Blog

MEMBER FEATURE
A conversation with Allison Viger, JMD Industries

We are delighted to have JMD Industries join as a new member of NHBSR. JMD Industries, located in Hudson NH, specializes in electroplating and finishing services including zinc plating, anodizing, chromate on aluminum and more. For those of us who can’t quite visualize what this means—take a look at your cellphone, computer or common medical devices. Chances are there is at least one piece in each of those items that JMD has had a hand in. With over 3 million pieces processed a year—the chances are high. Their work covers a number of industries—aerospace, medical devices, computer components and more.

We recently caught up with Allison Viger, who in partnership with her brother, James DeDeus, carry on their family’s business that started in 1977, one that actually can be said to have started in the 1930’s.

As we know, everyone has a story and we would like to share a little history on JMD and how they’ve come to be where they are now. Allison and James’s grandfather on their mother’s side owned and operated an electroplating company called Essex Chrome Plating located in Methuen, MA. During the second World War the company had a “captive” client—that of the US military—which provided consistent work for a number of years. Roll ahead several decades to when their parents met each other and their father went to work for his father-in-law at the company. Their mother was one of seven children and with none of her siblings having an interest in taking on the family business it fell to Allison and James’s parents. After their grandfather passed away their grandmother kept the business open for another year and a half before ultimately closing.

Fast forward to 1977 and Allison and James’s father decides to open his own business, JMD Plating, which started with a loan from the Small Business Administration to get up and running in Lawrence, MA. Inspired by a long time friend and colleague, Eddie Mistal, their father started by primarily restoring auto parts—chrome bumpers and the like. By the 1980’s the focus shifted to commercial industrial components. In the late 1980’s they were approached by Digital to be a captive provider, which led to purchasing property in Hudson and moving operations there. As Digital downsized in the region, JMD Industries transitioned their focus to the growing manufacturing sector in New England.  JMD is a service provider – taking their clients’ parts, treating them with finishes and getting them ready to ship.

JMD customizes customer products by adding their brand name or logo using silk screening and part stamping. In addition to metal finishing services, JMD also offers product and finish selection consulting, research and custom process design, and assembly and custom packaging.

JMD Industries currently serves customers in all 50 states, as well as Canada and overseas. JMD Industries is dedicated to offering quality metal finishing services in an environmentally sound business model.  Electroplating and finishing providers are generally large consumers of raw materials and energy.  Allison and James believe strongly in doing the right thing when it comes to the environment. They are proactive when it comes to compliance and believe it is the driving force behind positive change. They put considerable energy into “greening up,”, and are actively pursuing options for reducing overall use of raw materials, commodities and energy. For them conservation is paramount and they plan to keep it that way.

The company was built on a foundation of exceptional and consistent quality, fast turn-around and outstanding customer service.  As JMD continues to grow, they are implementing new, and unique to the industry methods of supporting their customers.  All of which would not be possible without a team of dedicated and knowledgeable employees.

Allison and James’s goal is to have JMD be an employer that attracts quality team members and one that people want to work for. Allison oversees human resources – benefits, safety, HR and environmental compliance. James is the president and manages the day to day operations.

They both welcome conversations with other NHBSR members and can be contacted either by phone or email.

James S. DeDeus - james@jmdindustries.com, 603-882-3198
Allison Viger- allison@jmdindustries.com, 603-882-3198

Please help us welcome them to the NHBSR family!

 

 

 

By Joseph Lajewski, NH Electric Cooperative

Energy efficiency is a sustainable business opportunity that can provide measurable financial returns directly to the bottom line for decades.  street_lights_before_and_after.jpgThese projects make better use of resources and will often also provide many other benefits like improved comfort, a better working environment, and reduced maintenance.

Implementing an energy efficiency plan is often not a priority for businesses who are faced with the challenges of demanding daily schedules.  In addition, the lack of technical expertise to know where to start and how to decipher between legitimate energy efficiency opportunities and lofty unrealistic claims by some companies end up resulting in inaction and lost opportunity. 

So where and how do you get started?

The first step is to identify the potential opportunities within the building and to prioritize them.  Taking this approach allows you to create a multi-year plan instead of addressing emergency issues as they arise. 

In many cases, opportunities may have already been identified by in-house personnel and are the foundation of the energy efficiency project such as a problematic boiler.  Often, the majority of the opportunities to improve efficiency go unnoticed, but there are several approaches to help identify these opportunities. 

The first step should be some self-analysis which can identify opportunities.

Start with lighting.  Do you have old inefficient incandescent, HID, or fluorescent lighting?  Does your exterior lighting operate all night long?  A retrofit to LED may provide up to 75% energy savings while delivering years of maintenance free lighting.  Also, unlike traditional fluorescent and HID lighting, LED’s do not contain mercury so they do not have special costly disposal requirements and are environmentally friendly.

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Do you have a need to cool or heat a space?  An air-sourced heat pump or “mini-split” may be the solution.  These units have cooling efficiencies as high as 33 SEER which is 2-3 times as efficient as a traditional ENERGY STAR window AC’s.  They can also provide heating at a very high efficiency since they are not creating the heat, they are just moving it from one space to another.  In many cases this can become your primary system while your current system is left in place as a back-up or just to provide supplemental heating and cooling.

 

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Do you have ice dams on your roof, or are you using heat tape to prevent them?  Ice dams are an indication of significant heat loss through the roof and can lead to high heating costs, leaks, mold, and structural damage.  If you are using heat tape to prevent/melt the ice dams you are not solving the problem, you are wasting energy twice—first with the heat loss that causes the ice dams, and second with the heat tape to prevent/melt them.  The solution to the problem is to weatherize the building and focus on stopping the air leaks within the building.  This can provide significant energy savings, vastly improving comfort, and help minimize water damage.

Upfront Cost vs. Operating Cost

Budget constraints generally dictate that the lowest upfront cost option is the option that is chosen.  While this may seem like the fiscally responsible option, it often turns out to be the most expensive approach.  Because most equipment will be in service 10-20+ years, you will pay higher energy costs for a long time when you chose the “cheap” option.  The utility incentives for the higher efficient piece of equipment will pay for a majority of the additional cost and yield long term energy savings.

Your local electrical or gas utility may be able to provide a walkthrough audit at no charge to assist you in identifying opportunities.  They may also be able to provide a design build contractor that can prepare a detailed job proposal and energy savings analysis.  In addition you may be able to receive a 35%-50% incentive on the installed cost of the project. Program funding is very limited and is on a first come basis.  All projects need to be pre-approved prior to starting in order to qualify.

The bottom line is that implementing energy efficiency programs can support other sustainability efforts by providing the revenue stream from the energy savings.  Watch for our webinar series later this spring with more ideas!

 

REFERENCES:

Weatherization:
Residential Energy Performance Association NH
Building Performance Institute

Heat pumps:
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (EEP)

Lighting:
Energy Star Fixtures                
Energy Star Bulbs

Bulbs
Design Lights Consortium

Business Savings Profiles                  

MEMBER FEATURE
A conversation with Brett Cromwell, Global Communications Manager, Medtronic Advanced Energy

We are excited to welcome Medtronic Advanced Energy to the NHBSR community. Medtronic Advanced Energy (MAE) is a medical device company that develops and sells surgical instruments. They are based at Pease International Tradeport where they have been for more than eight years though the two main technologies they are known for, the PlasmaBlade™ and the Aquamantys System, have a much longer history. The technology that eventually became Aquamantys started in Dover in 1999 as TissueLink Medical and then became Salient Surgical in 2008, before being acquired by Medtronic in 2011. The PlasmaBlade was originally developed by a company called PEAK Surgical in Palo Alto, California, in the early 2000s, and was acquired on the same day as Salient Surgical.medtronic_photo.jpg

The Advanced Energy team is a relatively small division (500+ staff) of Medtronic, a global company with more than 80,000 employees. This local team feels they have the best of both worlds—the ability to maintain their strong small company culture while having the benefits, resources, and support of a big company.  When one walks through the front doors of the office, they are greeted by a sign which reads—Every day through these doors walk the best people in the medical devise industry. It is apparent from speaking with team members that they are committed to the work they do and it is personal.

This was certainly true this last year when Suzanne Foster, Vice President and General Manager of Medtronic Advanced Energy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her journey from diagnosis to surgery and then recovery has been a very personal one with her team. Appreciated for her commitment to transparency with business, Suzanne showed this same transparency with her illness. Incredibly, the technology that her team developed was used to successfully treat her cancer. Her personal journey now includes first hand knowledge of a product created to provide a better patient experience and a quicker recovery. Working in an environment where employees are helping people with technologies that have a positive effect on their health every day clearly resonates on multiple levels. Patients are at the center of all that they do.

Having been voted as the #1 Best Company to Work For two years in a row by Business NH Magazine and NHBSR, employees are extremely proud of the company they work for, as you might imagine. The process of creating and submitting the application is no small endeavor, as those who have applied know; however, they believe that engaging a diverse team helped capture the full picture of what makes their company worth celebrating. Many give credit to Suzanne for leading the strong and supportive culture that maintains the close-knit feel and energy of a startup.  Hiring people who are passionate about the company’s Mission is critical to their success. As Suzanne herself said in her 2014 interview, “This is fundamentally what brings us together—we are inspired by what we do, about improving health care and making surgery better for patients. This bonds us together, and we know this is making a difference.”

The company promotes a vision called “Energy Everywhere,” which means that everyone at the company is encouraged to share ideas and energy.  There are both formal and informal ways that employees have an opportunity to participate.  The Global Inclusion Diversity & Engagement (GIDE) committee is one such group that was implemented company wide in 2012. This strategy charges leaders, managers and employee groups and networks to accelerate their inclusion and diversity efforts. The goal is to leverage different perspectives, backgrounds, cultures and generations in an effort to build a more inclusive environment. Employee Resource Groups are another important aspect of the company’s professional development. These networks provide employees who have similar interests and backgrounds with additional opportunities to leverage professional development through global mentoring, networking and learning sessions and allow them to share a collective voice on important issues. The Advanced Energy division has groups for women, young professionals, and veterans to name a few.

We don’t want to forget the fun quotient that is so important to having employees feel connected and valued. Medtronic has a number of wonderful benefits for employees, including weekly yoga, a volleyball court, and a foosball table, along with professional development and educational opportunities you can read about in the attached Business NH Magazine and NHBSR writeup

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They also sponsor annual events like “Wear Pink,” which goes hand in hand with their PlasmaBlade device being used in mastectomy procedures. The Wear Pink event takes place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the NFL adorns itself with the color pink in October, MAE changes the handle of its PlasmaBlade to pink as well. Creativity and innovation certainly have some fun in them as well. The Advanced Energy team is in the process of creating an Innovation Room that will provide employees a dedicated area where they can think, brainstorm, and explore ideas. With a wild colored rug on the floor, you can feel the energy already!

Should you have questions or want to learn more you can find information on their website. If you’d like to speak with a person, you can contact Brett Cromwell, Global Communications Manager, at 603-742-1515. He’d be happy to chat with you!

The Advanced Energy team looks forward to connecting with fellow NHBSR members in the year ahead!

MEMBER FEATURE:

A conversation with ROBIN EICHERT, PEOPLESENSE CONSULTING

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The core of Robin Eichert's work at PeopleSense Consulting is helping create healthy organizations and strong team members. NHBSR has seen firsthand, the value of her approach in building our small team!  With a new year comes an exciting new resource from Robin.  She brings the extensive experience she has gathered through her management consulting work to the broader community through her new program, the Learning Resource Center.

Robin is a big fan of NHBSR, having been an active member since 2009. In addition to attending many events, she serves on the membership committee and has provided hiring support to NHBSR in recent hiring efforts. She says she is inspired and encouraged by fellow members who understand the importance of people to the sustainability of their organizations. Robin loves her role as a preliminary judge in the "Best Companies to Work For" competition. Volunteering is important to Robin and she was featured in the January 2016 issue of the Monadnock Small Business Journal. The article is entitled, "Volunteering: It's Good for the Community and Good for Business."

It is clear from speaking with Robin and reading about her work that she draws many lessons from her relationship with her dog Grace who offers insights and parallels to our own human relationships. It is a good reminder that our furry friends are great teachers as well. As she shares—work environments can be stressful, but they don’t have to be if we have the right tools for having healthy conversations, which in turn help us build strong employee and management relationships.

The Learning Resource Center is an online library of informational videos offering answers to the types of employee-related questions she is asked about regularly. The inspiration came from a group of existing clients, whose time is limited and who need answers quickly, particularly around the topics related to hiring a new employee. Limited time doesn’t always allow for a one on one consultation. Robin realized that creating a resource library that covered a range of topics around the hiring process, managing, and communicating would allow her clients to have access to information whenever they needed it. The videos are short and focus on a particular topic so you are able to get right to the heart of the workplace situation you may be facing. The Learning Resource Center is available to members 24/7 and has two membership levels available depending on what your organization’s needs may be.  With more than 25 videos currently available Robin will be adding two new videos each month. She certainly invites ideas for topics that others would be interested in learning about.

Take a few minutes to visit one of Robin’s great videos from the Learning Resource Center. This one is called Clear Communication Becomes Dog's Play

The Learning Resource Center is the result of a year’s work and we can say it’s worth the wait—there is a wealth of information available. This library is a wonderful resource for small business owners and managers of any organization who are searching for professional development opportunities.

You can learn more about Robin and sign up for her free popular blog, called Graceful Leadership, at her website.

We hope that you’ll check out her new resource and hopefully have a chance to speak with Robin at an upcoming event as well!
Robin is offering a special trial for NHBSR membersVisit PeopleSense Consulting and use the coupon code 'NHBSRfriends' and try out the membership for just $10 for the first 30 days! You can cancel at any time or renew at the regular rates. 

By Shuili Du and Deborah Merrill-Sands

©SchoolPhotoProject.com

Over the last decade, corporate social responsibility and sustainability has occupied a prominent place on the global corporate agenda, with an ever increasing number of corporations engaging in responsible and sustainable business practices to create social and business value. Nevertheless, from Nike’s sweatshop crisis in the 1990s, ethical controversies of Walmart in mid-2000s, to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, and now Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in 2015, we see that every few years a severe, high-profile corporate ethical scandal occurs, capturing the attention of the media and damaging the public’s trust in the corporations and their social accountability.

On Jan. 4, the U.S. justice department sued Volkswagen in federal court, questioning Volkswagen’s efforts to restore its credibility and accusing the company of impeding and obstructing regulators’ inquiries and providing misleading information. Back in December 2015, Volkswagen characterized its emissions scandal as a “chain of mistakes,” which is a gross understatement.  The company has equipped a staggering 11 million diesel cars since the 2009 model year with software – called a “defeat device” — used to cheat on emissions tests; when not being tested, the cars emit up to 40 times the allowable levels of nitrogen oxide pollution.  This emissions scandal is a disturbing case of systematic corporate fraud that has harmed customers, governments, and the health and well-being of citizens in the societies in which Volkswagen has been given the license to operate.

The effects of such corporate crises are profound and lasting. Volkswagen’s market value dropped by 23 percent in September 2015, after admitting diesel emissions cheat. The company’s sales in the U.S. declined almost 25 percent in November 2015 alone. The estimated total cost of the scandal is projected to exceed $8 billion. Much more difficult to estimate are the invisible and long term damages to the company, such as the negative impact on brand trust and reputation, customer satisfaction, employee morale and loyalty, and investor confidence. Trust, once lost, is notoriously hard to regain.

Even more importantly, there is an externality effect. Deceptions such as those perpetrated by Volkswagen not only tarnish the reputation of other automakers and even corporations in unrelated industries, but they also undermine the public’s trust in the business, and heighten consumers’ cynicism about greenwashing – and now greenfrauding.

It is yet to be seen if Volkswagen can salvage itself from the scandal. Its actions to date in handling this scandal are far from adequate. If history is a mirror, Volkswagen should draw lessons from companies that have encountered similar crises in the past. For example, Nike witnessed public outrage and massive consumer boycotts against its sweatshop labor practices in 1990s, and ever since has executed one of the greatest image turnarounds. Nike established and reinforced a code of conduct for labor practices, hired external professionals to audit its suppliers, and increased transparency of its labor practices by detailing its performance in its annual corporate social responsibility reports. Indeed, Nike has been applauded for its leadership in partnering with independent industry organizations, such as the Fair Labor Association, to foster industry-wide changes in building sustainable supply chains.

If Volkswagen is to succeed in resurrecting its image, it should act decisively.  It needs to accept full responsibility as an organization, not as a constellation of individuals, for its emissions scandal. It has to lay out a credible plan for how it will truly reduce emissions and verify its compliance with regulatory standards.  It needs to counter its stigma by making significant, long-term R&D investment to position itself as a leader, rather than a laggard, in technology development to reduce emissions while enhancing performance. And, it needs to establish stronger accountability structures and practices, as well as fostering positive changes in its corporate culture, to hold the short-term profit motive in check and prevent any future fraud.

Volkswagen gives us a stark lesson in how businesses should (not) approach social responsibility and sustainability. Deceiving stakeholders by paying lip-service and treating sustainability as façade is never going to deliver true value for the company nor for society. Indeed, as we have seen, it engenders significant costs.  Research shows that business value is created when social responsibility and sustainability are embedded in the company’s culture and core business strategies. When done right, companies benefit from a more favorable corporate image, greater customer loyalty, higher employee morale, and enhanced organizational learning and core competence.  And, in turn, societies benefit from harnessing the power and resources of corporations to address pressing social and environmental challenges.

Photo credit: ©SchoolPhotoProject.com

Dr. Shuili Du is a marketing professor at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire. Her research expertise lies in understanding various ways corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiatives create business value. She has published research in many premier journals and has consulted to various corporations on their CSR and sustainability strategies.

Dr. Deborah Merrill-Sands is Dean of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.  Trained as an anthropologist, she is an expert in diversity and women and leadership.  She has worked in the area of socially responsible business for the past 10 years.   Prior to her career in academic administration, she worked internationally as an applied researcher on issues of food, poverty, and economic development.

MEMBER FEATURE:
A conversation with SUSAN O’NEIL, @WEBSITE PUBLICITY

We are delighted to have Susan O’Neil and her team at @Website Publicity renew their membership with NHBSR. They are looking forward to re-engaging with the NHBSR community, recognizing that it’s important to play a role in the larger business community. We had a nice conversation with Susan recently that we’d like to share with you. Hopefully you’ll have a chance for your own conversation sometime this year.susanoneil.png

Susan’s story is one of the unexpected surprises that come from taking a leap of faith and making a change. In her case, she and her family left their home and community in Vermont and moved to Peterborough NH where her husband took a new job. Once her kids were settled into school, she began her own job search. Life-work balance was incredibly important and something she wanted to maintain as she moved forward.

Ultimately, the opportunity that gave her this was working for herself. She hung out her own shingle and by doing so she was able to have both control over her work environment and her time.  Her goal was to create a place that was a pleasant place to work and was family-friendly. Her shingle read: O’Neil & Associates Public Relations.

Towards the end of 1997, when the web was gaining momentum a client asked Susan if she knew anything about websites. This question was the impetus for what Susan’s new direction would be—learning the tools that would help address clients' needs around publicizing their websites. Susan learned HTML, took a class on search engines, and began experimenting with words and phrases within the code on websites. Clients’ websites moved from obscurity to # 1 or 2 in Alta Vista within 24 hours.  What appeared to be magic, actually was the result of a focused effort to learn new skills and putting them to the test.  These efforts culminated with the creation of @Website Publicity, a highly professional company that focused on publicizing websites, not building then, through search engine optimization and public relations.

SEM and SEO. What do these mean? Everyone would like to have their websites be at the top of a Google or Yahoo search. Through Search Engine Marketing (SEM) you have two options—through paid search ads or through a focus on the quality of your website content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results, often referred to as “natural” results.” Through the use of keywords and search terms a website can come up higher in the results, but this takes strategic effort. SEM and SEO are just two of the things that @Website Publicity helps clients with. You can read lots about their offerings on their website.

Susan speaks more to the “why” of what they do versus the “what.” They believe that, when employees are allowed to put family first, they also take better care of their clients and co-workers. She believes transparency is critical for their team and clients. She and her team derive great satisfaction from helping their clients and they go home feeling good about what they accomplished at the end of the day.

Susan’s team and office are based in Peterborough. However, Susan recently moved her base to Manchester. Susan is involved with a number of nonprofits, including Tech Women / Tech Girls, and believes strongly in mentoring and giving back to the community.

And speaking of giving back…if you are a nonprofit you will want to stay tuned for an exciting announcement next week!  

large_neverworry.pngby Leila Murphy, Outreach Manager, NH Businesses for Social Responsibility

Life is busy-that is no secret. Sometimes it's hard to step away from our day-to-day responsibilities to think about what we each might do beyond a given hour, day or week. What if for a few hours every month you could exchange an email for a smile, a conference call for a face-to-face conversation, or a keyboard for the opportunity to use your hands to help build something for a park or school?  What if your company offered employees a community service program encouraging just this kind of participation and impact on corporate culture?
 
Job seekers are now looking beyond a job description and more closely at an employer's reputation. In the workplace are employees given opportunities to learn, to volunteer within the community and collaborate with community partners?   Is the company a good corporate citizen? Do they support causes that are important to their employees within the community, and are they thoughtful and responsible stewards of the environment?
 
Organizations themselves are exploring ways in which to weave social responsibility into the fabric of their company, making it an integral part of how their company and employees learn and grow. It's possible to have a thriving business and 'do good' at the same time. Organizations who have been successful on this front have fostered a culture that teaches and strengthens both the individual and company, which is essential to attracting and retaining good employees. High-quality people want to work for similarly great organizations.
 
We live in a world where bits and bytes are exchanged at an amazing speed, making business operations much more efficient and productive than they ever have been. However, with all of these ways we have to connect, sometimes it's difficult to have meaningful human interactions. But, it feels like change is in the air-people are seeking out these experiences-wanting to make meaningful connections both in and out of the workplace.medium_start_where_you_are.jpeg
 
 ' Doing good' has long been a part of many organizations' commitment to their community, but as we've seen and read, there are some who have begun to distance themselves from the pack by making philanthropy through engagement a way of life.  It's no longer just about doing good--its how business is being done. 

We invite you to think about your own company. Is there a particular social impact area that relates to your business that you could address as a company? Speak with your employees and invite them to be part of the conversation. Leaders in this arena stress that it's important to concentrate one's efforts on a single issue. What is yours? How will you choose to engage and encourage others to join you?

Please let us know your thoughts by posting a comment.

by Stacey Chiocchio, Corporate Social Responsibility Project Manager at Hypertherm

Every year all associates at our company participate in an engagement survey that helps us understand where our opportunities and hypertherm_employee_volunteers_0.jpgaccomplishments are. For the last several years the strongest positive driver of engagement has been our organization’s focus on corporate social responsibility principles, specifically our commitment to our communities and the environment. Our volunteering benefit is the cornerstone to our community engagement and therefore a major driver for helping us develop a positive culture at Hypertherm. 

Our story is a simple one, ask associates where they want to volunteer and help connect them to those volunteer opportunities.  Our model is built on personal choice, associates decide where and how they want to give back.  Some choose to stay within their skill sets and participate in skills based volunteering i.e., our recruiting team helping high school students with resumes and mock interviewing or our engineers participating in Lego competitions as team coaches or judges.  But sometimes associates want to do anything but the work they do all the time for Hypertherm and so they may participate in trail clearing projects, roof repair for a low income homeowner, or stocking shelves at a food pantry.

Personal choice is the beauty of our program and how we have achieved almost 80% volunteer participation through November 2014. Every associate at Hypertherm is given 24 hours of paid volunteer time per year. This year 1,065 associates have volunteered for a total of 15,800 hours, an average of almost 15 hours per volunteer.

Associates become passionate about an organization and often volunteer above and beyond that time on their own.  This year we started a Hypertherm Community Hero Award to reward that above and beyond behavior. 

hypertherm_enfield_conservation_080610_008_0.jpgIt has been remarkable to see how volunteering in groups has improved team relationships.  These groups could be made up of associates who generally work together in a given work day or they could be from various parts of the organization.  Leaders no longer pay for “team building” activities.  Leaders have learned that by scheduling a group Community Service Time project they will increase team communication, engagement, effectiveness and satisfaction.  Breaking down barriers and working together for a common cause naturally brings people together.  As these photos show, there is much comradery that builds when we volunteer in teams. 

Our volunteering has a shared impact on our associates, our communities, and our business. We see our associates build compassion for others and return to work with a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment. We see communities transformed by their collective generosity of spirit and prosper and thrive in sustained ways that can support our business.

If you would like to explore the opportunities for creating or expanding your volunteering efforts, email Michelle.  We will be holding a Volunteer Fair in early 2015 and inviting member businesses and employees to attend!

flooding_hampton_0_0.jpgby Roger Stephenson, Union of Concerned Scientists

Today scores of coastal communities in the United States are seeing more frequent tidal flooding. And as global warming drives sea levels higher over the next 15 to 30 years, flooding from high tides is expected to occur even more often and cause more disruption, particularly on the East Coast and, increasingly, on the Gulf Coast.

Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years, a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, shows how coastal communities could be affected, and makes recommendations on how they can increase their resilience. Portsmouth is profiled on page 22. 

The analysis explores projected changes in tidal flooding under a mid-range scenario of sea level rise, and the implications for East and Gulf Coast communities in the absence of adaptive measures. Over the next 15 to 30 years, the frequency, extent, and duration of tidal flooding could increase substantially in many of the 52 locations we examined. By 2045, within the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage, many coastal communities are expected to see roughly one foot of sea level rise. As that occurs, one-third of the 52 locations in our analysis would start to face tidal flooding more than 180 times a year, on average. Nine locations can expect to see tidal flooding 240 times or more per year. While today this type of flooding is typically considered a nuisance, if it becomes chronic, its impact on local communities would grow. And with sea level rise, some tidal floods are also expected to become much more extensive. 

To prepare for these changes, local communities will have to take steps to upgrade built infrastructure, discourage new development in areas that flood more often, and carefully weigh the risks and benefits of adaptation measures. But local communities can't go it alone-coastal challenges are too great, the costs are too steep, and too many people are at risk. Instead, we need a coordinated, well-funded national response to our country's coastal vulnerability involving federal, state, and local collaboration. And while the near-term increase in sea level rise and tidal flood conditions outlined in this report may be locked-in, changes later this century and beyond are not fixed. We can avoid longer-term impacts by taking swift and strong measures to reduce our carbon pollution.

On September 12 the New Hampshire Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission released a report on sea level rise, storm surge and precipitation.  The commission requested the report from a Science and Technical Advisory Panel that it formed earlier in the year. The purpose was to ensure that commission members are aware of and using the best available and most relevant scientific and technical information to inform its recommendations to the Governor in 2016.

The report, “Sea-level Rise, Storm Surges, and Extreme Precipitation in Coastal New Hampshire: Analysis of Past and Projected Future Trends” summarizes the varying scientific information on the anticipated future coastal flood hazards attributed to sea level rise (SLR), storm surge, and increased precipitation.  The Panel’s report also includes advice on the planning parameters that the Commission should use in framing its recommendations. The conclusions reached by the Panel regarding future coastal flood hazards are consistent with the Third U.S. National Climate Assessment completed in 2013-2014.  The New Hampshire report is available here.

Michelle Veasey, NHBSR Executive Director

 

Creating Shared Value (CSV) seems like a very idealistic approach at first glance.  Is it realistic to think that a business can realize growth and people_puzzle.jpgopportunity while addressing societal needs?  There are several companies who think so.

Let’s take a step back – what does it mean to Create Shared Value anyway?  The term is commonly attributed to Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, authors of "Creating Shared Value: Redefining Capitalism and the Role of the Corporation in Society"1.  CSV recognizes the interdependence of a business’ sustainability with the health of its community and society at large.  In its purest sense, CSV builds innovative approaches to not only create profit and opportunity for a company, and in the process, address societal needs. 

Porter and Kramer identify three ways that companies can innovate and create shared value:  reimagine your market and product offerings, redefine productivity in your value chain, and/or “enable local cluster development” (e.g. supporting programs that meet the educational requirements of your business, affordable housing for your employees, supporting suppliers that pay their employees a fair wage, etc.)  A link to their article can be found below.

Triple Pundit recently published a great example of CSV in an article about the “Give Back Box”, a program created by the founder of StyleUpGirl.com, Monika Wiela.  She passed a homeless man on her way to work in Chicago holding a sign requesting a pair of shoes.  She was frustrated that she could only provide women’s shoes from her warehouse.  Wiela continued to search for ideas and was struck with the opportunity empty shipping boxes provided. 

What if customers could ship back boxes filled with charitable donations?  Give Back Box was born.  Now she, Overstock.com and Newegg.com include shipping labels addressed to secondhand charitable organizations in their product shipments.  (Anyone can ship donations in any retailer’s box by printing a shipping label at GiveBackBox.com.)  With over 30 million tons of cardboard used every year, Give Back Box creates shared value, providing a great opportunity for reuse and addressing declining charitable donations of clothing and household items.

NHBSR’s Just One Thing stories have uncovered examples in New Hampshire too!

Tom Strickland wanted to find a way to help nonprofits in his community, but with a small company, he had to find a way to do it without undermining the productivity of his limited staff.  Sequoya Technologies Group created Sequoya Seeds, a program allowing paying customers to select a nonprofit in the Monadnock region to receive technical services equal to 5 percent of the customer’s bill.  The impact has been significant, for several Monadnock area nonprofits and Sequoya.  The nonprofits have been able to increase their technological capabilities and/or reduce operating expenses.  The program automatically sizes itself to the revenue stream, never outpacing capability and has resulted in new business for Sequoya.

Monadnock Paper Mill used to send 95%, or over 1,200 tons per year, of its short-paper fiber (a by-product of manufacturing) to the landfill.  Several years ago, through product substitution, MPM was able to change this by-product into a nutrient rich, safe material which is perfect for use as compost, soil amendment and animal bedding.  In 2006, a local farm lost all of its farmland to flooding and the cost of replacing the soil was prohibitive.  MPM’ s short-paper fiber met a local need and sheep are once again grazing on lush farmland.  Now, 100% of this by-product is reused to enhance farming throughout the state and MPM has reduced its landfill costs.

These are great examples of rethinking business processes to create shared value.  A need in the community is met with a creative business solution. 

Where could you leverage your business to create shared value?  Share your ideas below, submit your stories to our Just One Thing campaign or read the Just One Thing storyboard!

1 Creating Shared Value: Redefining Capitalism and the Role of the Corporation in Society by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer can be downloaded for free from the Shared Value Initiative.

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