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The disappointing outcome – for now - of the Freedom to Vote Act    

On October 20, the Freedom to Vote Act was put to a vote by the Senate. Disappointingly not a single Republican voted for the act. Due to this, the Senate could not even begin to debate it. The Freedom to Vote Act will help defend our democracy, and help improve the economy and American businesses. We, along with many businesses and organizations, support the Freedom to Vote Act and find it hard to believe that the vote came out in this manner. 

Many other business organizations are following the lead of ASBC in a call for the filibuster carveout in order to get to a debate for the Freedom to Vote Act. This Act is needed for the betterment of the American people and the preservation of democracy. There is hope that if the filibuster is amended that this will allow the Freedom to Vote Act to move ahead. Read ASBC’s media release about the outcome of the voting and what can be done. 

Click To Tweet: The #FreedomToVoteAct is necessary for America’s democracy and for the health and sustainability of American businesses. We need to amend the #Filibuster and begin debate to ensure delivery of Americans’ right to vote. 


What's New

The possibilities for the Build Back Better Act  

The Build Back Better Act has a possibility for a deal to be announced soon. We believe that instead of investing the full $3.5 trillion called for by the President’s agenda, it will be cut down to about $1.75 to $2 trillion with spending and taxation areas being negotiated at the time of this writing. While this is still a win for the economy and working people there are aspects of the budget that will likely not be funded and some programs may be temporary.  

ASBC applauds progress made to move the process forward and the prospect of getting started with some necessary programs, but this is not the end. The programs that may not make it into the final bill and the ones that are temporary will have to find other ways to be implemented for the economic viability of American businesses. This Act will not be enough but it is the start we need in order to build back better. Sign on to our Build Back Better campaign to have your voices heard that you stand with this act.  

Click To Tweet: I stand with the #BuildBackBetterAct: Support the Investments in Build Back Better - American Sustainable Business Council (asbcouncil.org)


The DOL to include climate change and ESG to better Americans     

On October 13, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a proposed rule that would allow consideration of climate change as well as other environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when they are selecting investments and exercising shareholder rights. This means that the federal government recognizes the evolving preferences of savers and investors who are looking for their financial security to be inclusive of the risks that involve climate change and other factors.  

During the Trump administration a rule was adopted that restricted how retirement plans could be assessed, limiting it financial factors. During that summer of 2020 ASBC and Social Venture Circle (SVC) created a sign on letter with over 350 signatures. The purpose of the sign on was for people and businesses to voice their support to include ESG criteria. ESG is a huge determining factor with ERISA and it negatively limited the choices of Americans when it was excluded as a consideration factor. We are pleased and relieved to see American government recognizing that climate change with many other facts may now be considered in this some of our biggest investment decisions. Read our media release here.  

Click To Tweet: #ClimateChange is a real issue and must be taken under consideration when planning for retirement, investments, and life savings.

Keep up to date with us at COP26 

Starting November 2, ASBC will have a representative on the ground at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. This conference focuses on the actions necessary to meet goals that will avert the worst impacts of climate change. COP26 is tremendously important because it brings representatives from many countries together to negotiate and find common ground on which to fight against this existential human risk. 

Throughout the conference we will be sharing posts to explain what is going on in Glasgow and sharing blog posts to keep our followers up to date on what is being discussed at COP26. We look forward to getting the inside scoop on conversations that will be occurring and the insights shared from the conference. We’ll be sharing on Twitter @ASBCouncil, Instagram @asbcouncil and our blog.

Jeffrey Hollender on how Actions Speak Louder Than Words 

On October 12, Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of ASBC, shared some thoughts in an Impact Entrepreneur (IE) Magazine article, “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.” Hollender explains that when looking at necessary changes that need to be made for betterment and preservation of our society and the environment, many companies are all talk and do very little to actually change their behavior. Many corporations which profess their commitments do not always take actions that align with what their commitments. Hollender also discusses the discrepancy between companies stating that they want to help fight climate change and then supporting political candidates that are not doing so. 

Click to Tweet: Businesses must be held accountable for the public pledges made. Actions speak louder than words.  


Working Group Updates

Look for the latest information from ASBC Working Groups on our website and in upcoming issues of Policy Update.

Race and Equity: The Race and Equity Steering Committee had a meeting with Tasha Cruzat, Executive Director of Voices for Illinois Children, to learn about the process for passing the Illinois Racial Impact Note Act, which requires a state, agency, or board to prepare a statement with a reliable estimate of how certain legislation will impact racial and ethnic minorities, upon request. ASBC is looking to pass similar legislation in other states as well. Tasha Cruzat will also present at the ASBC/SVC Conference in December. 

Circular Economy/Infrastructure Paid Leave: The Circular Economy working group shifted from its regularly scheduled third Wednesday to the fourth Wednesday to accommodate a discussion on a preliminary draft of a federal bottle bill, including a presentation on the pros and cons of the draft from Kirstie Pecci with the Conservation Law Foundation. 

Corporate Transparency & ESG Disclosure: The working group met in October and enjoyed a special presentation by Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets. The presentation focused on climate policy as it pertains to corporate transparency and disclosure. 

Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action (BCCA):  met with representatives of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to update on progress on our policy priorities as well as to advocate for indigenous representation in land and ocean management. BCCA is also in the process of expanding its staff to foster more indigenous initiatives. The next BCCA monthly meeting will be on November 17.   

Always Open: Problem-Solving Resources  

You can count on ASBC sending you timely action tips on legislative issues affecting your business, and 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, Blogs & More

  • On October 4, ASBC was mentioned in Politico in an article by Catherine Boudreau. It mentions ASBC’s ad campaign to demonstrate support from American businesses for climate-related investments. Boudreau notes that Business Roundtable is not “the only game in town.” Read the article here. 

  • On October 20, ASBC was mentioned in an article by Politicus USA titled “Leading Small Business Groups Demand Filibuster Carve Out For Voting Rights.” The article highlights ASBC’s efforts to push for a filibuster carve out in order to pass the For the People Act or at a minimum begin debate. Read the full article here.  


Welcome New Members

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

After the Fire(Business – Core) 

ATF3R is emerging as the most trusted, effective and transformative nonprofit organization for wildfire recovery and resiliency in the American West. 

They collaborate with public officials (regional, state and federal), private sector, nonprofit community, and most importantly, they connect friends and neighbors who have lost everything but possess a resilient community spirit. 

Community Symbol (Business - Community) 

Helping entrepreneurs and changemakers advance racial equity and inclusion with digital communications. 

Goal 17 Media (Business - Community) 

Goal 17 Media is a network of storytellers and investors supporting social entrepreneurs and purpose-led companies that give priority to the common good. 

Family Proud (Business - Community) 

Family Proud is a platform that facilitates virtual community. They aim to give all members a sense of support and belonging and improve their quality of life.  

The Alliance for Community Development (Association) 

The Alliance for Community Development is a Bay Area 501(c)(3) not-for-profit dedicated to increasing access to capital and support for local, underrepresented entrepreneurs. 


Member & Staff News

Closed Loop Partners 
Starbucks and McDonald’s Deploy Additional $10 Million with NextGen Consortium to Accelerate the Circularity of Foodservice Packaging & Address Urgent Waste Challenge 

National Stewardship Action Council 
In October, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law more than 10 bills that help California take important steps towards, and help lead the nation in attaining, a circular economy. These laws create the country’s strongest protections against false labeling as recyclable or compostable when they are destined for landfills (SB 343 (Allen) and co-sponsored by National Stewardship Action Council (NSAC)), to ensuring only truly compostable products can be labeled as such (AB 1201 (Ting)).   NSAC’s other co-sponsored bill AB 818 (Bloom) ends labeling wipes as “flushable” – so you see “Truth in Labeling” was a key legislative theme to ensure companies could no longer lie to the public. Another noteworthy effort led by NSAC was AB 707 (Quirk), to improve an existing EPR for t-stats bill by establishing the highest collection rebate in the nation at $30 per mercury thermostat returned. 

As co-sponsor of two bills of the package and having lobbied for them all, we are grateful to the ASBC staff and members such as Seventh Generation for helping advocate for a circular economy and getting these bills signed into law. Email jordan@nsaction.us to discuss opportunities for collaboration and to ensure 2022 is an even more successful year at driving the circular economy.  We want to help YOU achieve success at doing well by doing good! 

Nature’s Logic  
Mid America Pet Food Taps David Yaskulka to Lead Sustainability Efforts 

The Great Lakes Business Network 
The Great Lakes Business Network, (GLBN) a member of the American Sustainable Business Council, is a coalition of business leaders committed to protecting the Great Lakes region from imminent threats to the natural environment. We strive to be the leading business voice for protecting the health and vitality of the Great Lakes and the economy, businesses, and communities that depend upon them. We are fact-based, non-partisan, and focused on pragmatic advocacy to help set a proactive Great Lakes policy agenda. 

Currently, the Great Lakes Business Network focus areas include decommissioning the Line 5 oil pipeline, preventing harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie, preventing the spread of Asian carp, and advancing the regional clean energy economy. Together, GLBN’s coalition of business leaders, from across the region, demonstrates that businesses are not at odds with environmental protection and conservation, but that businesses must be an integral part of the solution.  

Join GLBN’s nearly 200 business leaders working across Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, along with leaders in the Canadian territories of Ontario and Quebec, to protect the Great Lakes! 

GLBN’s members participate in network-wide events like service days, networking events, legislative lobbying, policy advocacy, and/or informational webinars on a wide-range of issues facing our lakes. By joining the Great Lakes Business Network, your business will join a well-recognized and organized effort to protect the Great Lakes from the threats that would devastate the economy and well-being of the Great Lakes region. GLBN gives your business the power to grow your business's conservation footprint and to be an advocate and leader for the environment. Together, grow sustainable jobs across the Great Lakes and ensure our freshwater way of life for future generations! You can learn more at glbusinessnetwork.com/join-glbn/  

Naturepedic won Good Housekeeping 2021: Sustainable Innovation Award  

Our members BeautyCounter, Ben & Jerry’s, Etsy, King Arthur Baking, Nature Conservancy, and Patagonia were all mentioned by Fast Company’s "Brands That Matter 2021." 


Membership Interview with Melissa Larsen, Communications Renegade, Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed  

Tell us about your business? 
Founded in 2003, Thousand Hills works with 50 family farms across the U.S. to raise Lifetime Grazed Grass Fed Beef with regenerative agriculture practices. To date, 500,000 acres have been transitioned to regenerative practices to support biological diversity, natural resources, native wildlife habitat and soil fertility. Regional, decentralized processing builds a resilient supply chain for customers while invigorating rural economies. A leader in the industry, Thousand Hills produces the #1 fresh protein product nationally in the natural channel. Mission: Nourishing soil, plants, cattle and people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime.  

Why is sustainability important to your business? 
Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed has fully embraced regenerative agriculture to share the health benefits of Lifetime Grazed 100% Grass Fed Beef and to create a regenerative ecosystem with improved soil health and fertility, biodiversity, clean water retention, and soil carbon sequestration. 

Since our founding in 2003, Thousand Hills has been dedicated to this mission: To nourish the soil, the plants, cattle, and people by holistically grazing cattle for their lifetime. What began as a passion to simply share the nutritional benefits of Lifetime Grazed 100% Grass Fed Beef with more people has evolved into a full embrace of regenerative agriculture—with its many critical benefits to people and planet. 

How do you realize your vision for sustainability/what successes can you point to? 
The Savory Institute “Land to Market” program provides a full-circle solution for those seeking regenerative sourcing. Farmers and ranchers receive the accreditation, as well as brands and merchants that have access to verified regenerative products, are all part of this circle. It contributes to the rise in customer demand for products made from renewable resources. Finally, and most importantly, it restores the land. 

In March 2021 all 120+ Thousand Hills products received the prestigious Land to Market seal based on Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV). EOV is an outcome-based certification that measures and trends 15 key indicators of ecosystem function. Thousand Hills is proud to be a part of the EOV program and the incredible success to have all 50 U.S. farms EOV certified that supply regeneratively] raised grass fed beef for the brand. 

EOV is a scientific land and soil assessment measure providing real data behind regenerative agriculture practices. The regenerative agriculture practices are proven effective for soil, water and enhancing life above and within the soil. These measures are crucial for displaying how agriculture can positively impact our climate. 

What public policy priorities are of greatest importance to you at this time and why? 
The U.S. domestic label is especially important for us and providing consumer transparency of grass-fed beef. Since the repeal of the "country of origin label" in 2016, entrepreneurial grass-fed beef brands like ours sourcing exclusively from U.S. farmer producers have been undercut by imported grass-fed beef products from large multi-national protein companies that still are allowed to be labeled as Product of USA, by simply passing through a USDA plant.   

Reinstating country of origin labeling is a step toward bolstering our U.S. food system by supporting U.S. family farms and small meat processors.  

The second policy priority of ours is supporting new and existing small protein processors to provide more supply chain resiliency for the U.S. food consumer. We are eager to begin additional advocacy work supporting small and medium processors to enhance resilience within rural economies and consumers. 

How does being part of ASBC help you to fulfill your goal(s)? 
ASBC has opened doors to letting our voice be heard to the right people at the right time. For instance, in July 2021 the Biden administration released executive orders, which included urging USDA to reinstate criteria on domestic labeling. Immediately following their release, ABSC shared the invitation for Thousand Hills to provide comments directly to White House staff. We were able to applaud the administration, emphasize the significance of the executive orders, and demonstrate the relevance for our business and the integrity of the U.S. protein supply chain starting with the farmer.

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

Paradise Point, San Diego, CA | December 8-11, 2021 
Join ASBC-SVC members, legislators, influencers and other inspiring leaders at the in-person conference this December 8-11 in San Diego, CA at Paradise Point. REGISTER NOW for the conference and receive 10% off with code WEAREBACK here (scroll to end for installment payment option). Not yet an ASBC-SVC member? Join here (annual or monthly) to access this initial registration period and discount.
Please note: Our discounted room block is already >90% sold (click here and scroll down for reservation details).


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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