My interview this week is with Michelle Veasey, Executive Director of New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility. I have been intrigued for a while about the work they do across New Hampshire to make it evermore attractive for companies to organize around sustainability and innovation in a state with just over 1.3 million people. (That’s small by state standards). We talked about what they are doing to build out their organization, connect businesses with one another and with nonprofits, nurture strategic relationships and mentoring, as well as their plans for the future.
As a membership based organization, its companies are leading the charge. Better-known companies such as Stonyfield Farm and Timberland certainly come to mind but there are dozens of others including ones we discussed here.
Beyond those two big-name brands are many smaller ones:
- Hypertherm, which designs and manufactures the world's most advanced metal cutting products for use in a variety of industries such as shipbuilding, oil and gas, heavy equipment, structural steel, and manufacturing. It started in a garage and now employs more than 1,000 people. Over 80% of their employee base volunteers in the community.
- WB Badger Company, which makes USDA Certified Organic custom formulated body care products. Started in a kitchen, it now has built an international business. In 2011, Badger became a B Corporation.
- Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc., maker of premium, high-performance papers on the banks of the Contoocook River and is focused on sustainable product design and manufacturing.
NHBSR's membership is growing exponentially, a true testament to the fact that companies are increasingly aware of the financial benefits of sustainability, whether that be in the form of waste reduction, energy efficiency, or engaging with employees, supplier, and stakeholders. NHBSR is capturing the attention of these companies through their conferences, webinars, roundtables, strategic partnerships, as well as informal collaborations.
In Michelle's words:
"We have lots of success stories and we hope that by sharing the benefits of sustainability we can demonstrate commercial success throughout New Hampshire and provide our residents an even better place to live."
Since I spend nearly half of my time in the beautiful Granite State, I can attest that New Hampshire is, indeed, a lovely place to reside. Listen in and enjoy.
Podcast edited by George Papoulias.