Monday, April 23, 2012

MGS Oakland County Event

First... I'd like to recognize John Carlos of for a special award that we received together last week at Davenport University in Grand Rapids Michigan.  It was an honor to share the stage with John and be recognized as one of the 101 Best and Brightest Sustainable Companies in Michigan by Corp Magazine,  The Grand Rapids Press, and Davenport University.  Congratulations John.... he is the "James Brown"... the hardest working man in the green business.

We listened to Key note speaker ,  Fred Keller of Cascade Industries talk about his companies mission and goals of being a designated B Corporation which adds a level of commitment on the organizations part to reach their business goals while being a good steward of the earth, community and company at the same time or Triple Bottom line standards.  This is significant in that they are not only working toward profitability for the company... but doing so in ways that go far beyond effecting the bottom line.  Fred talked about the efforts his company puts forth to use recycled content in the products they create and demand the same from their supplier base.  He talked about innovative programs that went beyond the bottom line and into effecting social causes like unemployment, underemployment and event prisoner release to work programs.

I am honored to be here with you all today to celebrate in your achievements and to be recognized for your efforts within your schools to meet the Michigan Green Schools Standards of achievement this year in 2012.  

 It is with the B corp model in mind that I created  just over a year ago in April 2010.  Last year we engaged in an effort to raise awareness, educate and raise funds for Michigan Green Schools of Oakland County.  We did so through the promotion of a simple tool...small yet significant... that many of you purchased for use in your home.... a simple old idea made new again that we learned from our grand parents in their garden years ago... composting.  This compost bucket is simply a new twist on an old idea.  Focusing our efforts on sorting biodegradable and compostable materials out of the regular waste stream and back into our own gardens.  This bucket contains a special corn starch based liner that allows for simple, no smell, no mess under the kitchen counter composting.  The bag and its contents can go right into your yard composting barrel or in my case right into the compost pile... contents and bag right back into the earth.   Last year we were able to provide Debbie Dunn with a check for $200.00 from the proceeds of the sale of those buckets to help offset her costs for last years program and to show our capabilities as an organization committed to education, awareness, and advocacy of "green shifts" in the course of daily living.

This year.... we decided to back to the original fund raising concept of an Eco Tee Shirt.  After working through the politics of use of the logo... why does that always come up?  We were able to gain approval to move forward with the project.   With Debby's support the word of the partnership made it out to the MGS schools in Oakland County.  This year we had 10 school districts engage with us on the first wave of Eco Tees that are here today for delivery.

But... there is more to the story.  The first shirt we selected... we found upon going to place the order... wasn't going to be available until May.  Well... that just wasn't going to work well for us since we wanted the shirts ready for today's event and other events in Macomb, Washtenaw, Huron, and Wayne Counties that were planned in April.  Interest in the project was gaining support in other counties... but the request was clear....  they were interested in a shirt not only that met our eco standards of being organic cotton and eco friendly imprint... but also made in the USA.  That is a pretty important issue today AND believe me when I tell you I was raised in a GM family with a  buy American... buy local attitude at an early age.

And so... we found the perfect match in the Royal avocado Eco Tee.  Our promise on this partnership is simple... we do the labor of creating and implementing the project.  We cover our overhead costs and costs of production, imprinting, AND then share in the proceeds with our partners. in this project 25% of the proceeds go to the partnering schools AND 25% of the proceeds go the the MGS at the administrative level.

Today I am happy to present Debby Dunn with a check for $150 to make good on the promise of that partnership.   Thank you Debby for your support and continued partnership on this project.  Checks will be mailed out to the partnering schools at the end of the month.

FYI....  we are accepting orders for the next wave that will conclude at the end of this month.    See us at our display in the lobby for more details on your way out today.

Last thing... Rochester High School... You Rock... You were by far the biggest supporter on this project with 39 tees ordered for your group alone.  Thanks for your support!