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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ben & Jerry's: More Than Great Ice Cream

We commend Ben & Jerry's and their corporate leadership in green.  We look forward to releasing this video series and will add them to our radio guests list.  Also, we plan to shoot some shows up there in the Spring.

We also commend Vermont for their transformation and sustainable accomplishments.

Last week, ReNewable Now traveled up to South Burlington, VT to the  headquarters of the one and only Ben & Jerry's to do a feature story on the company's sense of social responsibility and their overall culture. This article is an early preview to an extensive report and video series that will be coming out early next year. But for now, we wanted to give our readers a bit of a taste of a company that walks the talk, and may just be the model for all others to follow.

As we made our way up North through the beautiful countryside of Vermont, we could easily see why this is called the Green Mountain State. As we admired what nature brought to this part of the United States, we couldn't help but notice the number of farms that I could see from the highway that had their own solar fields. For many years now, Vermont has been a true leader when it comes to environmental issues and sustainability, so we shouldn't have been that surprised. But it was just such a great thing to see as we made our way towards South Burlington. 

Once off the highway and on our way to Ben & Jerry's, we could easily spot the headquarters amidst the white snow and grey buildings, because it was the only hint of color on the block!  When we entered the front lobby, we were welcomed by smiley receptionists and an indoor tree house (used as a conference room!) and slide. Yup, we were going to have a very special report, indeed.  
Spock On Deck at Ben & Jerry's 

We proceeded to meet with Kelly Mohr, Manager of Public Relations Shenanigans, and Lindsay Bumps, Public Relations Media Mavin (GOTTA LOVE THEIR TITLES), who gave us some insight into the history and philosophy of the company, as well as a tour of the facility, which included the gym, yoga room (known as the Zen Den), and kitchen, just to name a few.  We also encountered their rescue dogs, Spock and Quinby.Yes, employees are welcome to bring their dogs to work. If that isn't a great benefit, I don't know what is!

Our final interviewee was Christopher Miller, Activism Manager for Ben & Jerry's. He spoke with us about the company's specific campaign, "ISSUES WE CARE ABOUT." These are social concerns that are explained- and beyond the explanation, a call to action is put into place, not only for Ben & Jerry's, but also for citizens around the world. Responsibility towards these issues, in one way or another, finds its way into all of Ben & Jerry's business decisions and products. Christopher explained to us that businesses are in a unique position, one that allows them to be a tremendous source for positive change. In our on-camera interview (to air next month), Christopher really shared his passion for these issues, and explains the importance of companies embracing social responsibility. He also provides us with tips on how companies can begin to take steps in growing and developing their very own social responsibility efforts from the ground up. 

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