NH Businesses for Social Responsibility Announces 2016 Cornerstone Award Finalists

“The Cornerstone Award committee was once again impressed with the diversity of applicants and their approaches to sustainable business,” said Michelle Veasey, Executive Director of NHBSR.  “This great community we are part of, continues to inspire us with their innovative ideas, both large and small. Their collective efforts truly demonstrate the shared value created by a focus on people, planet, and profits.” 

ReVision Energy, is New Hampshire and Maine’s leading installer of grid-tied solar electric and solar hot water renewable energy systems. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is embedded in their business practices. ReVision Energy is committed to helping businesses and residents transition from finite, fossil fuel energy to clean, renewable energy—reducing carbon dioxide emissions, saving money and supporting the local economy. ReVision holds the distinction of being a Certified B Corporation, one of only six such corporations in NH and one of only approximately 1,619 worldwide. ReVision pro-actively practices CSR in the communities where they work by volunteering and donating company resources (time, money and products) to non-profits and schools. 

The Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) is a nonprofit, cooperative network of (university) student leaders creating zero-waste solutions in their campus communities.  The organization was founded by Alex Freid in 2013 when the students responsible for the University of New Hampshire’s renowned zero-waste solution, Trash 2 Treasure, graduated from UNH and founded the organization. PLAN began with the mission of supporting the development of zero-waste communities through building networks dedicated to their achievement. PLAN’s core programs aim to assist universities across the country in optimizing their waste streams to create zero-waste communities.  By engaging students, faculty, administration, the surrounding community, and local and national business partners, PLAN is designing custom solutions that reduce all types of waste through reuse, recycling, repurposing, resale, and diversion techniques. PLAN has taken a concept and made it into a real solution, one which has grown rapidly in only a few years.

Hypertherm and Casella (a collaborative partnership) have embarked on a journey to transform their businesses and develop new ways to create sustainable value. The two companies have creatively partnered to build a truly synergistic waste reduction program that neither could have accomplished alone. Hypertherm has a goal of achieving zero waste by 2020 and Casella has an ongoing goal to develop new Resource Solutions to help customers divert new waste streams from disposal. While Hypertherm had a 73% recycling rate in 2013, they still had difficult-to-recycle and small-volume industrial materials issues to address. They recognized that there were other businesses in a similar situation, so in partnership with Casella, they created a program that today is finding homes for 28 tons of hard to recycle materials each month. Hypertherm provided Casella available warehouse space to implement a comprehensive recycling operation for its hard-to-recycle byproducts. Casella installed equipment, hired an operator, and began collecting, sorting, baling, and grading these materials. Casella also began sourcing hard-to-recycle materials from other nearby companies. The program has increased Hypertherm’s diversion rate by nearly 20% and has increased overall rebates and the value of the program by 100%. 
NHBSR’s Cornerstone Award is sponsored by Antioch University New England (AUNE), winner of the 2011 Cornerstone Award. AUNE’s commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice serves as a foundation for all certificate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Coursework integrates practice with theory in an environment that fosters scholarship and activism.  Classes meet the needs of busy people with a variety of course delivery options. Academic departments include Applied Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Education, Environmental Studies, Self-Designed Studies, and Management with its top-ranked MBA in Sustainability degree.

The 2016 conference theme is “A Story Worth Sharing: The Chapters of Your Sustainability Journey.”  This theme continues to build on NHBSR’s “Just One Thing” campaign, an initiative to advance sustainability in New Hampshire businesses through the sharing of successes in their environmental, community, and employee efforts.

Acclaimed speaker Simon Mainwaring, CEO and founder of We First Branding, will provide the keynote address, The Future of Sustainability Storytelling, sharing how the smartest brands are positioning themselves to lead the future in terms of business, sustainability, and social impact. He will lead a “Hot Seat” session where audience members can pick his brain on issues affecting their business.  Morning break out sessions and afternoon Huddle up sessions will help attendees identify new opportunities and advance their CSR goals, wherever one is in their sustainability journey. For more information or to register, visit www.nhbsr.org/conference. 

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility is a member-based non-profit organization that fosters socially and environmentally responsible business in New Hampshire, realizing that people, principles and profits must be linked. As sustainable business becomes mainstream, NHBSR's network of CSR-focused business leaders provides the support to encourage the growth of sustainability throughout the state with value-driven results.   NHBSR is the business organization driving the corporate social responsibility agenda in New Hampshire.  For more information, visit www.nhbsr.org.

Founded in 1964, Antioch University New England’s (AUNE) commitment to social, economic, and environmental justice serves as a foundation for all certificate, master’s and doctoral degrees. Coursework integrates practice with theory in an environment that fosters scholarship and activism.  Academic departments include Applied Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Education, Environmental Studies, Management, and Self-Designed Studies. Based in Keene, New Hampshire, AUNE is just over two hours from Albany; two hours from Boston; and less than two hours from Hartford. For more information, visit: antiochne.edu.
AUNE is part of Antioch University, an accredited, non-profit university and a bold and enduring source of innovation in higher education that serves adult students around the world, online and from its five campuses in four states in addition to its University-wide international and doctoral programs. The University lives by its mission every day by helping students realize their potential and achieve their educational goals through rigorous and responsive learning environment. Antioch University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1927.

Monday, March 28, 2016
Concord, NH – New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility announced today three finalists for the organization’s highest honor, the Cornerstone Award. The three finalists are ReVision Energy of Exeter, Post Landfill Action Network of Lee, and Hypertherm and Casella (a collaborative project), of Hanover and Rutland, VT, respectively. The Cornerstone Award is presented annually to an individual, organization, or company exemplifying the concepts of corporate responsibility within their organization and the greater business community in the state of New Hampshire. The winner will be announced and the award presented by Governor Maggie Hassan (invited) at NHBSR’s annual conference on Tuesday, May 10th in Concord. Applicants are judged on their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices within their workplace/organization, the ways in which they encourage others to engage in sustainability, and promote the value of CSR within the New Hampshire business community.