Business Executives Call on White House and Congress to Help Move U.S. to a Sustainable Economy
Patricia C. Heffernan, president of the Burlington-based firm Marketing Partners, was one of three Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) members to attend a first-of-its-kind White House Summit organized by the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), the largest U.S. business organization focused on sustainability. The Summit called for a renewed commitment to a sustainable economy based on the “triple bottom line” principles.
Other VBSR representatives attending the Summit were Dan Barlow, VBSR public policy manager, and Jennifer Chiodo, co-principal of Cx Associates.
“As part of the VBSR delegation at the Summit, my goal was to help share the stories of the many Vermont businesses that are working to transform our economy to a more sustainable one,” said Heffernan, Marketing Partners president. “These organizations tell a compelling story and demonstrate that a long-term business strategy that considers the effects on the planet, our people and profits is both sound and sustainable.”
"We're at an historic point, with the business experience, the policy framework and the necessity to begin transforming our whole economy to one that is sustainable – socially, environmentally and economically," said David Levine, Co-founder and CEO of ASBC. “We in the business community are committed to making this vision a reality, for creating jobs and putting the economy on the right track,” he said.
The ASBC letter delivered to the White House states in part:
We call on government to empower the engines of our economy—businesses—to be agents of recovery and revitalization. By properly managing markets, accounting for full costs, creating incentives, providing support, and creating a level playing field, government can enable restorative, equitable and sustainable economic models to thrive. Let us unleash the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation across all sectors to confront and solve the economic, social and environmental problems we face today.
The letter concludes:
An economy based on these principles would preserve the benefits of capitalism while gaining control over its destructive tendencies toward overuse of resources, instability, extremes of wealth and poverty, underdevelopment of human potential, and concentrations of power that suppress innovation.
The White House summit was attended by 125 business owners and business organization leaders, representing ASBC’s members’ 150,000 businesses and 29 Administration officials including Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The ASBC letter, A Business Call for a New Economy: Toward a Vibrant, Equitable and Sustainable Economy, may be found on www.asbcouncil.org.
About Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility:
Founded in 1990, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is a non-profit, statewide business trade organization with a mission to advance business ethics that value multiple bottom lines: economic, social, and environmental. VBSR members employ more than 13% of Vermont’s workforce and generate more than 4 billion dollars in revenue annually. VBSR strives to help its members set a high standard for protecting the natural, human and economic environments of the state's residents, while remaining profitable. VBSR advances its mission through education, public influence and workplace quality. www.vbsr.org
About the American Sustainable Business Council:
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 150,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy, and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. www.asbcouncil.org