Submitted by: CSRwire
Posted: May 16, 2011 – 03:37 PM EST
BURLINGTON, Vt., May 16 /CSRwire/ - Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) held its 21st Annual Spring Conference, Thursday, May 12, accentuating Gov. Peter Shumlin's call to corporate social responsibility (CSR). The theme for the event was "Building on Our Strengths: What makes a great place to do business?"
VBSR's annual conference provides an opportunity for the organization's 1,200 Vermont-based members to come together and share best practices on how to continue building the state's economy.
And it appears Vermont has created an apt "place" for business with an unemployment rate of approximately 5.5%, significantly below the national average of 9%. The governor credited the business community's focus on CSR as a spur toward the dollars-and-cents success the state is experiencing.
Opening the day-long statewide business conference was keynote speaker Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRwire and Meadowbrook Lane Capital and co-author of Street Smart Sustainability: The Entrepreneur's Guide to Profitably Greening Your Organization's DNA. Sibilia spoke about the impact of social initiatives and how building upon shared values boosts not only the bottom line for business but also the communities in which these businesses operate.
As a visionary of the CSR/sustainability movement, Sibilia has fostered 43 small businesses since 1985 and through the Gasoline Alley Foundation teaches inner city and underprivileged persons to be successful entrepreneurs using socially responsible and sustainable business practices while revitalizing inner city neighborhoods, foremost in his hometown of Springfield, Mass.
"I found the warmth and collaborative nature of the VBSR members refreshing. It's rare for an association of businesses to be so closely aligned to their state government. Having a public official, the Governor, get two standing ovations at the event is even more refreshing. The Vermont brand is a powerful brand in the CSR arena," said Sibilia.
As reporter Dan D'Ambrosio, quoted Andrea Cohen, executive director of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility, "Our membership thinks Vermont is a great place to do business. Whether you're selling socks, cheese or Web services, the Vermont brand is associated with quality."
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