Member Spotlights

Sustainability in Greater Boston Higher Education

With only a month left of summer, colleges and universities across the country are preparing for the return of their students.  It is widely known that the metropolitan Boston area is full of premiere universities, but what might be less known are the numerous efforts colleges including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University are taking towards sustainability.

Member Spotlight: Joseph Rotella of Spencer Organ Company, Inc.

Spencer Organ is a locally owned pipe organ restoration and maintenance company. For this June’s member spotlight I asked president Joseph Rotella a few questions about his membership to SBN as a local business owner. Check Spencer Organ out at!


Why did you join SBN?

One of the reasons Rotella joined the network is due to personal values 

Sustainability Leadership Summit 2012: An Intern's First Summit

The 2012 Sustainability Leadership Summit put on by SBN was a great success—this was evident even to a first-time intern on her first week of the job. Keynote speakers such as Massachusetts State Treasurer Steve Grossman and co-owner of Vermont Soy Andrew Meyer spoke to the crowd about the importance of local economies and the creation of a consumer base that avidly buys local products.

Artists For Humanity

When I visited the Artists for Humanity (AFH) headquarters in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood last week, my intentions were to tour the city’s only LEED Platinum certified building and learn about its green design features. As is often the case, I walked away with something much richer. Many of you are probably aware of the work of Artists for Humanity.

Roof Agriculture – An Old Concept Comes to Boston in a New Form

Can you hear mooing coming from the Common? Listen closely: it’s distant. Like
200 years in the past distant, but it’s there – part of the spirit of Boston. It’s easy to forget in our modern local foods movement that urban agriculture is not a new idea. Yes, dairy cows and sheep once grazed the Boston Common, and the victory gardens of the first and second World Wars were successful in producing millions of pounds of food.

A Look Back at Local Environmental Achievements for 2011

2011 was a challenging year for the economy and the environment.  Yet despite this, dedicated businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals all around the world pushed-on and persevered in their efforts to make the world a more environmentally sustainable place.  Here is just a small sampling of local achievements we should all feel very proud of….

Understanding Healthy Living: Be Healthy Boston

It is no secret that health in America has become a major issue. With diets consisting of processed foods and daily activities involving computer and TV screens it’s no wonder we have an obesity problem.  As this epidemic grows so do the exercise and diet industries. “The latest figures from Marketdata, Inc., which analyses ten major segments of the U.S.

Green or Just Greenwashing: Which labels mean something?

Over the past decade environmental awareness in the United States has increased significantly and has become a topic of mainstream discussion.  According to research from Intellitrends, “when asked about their future purchase of products that are green, 93 percent of U.S. consumers say they will “definitely” or “may” purchase these eco-friendly products.”  Seizing on this growing awareness, businesses have begun to offer a wide variety of “natural”, “eco-friendly” and “green” products from shampoo, to ice cream and appliances. 

Take Back the Kitchen

Food Desert Blog Series- Part 2

Take Back the Kitchen

One of the most recent graduates of SBN’s Sustainable Business Leader Program is the Haley House Bakery and Café. This unique project in Roxbury’s Dudley Square has not only taken major steps toward being a greener business, but is also working, through it’s Take Back the Kitchen Program, to address issues of nutrition among youth in Roxbury. Recently I visited Haley House Bakery and Café Chef Didi Emmons and Program Coordinator, Robin Saunders. Over Didi’s famous chocolate chip cookies, I learned all about Take Back The Kitchen’s innovative approach to nutrition education. 

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