Bethesda Green

Joining the B Corp movement

Joining the B Corp movement
Are you looking for a community partner to help you start an environmentally sustainable business? Bethesda Green has solutions for you! The Be Impact initiative and workshops are designed to give your business the tools to benchmark, express, and improve your triple bottom line impact – a framework with three parts: people, planet, profit.

At Bethesda Green, we have partnered with B Lab – a nonprofit collaborating with for-profit business leaders to drive the global movement of environmental sustainability. Receiving this certification proves your business is meeting the finest level of verified impact performance. It not only illustrates where your company excels now but also commits your organization to consider long-term impacts and build best practices into your company’s structure.

Business as a force for good

How We Get You There

It all starts with your triple bottom line impact. Using B Lab’s assessments and our workshops, we walk you through benchmarking current impacts, and how to improve and sustain it. The first assessment you will complete is the B Lab Quick Impact Assessment, which directs you through a series of questions that detail what it takes to build a better business for your community, workers, and the environment.

Sample question:“Which is the broadest community with whom your environmental reviews/audits are formally shared?”

Answers: A) Owners, executives, and board B) The broader community outside company C) Employees D) N/A



Then you pick the answer that best corresponds to your business. After completing this assessment, we compare your answers to thousands of other businesses and see how your organization compares against your industry peers. Once we get a clear idea about where your business’ impact compares, we assist in creating a customized improvement plan. By utilizing our best practice guides and interactive workshop series, you will have the tools to implement the practices in your office setting.

Following the completion of a workshop series, you will complete our B Impact Assessment (BIA), which is the final step to becoming B Corp Certified. This evaluation assesses the impact of both your company’s day-to-day operations and your long-term business model. After completing the BIA, your company will undergo a multi-step verification process to determine if it meets the 80-point bar for certification. To finalize certification, a B Corp Declaration of Interdependence will be signed, and your annual certification fees will be collected. (Note: the fee is established based on your company’s annual sales, with a minimum fee of $500).

Graphic of business people connecting

Building Better Businesses

Companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Etsy obtained their B Corp Certification. A participant of 2018 Be Impact Initiative, DGrid Energy – a manufacturing company that generates off-grid solar-powered, expandable walk-in refrigeration systems – felt good about their experience with the B Impact Initiative. CEO Eugene Faison said, “Not until we became part of the Bethesda Green Hub did we really understand how important and strategic B Impact is. We aspire to acquire our certification immediately and become a part of the B ecosystem.” The process of participating in the B impact initiative has been a positive experience for many businesses.

The “B” Stands for Beneficial

Once you pass the BIA, you become B Course Certified, meaning that your business is one of the 2,805 companies & industries in the world to have completed this rigorous and engaging program and now stands out amongst industry peers. Being a certified business not only benefits the environment, but your business too, by standing out against your industry peers. When sustainable practices are carefully integrated into business operations, they will:

  • Help improve brand recognition. The Natural Marketing Institute surveyed more than 53,000 U.S. customers and discovered that 58 percent of customers consider a company’s impact on the environment when vacillating between where to purchase goods and services. This can bring in new business and revenue for you!
  • Reduce costs. While gaining money on a business front, you can also save and reduce costs internally. Most cost reduction comes from energy conservation strategies, such as turning off lights, insulating walls to improve energy efficiency, and installing geothermal heating and cooling systems.
  • Increase business compliance with government regulations. It’s not all about the money. You also get the added benefit of meeting or, possibly exceeding, state and federal government regulations.
  • Attract well-qualified employees. Regarding employment, the younger generations are concerned about environmental protection. They are familiar with concepts of sustainability and conservation, and they will be attracted to companies that set environmental priorities.


Attendees at a B Impact Event

Attendees at a B Impact Event



Ready to get started?

Getting started is the easiest part! Just register online for the upcoming Be Impact initiative winter workshop series at bethesdagreen.org. If you are hoping to get involved in our community sooner, please join us at an upcoming event: Bethesda Green 10th Anniversary Gala – October 18, 2018, from 5:30pm-9: 30 pm. Details and tickets are available online. We hope to see you there!

Written by Lucille Filyaw   References:
  1. Mark Leibowitz, M.L. (2018). “About B Impact”. Accessed September 18, 2018, from bcorporation.net/about-b-la
  2. (2018). The B Impact Assessment, “Measure What Matters Most”. Accessed September 18, 2018, from bimpactassessment.net
  3. (2018). B Impact, August 15, 201. Bethesda Green. Accessed September 18, 2018, from bethesdagreen.org
  4. (2018). DTS, Administrator. “Sixteenth Annual U.S. Report”. New state of sustainability in America. Accessed September 18, 2018, from www.nmisoultions.com
  5.  Eugene Faison, E.F. (2018). About Us. Our mission at DGrid Energy. Accessed September 18, 2018, from dgridenergy.com

Come to a Screening of Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste

Come to a Screening of Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste
You’re invited to a screening of the documentary Wasted!: The Story of Food Waste at the Bethesda Landmark Theaters. The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q & A with local food waste experts. This screening is brought to you by Montgomery County, Bethesda Green and the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

 

The Details:



  Share the event flyer. 

Featured Speakers:

After the screening, we are pleased to welcome these amazing speakers to talk about what individuals, businesses and the Montgomery County community can do about food waste.

Maryanne Culpepper is the Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and an award-winning writer/filmmaker with extensive experience in developing, writing and producing high-profile documentaries and nonfiction series.  She is the former President of National Geographic Studios, where she oversaw development and production of 100+ hours of factual programming annually. She recently coproduced Vamizi: Cradle of Coral, a film on the coral reefs of Mozambique, now in international distribution, as well as video and editorial content for a traveling exhibition for science museums. She is an Adjunct Professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and serves on the Advisory Council for the Cuba Environmental Film Festival and for Women in Film and Video. She is a member of the Producers Guild of America (PGA) and an Affiliate of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Cheryl Kollin is the Program Director of Community Food Rescue, a program of Manna Food Center in Montgomery County, Maryland. Community Food Rescue, takes a systems approach to reducing wasted food and increasing good food to people experiencing hunger. Cheryl is a business consultant in local sustainable food systems. She earned her MBA in sustainable business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She’s a founding member of the Montgomery County Food Council.

Dan Keiper, currently the Sodexo Dining Services Operations Manager atAsbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, MD., has been involved in senior dining since his entry into the work force in 1978.  Prior to his coming AMV, Daniel, who is a graduate of George Mason University, has been in management roles in senior communities around the D,.C. area such as Manor Care Arlington, Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads, the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, Knollwood, and the Jefferson by Sunrise.

Tanya Spandhla was born and raised in Zimbabwe. Growing up, her parents instilled in her the importance of growing your own produce. It is from this upbringing that inspired her to develop a passion for farming. After exploring numerous opportunities on how she could continue gardening in the US she became a member and active participant of the Montgomery Community Gardening in Germantown, MD since 2010. In 2015, she became part of the New Farmer Pilot Project program initiated by the Montgomery County Dept. of Agriculture in conjunction with the Montgomery Countryside Alliance through the Land Link program. She is in her third year of growing a wide range of vegetables & grains catering to the ever-changing diversity and appetite of Montgomery County and beyond. She has a 3-acre leased farm, which is meaningfully & fittingly named “Passion to Seed Gardening.” Besides farming, Tanya works for an IT company in Rockville.

Janet Ranganathan is the Vice President for Science and Research at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an action-oriented global research organization that works in more than 50 countries. She ensures WRI’s research is robust and its strategies evidence-based. She is a co-author of the World Resources Report, Creating a Sustainable Food Future which defines a menu of scalable solutions for how the world can adequately feed more than 9 billion people by 2050 while advancing economic development and reducing pressure on the environment.

 

Brought to You By: New Bethesda Green Logo Logo of the Environmental Film Festival            

New Managing Director at Bethesda Green’s Incubator brings investor lens

New Managing Director at Bethesda Green’s Incubator brings investor lens
On November 7th, Bethesda Green announced Tina Arreaza as Managing Director for the Be Green Hub.

The Be Green Hub is Bethesda Green’s sustainability-focused incubator program. Bethesda Green’s mission is to accelerate the sustainable economy locally with a focus on innovation, impact and community.

 

Meet Tina

Tina Arreaza is an expert in impact investing, or investments that intend to generate social and/or environmental impact alongside a financial return. Most recently Tina was on the investment team at Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment fund founded by Pam and Pierre Omidyar of eBay.

 
“Coming from the investment side, I understand what investors are looking for when they make investment decisions,” she says. “This investor lens will be helpful when working with incubator companies to raise capital.” – Tina


  In 2012, Arreaza reached out to Bethesda Green to volunteer as a mentor. She later joined the Bethesda Green Board of Directors. Now she takes on a new role as Managing Director of the Be Green Hub incubator.

“Tina brings the depth of knowledge and experience we felt we need to launch our freshly redesigned cohort-based program in 2018. I have confidence that with Tina on our team, we can lead entrepreneurs of green and social impact start-ups to viability and success”, said Veronique Marier, Executive Director of Bethesda Green.


Arreaza succeeds Bob Snyder, who is well known in the region for his commitment and contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Snyder will continue on as a Senior Advisor to Be Green Hub.

 
Incubator company at event

Neighborhood Sun is a current incubator company.



The Future of the Be Green Hub

Arreaza’s first task is to recruit the 2018 cohort of new companies to join the incubator. The cohort will include up to 10 companies across two verticals: environment and food. The ideal participant is a start-up with high growth projections, past the ideation stage.

Be Green Hub uniquely combines the experience of both an accelerator and incubator.

Similar programs provide either an accelerator experience (a short-term boost) or an incubator experience (long-term support). The Be Green Hub offers both, with the initial 6-month accelerator experience serving as an opportunity to propel a business to viability. The incubator then continues to work closely with each start-up to nurture the business as it grows.

The 2018 cohort will experience a new and improved curriculum that leverages Bethesda Green’s Be Impact initiative to develop, measure and express impact to various stakeholders. In addition to the curriculum, Arreaza will build on the mentorship and partnership opportunities for the cohort participants. She will also help advise cohort participants on how to raise funds from investors.

“The intellectual capital in this community is outstanding,” she says. “There are many excellent mentors on our Board and in our network. We have a targeted mentorship program of both generalists and specialists so we can meet the specific needs of our cohort participants.” – Tina


Applications to join the 2018 cohort are now live, with a rolling review through December 1st. To apply online, visit bethesdagreen.net/be-green-hub or contact Tina Arreaza: tina@bethesdagreen.org.

  New Bethesda Green Logo


About Bethesda Green

Bethesda Green is an Incubator, a Connector, and a Community Partner, acting in synergy, with Impact. The organization was co-founded in 2008 by Seth Goldman, co-founder and CEO-Emeritus of Honest Tea, and George Leventhal, councilmember of Montgomery County.

Bethesda Green’s incubator program started in 2009 as the first sustainability-focused incubator in the Washington, DC region. The Be Green Hub nurtures green and social impact start- ups to accelerate their success as companies with purpose. To date, the incubator has worked with over 40 companies, of which 80% remain in business.

For more information about Bethesda Green, visit bethesdagreen.org.

Be Green Hub incubator program accepting applications

Be Green Hub incubator program accepting applications
Are you or do you know an entrepreneur with a startup in the environment or food sectors? Help jumpstart your or their business by encouraging them to apply to Be Green Hub’s incubator today!
Be Green Hub, Bethesda Green‘s incubator program, grows green and social impact startups into successful companies with purpose. Be Green Hub is recruiting a select cohort of up to 10 scaleable, triple bottom line ventures for a six-month accelerator program beginning in January 2018.
New Bethesda Green Logo
Applications for the 2018 cohort are now live–don’t wait on applying.

Why Apply?

Since its inception in 2009, Be Green Hub has incubated over 40 companies working in environment and food, of which 80% remain in business. Members of Be Green Hub have access to the following perks and resources:
  • Progressive and flexible six-month curriculum
  • Partnerships with angel investor groups
  • Relevant test beds for pilots
  • Targeted mentorship from former entrepreneurs 
  • Monthly office hours with energy entrepreneur Jigar Shah
  • Professional services and software systems
  • Opportunities to apply for financial awards
  • Access to affordable office space in downtown Bethesda

Key Dates

Rolling review.  Application closes December 1st, 11PM EST Intensive accelerator program runs from January-June 2018, with opportunity to extend membership.
Questions? Email tina@bethesdagreen.org to connect with Tina Arreaza, Managing Director of Be Green Hub, BethesdaGreen

Nominate to the Bethesda Magazine Green Awards!

Nominate to the Bethesda Magazine Green Awards!
Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 Bethesda Magazine Green Awards, held in partnership with Bethesda Green. The Green Awards recognize businesses, non-profits, communities, schools and individuals that are leading the fight to protect the environment. The deadline for nominations is Friday, June 30 at 5 p.m. Winners will be profiled in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine and recognized at the Bethesda Green Gala! Winners will be notified in July. The Bethesda Green Gala is on October 12 at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club. Nominations are being accepted in three categories: 1. Innovation Award A business whose primary focus is developing green products and/or services that is having, or is poised to have, a significant and measurable impact on sustainability either locally or on a broader scale. 2. Leading by Example Award A business, non-profit, faith-based organization or school that is having a significant and measurable impact on sustainability through its own green practices. 3. Individual Leadership Award An individual who is having a significant and measurable impact on sustainability through his/her professional leadership and/or personal behavior.

Eligibility

To be considered, businesses, non-profit organizations, community groups and schools must be based in Montgomery County, Maryland or Upper Northwest Washington, D.C. (ZIP Codes 20015 and 20016). Individuals must have their primary residence in the above areas.   Nominate someone today: www.bethesdamagazine.com/2017-Bethesda-Magazine-Green-Awards/   DEADLINE: Friday, June 30 at 5 p.m.

Local Grants: Engaging volunteers, beautifying a community and solving problems

Local Grants: Engaging volunteers, beautifying a community and solving problems
In 2015, Bethesda Green received a $32,000 grant to help Glen Waye Garden Condominiums address some stormwater runoff concerns.  During this year long project, community volunteers planted 200 trees and 160 native plants and they collected more than 1,500 gallons of water through cisterns.
The project was paid for through Montgomery County Water Quality Protection funds The video above shows how these groups brought the community together to not only beautify their condominium but also solve stormwater runoff problems that were occurring on the property.

2012 Green Champions – Audubon’s GreenKids Program

2012 Green Champions – Audubon’s GreenKids Program
Have you seen kids excited for a salad party? Kids who participated in GreenKids’ Salad Science program are. Salad Science is just one of the fun programs offered by GreenKids program at Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS). Students grow their own salad greens and learn about plant parts and nutrition over a six-week period. At the end of the program, students partake in a salad party—with toppings provided by Whole Foods Market—to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Such programming enables GreenKids to leave its mark on students and is a big reason the program received a 2012 Bethesda Magazine Green award. Continue reading →