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Net Impact is a global community of over 300 chapters and more than 40,000 student and professional leaders working within and beyond business to tackle the world's toughest problems. 

Brewing Positive Impact at Bluejacket

posted Mar 30, 2014, 7:50 AM by DCNI Board   [ updated Apr 7, 2014, 8:10 PM ]

DC Net Impact members and friends got together on March 26 for another successful networking event at the impressive Bluejacket Brewery in Southeast.In addition to enjoying each other's company, guests were invited on an exclusive tour of Bluejacket's brew works, including the "sour room,"where the bacteria used to ferment sour beers are kept from contaminating other brews.

DCNI is proud to showcase and support the growing multitude of local businesses incorporating environmentally sustainable practices into their operations. By building out an existing facility, sourcing local ingredients, and sending spent grain to local farms, Bluejacket certainly fits that mold.

2014 Member Survey

posted Feb 11, 2014, 2:22 PM by Tara Losoff   [ updated Feb 17, 2014, 11:41 AM by DCNI Board ]

Want more expert panels? More career info? More tools for entrepreneurs? What kind of events and information can DC Net Impact provide for you this year? Let us know! Take the DC Net Impact member survey today!

Speed Networking an Instant Success

posted Feb 4, 2014, 8:39 AM by DCNI Board   [ updated Feb 17, 2014, 11:37 AM ]

Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact

With the clock ticking, a roomful of DC Net Impact members and friends took advantage of the opportunity to network with distinguished sustainability and nonprofit professionals at our Feb. 11 Speed Networking event at RFD in Chinatown.

Participants got three 15-minute rounds in small-group sessions with our "celebrity networkers," and the chance to ask them anything about their careers, organizations and sectors -- or just seek general advice. 

Throughout the evening, the power of Net Impact's network and its ability to bring together likeminded, passionate people was on full display.

Thanks again to all who attended, and especially to our celebrity networkers who made the event a success:
  • Joseph Crea, International Marketing & Communications Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council 
  • Stéphane de Messieres, Director of Operations, Ashoka Changemakers
  • Maureen Johnson, Global Sustainability Manager, Deloitte
  • Jeff Lundy, Research Manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
  • Brendan Shane, Director of the Office of Policy and Sustainability, District Department of the Environment
  • Adam Sledd, Program Director, Commercial Real Estate Engagement, Institute for Market Transformation
  • Joanne Sonenshine, Founder & CEO, Connective Impact

DCNI Kicks Off 2014 in Style

posted Jan 9, 2014, 8:34 PM by DCNI Board   [ updated Feb 4, 2014, 11:39 AM ]

DC Net Impact members and friends filled the lounge at Lost Society on U Street on Jan. 29, celebrating a year of notable accomplishments and kicking off a promising 2014. In addition to great networking opportunities, along with food and libations, President Mikael Baker recapped DCNI's last 12 months -- which included being honored as Net Impact's national professional chapter of the year.

Baker also introduced keynote speaker Laura Asiala, senior director of client relations & public affairs at PYXERA Global. Asiala spoke about her work with PYXERA, which she joined in 2013 after a long career at Dow Corning Corp., where she directed corporate citizenship strategies. PYXERA engages corporate clients to facilitate volunteerism, including through its MBAs Without Borders initiative, and to find shared value with local communities. Asiala told the audience that companies today must earn a "license to operate" in their markets and other stakeholder communities, which requires on-the-ground engagement more than ever.

Asiala also recounted how she first got involved with Net Impact, when she spoke on a panel to an enthusiastic audience at the 2010 national conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She left so impressed by the Net Impact community that she signed on to join the national advisory board and has since become an active member of the D.C. chapter.

DCNI's kickoff offered great reminders about the benefits of Net Impact membership. To join our dynamic community of sustainability and social impact professionals, visit the Net Impact national website here. And be sure to check DCNI's events page to see what's coming up locally.

Volunteering at DC Central Kitchen

posted Jan 6, 2014, 8:03 PM by DCNI Board

DC Net Impact's commitment to social impact extends not just to the high reaches of government and industry, but to the community level, too. On Jan. 6, DCNI members and friends spent an evening volunteering at DC Central Kitchen, which serves 5,000 meals daily to homeless shelters, halfway homes and other local nonprofits. Beyond providing those meals, DCCK stands as a unique hybrid of social enterprise and traditional business, with food recycling and culinary training programs alongside catering and food distribution operations. DC Net Impact is proud to support the work of DC Central Kitchen. Thanks to all who came out!

Have You Seen Our Annual Report?

posted Jan 1, 2014, 12:52 PM by DCNI Board

Liz Maw, CEO, Net Impact

At Net Impact, we know it's critical to take time to pause and reflect. Our 21st year has been a remarkable one, thanks to the passionate involvement of the Net Impact community. Our mighty network has grown to over 40,000 strong, with more than 300 volunteer-led chapters spanning the globe, driving impact on campus and on the job. We’re pleased to share some of these successes with you in our newly released annual report.

At the heart of our net impact this year were the outstanding accomplishments of our global network of student and professional leaders. College students on 74 campuses made their first moves towards social and environmental impact through the Small Steps, Big Wins Campus Challenge. Members of one graduate chapter created grade-A sustainability reports first for their university, then town – and will now share their findings nationally. Five professionals became finalists for our Impact at Work Award for creating breakthrough change on the job. You'll find these stories (and more) within this report's pages.

Other things you'll find within this report's pages:
  • Our ambitious 10-year strategy, including how we've piloted new initiatives and what we’ve learned
  • Profiles from our global network of student and professional leaders, and their outstanding accomplishments
  • An overview of our program areas by audience, as well as new developments to come
We hope you’ll walk away from our annual report with a better sense of the breakthrough year we built together at Net Impact.

Collaborations, Trade-Offs and Transparency: Driving Sustainability Through the Private Sector

posted Nov 14, 2013, 7:52 PM by DCNI Board

Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact

On November 14, a panel of speakers from the environmental NGO world and from the corporate space pulled back the curtain on sustainability, revealing what it takes to effect change while maintaining realistic expectations. The event, "Driving Sustainability Through The Private Sector," was co-sponsored by the D.C. Professional and Georgetown McDonough School of Business chapters of Net Impact and The Nature Conservancy, and was hosted by Busboys and Poets.

Jim South, Collaboration Lead for TNC's partnership with Dow Chemical Co., and TNC Spatial Scientist Jon Fisher played up the positive benefits of sustainability partnerships. Since 2011, TNC and Dow have worked together to incorporate environmental conservation into business decision-making, developing tools that could eventually be applied across industries. South emphasized that the return on sustainability investments are often attractive enough on their own for companies, without even considering positive conservation impacts.

But on the corporate side, sustainability is never as simple as black and white. Jenny Burns, Director of Mission at Honest Tea, said it's impossible for any company to do the right thing all the time, given cost and technology barriers. For example, Honest Tea packages some of its beverages in glass and others in plastic -- and tries to be transparent about the energy and waste trade-offs of both materials. Similarly, Jill McCarthy, Coordinator of Mission and Purpose for Whole Foods Market's Mid-Atlantic Region, made clear that while the grocery chain is highly mission-driven, consumer taste is the ultimate arbiter of whether Whole Foods carries certain products with larger environmental footprints.

Fisher lamented that the ubiquity of "green" label certifications and marketing language around "sustainability" have made it challenging to distinguish between a company truly doing the right thing and a company simply greenwashing. As the field matures and certain companies begin to realize the long-term benefits of their sustainability investments, the incentives to act with conservation in mind will become clearer. In the meantime, the panelists advised the audience not to get hung up on seeking jobs labeled as "sustainability" positions. Rather, it's better to learn an industry or a company inside and out first, which then allows you to see the areas of greatest potential impact and the ability to transition to the sustainability space.

Share Your Wisdom w/ DC Students & Professionals

posted Nov 3, 2013, 12:23 PM by DCNI Board

Dan Last, Chair of Student & University Partnerships, D.C. Net Impact

Are you interested in being a mentor, or perhaps speaking on a panel with other local professionals? 

What about hosting a tour of your workplace, or co-sponsoring a student/professional networking happy hour? 

There are twelve graduate and undergraduate Net Impact chapters in the Washington DC area -- and many opportunities to share your experience and expertise!

We are here to connect you with students and professionals who like you, want to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally responsible world. 

Click here or email partnerships@dcnetimpact.org today to get involved!


Honest Impact: An Evening with Honest Tea's Seth Goldman

posted Oct 23, 2013, 6:20 PM by DCNI Board

Dan Schiff, VP of Programming & Events, D.C. Net Impact

Long-time Net Impact member and supporter Seth Goldman, "Tea-EO" of Honest Tea, spoke to an enthusiastic audience on Oct. 22 about conscious capitalism and his journey since co-founding the Bethesda-based company in 1998. 

The event, co-sponsored by the D.C. Professional and George Washington University chapters of Net Impact, also gave Goldman a chance to share excerpts from his new book "Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently -- And Succeeding," co-written with Honest Tea co-founder Barry Nalebuff.

Even though Honest Tea has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company since March 2011, Goldman pitched his firm as doing work comparable to that of a non-governmental organization: 
  • helping to eliminate billions of calories from the American diet by offering less-sweetened beverages
  • supporting the growth of organic agriculture through a carefully managed supply chain
  • spreading fair trade labor standards in the developing world through supplier verification programs 

Far from watering down Honest Tea's mission since the acquisition, Coca-Cola now offers Goldman's team the opportunity to leverage its massive distribution capacity, giving Honest Tea access to thousands of additional retail outlets and allowing it to scale up its positive impact on suppliers and consumers.

Goldman also plugged Net Impact, of which he has been a member for two 
decades, praising the organization's commitment to moving corporate social responsibility into the mainstream. Net Impact additionally serves as a platform for bringing together like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs; Goldman noted that he recently joined the board of another mission-driven food company, Beyond Meat, whose founder Ethan Brown is a Net Impact alumnus. 

Goldman left the audience with a Chinese proverb: "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it." Though we're a long way from realizing a business world in which every company embraces honesty, transparency and positive social impact, the rapid growth of Honest Tea and others suggests a major market shift is underway.

Impact at Work Toolkit

posted Oct 7, 2013, 8:58 PM by DCNI Board   [ updated Oct 7, 2013, 9:00 PM ]

Want to start a social or environmental movement in your workplace? Use the Impact at Work Toolkit to kick off a social or environmental project at work, and discover how you can make a net impact

Our free PDF toolkit walks you through the process step-by-step, and includes useful worksheets for any project. Download the toolkit, here.

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