On September 15, 2017 AUNE’s Department of Management hosted a gathering of regional companies dedicated to learning from each other how to improve their triple bottom business practices. This All Group Unconference is part of a program called BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines developed by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA). NESEA’s Director of Program Development, Miriam Aylward, MBA ’14, returned to campus to spearhead this event. Kate Stephenson, MS ’07, Partner at Helm Construction Solutions, a company based in Brattleboro, Vermont that works with owners, designers and builders to create high performance and sustainable buildings and businesses, also returned to campus to attend the conference.
The day was organized into large group discussions and breakout topics in a variety of interest areas including Business Growth & Transition, Tension Between Money & Meaning, and Marketing the Triple Bottom Line. One participant at the event said, “The best parts of the All Group Unconference were meeting people in other groups, the thematic focus of breakout sessions, and the opportunity to think and talk about big picture questions like, What does it mean to be in bottom lines? What are we committing to and standing for? What are we collectively working towards?”
BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines consists of regional peer groups of architecture, engineering, building, design/build, energy efficiency, and renewable energy businesses dedicated to high-performance building. But the focus is not on building. The groups meet several times a year for two-day facilitated sessions at individual members’ places of business and communicate online year-round. Bottom Liners share the inner workings of their businesses with their peers who help them sharpen their skills and improve their Triple Bottom Lines (People, Planet, and Profit). ” For our company, BuildingEnergy Bottom Lines provides the opportunity to learn from other companies that have already tackled the issues we face as a growing small business,” another participant said.
NESEA advances the adoption of sustainable energy practices in the built environment by cultivating a community where practitioners share, collaborate and learn. NESEA, Founded in 1974 and headquartered in Greenfield, MA is the region’s leading 501(c)(3) membership organization promoting sustainable energy practices in the built environment. Its work is vital to increasing sustainability, especially in the building sector, which in the United States, accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption and produces nearly half of all greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest single contributor to climate change. Working to shape the built environment helps shape the future of cities and towns, and the planet. NESEA operates primarily in the northeastern United States, but is increasingly reaching out to share ideas nationally and internationally.