New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility (NHBSR) in Concord celebrated the environmentally and socially conscious businesses at its Inaugural NH Sustainability Awards, which also marked the organization’s 20th anniversary.
Winners were recognized for their leadership in community, environment, governance and workplace efforts. The event also highlighted the efforts of NHBSR’s board of directors, the state’s next-generation sustainability leaders, and companies with systemic, robust and enduring impact.
Board Impact Award Winner: Vince Perelli, chief of planning and policy at the NH Department of Environmental Services, served on the NHBSR board for 15 years and continues to support NHBSR’s operations, events and goals.
Cornerstone Innovator Award Winner: Hypertherm. NHBSR said the company engages employees in sustainability from the outset and throughout the company’s everyday operations. Orientation involves new employees going out into the community to volunteer, while Hypertherm’s Green Champions program trains employees from each of the company’s departments to embed company-wide sustainable decision-making and practices.
Measure What Matters Award Winners:
- Community: Timberland. NHBSR said the business embeds community service into their workplace culture, paying all employees to engage in 40 volunteer hours a year and organizing volunteer events such as Serv-a-palooza.
- Environment: Stonyfield. NHBSR said they began recycling and measuring water and energy use in the early ’90s and, in 1997, was the first US manufacturing facility to offset greenhouse gas emissions. They are continually expanding sustainability efforts throughout their supply chain, packaging, and distribution.
- Governance: ReVision Energy. NHBSR said the firm has a 100% Employee Stock Ownership Plan, strives to lead community efforts to solve environmental problems caused by fossil fuels, and the ESOP is committed to alleviating economic and social justice.
- Workplace: Mascoma Bank. NHBSR said Mascoma offers employees flexible scheduling, remote work opportunities and paid volunteer time. They have built an open communications environment to ensure that all employees can not only voice their concerns and questions, but that management responds and continually improves.
- Systemic Leadership: W.S. Badger. NHBSR said the company’s initiatives include: donating to and supporting community programs, promoting a recovery friendly workplace, providing employees with childcare assistance and a “Babies at Work” perk, ensuring responsible sourcing across their supply chain and sharing their sustainability tools and resources with fellow businesses.
Student Change Agent Award Winners
Richard Cabrera, Saint Anselm College; Caitlyn Jillson, Southern New Hampshire University; and Rachel Vaz, University of New Hampshire, were cited as making positive changes on and off their respective campuses, from leading peer volunteerism efforts in Manchester to creating a student-led eco-representative program to creating an outreach team addressing issues of human trafficking.
“It is with deep gratitude and appreciation that NHBSR spotlights the efforts of these luminaries," said Michelle Veasey, executive director of NHBSR. "The power of this network is in the willingness of each member company to share their best practices to help bring other businesses along.”
Pictured above: Environmental Impact Award Winner, Stonyfield. Photo by John Benford Photography