Take Action For Change
The American Sustainable Business Council Action Fund, which is affiliated with ASBC but is legally and financially separate, invites you to join in advocating for legislation, administrative action, and initiatives that make possible a more vibrant, just and sustainable economy.
Benefit corporations (also known as B Corps) are a different kind of corporation. While most companies focus on putting profits first - in some cases, even being required by law to focus on profits - B Corps are required to create benefits for society as well as shareholders. This can include volunteering in the community or other sustainable development.
If you live in Connecticut, please take a moment to register your support for Connecticut's Benefit Corporation Bill. There will be a public hearing on February 27, 2014 for Governor's S.B. No. 23.
If you live in Michigan, please take a moment to register your support for Michigan's Benefit Corporation Bill. Currently the bill is referred to Committee on Commerce.
Public investments are essential to the success of our society, the strength of our economy, and our quality of life. From highways to communications systems, from guaranteeing student loans and mortgages to reducing unfair credit card fees, from keeping our food safe to keeping our water supply clean, we all rely on government-funded systems in our daily lives. We take these things for granted so much that they have become "invisible" to most of us. But they are a critical guarantee for our quality of life in America.
Campaign finance law is under threat yet again. The Supreme Court will hear a case, McCutcheon v. FEC, dealing with aggregate contribution limits, one of the last campaign finance limitations still standing. If the Supreme Court overrules those limits, it will open up another opportunity for wealthy individuals to flood the political system with money, further eroding public confidence and leaving small businesses out in the cold. Sign our business petition and urge the Supreme Court to let these limits stand.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v.FEC decision allowed corporations to spend unlimited money to support or oppose candidates for political office, overturning campaign finance laws in place for decades. Since then, millions in unrestricted secret spending has flowed into campaigns, distorting our democracy and threatening good government.
As executives, owners, investors, and businesses, we must ask ourselves: Are our goals furthered by this greater freedom to spend our companies’ money to influence campaigns? Is this ability to influence politicians and elections helpful—or does it set us back in our efforts to operate our businesses responsibly and promote a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable economy? If you believe that campaign finance reform is needed in NYS, please join us in by signing on below.
Transparency in campaign finance is a key element to ensure the electoral system works fairly without undue influence from major corporations. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering a rule to force public companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders. This simple rule would bring accountability to previously unaccounted for political spending.
Businesses represented by the American Sustainable Business Council value clean, affordable energy that is not vulnerable to foreign policy-induced supply disruptions. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for gas and oil has been touted as a way to achieve this independence, a way to reduce the use of coal, and as a boon to cash-strapped rural counties. However, ASBC and our business supporters have concerns about the environmental, economic, and public health impacts of the full lifecycle of this fossil fuel extraction practice, its association with climate change, and its rapid widespread...
With concerns growing over the impacts of the sequester budget cuts, we believe Congress should put an end to these taxpayer-paid subsidies to an industry that is enjoying record profits. Across-the-board sequester cuts will reduce air pollution monitoring, scale back Superfund cleanups and reduce funding clean water and drinking water projects. Closing tax loopholes and subsidies to the oil industry would have positive impact on the federal budget by generating revenue for smart investment in our economy and help businesses and the environment.
ASBC's Action Fund worked with local businesses in thirteen states to organize meetings with their Senators and Congressional Representatives during the August recess to lobby on climate and energy issues. As a follow up to our June 20th Capitol Hill lobby day, the meetings brought renewed attention in Congress to energy issues including Shaheen-Portman and Clean Energy Victory Bonds.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to experience the American coastline understand that places along the coast are some of America’s greatest treasures. Unfortunately, we are on a path that threatens our coast due to rising seas as a result of climate change. We must take action now to save our treasured coastal places and small business tourism economies for our children, grandchildren and for many generations to come.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced new proposed standards for carbon pollution from new, not yet built power plants. These standards are an important step to cutting our carbon emissions, mitigating the worst effects of climate change, and transitioning to a clean energy economy that will create jobs. We need business leaders to speak out in support of these standards.
Reliable, long-term financing has been one of the greatest obstacles to moving the nation toward a clean energy future. Clean Energy Victory Bonds can be a big part of the solution. The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2014 works to create an investment vehicle that allows Americans to invest in one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy, as well as a means to collectively provide a secure and sustainable energy future, create jobs, and regain our competitive advantage in clean energy technology.
The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S.1392), also known as the Shaheen-Portman Bill, is a bipartisan energy efficiency bill that would save money and energy for consumers, businesses and the federal government. It would create an estimated 159,000 jobs by 2030, while helping to tackle the United States’ rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are state mandates which require utilities to produce a certain amount of energy from renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar and biofuel, within a specific time frame. The standards vary from state to state - for example, North Carolina mandates 12.5% clean energy production by 2021 while Colorado calls for 30% by 2020.
President Obama last year delayed the final decision the Keystone XL Pipeline. Since then, the President promised in his second inaugural address that the United States would “respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” One day later, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved a revised route for the pipeline, removing a major hurdle to its construction.
Given the challenges that small businesses and entrepreneurs face in raising capital, crowdfunding is a powerful tool to help businesses to get established and create new jobs in America’s communities.
The Farm Bill represents billions of dollars in government expenditures that set the farm, food, and rural policy goals and priorities for the United States. ASBC is pleased that Congress has passed a farm bill that links our food and farm systems and provides a future for Farm and Nutrition Programs. Although not all aspects of the Farm Bill are favorable, ASBC is in support of the provisions that assist rural communities, expand the production of organic food and provide credit and technical assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers and small businesses. ASBC continues to see the Farm...
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, appear in over 70 percent of all food consumed in the U.S. Currently, there is no federal mandate requiring that GMOs be labeled, even though 90 percent of Americans say they support labeling.
Employee ownership is key to building a more sustainable economy. Giving employees more of a stake in their company’s success encourages more productivity and better financial results. Employee Stock Ownership Plans are one way to achieve that.
One component of a good workplace is a plan ensuring workers can recuperate from illnesses at home, rather than having them come to work when they are not at their most productive. There is a strong business case for paid sick days - they help improve productivity, reduce health care costs, maintain consumer confidence, and avoid costly employee turnover.
Family Leave Insurance allows employees who need to take time off to care for a family member, or following the birth of a child, to continue to earn some compensation during that time off. Despite concerns about imposing additional costs on businesses, this kind of insurance is beneficial because it makes employees more productive and less likely to move to another company, saving money on employee turnover.
One of the biggest challenges to the sluggish economic recovery is that real wages have not increased despite many businesses showing record profits. Consumer spending is at the heart of our economy and with little to no wage growth, overall economic growth will suffer and the recovery will not be durable. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 addresses the largest problem business leaders see with today’s economy: weak demand.
ASBC and its member organization, the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) is launching a strategic state-by-state campaign to support the implementation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act in 2013. Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is titled “Nondiscrimination in Health Care.” It requires that insurers include and reimburse licensed health care providers in health insurance plans.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act tackles many of the serious problems small business owners face, including escalating health care costs, lack of access to affordable coverage, and limited choice among health plans. We support the full implementation of the plan, which benefits both small businesses and the economy as a whole. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the constitutionality of the Act and call on all states to move ahead with its implementation.
The Internet, broadband, and telephony provide the means for a far-reaching social and environmental change by laying the foundation for a new future of work. The number one contributor to carbon and environmental emissions in the U.S. is squarely rooted in how we work. By encouraging telecommuting and working from home, we can save energy and money while cutting greenhouse gases that cause climate change.
Government regulations have been ridiculed as “job killers.” However, small-business owners know that regulations play an essential role in leveling the playing field by offering protection from big business. Regulations are the rules by which all businesses must play for orderly and fair competition in the market place.
Leading companies are highly motivated to identify and use safer alternatives to toxic chemicals. Polling by ASBC confirms that today's business leaders are concerned about the health and business impacts that could arise if the products they use or sell contain toxic chemicals, as well as the toxic chemical exposures that may occur as a result of their supply chains. Take action today and join the Companies for Safer Chemicals Coalition...
The New York State legislature is presently considering the Child Safe Products Act. This bill creates a framework for identifying and removing toxic chemicals from children’s products (a segment of the market that’s both broad and clearly defined). Please sign on below and pass along to other business leaders.
We have a historic opportunity to transform the chemical industry, create jobs and build a new economic powerhouse by putting in place essential policies to create the right market-based incentives to propel green chemistry in the United States. Without action, the U.S. could lose this nascent but fast moving economic engine overseas, along with the hundreds of thousands of projected new jobs, and $190 Billion of the $1 trillion renewable chemical market production.
The Elk River, West Virginia chemical spill made national headlines and contaminated the water that hundreds of thousands rely on. It has been especially hard on small businesses along with the communities they serve. Join us and sign the business letter to support the call by West Virginia business leaders’ to improve regulations in the state to instill confidence in the tourists, businesses, residents and talent needed to create economic sustainability in the state.
With economic growth still sluggish, additional government stimulus projects unlikely, and our trade deficit remaining stubbornly high, one of the best ways we can spur growth and create jobs is by focusing on procuring American-made products. Not only is this an idea with strong bipartisan support, it is also one of the best job creation strategies available right now.
In order to build a more sustainable economy, giving employees a stake in the success of their businesses will be crucial. Cooperative organizations put workers in charge of their businesses and ensure that communities see economic benefits.
Social enterprises are businesses whose primary purpose is the common good. They use the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance their social, environmental and human justice agendas.
There is no justification for tax avoidance and evasion through offshore tax havens. Everyone needs to pay his or her fair share to keep America moving forward. Tax dodging deprives our nation of revenue needed to maintain and modernize the infrastructure and services underpinning a strong economy. An estimated $100 billion or more in tax revenue is lost every year. Our economic progress is undermined when companies are rewarded for financial manipulation rather than innovation and productive investment.
Unlike brick and mortar businesses, online retailers have the unfair advantage of selling items on the Internet without collecting sales taxes while the “Main Street” businesses are obligated to collect and remit them. This imbalance hits locally owned businesses particularly hard and, as a result, adversely impacts local economies. Small businesses lose out on revenue and state governments lose out on the money needed to pay for necessary services, such as infrastructure funding.
Corporate tax reform is coming—you can help determine whether it makes things better or worse. Join the campaign for corporate tax reform that closes loopholes, levels the playing field between big business and small, increases transparency and assures adequate revenue for the infrastructure and services underpinning our economy.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an international trade agreement now being negotiated, would grant leading multinational corporations new powers to challenge government policies that promote sustainability. Of greatest concern, the pact would allow corporations to sue governments in an international tribunal, and could force the reversal of sound environmental, labor and investment regulations. To date, negotiations have been conducted in secret. Congress is considering invoking “Fast Track” authority which would allow the trade agreement to be voted on without debate. That's a...