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Mixed Bag of Wins, ASBC/SVC Conference

Biden-Harris Wins; Senate Majority in Question   

Responsible U.S. business celebrated the historical turnouts in November’s presidential election following record-breaking participation from voters in both parties. Wall Street was among the first to herald the anticipated results, but ASBC will continue to insist that Main Street’s long-neglected needs are high the new administration’s agenda. Along with mitigating the disastrous effects of extreme weather on supply chains, responsible businesses need regulations that level the playing field for companies that provide safer products to consumers and living wage/paid leave benefit packages to employees. In a recent survey, a majority of respondents see the need for more robust regulations. We will also continue to push for fair elections as the bedrock of our stakeholder capitalist economy.   

The new administration has the responsibility to encourage professionalism and accountability to agencies like the EPA, FTC, HHS and many more; but success in some urgent domestic initiatives will depend on a Senate that does its job: to debate and vote on House-passed legislation. Elections did not deliver the wave of progressive wins pollsters predicted, but a special run-off election in Georgia for that state’s U.S. Senators still offers a chance for a sustainability-minded majority. In two separate run-off elections, newcomer Jon Ossoff (D) contends with David Purdue (R) and newcomer Reverend Ralph Warnock (D) contends with Senator Kelly Loeffler (R). If both Ossoff and Warnock win their Senate races, the Senate will be divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris’s vote will break any ties. ASBC urges all members to learn about these candidates and help Georgia voters determine the trajectory of our nation’s future.  

Please share this crucial information with Georgia residents you know, including any who will be age 18 by January 5, so they can vote in the runoff elections for two U.S. Senators. Register to vote/check to make sure you are registered at https://georgia.gov/register-to-vote.To vote by mail (or by dropping your ballot in an official ballot box), request a ballot at https://ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov/. After you’ve filled out your ballot and taken it to an official ballot box, U.S. Postal Service mailbox or USPS post office, check to be sure your vote is received at https://georgia.ballottrax.net/voter/. Or, to vote in person (ballot provided on site), early voting starts Dec. 14 and continues for 16 days. Find early voting polling place locations and times at https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do. Ballots must be received by 7 pm on Jan 5 to be counted, so send/turn in in your completed absentee ballot as quickly as you can. For in-person voting, polling places close at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5. 



What's New

Happening Now: ASBC-SVC Virtual Conference

The extreme, still-growing divergence between our struggling, suffering real economy and a flourishing Wall Street didn’t happen by accident. This week, Dec. 1-4, a dynamic virtual conference, Remaking & Revitalizing the Economy, explores what happened and what to do now. The conference kicks off the new alliance between American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) and Social Venture Circle (SVC) -- an alliance that combines the leverage of leading socially responsible business leaders, entrepreneurs, impact investors, policy makers and other contributors to America's recovery and resurgence. Highlights include a keynote address by Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All, dissecting how the powerful say all the right things to struggling America but actually protect the corrosive status quo. Other presenters include Nathalie Molina Niño (O³, Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs); MaryAnne Howland (Global Diversity Leadership Exchange; Warrior Rising); Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne (WOCstar Fund); Jeffrey Hollender (American Sustainable Business Council); Joey Bergstein (Seventh Generation); Rebecca Henderson (McArthur University, Harvard University; Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire) and Joel Bakan (University of British Columbia, The New Corporation). 

 Dec. 3 includes presentations by ASBC’s working groups:  Climate & Energy with Michael Green (Climate XChange); Circular Economy with Thomas Oppel (ASBC); Race & Equity with Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Ph.D. (Global Policy Solutions), Donna Daniels, Ph.D. (RSF Social Finance), Ed Dugger III (Reinventure Capital), Dave Rapaport (Ben & Jerry’s), Andy Shallal (Busboys and Poets), and MaryAnne Howland (Ibis Communications and Global Diversity Leadership Exchange); Regenerative Agriculture with Colton Fagundes (ASBC); Safer Chemicals with Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks (ECOS), Marcia Frieze (Case Medical, Inc.), Barry Cik (Naturepedic), Alexandra McPherson (Environmental Health Network), and David Levine (ASBC).  

See the full Agenda and register now. Join us at this energizing, problem-solving conference today through Dec. 4, and let’s make 2021 the start of the future we need!  


Holiday Season Opens Without New Pandemic Relief   

Fresh from his strong recent reelection and Thanksgiving vacation, Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is still blocking a vote on meaningful pandemic relief for small business and their employees, as well as for essential public service employees and even for adequate Covid-19 testing and tracing efforts. Following implementation of the successful bipartisan CARES Act in March, the Democratic-led House has passed several consecutively smaller bills in May and in July, but McConnell, reaffirming his “Grim Reaper” approach, has refused to allow urgently needed relief bills to be offered for Senate debate.  Executive branch intervention in the negotiations has also ended with the national election results. As eviction stays, unemployment support and other essentials run out on or before Dec. 31, holiday spending and (carry-out) dining is likely to be depressed during what is many retailers’ most important financial season. Hopes now lie in two possible Democratic Senate wins (see lead story, above) to end McConnell’s stranglehold on legislative initiatives. ASBC will continue advocating for pandemic relief to at least receive a vote in the Senate. 


Wage Increase, Paid Leave Score Wins  

A few standouts from the Nov. 3 election include important high-road business practice policies approved by voters at the state level. One was the success of the paid-leave ballot initiative, Prop. 118, in Colorado. Supporters had tried since 2014 through legislators but found success in 2020 by asking voters directly. Employees and employers will split the cost, with employees paying a premium of 0.9% of wages starting in 2023. Benefits, which start in 2024, include 12 weeks of paid leave for childbirth, adoption, family medical emergency, active military duty and conditions relating to abuse and sexual assault. Colorado joins eight other states and D.C. that have passed paid leave over the past 20 years.   

Another success was the ballot initiative to increase minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 in Florida, despite the state supporting Trump in the presidential race. Florida becomes the eighth state, and the first in the South, to enact a minimum wage of $15/hr. These measures matter, as the U.S. Senate has not taken up the $15/hr. federal minimum wage the House passed in July, 2019. In the face of unresponsive legislators, ballot initiatives may be the best avenue to pass long-deferred, necessary measures of all kinds.  

A Big Win for the Region, Wildlife and Responsible Business 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it has denied the Pebble Limited Partnership's Clean Water Act Section 404 permit application, stating that the agency “determined that the applicant’s plan for the discharge of fill material does not comply with Clean Water Act guidelines and concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest.” 

ASBC is proud to have supported the phenomenal work and successful efforts of Businesses for Bristol Bay and Bristol Bay's residents and fishermen in protecting the region. We also know the work is not over; the Army Corps' decision is not enough to provide security for Bristol Bay's economic future. ASBC will keep working closely with Businesses for Bristol Bay and the region’s residents and fishermen who are committed to securing long-term protections for Bristol Bay. 


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.  


Working Groups

Creating an Economic System that Works for All 
After the release of the comprehensive report, Creating an Economic System that Works for All, ASBC continues to  work to inspire business leaders and policymakers to implement these set of initiatives which aim to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable economic system. Take a look at our Executive Summary of the report for a quick recap and download a copy of the full report and tune into the plenary session at our December conference.

Climate & Energy 
On October 22, the Climate & Energy Working Group participated in the Connecticut Climate Action Summit held by ASBC member and affiliate Connecticut Sustainable Business Council. Our working group shared in a discussion of state and local solutions to climate change and the unique opportunity presented as state and federal lawmakers look to rebuild the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We discussed strategies to put climate resiliency and the rapid transition to a just, equitable, low-carbon economy at the center of our recovery efforts. Public policies that support the state's greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals have been slow to advance in Connecticut and elsewhere, but stronger advances may be possible if built into the pandemic recovery effort. 


Media Coverage, Blogs, and More


Welcome New Member

Green Mountain Power (Leadership Member) 

Green Mountain Power (GMP) meets the needs of 266,000 customers in Vermont with integrated energy services that help residents and businesses cut carbon and save money, while generating clean, cost-effective, reliable power. With innovations like battery storage that benefits all customers by directly lowering costs and increasing resiliency, GMP creates a more affordable, sustainable energy system that supports other local businesses while addressing climate change. The first utility to earn a B Corp certification, GMP meets rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and is committed to using energy as a force for good.   

Building Product Ecosystems (Community Member)

 Building Product Ecosystems (BPE) works with building owners and their teams to optimize material resource cycles for whole-system health. Founded by Amanda Kaminsky and The Durst Organization in 2014 as a public-private partnership with The New School, City University of New York, Healthy Building Network, and Vidaris, BPE has grown into an independent LLC, collaborating with diverse partners on innovative industry improvements. BPE’s current focus includes transparent data, industry signaling, job-site piloting and standardization. 

LimeRed Studio (Community Member) 

LimeRed Studio helps changemakers position, brand, and grow by using human-centered design and research to transform brands and missions into movements people can get behind. All of the work performed by LimeRed Studio’s dedicated team of designers, researchers and builders must prove to be a community benefit and meet the team’s own rigorous values and standards. In addition to their mission-driven work at LimeRed, team members serve as caring mentors, teachers, explorers, and partners who support their communities and causes. 

NDN Collective (Association Member)  

 NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, collective members create sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms. Together, NDN Collective members decolonize and transform systems while providing tools and strategies for Indigenous movement-building and self-determination. 


Member & Staff News

  • AMP Robotics  

    ASBC member AMP Robotics Corp. (“AMP”), a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics used to recover recyclables reclaimed as raw materials for the global supply chain, has signed a long-term agreement with Waste Connections, Inc. (“Waste Connections,” NYSE: WCN) to deploy 24 AI-guided robotics systems. The deal is AMP’s largest to date; Waste Connections plans to deploy the systems on container, fiber, and residue lines across numerous materials recovery facilities. Check out the story.   

  • Climate Futures  

    With e-commerce now at least 20% of the economy, and growing, decarbonizing e-commerce would achieve significant reduction of carbon emissions. Climate Futures has investigated the questions: Who is responsible for the impact of last-mile deliveries, the customer or the retailer? What’s the impact of drop-shipping vs. regular e-commerce delivery? What about product returns, estimated at 4x higher for e-commerce? How can firms quantify the impact, and how can they modify e-commerce practices to support economic growth that’s also sustainable? As a start, Climate Futures has designed a more transparent platform for automated and transactional carbon offsetting. Part carbon accounting and part crowdfunding for climate solutions, 1PLANET promotes and monetizes decarbonization with a focus on e-commerce and supply chains. Climate Futures is seeking other ASBC members with e-commerce businesses to volunteer resources, provide practitioner insights, serve as case studies, and initially help further develop goals and deliverables for this decarbonizing project. Participant benefits include access to specialists’ knowledge at reduced cost, learning through pilots and collaboration with peers — and being part of the solution. Interested members are urged to contact: jesse@climatefutures.com or arv@asbcouncil.org. 

    ASBC Announces New Team Members 

  • Carolyn Pincus 

    ASBC is pleased to announce Carolyn Pincus as Director of Strategy. Carolyn understands the challenges ASBC member companies face, as she was previously a small business owner with fifteen years in the food and beverage industry. Carolyn holds an MBA in Sustainability with a focus on Circular Economy from Bard College, a Certificate in Global Affairs from NYU-SCPS and a BFA from Fordham University/Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with a minor in Political Science. She also has six years’ experience working for non-profits in education, arts, community development and social justice; and volunteers in academic institution development and women’s rights.   

  • Sajni Patel

New intern Sajni Patel also has joined the ASBC team. She is studying finance and sustainability with a minor in entertainment, media, and technology at NYU Stern School of Business. Sajni has been involved with mental health issues advocacy and is interested in sustainable marketing and policy work addressing climate/energy and the circular economy.  

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

ASBC & SVC 2020: Remaking & Revitalizing the Economy 
Virtual | December 1 – 4 
This virtual conference facilitates meaningful peer-to-peer conversations and action around shared interests for the 1,000+ members of ASBC-SVC: businesses, entrepreneurs, impact investors, policy makers, and capacity-builders striving to create an economy that works for all. 

Water Infrastructure Progress at last?
Webinar | December 7, 3 - 4 PM ET
ASBC will co-host a webinar with the National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) Coalition about water infrastructure on December 7 at 3pm ET. The event will be an opportunity to describe the current challenges for America’s infrastructure and how it can be improved. Additionally, a group of experts will be making a business case for green water infrastructure in a post-pandemic scenario.  

Next Economy Webinars 
Webinar | Watch when you want
ASBC and SVC co-sponsor this line-up of thought-provoking discussions and case histories from businesses around the globe on today’s challenging problems, important missions and innovative solutions: building resilience, community investment, finance and social justice, BOPOC access to capital, customer engagement, mentoring, demographics in a digital world, and much more.


American Sustainable Business Council
712 H Street, NE, PMB 42, | Washington, District of Columbia  20002
202-660-1455 | replies@asbcouncil.org

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