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Real Progress vs. Big Problems 

ASBC Applauds Biden’s Reboot of Climate, COVID and Other Vital Efforts  

ASBC was very encouraged to see many of the policies and decisions we’ve been fighting for become executive orders and initial agency actions announced by the Biden-Harris White House on Inauguration Day, January 20, and in the days immediately following. We celebrate with countless businesses, partner organizations and coalitions that helped to achieve these goals, including rejection of the Keystone pipeline, the immediate moratorium on oil and gas exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and decisive support for high-road workplace practices, equity, and inclusion.  

ASBC and our business members including Patagonia and Marstel-Day have worked tirelessly to protect the Arctic Refuge, along with a host of organizations such as Sunrise Project, Rosebud Sioux Economic Development Corporation, and Arctic Refuge Defense Campaign. ASBC Director of Policy Strategy Carolyn Pincus said that,  “President Biden’s executive order puts a much-needed hold on despoiling the Arctic Refuge coastal plain by oil and gas drilling. The road ahead is long for a permanent moratorium, but ASBC will continue our fight for environmental protections throughout the National Wildlife and Refuge System." 

We are further encouraged that President Biden has told all federal agencies to review Donald Trump’s actions while in power for possible reversal. Biden’s executive order cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline also directed agencies to review more than 100 Trump actions on the environment.  

As reported in last month’s Policy Update, when transition work commenced following the November election, ASBC quickly engaged with the Biden-Harris Agency Review Teams to address issues at the Department of Labor, Small Business Administration and Department of the Interior. ASBC stands ready to work with the new administration on needed reversals and other positive actions that prioritize solving the environmental, economic and social challenges our nation faces.  

ASBC’s CEO Jeffrey Hollender said that, “This swift, decisive action by the White House on Inauguration Day has been inspiring and frankly breath-taking, given the lack of action on climate change we’ve seen the last four years. To be engaged with leadership that sees itself as part of the global solution to climate change, while also centering these solutions on the imperative of racial and social justice, is encouraging and refreshing!”  

We are also relieved that action for business and economic recovery is a high priority for both President Biden and his newly appointed Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen. Yellen told the Senate Finance Committee that, "Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now—and long-term scarring of the economy later.” 

ASBC also fully supports the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts on the COVID 19 health crisis, including our nation’s rejoining of the World Health Organization (WHO). Here in the U.S., sound, science-based management of vaccine administration and other pandemic-related resources on the ground will facilitate a safe return of consumers to our businesses on a day-to-basis and the more stable business environment we need.   

Meanwhile, ASBC will continue to advocate for the needs of the high-road, sustainable business community to the new Administration and to Congress, particularly to the new Senate, and make the business case for a more just, equitable and healthy society and economy that work for all. 


What's New

ASBC Condemns Attempted Coup on Capitol, January 6 

As Americans and as responsible leaders in the business community, we strongly and unequivocally condemned the actions of both domestic terrorists and their political allies who sought to undermine our democratic process on January 6. That evening, ASBC issued a media statement decrying the act of domestic terrorism at the Capitol that day and the role of politicians and others in encouraging it. The statement, issued by ASBC Co-founders, CEO Jeffrey Hollender and President David Levine, asserted that the deadly mob assault was “the culmination of serious and repeated attacks on our democracy...by politicians and influencers who “...either enabled the lies and lawless behavior or at best averted their eyes.” The statement also noted that on January 5, “ASBC and over 100 of our members, including Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia and Seventh Generation, called on members of Congress to defend democracy by not challenging an election that local, state and federal election experts, the U.S. Attorney General and dozens of courts have found was fair and free of any serious issues.” 

We follow that up with a related media statement on January 7, “Business Demands Trump Removal, Transparency for Donations & Restoring Rule of Law.

Citing our representation of more than 250,000 businesses, the January 7 statement by Thomas Oppel, Executive Vice President, ASBC; Former Chief of Staff, Secretary of the U.S. Navy asserted that “the ability to conduct business depends on the rule of law and equal justice” and decried “the far more aggressive preparation and response to largely peaceful protests in Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington and in other cities...” 

ASBC’s January 7 statement concluded by urging, among other measures, to restore “moral and legal guardrails defending democracy,” that “all private and public companies to commit to full transparency in their political contributions and lobbying efforts and to broadly support needed campaign finance reform...and...commit to a responsible and transparent engagement in our political system, thereby ensuring the rule of law is upheld so we can move forward to build a strong, equitable and sustainable economy.”  


Rejoining the World in Climate and COVID Efforts    

ASBC members understand why the United States needs to be part of solving life-threatening, global-level problems such as climate change and the coronavirus pandemic and are pleased to see the new Biden-Harris Administration making U.S. re-commitment a high priority. Concerning the 2015 Agreement, ASBC member Patagonia expressed the urgency eloquently in a November 5 statement on its website: “While the Paris climate accord is not perfect, it represents the best existing framework for global cooperation on climate action, and the best chance for a stable future for generations to come.” On Biden’s executive order of January 20, providing for our rejoining, ASBC’s CEO Jeffrey Hollender spoke for many sustainable business leaders and concerned citizens when he praised the new Administration as “leadership that sees itself as part of the global solution to climate change...” 

On the importance of the U.S. rejoining the World Health Organization (WHO), ASBC stated that, “with the leadership of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the United States can reclaim its respected role abroad by rejoining the World Health Organization during this catastrophic health crisis. A challenge of this magnitude can only be mitigated within the principles of diplomacy and international cooperation." 


High-Road Workplace Practices Get a Boost from Biden

ASBC members are largely committed to keeping their employees and customers safe, but they are competing in a marketplace where lax law and profit-focused shortcuts have allowed many others to take the low road. During the pandemic, this low road is also one that leads to more spreading of Covid-19 through our families and communities. We were very pleased to see President Biden issue executive orders this week to do something about it.  

We are also encouraged by the President’s positive comments about the need for a permanent Paid Family and Medical Leave policy, but until it becomes law, ASBC and our coalition partners in Paid Leave for All will continue to press for Congress to act.  

On Thursday, January 21, Biden asked the U.S. Labor Department to issue “science-based guidance” within two weeks to employers concerning mask-wearing and other practices to help keep workers safe from COVID-19 exposure in the workplace. On Friday, January 22, he asked the Department of Labor to “consider clarifying that workers who refuse unsafe working conditions can still receive unemployment insurance.”  

These executive actions should encourage responsible practices by employers and will be of particular importance, not only to in-person customers in all sectors, but to the millions of low-wage workers, many of them women and people of color, who have had to choose between paying their bills and keeping themselves and their family members safe from COVID-19. The president is also “pushing for additional resources to help employers protect employees.” See details of all the new executive orders at https://www.whitehouse.gov.


Always Open: Problem-Solving Resources  

You can count on ASBC sending you timely action tips on legislative issues affecting your business, but we also offer busy leaders a wealth of in-depth guidance you can access any time on our website. Want the details on how famous companies of all sizes provide a high-road workplace – and how it boosts their business? Need to make a big media impression (or lots of them) with your firm’s sustainability news? Want to persuade your market why safer, greener products matter? Need to make your responsible business case for better laws to your elected officials at local, state and national levels? ASBC’s online library of resources can help with these and more. Check out the Research & Data and Policy & Action sections on the ASBC website and contact us with your questions or suggestions.  


Media Coverage, Blogs, and More


Welcome New Members

Please note: For details about membership levels, benefits and more, visit https://www.asbcouncil.org/membership

Lime (Community Member) 

Lime is a global leader in electric shared micro-mobility, making simple, efficient, sustainable personal transportation available in today’s busy environments.  Currently offering its electric scooters and electric bikes in more than 130 cities around the world, Lime is driving the transformation to create people-first cities that are healthier, more equitable, and carbon-free  

Planet FWD (Community Member)

Planet FWD helps tackle climate change by making it easier to bring climate-friendly products to market. Its software lets brands source ingredients and improve their products based on key sustainability criteria, including carbon intensity and overall climate-friendliness. As a reference customer for its software tool, Planet FWD built the US market's first climate-friendly snack brand, Moonshot, launched in December 2020. 


Member & Staff News

  • 1worker1vote

To “show and tell” in humility with resolve to do better, once social lockdown became an official U.S. reality last March, 1 worker1vote, together with the American Sustainable Business Council, Catholic Charities USA, the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and other stakeholders launched a coalition advancing a shared services cooperative design to help frontline healthcare, homecare and emergency response personnel gain better and more cost effective access to PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) on a micro-purchase basis—that we continue to advance within 1worker1vote movement operating ecosystems. 1worker1vote also helped start an ongoing bipartisan campaign with other U.S. cooperative community leaders to support elections-cycle-challenged U.S. postal workers, America’s largest and most diversified workforce. Read more.

  • Ben & Jerry’s  

    ASBC member Ben & Jerry’s responded to the insurrection with a lengthy statement that pointed out a dramatic contrast and a choice.  “We saw two Americas on January 6th. In one America we saw record voter turnout driven by Black voters that resulted in the election of the first Black and first Jewish senators from the state of Georgia—our democracy at its best. In the second America we saw a mostly white mob encouraged by the president, violently invade the seat of our democracy in an attempt to overturn a free and fair election. It was a failed coup—our democracy in peril. Both of these Americas are us. How we respond to the events of January 6th will determine which America we will be.”  https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2021/01/january-6-response    

  • Patagonia   

    ASBC member Patagonia issued a media statement in reaction to the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill. In Patagonia's Response to Recent Violence on US Capitol CEO Ryan Gellert said in part that, “Patagonia condemns the assault on the US Capitol and all recent attempts to disrupt a peaceful transition of presidential power. We are also appalled by the double standard between the response to last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests and Wednesday’s insurrection... We are committed, as ever, to doing our part to support our democracy and to ensure that it is equitable and accessible for everyone.”   

  • Seventh Generation

    In the firm’s media statement about the events of January 6, Joey Bergstein, president of ASBC member Seventh Generation, asserted that, “It is time for us as citizens, businesses and political leaders to all take action to dismantle systemic racism.” The statement also cited Seventh Generation’s ongoing commitment to advocating for racial and climate justice and recognized organizations like New Georgia Project, and Georgia STAND UP for their work in “leading the way to a more equitable democracy.” Standing for Democracy 

  • National Stewardship Action Council    

    Twelve California legislators have taken an important step to help stop the export of plastic waste to countries that cannot properly manage it, through introduction of Assembly Joint Resolution 4, which urges the Biden Administration to ratify the Basel Convention. The Basel Convention is a multilateral environmental agreement that aims to protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects of hazardous wastes. Currently, the European Commission and 187 countries are parties to the Basel Convention, but the United States is not. Read the press release, which includes a quote from the National Stewardship Action Council’s Policy Committee Chair and which is helping support this Resolution and the United States’ ratification.  Email jordan@nsaction.us for more info to get involved or pass a similar measure in other states.  

ASBC Members, Let Us Help You Share Your News! 

Your ASBC membership is a valuable networking opportunity to share your news with other mission-driven companies and supporters nationwide. Please send us your product and service introductions, personnel and facility changes, awards, charitable events and other news in your press releases, blogs, captioned photos and videos. We’ll include them in ASBC’s monthly Policy Update newsletter and social media outlets. 

AND....Show your customers, prospects and vendors your values right upfront:  display the “Proud Member of ASBC” logo on your website and marketing materials.  

ASBC appreciates your support for our work and we’re proud to support you all the way! 

Upcoming Events

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American Sustainable Business Council
712 H Street, NE, PMB 42, | Washington, District of Columbia 20002
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