B Corporations: It's Not Just About Profit

Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:25

By Samatha Abrams, 

Co-Founder, Emmy's Organics

samantha-abramsWhen you're shopping in GreenStar, there is a lot to look at. The aisles are filled with products and brands that you know and many that you don't. What are the things that you check for? Do you look at the branding of a package and think, "This is for me!" Or do you look at the ingredients of the product? Or do you shop by certifications, such as "Organic" or "Non--GMO"?

Do you ever wonder what else is behind a product and the company that makes it? There's so much behind the business of packaging and branding that is meant to confuse shoppers. A package that looks natural, healthy, or consciously made may quite possibly be the opposite. This issue is exactly what the non-profit B Lab was created to tackle. In their words, it's "a way for consumers to differentiate between a 'Good Company' and just 'Good Marketing.'"

B Lab, the non-profit behind B Corps, was founded in 2006. Their main mission? To serve a movement of entrepreneurs who are "redefining success in business." To do this, B Lab certifies companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The certification is based on the "B Impact Assessment," which helps companies measure their impact on workers, the community, and the environment.

Beyond having created a tool to help companies measure impact, B Lab supports entrepreneurs who use business as a force for good by passing legislation for a new corporate form all around the country. This new corporate form, the Benefit Corporation, allows companies to bake their social and environmental missions into the DNA of their companies. B Corps around the world have been shown to create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in their communities for current and future generations.

Read more: B Corporations: It's Not Just About Profit

 

GreenStar Partners with Ithaca Children’s Garden

Friday, 28 February 2014 16:07

By Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

childrensgardenHow do Ithacans grow smart, strong, and healthy kids? With the Ithaca Children's Garden, of course! That is why GreenStar has partnered with ICG in a wide assortment of ongoing initiatives over the next four years. We have chosen ICG as a partner because of their history of teaching kids about the environment and their ongoing commitment to teaching kids about growing and eating healthy, sustainable food. "Everything we do at the Ithaca Children's Garden is done with one goal in mind: To inspire the next generation of environmental stewards," they say on their website. "We know the best way to do that is to get more children outside, with hands-on experiences, having fun in the natural world."

This is clearly aligned with GreenStar's Vision Statement in which "We envision a world that reveres the earth and the web of life it supports, where our choices are guided by stewardship, sustainability, and social justice."

This alignment was already enough of a reason to work with ICG, but when they decided to further their commitment to teaching kids how to grow and eat healthy food by building an outdoor kitchen we decided it was time to join forces as the ICG/GreenStar Partnership for Healthy Kids.

The partnership will allow the Ithaca Children's Garden to provision the new outdoor kitchen with pots, pans, and cooking supplies, plant the 50'x120' edible teaching and learning gardens, supply ICG's Organic Salad Farmers program with organic seed and growing medium, and stock the "pantry" for their garden chefs programs and camps with locally grown, high quality, GreenStar-purchased foodstuffs. The partnership will also make five need-based camp scholarships available.

Read more: GreenStar Partners with Ithaca Children’s Garden

Olympism and Cooperation

Sunday, 02 February 2014 16:04

By Joe Romano, 

Marketing Manager

The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that's wholesome and healthy, an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us.

— John Williams

Over twenty-seven centuries ago, in the year 776 BC on the high plains of Olympia in Peloponnesos, Greece, a naked cook streaked for a distance just short of two hundred meters to outrun the other naked Greek men running behind him. No, he had not just prepared a bad meal at a nudist colony. His name was Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, and he was the first Olympic champion. Moments later, he would be awarded a sacred olive-leaf laurel in a ceremony not unlike those of Olympiads we see today, a judge would place a palm branch in his hands, the spectators would cheer and throw flowers to him, and red ribbons would be tied on his head and hands as a mark of victory.

This month, the world will be watching the twenty-second modern Olympic Winter Games. They will be held in Sochi, Russia, amid concerns both political and social, as is common these days. As we go to press, seven more people suspected as terrorist threats were killed by Russian officials in a "pre-Olympic militant sweep." Concerns about Russia's intolerant laws and policies regarding homosexuality are casting a chill over participants and those traveling to watch the games. China aroused similar concerns in 2008 over their civil-rights policies, their treatment of Tibet, and their involvement in other nations' conflicts. Even in 2012 at the London games, there were controversies ranging from the large number of prominent junk-food sponsors to the wearing of the hijab by female Muslim participants, to the ongoing Falkland Island disputes.

Read more: Olympism and Cooperation

 

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    If you attended the Annual Spring Member Meeting in April this year, you had the opportunity to watch the trailer for a powerful new documentary, Food for Change: The Story of Cooperation in America. This feature-length film shows how food co-ops are a force for dynamic...

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