Jeff from New Living visits the White House

Last month, I received a call from The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) saying they wanted our small green business from Texas to join them at the White House, along with 29 members of the administration’s staff–  to issue what Mark Gunther, a writer for Fortune called “A Business Call for a New Economy” thatʼs built around ʻtriple bottom lineʼ principles,” including shared prosperity and environmental stewardship.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is only a two year old organization, and with its members represents more than 150,000 businesses. ASBC was developed to provide a positive voice for a sustainable economy and to counterbalance the old economy positions pushed by corporate lobbies.
We are calling for an expanded view of sustainability, which balances economic, social and environmental benefits. The idea is to build on what good companies like New Living and Green Painter are doing with policies that enable responsible corporate behavior to become the norm.
Other members who joined us in Washington included Stonyfield Farms (You will probably remember their CEO from Food Inc fame), Eileen Fisher, 7th Generation, New Belgium Brewery and Greyston Bakery. These, like many others, have found that policies pushed by old school business lobbies are often the opposite of what responsible and sustainable businesses need.  Collectively, they understand that by following principles such as those in ASBCʼs Call for a New Economy, the nation can move its entire economy to the right path for today and the future.
While we were in the White House, we discussed the following topics and principles;
  •  True Cost Accounting: the externalities of business prevent real progress on sustainability. Our current system must be adjusted to account for externalities, the human health costs that have been passed on to the general public to address.
  • Small Business: We need to make it easier for small businesses like New Living to access capital and expand. To open New Living, we were turned down by over 20 banks before we found one bank willing to give us an SBA loan. New Laws being written will allow businesses like our to crowd fund, or raise money from a large group of investors. We would have loved to have had 1,000 each invest $100 to help start our business and build our business around a community of people who literally have an ownership stake in our company.  We need to expand our system to include a variety of ownership mechanisms. Think co-ops, community and social enterprises, B-corporations and employee-owned businesses.
  • Broad Prosperity: “When too few have too much and too many have too little, society cannot be sustained,” said Roger Smith of AIL. We agree.
  • Sustainability: We need a balance of people, planet and profit to manage our needs and the needs of future generations. That means stewardship and regeneration of natural resources, and reinvestment in communities for long-term vitality.
  • Sensible Measures & Regulations: Good rules and regulations promote fair competition, innovation. Regulation of the Organics movement is needed to stop green-washing. We need Chemical Reform. 92 Percent of our country says they want labeling on genetically engineered foods.
I am so honored to have been able to attend this meeting. The role of business in our society is truly at a turning point, and we are so excited to be at the forefront of this shift. If you have any ideas, comments for how a business like New Living can have a better social, environmental and economic impact please email me with any ideas.
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3 thoughts on “Jeff from New Living visits the White House

  1. I think what you guys are doing is amazing! I remember talking about triple-bottom line ideas back in the 80’s with my Econ. professors, but it is incredible to see it coming into real practice now, so thank you for forging ahead with these best practices.

    I thought that you may want to consider attending or becoming an exhibitor at an upcoming conference, which will be held in Houston. The International Economic Development Council (IEDC), it will be their annual conference and will have representatives from most of the major metropolitan areas around the country. It is a premier event to showcase your business and talk up the new Green Economy. For more information, please visit their site at:
    http://www.iedconline.org/AnnualConference/index.html

    Best of luck with your continued success,
    Regards,
    MaggieG

  2. Jeff you truly are a rock star and I know the universe will help you be successful beyond your wildest dreams. Thanks for being brave enough to pursue your wonderful vision. 🙂

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