(Photo credit: ReVision Energy)

Addressing the impending climate crisis will require a more comprehensive collaborative, bipartisan approach

By Dan Weeks, Director at ReVision Energy

A few weeks ago, my family joined hundreds of thousands of others in celebrating New Hampshire’s natural splendor in the White Mountain National Forest. As we took in the fall foliage from the Cog Railway and hiked along the Pemigewasset River, it was impossible to imagine that just a century ago, these same landscapes were anything but natural or splendid.

Extensive documentary evidence from the turn of the 20th century reveals that unregulated clear-cutting by private logging outfits had wiped out most of New Hampshire’s virgin forests and left the iconic mountainsides bare. Rivers and streams were choked with sawdust and silt, robbing downstream factories of vital waterpower. Eroding hillsides were no match for the rains, which produced damaging floods. A series of deadly forest fires claimed some 10 percent of the present-day national forest. The area we so prize today was termed “the lands nobody wanted.” New Hampshire’s economy and way of life were at risk.

In response, a motley coalition of environmentalists, businessmen and elected officials — led by Republicans — set out to achieve a quintessentially conservative end: preserving New Hampshire’s most precious natural resources for future generations. Conservationists at the Appalachian Mountain Club and NH Forest Society were joined by timber associations and magazines seeking government stabilization of a volatile lumber market; hotel owners and their guests dismayed at the sight of bare and blackened slopes; Manchester industrialists in need of a stable source of energy to power their factories and keep their employees at work. Their combined efforts paid off in 1911 with passage of the Weeks Act in Congress, establishing the national forest system and its 20 million acres of protected public lands nationwide.

Republican reformers like John Wingate Weeks of Lancaster recognized that government action was needed to rein in the excesses of a private enterprise system that placed profits before people and the planet. Although I can claim no part in that struggle (save my grateful membership in the Forest Society today), I know it stands as one of the proudest achievements in my great-great-granddad’s storied career as a Naval officer, congressman, senator and secretary of war.

The White Mountain National Forest, a 750,000-acre tract of land with 1,200 miles of hiking trails and countless tourist attractions, contributes nearly $9 billion to our state’s outdoor recreation industry — home to some 80,000 jobs — while also enabling responsible logging and other commercial activities. It is a gift to be treasured.

Nevertheless, the long-term health of our national forests — and the larger ecosystem on which they and we depend — is under increasing threat from a greater environmental challenge than the one my great-great-granddad faced a century ago: rapid climate change.

If current emissions trends continue, scientists warn, New Hampshire, with its 80 percent reliance on imported fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy sources, will see a 10ºF increase in average surface temperatures this century. The results of our 2ºF warming to-date since 1900 are already frightfully evident in northern New Hampshire and across the state.

Studies show that over half of New Hampshire’s moose in the Great North Woods have died due to tick infestations caused by warming winters. Loons are also increasingly at risk as rising temperatures disrupt their natural migration from inland lakes to the sea. Even the sturdy maple tree – part of a billion-dollar tourism and maple sugaring industry – is under threat as winter thaws and summer droughts cause it to “sicken, decline and disappear [or] migrate north,” according to NHDES.

Winter as we know it may well disappear.

Addressing the impending climate crisis will require an even more comprehensive and collaborative approach than that untaken by principled conservatives and their allies a century ago. Republicans and Democrats now have an urgent responsibility to stand up to the fossil fuel industry — the number one contributor to global warming — and begin the wholesale transformation of our energy system to clean renewable sources of power.

The newly-released “100% Renewable Energy Strategy for New Hampshire’s Future” is an important step in that direction. Written by a volunteer group of state legislators,   environmentalists and businesspeople, the plan charts a realistic pathway for New Hampshire to move from near-total reliance on non-renewable energy today to 100 percent homegrown clean energy by 2040.

By harnessing sunlight, wind and water and investing in energy conservation, the strategy would rapidly reduce carbon pollution while curbing electricity costs and adding thousands of clean tech jobs in a state that desperately needs to attract a younger workforce.

The time is now for conservatives and progressives to apply the lessons of the past and build a brighter, cleaner energy future together for the state we love.

Originally published on NHBR


(photo credits: MegaFood)

Learn about Leading MWM NH Company Stonyfield's Commitment to Sustainability and the Value of Impact Assessments

Measure What Matters New Hampshire offers a clear and practical assessment tool NH businesses can use to benchmark their sustainability initiatives. This new program additionally offers members of the NHBSR community the opportunity to work with trained UNH student consultants to better develop their own sustainability programs. MWM NH participants will also have access to a members only Sustainable Resource Network and an accompanying series of specially tailored workshops.


Our world is in nutritional crisis. We have widespread food insecurity in many  parts of the world and, of the food that is readily available, we are seeing a decline in its nutritional content due to large-scale conventional agriculture and climate change. This grim reality affects us all. 

Founded in New Hampshire in 1973, MegaFood seeks to nourish a world in nutritional crisis, its people and communities, through whole food supplements and vitamins. In addition to providing a product that can bridge personal nutritional gaps, MegaFood is a dedicated advocate and supporter of regenerative agriculture, which, among other things, replenishes healthy soils and draws carbon back into the ground reducing the effects of climate change. Ashley Larochelle, Vision Activation Manager at MegaFood explains, "We have about a 60-year time clock where we won't be able to grow food anymore on planet earth unless we change the way we do things. This shift needs to happen rapidly and on a big scale and MegaFood is deeply invested in leading this change."

A significant component of MegaFood's commitment to sustainability, the B Impact Assessment allowed the company to prove what they were doing helped people and the planet and see where they needed to invest more time and effort. Ashley, who started out as an Executive Assistant without any background in sustainability lead MegaFood's effort to complete their assessment. This task, Ashley states, "does not need to be driven by someone who has an extensive background in sustainability or measurement metrics. Someone who has a high-level view of the organization (and understands who does what) like an Executive Assistant, Receptionist or Project Manager would be perfect for the role." Regarding getting the rest of the company on board, Ashley remarks, "Our CEO Robert Craven was super easy! Because MegaFood is very mission based already, completing the formal assessment was an obvious next step to leveling us up against the best of the best companies, including our competitors. B Corp Certification is a major differentiator. Today's consumers (and millennial workforce) demand a level of transparency and social commitment and our Impact Assessment helped us achieve and convey our impact."

One of the areas most valuable to MegaFood on the assessment was it focus on workforce practices, as it helped the company set and achieve its goalpost for paying living wages. Though MegaFood had always paid very competitively and significantly higher than federal minimum wage requirements, taking the assessment helped guide the company in its 2018 goal to pay above 25% the living wage and strive for that even higher in the future. This improvement has been beneficial company-wide. "Treating employees well has made it easier to fill job openings at MegaFood," says Ashley, "People work harder and stay with the company longer because they believe in our mission."

Now on our Measure What Matters NH Committee, Ashley wants to help others improve the impacts their companies have on the world. One concept Ashley finds particularly compelling is that of All Ships Rise. "MegaFood continues to be based here in NH and that's great," she explains, "but one of our reasons to grow sustainability initiatives in general is to teach and inspire other companies to be and do better. I want to be available to help people work through the issues and concerns they may have as they work to improve their sustainability initiatives. Together, being the best that we can be, will ultimately serve us all."

Reach out to Ashley about MegaFood or Measure What Matters New Hampshire at


unnamed_0.pngMEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Jonathan Gregory, Managing Principal and Founder of Traverse Advising.

Jonathan Gregory has cultivated a deeply personal, collaborative, and pioneering approach to his work as an independent sustainability consultant. With a childhood spent exploring the woods and lakes of Northern New Hampshire, Jonathan has found a way to commit his life's work to finding solutions to improving the communities and helping protect the natural places he loves. He has a regional focus in advising clients in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, where he's spent over a dozen years advancing sustainability practices.

Though Traverse Advising itself is relatively new, Jonathan's deep roots and ties to the region as a long time New Hampshire resident and community organizer is reflective in his work. Many of his projects come from partnering with other consulting firms across New England, a collaborative approach that both requires and lends itself to developing strong and meaningful community connections. Furthermore, sustainably as a field is so large in scope that being able to work together with field experts is necessary. Jonathan's particular expertise and certifications are in the strategizing around and measuring of nonfinancial (i.e. social and environmental) performance metrics. In our time of much needed action on climate change and cultural identity, companies are realizing that financial vitality is not the sole ingredient to their long-term success.  

"My interests and skillsets," says Jonathan, "have always been on how one develops and maintains a business that operates sustainability. One big issue I see is overconsumption of natural resources and another is the carbon emissions that are a consequence of our consumption levels, which, from a systemic standpoint, the planet cannot sustain." In addressing these big issues, Jonathan encourages all organizations to rethink how they measure their performance from a Triple Bottom Line perspective. He has worked in the private, nonprofit, and public sector on carbon mitigation. With a degree in entrepreneurship and management, his work with clients is inherently opportunity focused. "It's the client that I've got a relationship with. I want to know what their goals and ambitions are and find ways to help them make progress to becoming a more sustainable organization. It takes intimacy and long term planning to get organizations to think along the lines of: We can do more with our operation. We can be more community based. We can be more resource conservative. We can be smarter and perform better. Because there are so many opportunities for organizations to improve their practices, there's so much they can do and it's so vital for us to make this progress."

Though one of our newest members, Traverse Advising has already jumped into growing and strengthening the NHBSR network to better assist other members in understanding their sustainability practices and goals. Jonathan has joined our new Measure What Matters NH committee and hopes to learn from others about their sustainability efforts and share his own experiences within the field. He finds immense value in organizations delving deep into their own processes to analyze and develop long term strategies for improving their social and environmental impact. We're so thrilled to welcome him on board!!

We hope you will connect with Jonathan at our Sustainability Slam on November 1 in Amherst or you can reach out to him at!!


By Robin Eichart, Founder of PeopleSense Consulting

When working as part of a team, it can sometimes be tempting to take a back seat and just go along for the ride. Dominant personalities may push a specific agenda or maybe the project pushes some team members outside their comfort zone. There are lots of factors that can keep someone from being fully engaged as part of the group. But that mentality –that lack of full participation – is the silent killer of a team’s ultimate performance. 

Because teams are measured by their collective performance, individuals often forget the importance of their own impact. But without the valuable resources that each team member brings to the table, a project can end up with mediocre results or even go awry. 

Not sure how to keep everyone fully engaged (including yourself)? Here are some common scenarios and their easy fixes.

The Bench Warmer

When a team’s success is measured by the collective, it’s easy to understand how any one person can lose sight of why they matter. Someone who lacks awareness or doesn’t recognize how important they are to outcomes in the workplace may choose to sit on the sidelines instead of getting in the game.

For instance, an individual might think: “I don’t need to attend this meeting. There are enough others on the team to represent my opinion.” But what is lost is the unique expertise and experience that person brings. What they don’t understand is how truly necessary they are, and they miss out on the opportunity to share their Input.

Solutions: This is where it’s key to shine a spotlight on what each member of the team has to offer. It could be in the form of written and tracked expectations that are reviewed at team meetings. Or there might be some creative ways to reward team members who go above and beyond. In the same token, it’s important to address team members who aren’t pulling their weight. 

The goal is to make sure each individual fully understands their role and brings their energy to the task at hand. Encouraging everyone to excel can prevent individuals from simply keeping the bench warm.

The Underperforming Team

When one or more people within a team don’t bring their full potential to the work, it can quickly result in a collective downward spiral. It only takes a couple negative attitudes to derail the overall mindset of the group.

Solutions: First, determine whether the right people are on the team; this should be the responsibility of the team leader. If an individual is lacking the necessary skills or motivation and there isn’t a reasonable way to get them up to speed, then they aren’t going to be able to contribute fully. That lopsided or uneven contribution can quickly erode the camaraderie and commitment to high performance of other team members. 

Another important way to get things on track is to make sure everyone is on the same page. Start by opening a dialogue about what team members envision the outcomes of the project to be. During that discussion, look for discrepancies that might be clues. For example, is the team setting the bar high while the leader is content with so-so results (or vice versa)? Different expectations tend to result in big problems.

Imagine a brand-new manager wants to start a new program and has a lot of energy and enthusiasm around it. She puts together a team to help her implement the program, but all the members are already stretched thin by their current workloads. 

Though they might embrace the project, they likely have different expectations than the team leader about the scope of the project. Since they didn’t discuss and get on the same page, a lot of tension and frustration is sure to ensue as they go forward. 

The Floater

Without a defined role, it can be easy for an individual to fall into a pattern of aiming for the minimal standard instead of the highest. They end up floating out there without a real stake in the work. For this reason, it’s critical for every member of a team to be clear on their assignment and then be held accountable for executing it successfully.  

Solutions: The best way to set a new path in this case is to have an open conversation between the team leader and/or other team members to determine how each individual can contribute to the fullest. Team members might ask themselves:

  • Am I following up with tasks? 
  • Are my assignments completed on time or do other team members have to track me down?
  • Am I offering all my skills or assuming someone else will take care of it? 
  • Am I allowing the same people to volunteer for duties rather than speaking up to level the load? 

Falling short in any of these areas can detrimentally impact a team’s performance; ensuring that all team members are fully on board will increase motivation and improve outcomes.

Teams are complex, and they require consistent structure and communication to push all members to be their best. Though encouraging others is a helpful way to contribute, each individual must also take responsibility for their own performance. 

It may sound strange (or perhaps counter-intuitive), but a team’s work begins and ends with the individual! 

Originally published on Linkedin

Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year W.S. Badger won NHBSR's 2017 Sustainability Slam for its invaluable contributions to New Hampshire communities.


(Photo Credit 1 & 2: W.S. Badger)

W.S. Badger in Gilsum, NH is a small, family-owned and operated company that uses only the highest quality ingredients in its organic and all-natural skin care and body care products. With a strong commitment to our environment, Badger upholds a rigorous standard for any natural ingredients it sources, ensuring that its supply chain supports healthy agriculture, is minimally processed, and promotes sustainability. Badger also strongly invests in its community. Last year it donated 10% of before-tax profits to organizations that benefit people and the planet. Furthermore, the company encourages employees to volunteer through its paid community service program.unnamed-2_1.jpg

Badger's winning Just One Thing story at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam detailed the company's efforts to address recovery and substance abuse in the workplace. Businesses are able to change people's thinking, vocabulary, and approach to coworkers and colleagues around issues of substance abuse and recovery. Last year Badger worked closely with a trained advocate in the field of addiction and recovery to offer training that helped employees better understand ways they might help a colleague, friend, or family member struggling with addiction.

By creating a welcoming and supporting environment for employees struggling with substance abuse in their lives, whether their own or that of a loved one, Badger helps destigmatize the issue and encourages employees to seek resources and support services. From day one, this work environment and support network is made available to anyone at Badger. An internal point person and the Human Resources team are all committed to supporting employees through the recovery process.

"We believe," says Dee Fitzgerald, Marketing & PR Manager at Badger, "That the same person who drove to work is the same person walking into the building. Often, people are expected to leave their private life at the door when walking into work, but we know this isn't possible, and we don't want our employees to do this. We want to be able to be a source of support for them."


And, as far as results, the response to this initiative has been great. Everyone in the company went through training introducing the concepts and approaches to helping provide recovery support. Badger hopes to be a model that other companies may look to in creating workplaces that best serve the needs of their employees, which, as Badger understands, has an important impact on the greater community as a whole.

You can hear more stories like W.S Badger's on important initiatives throughout the state by attending NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. "I love that the people presenting at the Slam are the same people who are implementing or helping to implement the programs they're sharing," Says Dee, "The Slam format is so unique and different, it's a fabulous and validating way to bring people together to not only meet, mingle, and network, but to share inspirational stories. And there are so many great stories occurring in New Hampshire. People often discount what they're doing internally and thinking that it's the same as everyone else, but each approach is truly unique and has a positive result worth sharing."


Bernadette Gleeson leads Badger employees in a training on addressing addiction issues at work

(Photo Credit: Paige Sutherland/NHPR)


Connect with Dee at our Sustainability Slam on Nov 1 at Labelle Winery in Amherst, NH or email her at! Any company or nonprofit is welcomed to attend the Sustainability Slam and submit a Just One Thing story. Top submissions will be featured in the NH Business Review and presented at the Slam. This year's Sustainability Slam presenting sponsor is Velcro.

**Stories submitted by September 21 get entered into a drawing for free Sustainabilty Slam tickets and those submitted by Septeber 14 get entered in twice!


Watch Badger's winning Just One Thing story video here.


Submit your Just One Thing story here.

heidi_page_0.jpg(Photo Credit 1, 2, 3: Heidi Page)

MEMBER FEATURE: a conversation with Elaine Hamel, Program Director and Founder of Girls At Work, Inc.

Empowering girls uplifts communities and that is precisely what Girls At Work aims to accomplish in Manchester, NH. 27 years ago, the nonprofit's founder, Elaine Hamel, took in a 10-year-old neighbor whose parents were struggling with addiction. Wanting to provide this girl every opportunity she could, Elaine offered her skills as a general contractor in exchange for summer camp enrollment. Instead of building for the camp itself, however, the camp director asked Elaine to come in and teach the girls how to build. The building classes caught on like wildfire and soon enough Elaine was traveling to camps across the state teaching girls how to use power tools. Continuing to work out of the back of her pick-up truck no longer became feasible, though, and in 1999 Elaine built a barn on her property in Goffstown, NH to serve as a workshop for Girls At Work, her newly incorporated nonprofit (registered officially in 2001).

unnamed-2_0.jpgIn 2014 Girls At Work expanded into an old school building in Manchester's South End, where they now offer four 8-week afterschool sessions to struggling inner city girls per year and four weeks of Summer Camp, both designed to build up each little girl to be her strongest most capable self.

So, what kind of difference does Girls At Work make for the thousands of girls who have gone through the program? "I've had parents come to me in tears sharing how much Girls At Work has helped their daughters," Elaine answers, "Girls At Work is an absolute game changer. So many girls are just discouraged and don't want to go to school because of bullying. In a culture that so often disempowers girls and women, we have the opportunity to build their self-confidence and empower them. It's completely life changing." Through developing critical thinking skills, applying math in engaging and hands on ways, and giving girls the opportunity to work together to solve difficult challenges, Girls At Work's programming provides participants with the real life experience of feeling empowered and accomplished.

Supported primarily through fundraisers, partnerships and donations, Girls At Work is also able to fund the afterschool programs and camps through 


team building programs offered to companies throughout New England. In these programs companies enroll up to 50 employees to work in small groups at the shop, or onsite at their company, to build picnic tables. No experience at all is required and the precut lumber and limited instruction provide an environment for employees to dig deep within, while connecting with others on a challenging task. The finished tables are then donated to nonprofits in the area of the build. These team building programs create an awareness of the importance of empowering girls, as well as a deeper understanding as to why we all need to step up for these girls. This program also offers businesses a unique way to engage their employees in a team building activity that promotes cooperation, creative thinking, and an empowering sense of accomplishment.

Girls At Work is excited to be a part of NHBSR and is inspired to create new partnerships with businesses dedicated to social responsibility. These partnerships will provide an exciting opportunity to build a stronger future for our young girls, while spreading the word about the importance of Girls At Work’s mission. "Businesses are always excited to learn about how we are  empowering our inner-city girls and even more excited to know that they can join forces with us to have a stronger impact,” says Elaine.   

Given our current climate with bullying, it is extremely important that organizations have a strong focus on empowerment, especially in the case of young girls. Girls at Work is proud to provide a safe and supportive environment where young girls are encouraged to  discover and fully engage their power not only in the shop, but in all areas of life.


(Photo Credit: Trayce Gregoire)

You can contact Elaine at to find out more about Girls At Work and their opportunities for empowering girls and women in the Granite State.



(Photo Credits: Stonyfield)

Learn about Leading MWM NH Company Stonyfield's Commitment to Sustainability and the Value of Impact Assessments

Measure What Matters New Hampshire offers a clear and practical assessment tool NH businesses can use to benchmark their sustainability initiatives. This new program additionally offers members of the NHBSR community the opportunity to work with trained UNH student consultants to better develop their own sustainability programs. MWM NH participants will also have access to a members only Sustainable Resource Network and an accompanying series of specially tailored workshops.


Stonyfield's origins lie in a New Hampshire nonprofit farming school that was established to teach sustainable farming with a strong ethos of caring for the earth. The organic yogurt that Stonyfield is now famous for was actually just a byproduct of that initial mission. Now Stonyfield's products, made without the use of artificial hormones, antibiotics, GMOs, and toxic persistent pesticides, are sold across the country. Stonyfield continues to pursue its mission of being a leading environmental steward, all while supporting hundreds of family farms and providing healthy food that nourishes our communities.

In 2016 Stonyfield completed the full B-Impact Assessment and became a certified B Corps company, a designation earned by companies that meet a high standard for social and environmental performance. Through completion of the B-Impact assessment, Stonyfield was able to evaluate and gain deeper insight into its own corporate governance management, human resource practices, community and supply chain impacts and environmental practices.

"What has been most valuable for us in the assessment," says Lisa Drake, Director of Sustainability Innovation at Stonyfield, "is the validation from a third party standard evaluate where we are on sustainability, showing us that we can feel good about our business practices. We've gone through a lot of growth and change in the last few years and it's reassuring for our employees and our consumers to know we're on the right track." 

Any business, large or small, can take the Quick Impact or B-Impact Assessment. In the longer B-Impact Assessment questions are targeted to a company's size and type, whether in the production, manufacturing, or service industry. "Companies can really learn from the process of taking the assessment, seeing where they need to improve, and understanding the specifics of where they are doing really well. This clarification helps companies plan more effective improvement strategies."

Stonyfield will be involved in the Measure What Matters New Hampshire workshop series and Sustainable Resource Network, which will offer opportunities for other New Hampshire companies to connect with, learn from, and find inspiration in Stonyfield's commitment to our planet and communities.

Connect with Lisa at our Sustainability Slam on Nov 1 in Amherst or reach out to her by email at



By Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of Earth Friendly Products/ECOS

A company's culture isn’t defined merely by ping-pong tables and free lunches; employees want to feel like part of something bigger. That sense of community and fulfillment benefits employers, too; by one estimation (PDF), disengaged workers cause losses of close to $500 billion every year.

Happy employees are engaged, which depends partly on sustainable practices at work. When a company trades silence and waste for open communication and sustainability, employees respond positively. For instance, after implementing sustainable programs and zero-waste practices last year at our company, Earth Friendly Products, we saw an 18 percent decrease in health insurance premiums and a 30 percent drop in employee sick leave.

When you drive awareness and excitement through your team, aim to articulate goals and how you plan to measure success. This way, employees can discern the effects of their decisions. For instance, we encourage employees to embrace sustainability through incentives. Those who move closer to work, drive eco-friendly cars, or install solar panels earn financial incentives and points redeemable for rewards. Beyond zero-waste goals, we sponsor "health-friendly days" in 2010 to speak to employees about how to live healthier lifestyles, including advice on eating habits and exercise.

The following four areas can help to achieve employee buy-in for sustainability efforts in your office:


Any habit change requires time to stick. Employees might resist an initiative at first, but continue to insist on sustainable practices and they will eventually view, say, a zero-waste mindset as second nature. What feels like extra work at first becomes a regular business process.

In our internal marketing campaigns, we provide short bits of information on healthy eating and sustainability practices so people can learn during their downtime. Keep it light so employees don’t feel lectured; after all, brains can only process a limited amount of information at once.

Keep up a steady stream of passive, consistent information to bring employees around to the reality of sustainable business practices. Eventually, they will begin to give back on their own. For example, one of our employees suggested we switch to reusable hairnets, which now allows us to reuse and recycle equipment that used to go in the trash. 


Instill a sustainable mindset by providing incentives and encouragement. Make employees feel they aren’t forced to participate, but that they are driving the initiative. 

"When you build a culture where people can be their authentic selves, they’re going to bring their best work, their best ideas, and their best people to your company," said Ciara Trinidad, head of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Blend, a digital lending company. Research backs her up; Harvard Business Review reports that employees who personalize their work areas feel more satisfied and able to contribute.

To illuminate the benefits of sustainability, encourage your team to implement such practices at work and at home. For instance, our company’s "Sustainability Passport" allows team members to earn points, redeemable for fun activities or perks at work. To earn points, an employee can carpool, install solar panels at home or move closer to the office. In turn, our work culture has become more enjoyable and collaborative. When employees see the connection between their personal efforts and broader changes, they're more likely to feel positive about their role in a work-driven initiative.


We encourage employees to bring unused items from home — such as appliances, clothing or shoes — several times per year to share with one another. This helps to limit waste at home while helping others.

Workers, especially younger ones, say they appreciate perks such as these. They notice when companies install recycling receptacles in shared office spaces and feel good about the environmental impact. To that end, we brought in a guest speaker last year to share simple strategies for limiting environmental footprints. 

Additionally, be sure every element of your company — from manufacturing to customer service — finds ways to be sustainable. Audit certain points of production to discern where energy could be reduced or more efficient workflows implemented. We use 100 percent renewable energy, for example, much of it from our own solar panels.


The effort to inform and involve employees must be continuous to remain effective. Understand your audience and build a relationship through organic conversations.

Don’t lower standards to make goals easier to reach. Instead, install smaller objectives on the road to bigger ones, and show that leaders are pursuing the same goals. This focus naturally creates environmental advocates in the office who become brand ambassadors for sustainability and bring others on board. For example, when one of our leaders suggested that an employee replace her old coffee mug, the employee declined, because throwing it out would create unnecessary waste.

Continue to demonstrate to employees that the company cares about both the environment and their personal well-being to create a contagious, positive experience. The more you encourage sustainability, the more employees will make it a personal goal.

Originally posted on GreenBiz

Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year Monadnock Paper Mills won NHBSR's 2017 Sustainability Slam for its invaluable contributions to New Hampshire communities.


In 2019 Monadnock Paper Mills in Bennington, NH will celebrate 200 years in the paper making industry. At the forefront of sustainable packaging and paper products, Monadnock values incorporating materials from alternative, sustainable fibers and post-consumer sources. In 2017 the paper mill saw an opportunity to reuse some of the 25 million imported burlap coffee bean bags that would, with no intervention, eventually end up as approximately 55 million pounds of natural fiber in the waste stream. That year Monadnock launched its Kona line of products, using shredded coffee bags to create fibers to add to paper. The Kona line now features paper for boxes, tags, and labels in an array of beautiful natural colors that are sought out by sustainability focused brands. This successful closed loop packaging story proves just how much environmentally conscious businesses can thrive in creative and impactful ways, doing well for themselves and our planet.

You can learn more about the Kona product line and other great sustainability initiatives throughout the state by attending NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. "It's fun. It's energetic. And it's competitive, with people getting more and more creative and out of the box in their presentations," described Lisa Berghaus, Director of Marketing Communications at Monadnock, when asked about NHBSR's Sustainability Slam. "For me, it was a little self-deprecating! I wore a coffee bean bag during my presentation. But the audience at NHBSR's Sustainability Slam is the best. They're friendly and supportive and as long as you're passionate about the work you're doing to improve New Hampshire, whether it is in feeding people, improving the environment, or making things better for employees, you can do no wrong!"

Connect with Lisa at our Sustainability Slam on Nov 1 in Amherst or reach out to her by email at!!


Watch Monadnock's winning Just One Thing story video here.


Submit your Just One Thing story here.

Throughout the year New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility collects "Just One Thing" stories of sustainability initiatives from across the state, in the areas of community, environment and workplace. These leading efforts are then showcased as part of NHBSR's Sustainability Slam in the fall. Last year Jewett Construction won NHBSR's 2017 Sustainability Slam for its invaluable contributions to New Hampshire communities.


[The Monarch School in Rochester, NH serves children with special intellectual, physical, and behavioral needs]

For nearly 50 years, Jewett Construction has had a strong commitment to community engagement and supporting nonprofits. One of Jewett’s first nonprofit capital projects was for the Boy Scouts of America to construct the Camp Carpenter dining hall in Manchester, NH. Since then Jewett Construction has played a pivotal role in ensuring nonprofits across New England are able to build the facilities they need to run their programs and services, including the YMCA in Exeter, NH, the Monarch School of New England in Rochester, NH and the Center for Wildlife in York, Maine.

In supporting nonprofit projects along varied stages of their expansion, from their capital campaigns to leveraging community partnerships and resources to the final phases of construction, Jewett is able to create a positive and, ultimately, very successful building experience for nonprofits. Jewett is particularly experienced in finding creative and inexpensive ways to make large scale construction projects feasible to cash-strapped nonprofits, enlisting vendors, subcontractors, architects and engineers willing to offer in kind donations or materials at costs.

There is a risk in being involved in such lengthy projects with so many moving parts and pieces, but Jewett Construction remains steadfastly committed to supporting nonprofits and the crucial community services they provide. Ever mindful of the impact Jewett has in its communities and the world, the construction company is also particularly attentive to building using environmentally friendly techniques, such as incorporating recycled materials, solar panels and natural skylight features and elements.

Learn more about Jewett Constructions' winning Just One Thing story and the work of other leading business in the state by attending NHBSR's Sustainability Slam on November 1 in Amherst, NH. "The Sustainability Slam is a great learning experience." Eric Cimon, Marketing Directors of Jewett Construction, enthused, "You will take away something your company can apply in your own work and connect with other great businesses in the state. It helped us highlight the work that we do with nonprofits, work that a lot of people didn't realize we had a commitment to. And it's just a really great creative platform. I don't know of any similar presentation platform out there that is as effective at showcasing a company's sustainability work. We got a lot of exposure by participating and it opened up a number of doors to additional projects."

Connect with Eric at our Sustainability Slam on Nov 1 in Amherst or reach out to him by email at!!


Watch Jewett's winning Just One Thing story video here.


Submit your Just One Thing story here.