From toilet paper to craft beer: Unconventional business mogul Alan Newman

A number of Vermont’s iconic socially responsible businesses have something in common: Alan Newman. Newman was involved in starting Gardener’s Supply Company, he founded Seventh Generation Inc., and co-founded Magic Hat Brewing Company. Newman discusses his roots on an Oregon commune, his unconventional approach to launching a business, and we debate the merits of growth in Vermont’s craft beer business. (March 20, 2019 broadcast)

Alan Newman, social entrepreneur

Part 1

Part 2

 

Earth Day 46: Can businesses be environmentalists?

On April 22,1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets across the country to demonstrate for a sustainable environment. “By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.” [earthday.org]

On Earth Day 2016, activists and sustainable businesses came to the Vermont State House for a People’s Lobby Day. We speak with participants from two leading Vermont businesses about the role of businesses in advancing environmental goals and the challenges that their own companies face in trying to meet them. [April 20, 2016 broadcast)

Ashley Orgain, Manager of Mission Advocacy, Seventh Generation

Chris Miller, Manager of Social Mission & Activism, Ben & Jerry’s

Shay DiCocco, brand manager, Seventh Generation

In the second half of the show, we discuss the carbon tax and other initiatives to address environmental and climate change goals:

Daniel Barlow, Public Policy Manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Johanna Miller, Energy Program Director, Vermont Natural Resources Council

Taking the lead: Women & families in the workplace in Vermont

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 70 percent of women with children under age 18 are in the U.S. workforce, and working mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of households. Is Vermont a leader or laggard when it comes to providing opportunities for women and families in the workplace? We talk with people who have taken the lead in making workplaces women and family friendly.

Bram Kleppner, CEO, Danforth Pewter

Cary Brown, Executive Director, Vermont Commission on Women

Russ Elek, Communication and Membership Manager, VBSR

Sarah Lord, Seventh Generation

Sascha Mayer, CEO and Co-founder, Mamava,

Gwen Pokalo, Director of the Women’s Small Business Program at Mercy Connections

VBSR: A quarter century of socially responsible business in Vermont

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. From early efforts by business people who dubbed themselves “socialists for capitalism,” Vermont has been at the forefront of the socially responsible business movement. VBSR is now the largest statewide socially business association in the country. As home to iconic socially responsible brands such as Ben & Jerry’s, Gardener’s Supply and Seventh Generation, Vermont businesses have pioneered the idea of businesses with a “triple bottom line:” measuring success in terms of people, profits and the environment. We speak with Vermont business leaders who have nurtured this movement since its inception:

Dave Barash, co-founder of VBSR, longtime social entrepreneur who worked for Ben & Jerry’s, currently Director of New Ventures for Vermont Energy Investment Corp.

Allison Hooper, co-founder of Vermont Creamery, early VBSR board member and on the original board of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Bruce Seifer, VBSR founding member, appointed by Burlington Mayor Bernie Sanders to lead the City of Burlington’s economic development efforts, which he did for three decades

Julie Lineberger, former VBSR board chair, co-owner with her husband of LineSync, an architectural firm

Will Patten, former VBSR executive director, co-owner of Hinesburgh Public House, a socially responsible restaurant

Can business be a force for good?

Can capitalism solve the problems of capitalism? Can business be a force for good? Two pioneers of socially responsible business hold a public conversation and offer their experiences and views on these and other topics with The Vermont Conversation host David Goodman.This is an edited version of a Vermont Town Hall public conversation held on Sept. 26, 2014, at Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in Stowe, Vt.

Jeffrey Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation and Sustain Condoms

Tom Chappell, founder of Tom’s of Maine and Rambler’s Way Farm

Jeffrey and Meika Hollender, SRB pioneers, 11-20-13

Gallery

Jeffrey Hollender, social biz pioneer and founder of Seventh Generation, and his daughter Meika Hollender talk about their new business venture: sustainable fair trade condoms, along with the challenges and opportunities of starting a family business. We also talk with Andrea Cohen and … Continue reading

John Replogle of Seventh Generation, 7/3/2013

John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, the #1 green business in the US, talks of the rewards, mistakes, roadblocks & the Next Big Thing in sustainable biz, and the unique challenges he has faced succeeding the company’s founder as CEO.

What is Victoria’s dirty secret?; Jeffrey Hollender, 2/6/2013

What is Victoria’s dirty secret? We discuss the global campaign to get toxins out of clothing with John Deans, director of Greenpeace Detox Fashion campaign. Greenpeace recently got Victoria‘s Secret (as well as Levi’s, Nike, Adidas, and 14 major global clothing brands) to remove toxins from their clothes.  In the second half of the show I talk with Jeffrey Hollender, founder of Seventh Generation, co-chair of Greenpeace and a pioneer in sustainable business, about his second act after parting ways with the company he founded. He reveals his plans to launch a new company later this year, one that embodies the highest principles of social justice, equality, and transparency.