This press release was originally published on CSRwire and is accessible here.
May 2012 — Social Venture Network (SVN) just announced the second group of inductees into the SVN Hall of Fame. Five “Environmental Evangelists” will be presented with the SVN Impact Award in a ceremony that recognizes outstanding leaders who have transformed the way the world does business.
Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield Farm; George Siemon, founding farmer and “CEIEIO” (pronounced C-EI-EI-O) of Organic Valley; Myra & Drew Goodman, co-founders of Earthbound Farm; Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation, will all be honored in person at the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame celebration taking place at Gotham Hall in Midtown Manhattan on November 13th, 2012. These dynamic entrepreneurs set the bar for sustainability, and built industry-leading companies that operate as if every day is Earth Day.
When Social Venture Network (SVN) was founded twenty-five years ago, it presented a new vision of business to the world – one that would simultaneously profit investors, employees, local communities, and the planet. SVN became the premiere force for cultivating entrepreneurs dedicated to “profit with a purpose.”
Now, upon the 25th Anniversary of the founding of SVN, the most influential values-driven business executives and impact investors will gather at the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame gala to pay tribute to the leaders that pioneered the new economy. “SVN members proved that businesses would be more responsible and successful if they focused on a triple bottom line: people, planet, and profit. ” says Deb Nelson, Executive Director. “These extraordinary entrepreneurs have all done well while doing good.”
“Environmental Evangelists are innovative entrepreneurs who care about all of their stakeholders, not just their shareholders, and created companies that respect and care for the earth and future generations.” says Nelson. Each of the honorees has created an enterprise of over $50 million in annual revenue and positively impacted the environment. Their passion and business leadership planted the seeds that have now grown into the modern organic foods and sustainable business movements.
Every SVN Impact Award winner was rigorously vetted by a panel of 20 judges representing corporate peers, industry experts, and business and organizational leaders.
There are five categories of inductees, and the results will be announced in stages building up to the final Hall of Fame awards ceremony on November 13th.
Hirshberg, Siemon, Hollender, and the Goodmans won in the category of Environmental Evangelists. Previously announced were the “Workplace Champions” category winners which inlcuded Eileen Fisher of EILEEN FISHER, Inc., Margo Fraser of Birkenstock USA, Gary Erikson of Clif Bar, Chip Conley of Joie de Vivre, and Bruce Poon Tip of G Adventures.
For more updates on the SVN Hall of Fame celebration and to buy tickets, visit http://svn.org/HoF.
Environmental Evangelists: SVN Impact Award Winners
Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield Farm
Gary Hirshberg started out as an environmentalist who studied climate change and renewable energy, not a yogurt maker. He co-founded Stonyfield Farm to be “yogurt with a purpose,” perpetually looking for more environmentally responsible ways to do things. In 1997 Stonyfield Farm became the first US manufacturer to offset all greenhouse gas emissions from facility energy use, it has continually reduced the weight of its packaging, and where possible transport its products by rail or trucks fueled with biodiesel. And since starting Profits for the Planet (PFP) in 1993, Stonyfield Farm has gifted $15 million in support of thousands of organizations that care for the earth.
George Siemon, founding farmer of Organic Valley and “C-EI-EI-O”
When George Siemon invited his fellow farmers in Southwestern Wisconsin’s coulee region to join a co-op dedicated to a new, sustainable approach to agriculture, family farms were on the brink of extinction. The brand they created, Organic Valley, soon became the number one source of organic milk in America. To this day, Organic Valley bases every decision on the health and welfare of people, animals, and the earth. Organic Valley promotes regional farm diversity and economic stability by means of organic agricultural methods, and is committed to consumer education and helping mission aligned organizations through grants, cash and food donations, and fundraising tools.
Myra & Drew Goodman, co-founders of Earthbound Farm
The Goodmans founded Earthbound Farm with the guiding principle that how we care for our planet is how we care for ourselves. Earthbound is constantly working to reduce its impact on the planet in every area of their business. In 2012 alone, Earthbound’s organic farming operations, set on nearly 40,000 acres, will keep over 14 million pounds of synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides out of the environment, absorb the equivalent carbon dioxide of taking more than 9,200 cars off the road annually, and save 74,165 gallons of water by using 100% recycled plastics (PCR PET) for packaging. Earthbound funds academic scholarships for the next generation of environmentalists, delivers farm-fresh organic products to local schools, supports local food banks, and each month the company gives to an employee nominated charity.
Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder of Seventh Generation
Jeffrey Hollender created Seventh Generation to deliver healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets, and people within each home – and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation under Hollender’s leadership innovated ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain.
Since 1987, Social Venture Network (www.svn.org) has been at the forefront of the socially responsible business movement, connecting, leveraging, and promoting a world-class community of more than 550 innovative entrepreneurs working to change the way the world does business and the way that business affects the world. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share lessons and resources, form strategic alliances, and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.