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As ASBN works to create a just and inclusive economy, we’re excited to announce that we’ve been awarded $216,000 from the Kauffman Foundation through their Knowledge Challenge program. The multi-year grant will advance key research to identify opportunities, resources, and support for underserved communities. Read our announcement that highlights the important work that we will be focusing on and what we aim to achieve with this grant.
 

ASBN and BCCA hosted "A Dialogue on the Opportunity to Advance Land & Ocean Conservation & a Sustainable Economy." With opening remarks from Secretary Haaland, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, this dialogue included the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Wizipan Garriott, other administration leadership, and Indigenous business leaders on the opportunity to advance land and ocean conservation and a sustainable economy. For your viewing pleasure we have the full video here, a thirty-minute version here, and a fifteen-minute version here.

ASBN and over 200 businesses and organizations sent a letter to Congress urging them to pursue priorities for the 2023 Farm Bill that incentivize, support, and invest in regenerative and just agriculture. Read the full list of priorities ASBN and the Regenerative Agriculture and Justice Working Group put together here.

Derek Peebles, ASBN's director of policy and advocacy for inclusive economy, had the opportunity to speak at a TEDx event at the University of Mississippi for their Mississippi Resilient Economies Gathering. This event allowed us and many others to build relationships, share ideas, identify solutions, and map a path toward more resilient and inclusive economies. 


MEMBER INTERVIEW
Read ASBN's featured interview this month with Mari McClure, President and CEO, Green Mountain Power.

PODCAST
Catch up on ASBN's latest Just & Sustainable Economy podcast episodes.

ASBN IN THE NEWS
On September 7, Brightly interviewed Jeffrey Hollender about greenwashing and the need for corporate transparency. 

On September 12, New Hope Network quoted David Levine and MaryAnne Howland, ASBN board member, on their article about natural products. 

On September 13, WIS Politics mentions Frank Knapp Jr. and ASBN for our work with Business for Democracy.

On September 14, New Hope Network quotes David Levine about the conduct policy for Expo East.

On September 20, Businesses for Bristol Bay released a joint press release for our work for the Clean Water Act to protect the wild salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. Also, Alaska Sporting Journal redistributed the press release.

On September 20, Institutional Investor mentioned ASBN about transparency into private equity holdings.

On September 20, WIS Politics mentions ASBN and Frank Knapp Jr. for our work with Business for Democracy. 

On September 30, Future of Business and Tech held a Q&A with Jeffrey Hollender about ASBN.
 
Working Groups
Regenerative Agriculture and Justice: 
The Regenerative Agriculture and Justice Working Group continued to develop its platform for the 2023 Farm Bill. The group has begun sharing its priorities with Congress and is working to establish a handful of targeted policy and program asks that will help advance its priorities in the next farm bill. If you have not signed onto the Regenerative Agriculture and Justice 2023 Farm Bill Priorities letter, you can do so here and add your business or organization to the over 200 that have already done so! Please also help share out the letter with this social media toolkit. The release was later featured in Politico’s Monday Weekly Agriculture newsletter.


Climate and Energy:
More news out of Congress this week as the Permitting Reform Bill once tied to the Inflation Reduction Act was withdrawn by its sponsors. This is welcomed news across our community and membership as the bill would have created shortcuts in our National Environmental Policy Act and weakened the ability to take full consideration into our energy planning.

Over the coming month, we are going to bring congressional leadership together with our member businesses to thank them for the recent wins and discuss priorities for how the Inflation Reduction Act can fuel equitable, regenerative, and just investments in their district. We will also be sharing with them our upcoming priorities for the coming year. 

To have a meeting set up with your congressional leader, please sign up here.

Corporate Transparency and ESG Disclosure:
The group had a productive meeting in September with Corey Klemmer, Policy Counsel for Division of Corporation Finance at the Office of the Chair of US Securities and Exchange Commission. The next meeting is on October 12th at 3PM ET. If you'd like to learn more about this working group, please reach out to Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh (arv@asbnetwork.org).

Circular Economy:
The Circular Economy Working Group met this month to discuss the RFP published by the General Services Administration (GSA) on single-use plastic that was extended from 9/6 to 9/27 and new legislation in environmental justice and reuse in the plastic value chain.


Businesses for Conservation and Climate Action (BCCA):
BCCA welcomes Terrius Harris as Indigenous Business Outreach Coordinator this month.                                    
Learn more about BCCA here.



Business for Democracy:
Business for Democracy held a meeting on the topic "Why Your Business Needs a Stable Democracy, Autocracy's Threat to Entrepreneurship," with special guests Mairin Macaluso and Hanna Koizumi from the Leadership Now Project. 


Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative:
September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and CCPI collected videos and shared them on social media on the links between toxic chemicals and environmental causes to childhood cancer. To spread the word use the hashtag #preventchildhoodcancer.  

ASBN CEO and Co-Founder, Jeffrey Hollender, participated in Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by sharing this video, discussing the business perspective for supporting Childhood Cancer Prevention. 

CCPI continues advocating for Protect America's Children for Toxic Pesticides Act (S.3283, PACTPA). If you would like to tell your representatives to support PACTPA, sign ASBN's letter here

Investors please add your voice here.

Livable Planet: 
The Livable Planet Working Group, a supportive community dedicated to identifying systems and solutions that enable all life to thrive, meets on Thursday, October 20th at 1PM ET. The focus will be the upcoming ASBN conference.

To join, register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdeqoqzsuEtNC6v-PZK8Y7VD9RKoJIVxw


Investors Circle: Inviting all accredited investors! October 20th-12:00-2:00PM ET Registration Link 

Join us as we review two presentations from innovative and impactful entrepreneurs. We will announce the companies to pitch a week prior to the meeting, with GUST links to review. If you have an investment opportunity that you would like considered for the meeting, please have the entrepreneur submit an application

Invest for Better
Invest for Better Activation Series Webinar
Date: September 29th at 10:00AM–11:30AM PT / 1:00PM–2:30PM ET 
Title: How to Educate Your Kids About Money 
Covie Edwards-Pitt CFA®, CFP® &, Akeiva Ellis MSFP, CFP®, CPA®, ChSNC®,
Ballentine Partners

This 90-minute webinar features two distinguished women from Ballentine Partners, a financial advisory firm. Akevia is a Financial Education Specialist who creates financial literacy programming for the next generation and helps young people step into their financial power. Covie is both a Partner & Chief Creative Officer at Ballentine and an author of two books that are designed to help readers build strong financial foundations. Her first book, Raised Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, will be referenced in this session. Together, Covie and Akeiva will teach participants approaches they can use to help their children be smart and successful when it comes to money. This event is free. Invest for Better members can register through Mighty Networks, and non-members can register via EventBrite.

November 10th | In Partnership with FOOD FUNDED
Investors Circle is pleased to announce that we will be co-hosting the upcoming FOOD FUNDED event.

At this virtual gathering, food entrepreneurs and investors will convene for educational sessions and live investor presentations to catalyze investments in our food & ag system.This exciting partnership with FOOD FUNDED leverages our combined interests in JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) the food, ag, and impact investing space. Stay tuned for additional details and discounted tickets.
 

Dismantling Racism & Inequality Faith-Based Community Investing:

To raise awareness and drive value-aligned investment opportunities, we will host a series of conversations to allow investors to learn about the possibilities of faith-based investing and how to use these investments as a tool to dismantle racism and oppression.

Under the theme of Beloved Community, the “Introduction to Faith-Based Community Investing”  series will feature dynamic speakers, clergy, and congregations who will give insight into  the faith-based community investing movement, along with case studies from different faith communities. In addition, we will provide an overview of existing opportunities and how to take advantage of them based on the unique perspectives and values of the attendees.
 

Upcoming Events

Dismantling Racism & Inequality | Faith-Based Community Investing an Interfaith Virtual Convening Series.
October 6, 2022 | 7:30–9:00PM ET | Dismantling Racism & Inequality | Faith Based Community Investing – Part I 
Registration Link

October 14 | 1:00–2:00PM ET Dismantling Racism & Inequality | Community Investing for Institutions and Individuals (stories of individuals who have invested in CDFIs) 
Registration Link 
November 10  | 7:30–9:00PM ET - 
Dismantling Racism & Inequality | Faith Based Community Investing – Part II
Registration Link 
November 14 |  1:00–2:00PM ET | Informal Follow On Conversation with Faith-Based Institutions
Registration Link 

For more information on upcoming convenings or to join us in shaping future Dismantling Racism & Inequality community and faith-based investing conversations,  please contact Pam Porter, Tom Abood, Babbie Jacobs, or Derek Peebles.
 

Restorative Investing Task Force 
Beyond Impact Investing and ESG | October 7 | 1:00-2:00PM ET | Registration Link 
Moderator: Laina Greene | Angels of Impact
In conversation with Lynne Hoey | Kataly Foundation 

The truth is the financial system and institutions are not broken, they are designed to oppress and create inequity. The Restorative Economies Fund at the Kataly Foundation is based on its CEO, Nwamaka Agbo’s restorative economics framework and focuses on systems change for the prosperity of all. In this session, we will learn more about what intentional finance for systems change based on restorative economics look like, examine some examples of restorative investing, and also discuss the policy changes needed to make this approach successful.


Transforming Business Ownership Project (Please visit our Webpage for Policy Updates)
Upcoming Events: 

Exploring Employee Ownership: Why Business Owners Choose it and what it Could Offer Your Company | Friday, October 21st | 1:00-2:15PM ET | Registration Link 

Whether you want to stay or go, employee ownership could strengthen your business and help preserve your legacy.

In honor of Employee Ownership Month, the ASBN “Transforming Business Ownership” working group is pleased to present this special panel.

Speakers will include leaders of employee-owned businesses who can share different perspectives on the value of employee ownership and how it contributes to their company’s success, whether through employee engagement and retention, succession planning and ownership transitions, or just another way to express the company’s commitment to sustainability. Panelists will address different scenarios through which businesses can transition to employee ownership.

The original owner retires and wants to ensure business continuity and success into the future.
The original owner wants to sell the business but continue on in a leadership role.
Moderator: Derek Peebles | ASBN Director of Inclusive Economy

Panelists:

Tommy Smith of Kaiser Permanente (KP), will discuss KP's employee ownership program and its partnership with Project Equity and Obran Cooperative.

Additional panelists to be announced soon.


In Depth Conversations with Employee Ownership Experts
October 28th - 1:00-2:00pm ET - Registration Link 
Corey Rosen | NCEO
Hilary Abell | Project Equity
Jack Moriarity | Ownership America
Karen Kahn | The Democracy Collaborative
Kristen Barker | Co-op Cincy
Matt Kruetz | Firebrand Artisan Breads


Employee Ownership Policy:

The California Employee Ownership Act (Senate Bill 1407, Becker) was approved by California’s Senate in May and by the Assembly committee in August - unanimously in both houses! Governor Newsom now has until September 30th to sign the bill. The bill’s sponsors, , Project Equity, and Ownership America, are optimistic that the Governor will sign the bill and are already making plans to advocate for a significant budget allocation next year to support its implementation. ASBN and our Transforming Ownership working group helped advocate for funding this year by co-sponsoring a joint sign-on letter with more than 150 organizations and hundreds of individuals signing on led by the work of Worker-Owned Recovery California. Check out this Op-Ed by Senator Becker, who introduced SB 1408l. 

 

The success of SB1407 is one example of growing momentum toward employee ownership in public policy. Another example, at the federal level, is the inclusion of employee ownership in the CHIPS and Science Act that President Biden signed into law in August. As the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives explains in their summary, several provisions of this new law help tech and manufacturing businesses to learn about and pursue employee ownership models such as worker cooperatives and ESOPs.

 

To learn more about ASBN’s worker ownership efforts contact Derek Peebles, derek@asbnetwork.org.

 

Employee Ownership News:

Contact Babbie Jacobs or Eric Leenson with any questions or suggestions you may have. This work is a community effort.

 

Alternative Impact Investment Structures: 
There is a growing need for the impact investor and entrepreneurs to rethink how investments are made. How can impact investors and social entrepreneurs use investment structures to be more mission-aligned rather than push for a quick exit?

Tools of the venture capital trade are becoming increasingly popular, both among entrepreneurs and angel investors; but are SAFES and priced equity rounds the best options for impact investors and social enterprises? This working group explores alternatives to the VC toolkit; from revenue notes; to crowdfunding campaigns; to alternative corporate structures. We will develop case studies and best practices with a view toward educating the impact community and encouraging the broader use of alternative investment structures. 

For more information, contact ASBN members: Claude Arpels or Babbie Jacobs.

Mike Green, ASBN's director of climate and energy policy, has been at the forefront of the fight for the Inflation Reduction Act. Mike was invited to go to DC to celebrate its passing along with other business leaders and stand once more for the IRA. We published a release highlighting the celebration at the White House and the key hand ASBN held in the passing of this Act.

ASBN Policy Associate, Abby Maxwell, was thrilled to attend an event in the rose garden of the White House on Tuesday, September 27 where President Biden spoke about how the Inflation Reduction Act will lower healthcare costs for Americans and strengthen Medicare. ASBN's work on getting the IRA passed has been a privilege to work on within our community, and was also joined by several of our members in person to celebrate this policy win and hear the President's remarks. The transcript of the President's speech can be found here



ASBN partnered with Businesses for Bristol Bay and Conservation Alliance to collect signatures to send to the EPA to push them to finalize the Clean Water Act protections for Bristol Bay. Through our joint efforts we collected over 450 signatures from businesses in the fishing, creation, tourism, and food service industries. 
Member News

State and Association Member Updates

The New York Sustainable Business Council (NYSBC) has hired a Communications Coordinator and also recruited a new intern to support infrastructure development in preparation for a new base-building initiative. NYSBC also celebrated 5 legislative victories this year and helped advance a variety of other measures essential to building a just and sustainable economy. To learn more, join NYSBC’s newsletter or contact Bob Rossi at bob@ny-sbc.org.
 

The Farmworker Association of Florida (FWAF) joined 80+ organizations to send a letter to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, opposing legislation that would permanently exempt factory farms from key parts of the Clean Air Act.  

Aequor presented a talk on green chemistry at the American Chemical Society and put together the first all-woman panel to speak at the Algae Biomass Summit in November. NASA is scheduling Aequor's experiment to fly to the International Space Station this Fall.

Solar Landscape, New Jersey’s largest community solar owner and operator, announced that it has completed construction on the first of 46 community solar projects approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) in Year 2 of the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program.


Member Accomplishments
Patagonia
Earth is now our only shareholder

Seventh Generation
Seventh Generation Launches Climate Fingerprint Report & Framework
Why business leaders should take an active role in preserving democracy

RSF Social Finance
Everyone talks about the E and the S, but we need to talk more about the G
 

EarthKind
EarthKind® Launches Their Official Anthem During Labor Day

Climatetrade
Free White Paper: A Comprehensive Guide to Designing Efficient Net Zero Strategies

Mebl Transforming Furniture
Circular Design Glossary: Furniture and Furnishings

King Arthur Baking Company
King Arthur Baking Co. climate check-in: trekking towards 100% regeneratively grown wheat by 2030

Fluxus
Fluxus contributed to the World Economic Forum’s new insight report “ESG Pulse Check: Getting the Basics Right for Start-ups and Venture Capital Firms.” Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) is a holistic financing that leads the natural evolution of how companies are valued, with the transition from balance sheet to value sheet.

National Stewardship Action Council
California is leading the way and taking steps to save energy and protect its grid from rolling blackouts with the passage of NSAC-Sponsored AB 2208 by Assemblymember Kalra and Senator Becker, which will phase out the sale of mercury-containing and energy inefficient fluorescent lamps by 2025.  The most comprehensive bill of its kind in the U.S., AB 2208 is a climate protection measure that will transition California residences and businesses to more energy efficient and less toxic Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), and was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 18, 2022. To learn more, get involved, pass a similar law in your state, or support our work, email jordan@nsaction.us.

On September 28, members and friends from ASBN and BCCA had the opportunity to speak at the Sackett v. EPA press call that was moderated by Sara Chieffo, League of Conservation Voters' Vice President for Government Affairs. Sackett v. EPA is a Supreme Court case that has the potential to destroy the Clean Water Act. ASBN has been very outspoken about the need for the Clean Water Act and event published a release to increase the demand to the Supreme Court.  
New Members

Sweet Farm Foundation
Sweet Farm's impact programs focus on a top down and bottom up approach to blend grassroots efforts at the local level and technological and policy efforts at the top level. The local engagements include creating well paying jobs with benefits, education programs, and adding diverse and accessible programs to the area that benefit the local economy through meaningful partnerships. The technology programs support climate/environment centric companies early in their growth, and helping them overcome early barriers of entry so they may accelerate their path to market.

Join over 700+ businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers working to build a more just and sustainable economy for all. As a multi-issue, membership organization advocating on behalf of every business sector, size, and geography, ASBN and its association members collectively represent over 250,000 businesses across our networks. Learn more about ASBN membership and join here.

Staff News

We have both bittersweet and exciting news to share with you. In December after the conference, Isaac Graves will be moving on to an exciting new opportunity with a sister organization, Threshold Foundation, founded by Josh Mailman who co-founded Social Venture Network with Wayne Silby. Isaac has served our community for nearly nine years with distinction and dedication. In preparing for his transition, Isaac, alongside our leadership team, will oversee a thorough and thoughtful transition. We will celebrate his service and extend our gratitude in person at the conference this December and invite you to join us. 


In Isaac’s own words:

It has been the absolute privilege of my career being entrusted to support and guide SVN, SVC, and now ASBN over the past eight and a half years. There are too many members and board members that have provided invaluable counsel and partnership over the years to name, but your support of this community and organization is why we find ourselves in 2022 still growing and stronger than ever. I did not make the decision lightly to step away from this incredible organization that I love, but it was made that much easier knowing it’s in a healthy position and most importantly has an incredibly strong and effective staff and board of directors to go along with our inspiring membership. I must specifically name and thank those that formally guided and mentored me in my roles at ASBN starting with Deb Nelson, Donna Daniels, Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, Seungah Jeong, and now David Levine and Jeffrey Hollender. I will get to spend one last incredible conference with all of you in San Diego this December as a staff member, and please do stay in touch on LinkedIn and at isaacgraves@gmail.com (after December 9).

 

In exciting news, two members of our leadership team that have helped expand ASBN’s impact and financial capacity over the last two years, Carolyn Pincus and Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh, will be stepping up with expanded roles and responsibilities to ensure the continuity of the member experience, support, and service our community needs. In the coming months we will share even more about how these changes will enable us to further our public policy, peer community, working groups, b2b opportunity, and capital deployment efforts. We invite you to get to know Carolyn and Ali-Reza more below:
David Levine & Jeffrey Hollender
Co-Founders, ASBN
 

Carolyn Pincus, Chief Impact & Finance Officer

Carolyn Pincus is the Chief of Impact and Finance at American Sustainable Business Network, working across the organization to ensure ASBN’s positive impact alongside the business and investor community. Carolyn is passionate about taking holistic, ground-up and systems level approaches to strategy, and prioritizes inclusivity and a solutions-oriented perspective throughout her responsibilities. In addition, Carolyn leads the fiscal and budgetary processes for the network, as well as the management of Investors Circle. 

Previously, Carolyn was a small business owner and operator, with twelve years of experience in business management, growth strategy and brand development. She holds an MBA in Sustainability, specializing in Circular Supply Chain and Sustainable Finance, and is formally trained in several methodologies of impact and ESG reporting frameworks.

Carolyn works in service of the incredible leaders in ASBN’s network, from business founders to grassroots organizers and is energized by the opportunity to support ASBN and the larger sustainability movement however possible.  
 

Ali-Reza Vahabzadeh, Executive Vice President

Ali-Reza “A.R.” Vahabzadeh is Executive Vice President at the American Sustainable Business Network where he leads the membership team. A.R. is a solutions-oriented and organizational development professional with a strong track-record in relationship management and marketing. He has worked in business development and investor relations roles for a wide range of companies in the U.S., Europe and Middle East. A.R. has served as a senior advisor to many corporate leaders and enjoys cross-industry collaboration on creating sustainable business solutions to preserve the planet for generations to come. He speaks English, French and Farsi and is a graduate of The Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In 2020, A.R. returned to Washington, DC, where he currently lives with his wife and daughter.

Upcoming Events
ASBN Events Member & Partner Events
  • October 2-7: ASBN Event: Alaska native Economic Wellbeing Journey
  • October 6: Member Event: Dismantling Racism & Inequality. Faith Based Community Series Part 1 7:30-9:00PM.
  • October 7: ASBN Live: Beyond Impact Investing and ESG 1:00PM.
  • October 12: Partner Event: Operationalizing Workplace Equity: Strategies for an Inclusive Workforce 12:00PM.
  • October 14: ASBN Live: Dismantling Racism & Inequality: Community Investing for Institutions and Individuals. 1:00PM.
  • October 18: Partner Event: Advocate Where You Are: Local Policy Training for Sustainable Businesses. 12:00PM.
  • October 19: ASBN Live: Expediting Inclusive Resilience and Positive Impact Through Climate-Friendly, Community-Centric Adaptive Redevelopment. 1:00PM.
  • October 19: ASBN Live: How to Establish a Credible Giving Program. 1:00PM.
  • October 21: Exploring Employee Ownership: Why Business Owners Choose it and What it Could Offer Your Company. 1:00PM.
  • October 26: Partner Event: Healthcare on any budget. 12:00PM.
  • October 27: ASBN Live: Purpose and Profit: George Serafeim with Jeffery Hollender. 1:00PM.
  • October 28: In Depth Conversations with Employee Ownership Experts. 1:00PM. 
     
Events Held By Members
Join us at the AACSB Societal Impact Conference on October 24-25 at the Times Center in New York City.

This new event is focused on the systemic changes needed across the organizations' value chains to develop leaders with societal impact mindset and skills, and partner across sectors to address burning global challenges. Your participation will have an impact on how we transform our organizations to better create societal impact leaders.  Conference attendees will represent business, not-for profits, NGOs, and business schools (including some students).

Jeffrey Hollender is going to speak in the opening keynote, and some of the other participating organizations include: the Aspen Institute, Virgin Unite, NASDAQ, Hoffman Global Institute for Business and Society at INSEAD, Economics of Mutuality, Just Capital, Doughnut Eileen Fisher, Forum for the Future, and more. For details and to register visit:https://www.aacsb.edu/societal-impact-conference
For questions or assistance with registration, please contact registration@aacsb.edu

Ethics MVP and COR Methodology:
Scale with Purpose
Master Class: October 27-November 10
Intentionally defining culture is essential for growing your company to thrive over a long time.

Too often, toxic cultures and ethical lapses destroy otherwise promising companies.
This master class will walk you through a practical, repeatable process for building and supporting a resilient culture in your organization.

During three group workshops plus one individual coaching session, you will:
  • Uncover specific values that drive you and your team
  • Begin weaving values into your company’s culture and operations​
Senior leadership in companies facing significant growth will produce:
  • A working list of values
  • A model for embedding (at least) one of these values across company operations
 People leading startup accelerators can also benefit by:
  • Becoming familiar with this process through participating in it
  • Outlining ways to model purpose-driven culture throughout their program and operations 
  • All time Eastern. Submit member/partner events for consideration here.
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