the importance of community investing and their efforts to positively impact St. J through smart, impactful investments focused more on community well-being than financial return.

Thank you to everyone who attended ( check out the photos)! Special thank you to our sponsors: Housing Vermont; The Foundry VT; JoyRyde; Let's Grow Kids; Milk Money Vermont; OneDigital Health and Benefits; Progressive Asset Management Boston/Vermont; Vermont Employee Ownership Center; and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation
Vermont Conversation Seeking Sponsors 
VBSR's The Vermont Conversation Airs Wednesdays at 1 PM 
VBSR is seeking three sponsors for The Vermont Conversation, our weekly radio program on WDEV. Each Wednesday our host David Goodman explores issues near and dear to our state. Started in January 2013, this thought-provoking, weekly show focuses on sustainable business and current issues and has become the most listened-to talk show on commercial radio in its time slot (Wednesdays at 1), according to Nielson ratings. It is heard in about two-thirds of Vermont, and parts of NY and NH. VBSR is pleased to be part of this remarkable success and we'd love for YOU to be involved too.

We're seeking three new underwriters to help us share the cost of this show. Each underwriting spot is $1,500 and runs from January to August (payment plans and Marketplace credits accepted). In return for your support, your organization will be prominently announced as a program underwriter at the beginning, middle and end of the show on the air. Your logo also appears on the podcast page, on (where we also have a webpage dedicated to the show), and in several editions of VBSR's enews (like this one!) throughout the year.

Want to learn more? Contact Russ today or check out one of our recent shows, including:

Can poverty be eradicated? Chris Curtis on the enduring challenge
Changing lives a book at a time: Children's Literacy Foundation
Can fungus save the planet? Eben Bayer on disrupting the toxic economy
Vermont climate activism under Trump
Rules for Revolutionaries: Lessons from the Sanders campaign on waging a political revolution
We are grateful to our show underwriters for helping us continue this great community resource!  

VBSR's 27th Annual Spring Conference

Save the Date, Call for Presentations and Sponsors Spring Conference Attendees
VBSR's marquee event returns for our 27th year! Join us on May 17th for a full day of education, inspiration, and networking at the LEED Certified Davis Center at the University of Vermont in Burlington.

We are soliciting workshop proposals that demonstrate values-led business practices, inspire CSR values, and educate about sustainable products/services, and policies. Share your SR adventures, initiatives, and knowledge to help us to make our 27th gathering the best VBSR Conference ever!  
Submit your proposal by January 12.

More than 300 people will attend VBSR's Annual Spring Conference, our biggest event of the year. This day-long conference in Burlington brings together a community of socially responsible business leaders to network, get inspired, and learn the latest in innovative SR business practices, policies, and thinking. Don't miss this opportunity to support VBSR's efforts while showcasing your business or organization to our highly engaged community. The deadline for sponsorship is February 28th. See a complete list of sponsorship and exhibitor options on our website, and contact the team with any questions or interest! 
New Member-to-Member Offers
VBSR Members Working Together!
Did you know that more than 70 VBSR members offer discounts specifically for other members? Each offer is listed on our website, and the newest ones are listed below. Work with a VBSR member today!

The Woods Lodge:
30% off half- or full-day meeting space rental (with or without paid catering), 10 to 30 attendees. Contact: Lisa Burr or visit

Aplomb Consulting: A Creative Way of Giving
Jason Lorber of Aplomb Consulting has come up with a creative win/win for giving back to his community. Aplomb offers a free one-hour initial consultation for strategic planning, capacity building, facilitation, or communications projects. If this results in you working together, Aplomb Consulting will donate $100 to VBSR in your name. In the past month, we've received donations in the name of two different VBSR members! Contact: Jason Lorber or visit         Thank you Jason! 
This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
Let's Grow Kids    

Let's Grow Kids is a proud sponsor of VBSR's Networking Get-Together in Saint Johnsbury. Stop by the event to hear what we're up to across the state, or click here to learn more. 
VT Statehouse VBSR-supported Executive Order Finalized
Order Gives Preference to Green Businesses in State Contracts

An Executive Order signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin that gives businesses fighting climate change preference in the state contracting process has been finalized.
The new policy applies to any contract over $25,000, which captures at least 97 percent of state contracting dollars. The state of Vermont spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year in contracts. Under the new policies developed in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order, four questions have been added to the solicitation process.

VBSR was pleased to support this effort and it is our hope that the incoming administration sees value in keeping the order on the books.
Member Events
Upcoming Member Events

January 1:  FirstRun 5K Run/Walk (RunVermont)

January 19: Appreciative Project Management ( The David L Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and Desai Management Consulting)

January 26: Simulation and Change Leadership Workshop (WholeWorks)

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.
    Capstone and VSECU Partner Provide Emergency Food and Heating Assistance to Vulnerable Vermonters 
    VBSR members Capstone Community Action and VSECU (Vermont State Employees Credit Union) have teamed up to launch Fuel Your Neighbors, an initiative to support emergency food and heating assistance for vulnerable central Vermont households.
    Winter is a tough time for thousands of central Vermonters. Families often must choose between basic necessities like food and heat. Children and seniors are the most vulnerable to the high costs of winter, and are the most adversely affected. This year Capstone will work with over 7,000 people to help combat these challenges, putting food on their table and keeping the heat on during the cold winter months. Learn More. 
    Phoenix Books Embarks on Yearlong Partnership with Vermont Foodbank 
    Phoenix Books is taking a stand against hunger this holiday season by matching customer donations - up to $5,000 - to fellow VBSR member the Vermont Foodbank between Thanksgiving and December 24th. The company - which has locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland and Chester - has embarked on a year-long partnership with the Vermont Foodbank to raise at least $25,000 through a series of fundraisers. This matching program for December is the first of multiple events planned in partnership with Phoenix Books and Vermont Foodbank. The match is dollar for dollar so the more the community donates through Phoenix Books the more money raised for the Vermont Foodbank. Learn more. 

    Community Scale Diodigester Demonstrates Renewable Energy, Waste Reduction, Nutrient Management

    "Big Bertha," the anaerobic digester at Vermont Technical College, is operating at full capacity and successfully putting electricity onto the grid. With a carefully formulated diet of cow manure and organic matter from Vermont farms and brewery waste from The Alchemist and others, at full power Big Bertha transforms 16,000 gallons of waste to 8,800 kilowatt hours of electricity daily-equivalent to about 200 gallons of heating oil, or the amount of electricity consumed by about 70 houses on a cold day. Learn more. 
    VSAC's Efficiency Efforts Earn EPA ENERGY STARĀ® Certification for Sixth Straight Year
    Vermont Student Assistance Corp. has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR certification for the sixth year in a row, racking up its highest score yet for energy efficiency and strict performance levels set by the EPA.
    "This is the sixth year we have received the award and our 90 score means our headquarters in Winooski scores in the top 10 percent of all similar buildings in the program across the country," said Mike Stuart, VSAC vice president and CFO. "We're saving money, protecting the environment and setting a standard for Vermont commercial buildings." Learn more.  
    This Edition of E-news Sponsored By:
    The VBSR Marketplace 
    Thank you VBSR Champion Members for your ongoing support!


        Ben and Jerry's Gardener's Supply
    as of 12/17/12
      New Chapter new Renewable NRG 8/2013 S

    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