Take Action For Change

ASBC engages in ongoing campaigns to promote public policies that support a vibrant and sustainable economy. Some of our campaigns involve advocating for the passage or defeat of legislation (“lobbying”). The vast majority of these lobbying actions are done under the auspices of the ASBC Action Fund which is affiliated with ASBC but which is legally and financially separate.

Public policy campaigns which don’t involve lobbying are conducted by American Sustainable Business Council, along with education and other initiatives that make possible a more vibrant, just and sustainable economy.

Benefit Corporations

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 New Hampshire, please take a moment to register your support for New Hampshire's Benefit Corporation Bill.

Corporations

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.

Election Integrity

Campaign finance law is under threat yet again. The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, dealing with aggregate contribution limits. With these limits now being overturned, the court has opened 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.

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.

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.

Energy & Environment

Businesses 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, the ASBC Action Fund and our ASBC business members 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 development on public and private land...

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.

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.

American business depends on clean water — be it for manufacturing, food production, or the safe drinking water our employees and customers rely on. Please join us in supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new proposed rule for water safety because it will give the business community more confidence that streams and rivers will be protected, and provide a consistent regulatory system based on sound science.

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.

Financial Markets

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.

 

Food & Agriculture

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.

 

Good Workplace

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.

Health Care

The ASBC Action Fund and ASBC along with its member organization, the Integrative Healthcare Policy Consortium (IHPC) launched a strategic state-by-state campaign to support the implementation of Section 2706 of the Affordable Care Act. 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.

 

Media & Telecom

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.

Regulations

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.

Safer Chemicals

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.

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 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.

Sustainable Econ Growth

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.

Taxes

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.

Trade

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....

 

Business Members

Stand With Us

Join us in working towards a sustainable economy that meets the challenges of the 21st century, based on strategic investments in work force and infrastructure; standards and safeguards that promote innovation and protect the public; and sustainable economic growth that fosters a growing, secure middle class.

Organizational Members

Our Partners

American Sustainable Business Council is a national partnership of 78+ business associations representing over 200,000 businesses and 325,000 entrepreneurs, managers, investors, and others. These partners support sustainable development, socially responsible business practices, and strong local Main Street economies.