Walk the Talk: Sustainable SE

April 26, 2017 by

We do sustainable events – but how is Social Enterprises working to become an increasingly sustainable company itself? We specialize in sustainability and social impact conferences and summits, and we hold ourselves to the same standards we recommend to our clients and assure our stakeholders that we mean business when it comes to implementing the triple bottom line across all aspects of our enterprise.

Alternative Transportationjenna.png

Centrally located in Old Town, our office is conveniently located on the Green and Yellow Max lines , 4 blocks from the Portland Streetcar Central Loop Line and several Tri-met bus lines. Our location and indoor bike parking make biking a synch for employees and clients. Over 80% of our employees commute using alternative transportation and are eligible for alternative transportation reimbursement.

Workplace Health

We value workplace health at Social Enterprises, and believe that healthy workers have increased workplace morale and productivity levels. Our office was recently outfitted with all new adjustable-height standing desks. Our office fitness challenge is set to kick off in May, where we will track our exercise and compete for points to win a Fitbit! Quarterly retreats set aside time for team bonding. In celebration of Spring, our team embarked on an urban wine tour through Portland.


B Corp Certified

b-corp-logo-lg.pngWe have entered our third year as a certified B Corp and we continue to apply the triple bottom line to all facets of our business. View the highlights of our certification below and our B Corp Impact Report.  

  • Environment: >50% of office supplies from recycled/sustainable materials; >50% of
    GHG emissions from corporate headquarters are offset by certified carbon credits; Actively aids development of solutions to major environmental problems
  • Employees: >50% of health insurance premiums paid for individuals and families; >80% of employees are employed in low-income communities; Majority of managerial positions held by women/minorities
  • Community: >40% of customers/beneficiaries are nonprofits; majority (>50%) of
    business targeted at low-income areas

Reaching New Heights

We are consistently striving to heighten our sustainable practices at Social Enterprises. This year’s goal is to achieve Green Business certification via The City of Portland’s  Sustainability at Work.  


View the comprehensive Social Enterprises Sustainability Policy.

February Recap: Wine & WAHESC

March 4, 2017 by

February was an exciting month for the Social Enterprises team, as we were busy with two incredibly successful sustainable events.

Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference 

WAHESC17_EmailHeaderFirst we headed Spokane, Washington for the Washington 16991617_10154713457379342_8466497003933360384_oHigher Education Sustainability Conference (WAHESC) hosted by Gonzaga University. WAHESC is a regionally focused event for those teaching, working, or studying within higher education to come together and learn about sustainability in academics, operations, and research.

The event had over 200 students, 400 attendees and nearly 100 speakers, including 25 students speakers, who offered insights on current issues facing college institutions.

We were blown away by the ideas shared and collaborations sparked around advancing sustainability on our campuses and in our communities!

winesymposium2017 Oregon Wine Symposium

For the second year, our team collaborated with the Oregon Wine Board to present the
2017 Oregon Wine Symposium here in Portland. Once again, it was the premier educational and trade show
event for the Northwest wine community, with over 1,300 attendees and more than 170 exhibitors.

DSC_0775.jpgAttendees heard the latest climatology report, tasted experimental wines, and walked the trade show floor between breakout sessions.

At the Oregon Wine Soiree, attendees ate, drank and mingled with speakers sponsor and peers while they tasted wines from around Oregon.

Our team loved putting together this event and are proud to announce that it was an overwhelming success!


Our team worked strategically to infuse sustainability into these two events, it was considered at every stage of the process.

We are looking forward to our upcoming  GoGreen Conference in Seattle on Thursday, March 16th. Join us for a day of sustainability learning for business and public sector decision-makers!  


Gen X and Distinctive Style Aid Oregon Wines via Wines & Vines

Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference Recap via Oregon State University Ecologue

2016: Well-Executed Social Impact Events that Drive Sustainable Practices

January 11, 2017 by


The Social Enterprises team was busy this year advancing sustainability through our 13 events in 2016 that aimed to further sustainability and social impact. Overall, our events gathered over 4,000 attendees and influential leaders to advance the environmental movement.

Our team is grateful for our continued partnerships, as well as the opportunity to work on various new events in 2016.

2016 Project Highlights


winesymposiumThe Oregon Wine Symposium continues to be the premier platform on wine industry research and education in Oregon. The Symposium delivered relevant content to wine and wine grape industry professionals, and brought wine industry members from around the Northwest together to discuss issues, discover new tools and techniques, and network with industry suppliers – along with a full dedicated track devoted to sustainability. The 2016 Symposium was the Northwest’s largest trade show with over 170 exhibitors!

gogreen_general_nodateThe GoGreen Conference, hosted in both Seattle and Portland in 2016, hosted over 500 regional leaders, 57 speakers and over 50 partners focused on the theme of Greening Your Workplace and Green Building. This year’s theme delivered a track of content dedicated to the business case for high performance and deep green buildings; the importance of district and cooperative energy and applying the principles of green chemistry and engineering to sustainable building and product design. Other important issues addressed included putting a price on carbon pollution and how the updated 2015 Climate Action Plan works to drive private sector and regional economic development forward.

PrintThe 2016 Green Sports Alliance Summit marked the beginning of a new tradition: hosting the event at a sustainable sporting venue that is a member of the  Green Sports Alliance. Attendees were able to experience the Summit program at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, home of the Astros. Built on the theme “Power of Partnerships”, sports and sustainability industry leaders gathered to engage in advancing the greening of the sports industry. Check out our outstanding 2016 Summit Program here.

schoolfoodfocus_redSchool Food Focus brought us to Georgia this year for their  2016 National Gathering where change-makers gathered to ignite change in our 42 largest school districts and their school food systems. The National Gathering included influential keynotes, breakout sessions and an impressive vendor showcase, along with four onsite tours that highlighted local initiatives to improve school food.

2016 National Gathering Highlight Reel:


In early December, our team travelled to Oregon State University to manage Within Our Reach presented by client Meyer Memorial Trust. The event brought together over 200 attendees and regional leaders focused on improving the health of the wor-logo_horizWillamette River. The 2016 conference featured breakout sessions, a sustainable lunch sourced from Willamette Floodplain Farmers and businesses convened in support of watershed restoration.The two day conference concluded with a moving presentation by Chad Brown, a U.S. Navy Veteran and founder of Soul River, Inc, a nonprofit that joins inner city youth and veterans to become leaders in environmental justice.

Ready for 2017

We are looking forward to another full schedule of social impact events in 2017. Check out some of our events coming up this year:


Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference | February 16 – 17, 2017

winesymposiumOregon Wine Symposium | February 20 – 21, 2017

gogreen_general_nodateGoGreen Conference – Seattle  | March 16, 2017

evroadmapbannerEV Roadmap 10 | June 20 – 21, 2017

PrintGreen Sports Alliance Summit | June 26 – 29, 2017

We’d love to see you at any of our 2017 events. To book your own event with Social Enterprises, please contact us to discuss further at info@socialenteprises.net.

Here’s to another year of making an impact!


The Social Enterprises Team


2015: A Year of Sustainability and Social Cause

December 30, 2015 by

SE Team Photo 2015.pngOur team has kept busy this year with a variety of events geared at advancing sustainability and social cause. Combined, over 4,000 attendees and change-makers came together to champion the green movement through our 14 events in 2015.

We are thankful for our continued partnerships and were elated to work on several new events in 2015. Here are some highlights:

The Green Sports Alliance brought us to Chicago this year for their annual Summit. Along with keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops, the event had venue tours, a special performance by spoken-word artist Prince EA, and a reception that kicked-off with a Chicago Bears drum line!

We got to B the Change at B’Corporation’s B Inspired event in October. As a registered B Corporation, it was an honor to share the organization’s values with over 1,000 attendees through TED-style talks, an outdoor festival at Pioneer Square, and a concert at the historic Crystal Ballroom. B Inspired’s motto was: sometimes to make a change you have to throw a party. We couldn’t agree more. Attendees from all over the world got a true slice of Portlandia: tasting beer & ice cream floats, jamming out to Ural  Thomas and the Pain and even getting to stop by our own Social Enterprises booth for a game of cornhole!


So what’s next? We are looking forward to a full schedule for 2016.

Check out some of the 2016 events we have lined up:

Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference | February  4-5, 2016

Oregon Wine Symposium | February 23-24, 2016

GoGreen Seattle |  March 30, 2016

Living Future |  May 11-13, 2016

Oregon Wildlife Dinner and Auction | June 11, 2016

Green Sports Alliance Summit | June 28-30, 2016

EV Roadmap 9  | July 20-21, 2016

Oregon BEST FEST | September 2016

Rewards NW | September 13, 2016

Getting to Zero National Forum | October 12-14, 2016

Cheers to 2016 from the Social Enterprises, Inc. team and we hope to see you at some of our upcoming events!

Looking Back on 2014

December 29, 2014 by

This year was filled with amazing opportunities to partner with clients from a wide range of backgrounds to advance sustainability as a whole. In total we assisted with the production of 12 conferences in 2014 – with plans to add more in 2015! We are committed to enhancing local communities by creating high-level, revenue-generating, innovative events that educate attendees and help create a socially-driven, sustainably minded world. Our ultimate goal is to create memorable collaborative experiences that empower sustainable communities.

We are also committed to producing sustainable events that minimize environmental impacts and make positive economic and social impacts on the communities we touch. We implement a comprehensive policy based on industry-wide standards across the entire lifecycle of each event. If you haven’t done so already – Click here to read the Social Enterprises Sustainability Policy.

Check out all of the 2014 Events

Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference | February 6-7, 2014

Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference | March 24-25, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

GMIC Sustainable Meetings Conference | April 15-17, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

GoGreen Seattle | April 29-30, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

Elevating Impact Summit | June 20, 2014

Green Sports Alliance Summit | July 21-23, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

EV Roadmap 7 | July 24-25, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

Oregon BEST FEST | September 15-16, 2014

EcoDistricts Summit | September 24-26, 2014
Event Report

Rewards NW | October 7, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

GoGreen Portland | October 16, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

Within Our Reach | December 10-12, 2014
Event Photo Gallery

Preview our 2015 line-up of events here.

We hit another milestone as an organization in 2014 when we committed to the B Corporation framework. We are able to hold ourselves accountable to the same standards we recommend to our clients, and assure our stakeholders that we mean business when it comes to implementing the triple bottom line across all aspects of our enterprise. Learn more about our B Corporation status and find other businesses committing to #BTheChange.

Cheers to 2015 from the Social Enterprises, Inc. team!





Event Overview: EV Roadmap 7

August 11, 2014 by

The 7th annual EV Roadmap Conference took place in Portland, OR July 24-25, 2014.

The EV Roadmap conference has established itself as the Pacific Northwest’s premier electric vehicle gathering and one of the leading electric vehicle conferences in the United States. EV Roadmap brings together Oregon’s early adopters with national and international experts to inform transportation electrification efforts across the nation. EV Roadmap 7 is produced by Portland State University, Portland General Electric, and Drive Oregon.


Photo Gallery


Click here to view select photos in the 2014 Conference Image Gallery. Photos courtesy of Becky Fajardo.

Produced By

Drive Oregon

Drive Oregon‘s mission is to promote, support, and grow the electric mobility industry in Oregon. We envision Oregon as a leader in the rapidly growing electric vehicle industry, providing thousands of family wage jobs in a range of businesses delivering infrastructure, components, specialized vehicles, and support services.

Portland General Electric

Portland General Electric is a recognized leader in the utility industry and has safely and dependably powered northwest Oregon since 1889. The focus today is on providing reliable electricity supplies at reasonable prices while continuing to be good stewards of Oregon’s environment. In part, that means supporting customers who are choosing electricity as a transportation fuel, running the most popular renewable power program in the nation and using smart grid technology to serve our customers efficiently.

Portland State University

Portland State University‘s motto is its mission: Let Knowledge Serve the City. Portland State offers more than 220 undergraduate, masters, and doctoral degree options, as well as graduate certificates and continuing education programs. PSU is Oregon’s largest and most diverse university, with some 30,000 students who come from all 50 states and from nearly 100 nations around the world. Located on a 50-acre campus in downtown Portland, the University is a nationally acclaimed leader in sustainability and community-based learning, and its position in the heart of Oregon’s economic and cultural center enables PSU students and faculty to apply scholarly theory to the real-world problems of business and community organizations. PSU is also the home of OTREC, Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, a national university transportation center focusing on stimulating and conducting research on surface transportation, educating current and future transportation leaders and encouraging the real-world use of research results.

Social Enterprises Involvement

For the 2nd consecutive year, our team was responsible for assisting Drive Oregon, PGE and Portland State University in the following:


Branding & Marketing


Program Development & Management

The 2014 Green Sports Alliance Summit – It’s a Wrap!

July 29, 2014 by

The fourth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit took place in Santa Clara, CA July 21-23, 2014

The Green Sports Alliance Summit serves as a platform for the sports community to unite around sustainability – bringing together more than 600 industry stakeholders to learn from 80+ leaders and engage their peers in meaningful dialogue around better environmental practices and proven solutions that help to advance the green sports movement. The 2014 program covered the day’s most critical topics in professional and collegiate sports greening via a dynamic mix of venue tours, workshops, case study presentations, leadership plenaries, keynotes and networking events. Held in the tech capital of the world amongst many iconic professional and collegiate sports teams, the 2014 Summit was the most exciting and influential gathering yet.

2014 Summit Highlight Video

Photo Gallery


Click here to view select photos in the 2014 Summit Image Gallery. Photos courtesy of Rielle Photography.

2014 Notable Moments

  • Sports industry executives Chris Granger, President, Sacramento Kings; Dave Kaval, Club President, San Jose Earthquakes; and Chris McGowan, President & CEO, Portland Trail Blazers took the stage to discuss the future of the industry and how sustainability is coming into the spotlight.
  • James Curleigh, President of Levi’s® Brand and Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B-Lab and former Co-Founder and CEO of AND1 delivered rousing keynote addresses.
  • San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York and San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee CEO & President Keith Bruce joined the main stage to share sustainability plays that are helping Super Bowl 50 and the San Francisco Bay Area plan for a lasting legacy.
  • On the day following the launch of the NHL Sustainability Report, the first document of its kind produced by a major sports league in North America, the Green Sports Alliance honored NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman with the 2014 Environmental Leadership Award. NHL Director of Sustainability Omar Mitchell accepted the award on the Commissioner’s behalf and joined a panel of industry leaders to share how the League has started on a journey toward greater sustainability.
  • “The National Hockey League family truly is honored,” Commissioner Bettman said. “As intensely as our Clubs compete against one another on the ice, all are unified by the commitment to become a more sustainable business, to combat major environmental challenges and to preserve the roots of our game.”
  • Green Sports Alliance held the second annual Women, Sports & the Environment Symposium, a participatory dialogue around the role women leaders can have in the development of a more sustainable future – using sports as an instrument of change to address community and environmental issues.
  • Green Sports Alliance teamed with USGBC & San Jose Earthquakes for Green Apple Day of Service at the Aptitud Community Academy school garden.

Event Press

About the Green Sports Alliance

The Green Sports Alliance is a non-profit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues and leagues enhance their environmental performance. Alliance members represent over 230 sports teams and venues from 20 different sports leagues.

Social Enterprises Involvement

For the 4th consecutive year, our team was responsible for assisting the Green Sports Alliance in the following:


Branding & Marketing


Program Development & Management

Sustainable Meetings Conference 2014 | Recap

May 29, 2014 by

On April 15-17, the Annual Sustainable Meetings Conference — hosted by the Green Meeting Industry Council brought together professionals from all corners of the meetings and events industry — planners, suppliers, service providers, and destination representatives — around a single mission: transforming an industry by integrating sustainability into the entire life-cycle of event planning and execution. The event is an opportunity to gain new tools, share best practices and transferable lessons, network with peers and leaders in the industry, and get inspired to continue your efforts alongside like-minded professionals in the community.

This was our first year working with GMIC on the event and they wanted a new spin on the event logo, branding and overall identity. Our first step was taking the existing SMC logo, toning it down a bit and tying it together with the GMIC brand. Working with GMIC, we were able to develop a brand that connects directly to GMIC and that can be reused consistently in upcoming years, with only slight modifications to the date.


Event Highlights

  1. Select conference sessions/content were made available to a virtual audience with facilitation through Plan Your Meetings and live steaming YouTube + SnappyTV videos.
  2. Collectively packaged 29,808 meals in one hour for Stop Hunger Now.
  3. Attendees experienced sustainability in action with 11 different tours around the city of San Francisco.

Click the image below to view select photos from the 2014 event. Photos courtesy of Bay Area Event Photography.











Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference Recap

April 11, 2014 by

On March 24-25, the inaugural Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference — hosted by the University of Arizona brought together Arizona universities, colleges, and community colleges in one place to focus on sustainability issues distinct to Arizona and the Southwest region. AHESC served as a platform to inspire, inform, and create engagement opportunities for students, faculty, staff and administrators working or studying in higher education institutions across Arizona to advance sustainability solutions on our campuses and in our regional community.

AHESC 2014 was a first year event which gave our marketing team the opportunity to create a custom event logo and branding identity. Working with the AHESC Steering Committee, we were able to develop a brand that highlights aspects unique to the southwest region and the University of Arizona.


Event Highlights

  1. The inaugural Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference brought together a statewide group of individuals working or studying in higher education institutions that might not have had the opportunity to meet without the conference.
  2. The Mentorship Track allowed current students to engage with speakers and local business leaders for post-college advice
  3. Behind-the-scenes tours of the University of Arizona’s Chiller Plant and Compost Cats San Xaiver Co-op Farm Work-site highlighted best sustainability practices in action.

View select photos from the 2014 event below. Photos courtesy of Jun Mo and Alex Ross.










AHESC 2014 | Yalmaz Siddiqui of Office Depot Provides Insights on Sustainability and Green Teams

March 12, 2014 by

ImageWe are gearing up for the inaugural Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference taking place in Tucson, AZ at the University of Arizona and could not be more excited to have Yalmaz Siddiqui of Office Depot as the closing Keynote. Siddiqui is responsible for setting strategic direction and integrating a wide range of environmental programs into the global organization. Office Depot’s industry-leading environmental programs span all parts of the company – from supply chain (buying green) to internal operations (being green), to business and consumer markets (selling green).

AHESC: Office Depot was ranked as the#1 greenest large retailer in America by Newsweek Magazine’s Annual Green Rankings in 2011. That is a huge accomplishment as a company that serves consumers in 59 countries and has over 2,200 retail stores. At this type of scale how do you integrate sustainability into Office Depot’s core business functions? What strategies are most efficient and successfully shared with employees working in over 2,200 stores to drive the positive impact?

YS: The key is to understand what the role of the environmental team is versus the rest of the organization. At Office Depot we’ve avoided creating a ‘green ghetto’ by helping our functional partners recognize that just because it’s ‘green’, it doesn’t mean it’s owned by the green team.

We’re still not fully there yet, but the most important strategy is to get buy-in and budget allocation for green initiatives through more functions and at more levels of hierarchy in the company.

Making the business case in terms of cost savings and customer interest has also been a major part of our success.

AHESC: Since Office Depot launched and implemented corporate environmental initiatives such as the environmental paper procurement policy and carbon emission reduction efforts, what significant correlations you have seen in the company’s triple bottom line? How are the customers and stakeholders reacting to Office Depot’s environmental initiatives?

YS: Both customers and the wider set of stakeholders have responded very well. We focus our efforts on ideas that deliver both an environmental benefit and economic benefit – so the correlation is significant, but that is by design.

AHESC: You’ve been with Office Depot since 2006 and have led Office Depot to #1 greenest large retailer in America for three consecutive years. What advice can you give to colleges students who will be entering workforce this summer and who are interested in the field of sustainability such as yours?

YS: Remember that green teams and sustainability in organizations are small and will remain small for years to come. So while you are of course free to pursue a role that is 100% dedicated to sustainability, organizations need more people with an interest in the subject – in core functions such as marketing, finance, purchasing, H.R., sales, customer service and beyond. So my advice is to think about the core function you’re most interested in, and bring your sustainability passion to that role.

Ready to find out more about best sustainable practices and implement materials into your business or university? Be sure to check out resources from Office Depot, including the Top 20 ways to Go Green at Work and the GreenerOffice section of their website!

About The Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference


The Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference (AHESC) is the first conference to bring together Arizona universities, colleges, and community colleges in one place to focus on sustainability issues distinct to Arizona and the Southwest region. AHESC is designed to inspire, inform, and create engagement opportunities for students, faculty, staff and administrators working or studying in higher education institutions across Arizona to advance sustainability solutions on campuses and in the regional community.

We hope you will join us Monday and Tuesday, March 24-25, 2014 at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona for AHESC 2014!