Submitted by American Sustainable Business Council
The largest U.S. business organization focused on sustainability has sent a letter to the White House and Congress, calling for a growing economy compatible with shared prosperity and environmental stewardship. The message was also conveyed to Administration officials at a first-of-its-kind, day-long summit at the White House on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, and will be shared in meetings with Senators and their staff on Wednesday, June 13, 2012.
"We're at an historic point, with the business experience, the policy framework and the necessity to begin transforming our whole economy to one that is sustainable – socially, environmentally and economically," said David Levine, Co-founder and CEO of ASBC. “We in the business community are committed to making this vision a reality, for creating jobs and putting the economy on the right track,” he said.
The letter states in part:
We call on government to empower the engines of our economy—businesses—to be agents of recovery and revitalization. By properly managing markets, accounting for full costs, creating incentives, providing support, and creating a level playing field, government can enable restorative, equitable and sustainable economic models to thrive. Let us unleash the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation across all sectors to confront and solve the economic, social and environmental problems we face today.
The letter concludes:
An economy based on these principles would preserve the benefits of capitalism while gaining control over its destructive tendencies toward overuse of resources, instability, extremes of wealth and poverty, underdevelopment of human potential, and concentrations of power that suppress innovation.
The White House summit, held on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, was attended by 125 business owners and business organization leaders, representing ASBC’s members’ 150,000 businesses and 29 Administration officials including Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The agenda included interactive sessions and panels made up of both Administration officials and ASBC members. Panels and breakout sessions included Sustainable Economic Growth, Energy & Environment, Health Care, Safer Products and Safer Workplaces, Small Business Taxes and Revenue, and Impact Innovation.
"The American Sustainable Business Council has established itself as the leading national organization focusing on the country’s problems with solutions based on the principles of a sustainable economy. Yesterday’s meeting with Administration officials facilitated a vital two-way conversation. Such sharing of perspectives is essential for creating public policy that actually benefits the small and medium size businesses that are delivering the most jobs," said Frank Knapp, Jr., Vice Chair, American Sustainable Business Council and President & CEO, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.
"The White House summit was a unique opportunity for the American Sustainable Business council to collaborate with the administration to develop the innovative strategies that will lead to a healthy, just and sustainable economy," said Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and Board Chair of ASBC, co-founder of Seventh Generation.
"Socially responsible businesses have grown tremendously over the past decade, because they attract the best talent, maintain committed employees and customers, and perform better over time. A triple-bottom line economy is now emerging -- one that creates sustainable prosperity for all. The Administration and Congress have an important role to play in helping this new, innovative and sustainable economy grow," said Deborah Nelson, Executive Director, Social Venture Network.
The letter, A Business Call for a New Economy: Toward a Vibrant, Equitable and Sustainable Economy, may be found on www.asbcouncil.org.
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 150,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. The council includes chambers of commerce, trade associations, and groups representing small business, investors, microenterprise, social enterprise, green and sustainable business, local living economy, and women and minority business leaders. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. www.asbcouncil.org
The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) is a national coalition of mission-driven businesses, social enterprises and sustainable business networks working to create a vibrant, just and sustainable economy. What unites us is a deep belief that we must move to a new economy that is grounded in principles of sustainability and equity.The Council represents over 55,000 businesses and enterprises and more than 150,000 executives, owners, investors, entrepreneurs and business professionals. It is comprised of partners, which are organizations that represent businesses and social enterprises as well as entrepreneurs, executives, owners and investors committed to building a vibrant, just, and sustainable economy. ASBC promotes policy change by educating and informing the business community, policy makers and the media about the business case for change, and by engaging the leaders of businesses and enterprises in building broad support for the policies America needs. We work on a range of policy areas, including: financial reform, health care, chemicals policy, climate change and business taxes. We believe that the policies that will lead us to a sustainable and just economy are also good for business and good for America. Making the right commitments and investments will produce more and better jobs, build strength in key technologies, and make the U.S. more independent and secure.
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