Author Archive

Looking Back on 2014

December 29, 2014

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!

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Arizona Higher Education Sustainability Conference Recap

April 11, 2014

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.

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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

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

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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!