NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge

Oct 7, 2016

The New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge was founded by the University of New Hampshire in 2013 in partnership with Nobel Peace Prize winner, and father of the microfinance movement, Muhammad Yunus, who was also the inaugural keynote speaker, attracting over 700 people. It has become an annual signature event which powerfully demonstrates the keen interest of students and community entrepreneurs and activists in helping address some of society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges, and their creativity in designing novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions.

Coca-Cola Bottling Plant achieves 96% Recycle Rate

Oct 3, 2016

 LONDONDERRY – For the past year, Ray Dube of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England (CCNNE) has wanted to add another mark to a growing checklist of successful sustainability initiatives at his company.

As the sustainability manager at Bedford-based CCNNE, Dube has overseen a wide range of small and large efforts to recycle, reduce waste, and integrate sustainability into every facet of business operations. To his credit, this has made Dube a local celebrity of sorts as a sought-after sustainability lecturer who makes scores of presentations to schools and business groups across Northern New England.

Sustainable or Green-washing?

Sep 23, 2016

New Hampshire Public Radio podcast on Sustainability

Many companies these days take pride in reducing their environmental impact, from composting to using lighter packaging.  And it's a selling point, as more consumers favor environmentally conscious firms. Some businesses, however, are accused of green-washing -- promoting an image that has little to do with reality.


900 Degrees cranks up the heat on sustainability

Sep 13, 2016

 This article first appeared in New Hampshire Business Review. 

Priscilla Lane-Rondeau, owner of 900 DegreesPriscilla Lane-Rondeau is looking forward to opening a new restaurant while building on the sustainability practices that have become a hallmark of her brand. 

Lane-Rondeau, owner of 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, said she hopes to finalize paperwork soon to open a new restaurant in Portsmouth by the end of the year to join her locations in Manchester and Epping. The new location in Portsmouth will likely be located along Lafayette Road, away from the crowded restaurant scene in downtown Portsmouth. Equally important, the new Portsmouth location will have enough space to add composting to her green legacy.

Dover brewery raises a glass to community

Jul 13, 2016

This article originally appeared in the New Hampshire Business Review

By Michael McCord

The 7th Settlement brewery offers many choices of handcrafted beer and food in Dover, but most of it all it offers a lesson in top-to-bottom sustainability.

Founded by David Boynton and Josh Henry, 7th Settlement opened its doors in November 2013. The journey was almost a full decade in the making as the former home brew devotees wanted to combine the best of microbrew quality with a local farm-to-table focus. One of those goals was to revive the importance of local pubs to their community (the company name pays homage to Dover’s status as the country’s seventh-oldest continuous settlement and oldest in New Hampshire).

Farm fresh organic on the go at Turnip the Beet

Jul 6, 2016

This article originally appeared in the New Hampshire Business Review

Chef, wife and mother of three, Allison Williams has parlayed a passion for cooking and a dramatic life change into Turnip the Beet, a venture that redefines the meaning of takeout with farm-to-fork meals to go.

In less than a year, Williams has developed a devoted clientele for her “Clean Eating” meals loaded with organic ingredients from local farms in the Seacoast region.

A former retail expert in the fashion industry, she had a life-altering experience when she undertook the Whole30 diet makeover and cleanse – a program that proponents say counteracts the unhealthy drawbacks of grain, sugar and dairy products.

Williams said that for years she had felt a consistent energy drain as she gained weight and suffered from frequent heartburn. Her new diet changed all that.

Grappone Automotive Embraces Sustainability

May 24, 2016

This article first appeared in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Michael McCord

CONCORD — At Grappone Automotive Group doing things a little differently isn’t just a slogan, but a daily fact of life for its team members, guests and the greater Concord community.

“We know there are a lot of better ways to get the job done, and it’s our mission to find as many as we can,” said Amanda Grappone Osmer, the fourth-generation owner. “If you’re allowing your team to be creative, that’s gigantic.”

Sustainability has become an expanding definition for Grappone Automotive Group which was founded in 1924. A few years ago, the Toyota-Scion dealership became the first Toyota facility in New England with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The renovated Toyota-Scion dealership met extremely high standards across six different categories, from environmental quality to innovation and design.

On her own initiative, Osmer immersed herself in learning about lean manufacturing techniques and was fascinated most by the focus on human capital. “The more you look at the world through a 'lean' lens, the more you realize how many great ideas aren’t being heard. For me, that’s the most egregious form of waste: the waste of human creativity,” Osmer explained. “When leaders don’t listen to the great ideas their teams have, who knows what kinds of environmental or other problems are going unsolved.”

As an example, Osmer doesn’t have to look far. Her collision center manager Moe Gagnon invented and patented a new paint stand apparatus that allows for a more efficient process for the painting of vehicles in the body shop.

“It’s ingenious. It cuts down on material waste, on everything from paint to the large amounts of paint tape, and it provides the painter with the ability to match panels more effectively,” she said. Gagnon had had the prototype idea of the Lean Line Paint Stand for a while but he was spurred to action by the relocation of the collision center – and a desire to find the most efficient way to maximize the process.

Green Alliance Changes Hands, Leaders

Jan 7, 2016

 This article was written by Brian Early and first appeared in Seacoast Online on Sunday, January 3rd 

PORTSMOUTH – The Seacoast’s environmental sustainability marketing firm, Green Alliance, has changed ownership as ofthe first of the year and is no longer led by founder Sarah Brown.

After six years of building a clientele of businesses and helping environmentally minded consumers connect to those businesses, Brown sold the company to Mike Bellamente and three other partners who hope to expand the brand of Green Alliance beyond the bounds of the Seacoast. Brown will remain a consultant to the business for the next six months to assist with the transition.

For Brown, leaving was based on two main reasons. One was family. She wants to spend more time with her three daughters who range in age from 12 to 16 before they finish high school and leave home. The other was that she started losing the drive that brought her to work every day. It starting becoming more of a job than a passion.

“It was time for me to move on,” she said. “I don’t just want to punch a clock.”
She knows other small business owners who continue to work for a business they are no longer passionate about, and she didn’t want to join their ranks.

Is the Christmas Goose Making a Comeback?

Dec 23, 2015

Sarah Brown, Director of the Green Alliance recently completed her second story on the rising popularity of the 'Christmas Goose' for National Geographic's 'The Plate'. 

A hundred years ago, a golden-browned goose was a familiar delicacy on December 25th. Scrooge thought it essential to add to poor Bob Cratchet’s table in A Christmas Carol, and a goose who lays golden eggs was a prize in the Jack In the Beanstalk story. But good luck finding one at your average American supermarket today.

The Christmas goose actually traces its roots back to the medieval European feast of Martinmas. St. Martin was revered in Roman times as a spiritual leader and patron of children and the poor. As legend goes, one evening, having learned of his consecration as Bishop, he hid in a barn to avoid what he saw as a title above his humble station, only to be revealed by the loud squawking of geese. Their punishment? Feast fare for centuries to come. But as farming life waned, so did the goose—an animal that requires a long maturation time, much grazing area and time and effort to cook. One New Hampshire farmer is working to bring them back.

Read the full story on The Plate

A Sustainable Approach to Golf Course Management

Dec 14, 2015

Originally published in the New Hampshire Business Review

The terms sustainability and golf don’t easily mix well. Golf courses have been known for decades for their excessive use of water and pesticides to create pristine green playing conditions. But Richard Luff, the president and co-owner of Sagamore Hampton Golf Club in North Hampton, is part of a family tradition stretching back to the late 1920s that set itself part – so much so that Luff co-authored book on using ecologically sound methods pioneered by his father Peter.