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!

Social Enterprises, Inc. Joins Ranks of Oregon Benefit Corporations and Becomes a Certified B Corporation!

February 12, 2014 by

PrintWe are proud to announce that we have gained certification as a B Corporation and officially changed our legal corporate status to a Benefit Corporation.

What is a Certified B Corporation?

B Corporations are a new kind of business that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

After a lengthy process 3rd party, B Lab, verified signed and stamped that we have worked hard to achieve a higher level of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

We are joining over 900 businesses worldwide where we are not only competing to be the best in the world, but FOR the world.


Social Enterprises was founded in order to give organizations generating important change on the frontiers of sustainability and social impact an affordable and professional resource to execute events that support their ongoing work.

With the Benefit 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.

Not only is sustainability the focus in the events we plan, it’s also the aim of how we take care of our employers, contractors, sponsors, community, and of course the environment.

We are proud and incredibly grateful to be recognized for the work we have done for the community and the environment. We are excited to represent B Lab’s mission and be a part of the B Corporation movement!


WAHESC 2014 | PSU’s Jennifer Allen Digs into Sustainability in Academics

January 22, 2014 by

Jennifer AllenYou won’t want to miss this keynote address by Jennifer Allen, February 7th during The Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference. With areas of expertise in environmental and natural resource policy and administration and sustainable economic development,  Jennifer Allen is an associate professor of Public Administration and director of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Her areas of research encompass environmental and natural resource policy and administration and sustainable economic development, with particular focus on green buildings and rural-urban market connections.

WAHESC: As an educator and a researcher, you are serving on several boards for many sustainable and environmental conservation organizations. What are the gaps or disconnects between the academic and businesses in terms of carbon emission reduction, natural resources development and green economy growth?

Jennifer Allen: One of the main challenges to linking academic and business communities is the frequent “disconnect” in terms of timeframe and organizational rhythms; specifically, academic terms will rarely be aligned well with the needs of other organizations for research or support.  In addition, faculty have their own research agendas and may be reluctant to shape these around what organizations need or adapt them with an eye toward economic growth—even if that growth is “green.”

We also lack effective channels for the private sector to share their research needs with academics, and the converse is also true: We lack good channels to share academic work—in a non-academic, more accessible vocabulary—with the private sector.

WAHESC: To bridge those gaps, what are your recommendations and ideas on how private sectors and academics can collaborate to lead sustainability initiatives and build healthy environments on campuses and in communities?

JA: One of the most important things we can do to bridge this divide is to build stronger relationships, mutual understanding, and trust between the community and the university.  One of the ways we are attempting to do this at PSU is through our “Research to Action” event series. We host themed symposia—on topics such as urban sustainability, social determinants of health, and ecosystem services—and invite faculty and community partners to share their ongoing work in clustered 5 minute “blasts”, followed by opportunities for dialogue and partnership-building.  This approach distills PSU’s research activities and the community’s research needs into digestible “bites” and presents them in an accessible format, allowing for give and take discussion between practitioners and researchers.

PSU is also actively engaged with the business community in the area of social entrepreneurship; in our Impact Entrepreneurs program, social enterprise professionals, nonprofits, students and community members work together to “unleash the power of business for social impact”.  One of the most powerful aspects of this program is that it creates an innovation space where academic assets and strategic business thinking come together to address critical social issues.

WAHESC: What leadership role should academics play in environmental stewardship that can effectively influence public policy, sustainable economic development and climate change solution innovation beyond the ivory tower?

JA: Because of their nature as educational and research institutions, universities have the opportunity to serve as respected and effective “conveners” around challenging topics, providing a platform and forum where complex issues can be constructively explored.  For example, PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions has supported research by PSU faculty on the implications of a carbon tax for the State of Oregon, and has provided a number of opportunities for dialogue about the findings of this research. Oregon Solutions is another program at PSU that provides a neutral forum to help partners come together to address challenging community issues.

Another important role for universities is to identify and analyze “best practices” related to sustainability challenges to better understand what works, what doesn’t, and how solutions need adapt to reflect particular organizational or geographical contexts. For example, I’ve done some work in the area of green chemistry, looking at what other states are doing to advance the adoption of safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. In particular we focused on what strategies could help businesses realize a competitive advantage from developing and adopting safer alternatives. Another approach that will resonate with this conference’s audience is to explore how we can make our campus operations “living laboratories” where innovative sustainability strategies are tested and shared—ideally in collaboration with other public and private sector partners.

Finally, institutions of higher education need to be more intentional in developing the leaders of the future: our students. We can do this by providing them with opportunities—both inside and outside the classroom —to grapple with complicated issues, engage with diverse partners from both the public and private sectors, and bring their best and most innovative thinking to develop solutions to the challenges we face and the challenges we don’t yet recognize. This is perhaps the most critical role we can play. I’m excited to learn more about what other colleges and universities are doing on this front and in other areas at the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference.

About The Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference

The Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WAHESC) is a regionally-focused opportunity for those teaching, working or studying within higher education to come together and learn about sustainability in academics, operations, and research. Through facilitated conversation, workshops, presentations and networking opportunities, participants will play a role in advancing environmental performance at Washington State institutions of higher education, support regional policy goals and initiatives, and drive the development of a generation of professionals for whom sustainability is a core tenet of their work and life philosophy.

We hope you will join us Thursday and Friday, February 6-7, 2014 at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington for WAHESC 2014!