Saturday, July 25, 2009

TriLibrium becomes a B Corporation


TriLibrium becomes Certified B Corporation

Portland, OR – July 25, 2009TriLibrium, perhaps the first triple-bottom line Certified Public Accounting firm in the nation, was recently certified as a B Corporation. TriLibrium becomes the seventh B Corporation in Oregon, joining nearly 200 nationwide.

TriLibrium was founded in 2008 by Brian Setzler, MBA, CPA and Andre’ Furin, MBA, to deliver tax, accounting and business advisory services to values driven people and organizations. Both Furin and Setzler have MBAs in Sustainable Business, who along with Eric Hasham, MBA, CPA, work to deliver triple-bottom line results to TriLibrium’s clients.

B Corporations are a new type of company which use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corporations are unlike traditional responsible businesses because they:
  • Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards.
  • Institutionalize stakeholder interests.
  • Build collective voice through the power of a unifying brand.
Besides measuring its traditional bottom line like every for-profit entity, TriLibrium also measures its impact on the environment as well as stakeholders within the community and works to find balance among the triple bottom lines of people, planet, and profit.

“We decided to become a B Corporation since we see that as the current gold standard for sustainably driven organizations” said Setzler. “Being a B Corporation helps us achieve even greater contributions towards creating a sustainable economy.”

Brian C. Setzler, MBA, CPA
Brian {at}
2000 NE 42nd Street, Suite D – PMB 213
Portland, OR 97213
Ph: 503-546-2050

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sustainable Systems at Work

The Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) has been around since the early 90’s when it was founded by Dick and Jeanne Roy, now with the Center for Earth Leadership. NWEI creates discussion courses which small groups can use to easily dive deeply into subjects to impact awareness, appreciation and change.

NWEI offers courses on global warming, food choices, voluntary simplicity, healthy children, deep ecology, discovering a sense of place, and choices for sustainable living. Most of these courses are designed so small (<12) self-directed groups spend 1 hour each week on the course readings and another hour in a group discussion. The courses are great for church groups, work places, community groups and neighborhoods. I’ve taken three courses over the years and they’ve all made an impact on my life.

Last night, NWEI launched their newest course offering: Sustainable Systems at Work. This is a 5-week course specifically designed for use in the workplace, designed to further organizational sustainability initiatives. Weekly sessions include:

• Seeing the Big Picture
• Taking a Closer Look
• Framing Sustainability
• Seeing it Through
• Focusing on Action

This looks like a fantastic course to impact change in your workplace. I am actually working with a new client who is looking to adopt sustainability as a business strategy. I think this course might be an effective way for them to begin a dialog, educational and visioning process.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sustainable Business Resources

I was recently interviewed by Jennifer Woofter, the Founder and President of Strategic Sustainability Consulting, for the free podcast series they offer on sustainability. In my interview, we discuss a number of issues including how accounting fits into the sustainability field.

Strategic Sustainability Consulting is building a very nice library of bite-sized podcasts on a wide variety of topics pertinent to sustainable business, including renewable energy options, carbon regulation, sustainable design and more. I’d especially like to direct you to the podcasts on Green Business Travel with Kim Allen and Green IT with Jessica Vreeswijk, both Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) alumni. Jennifer and the team at Strategic Sustainability Consulting add a new podcast every week or two so check back frequently for new topics from sustainability experts.

As you know, sustainable business is the new and emerging paradigm. The folks over at ISSP (International Society of Sustainability Professionals), of which I am a member, are offering a Professional Certificate in Sustainability. You can take the individual courses ala carte, or select the appropriate courses to obtain the certificate if you’d like. Many of the instructors are top professionals in their field. People like Darcy Hitchcock, Marsha Willard and Tom Gloria, to name a few of the ISSP instructors, are both practitioners and teachers. I bring this up because there is a course on Life Cycle Assessments beginning in August that one of us from TriLibrium will be attending.

Monday, July 13, 2009

We need campaign finance reform

I’m opposed to the Cap-and-Trade scheme making its way through Congress as the Waxman-Markey bill. I strongly support greenhouse gas reductions but the 1,400 page Waxman-Markey bill is a corporate boondoggle that only Wall Street traders and speculators could love.

My preference is for a Carbon Tax with 100 percent dividend refunded directly to citizens on a per capita basis. This is simple to administer, revenue neutral for the government, would flow through to all activities and industries, and provides appropriate incentives and market signals. Those who pollute less than average would actually be subsidized by those who pollute more than average. While this is a simple solution, you can count on Washington to overlook this in favor of their lobbyist ridden legislation.

My strong opposition to Cap-and-Trade is due to the fact that I don’t think it goes far enough and we don’t have time to waste on half measures. It’s a scam that is going to transfer billions of dollars to speculators and polluters and because it fails to accomplish much, other countries don’t see the US response as meaningful or credible. As Dr. James Hansen points out in his recent entry on The Huffington Post, this measure will create a decade or more delay before we’ll get another chance to create an economically and ecologically sound climate change policy.

I have the same sick feeling about health care reform. While the best shot at getting a comprehensive, affordable and universal health insurance plan is HR676 (Single Payer Health Care system), it isn’t even being discussed due to the pervasive influence of corporate lobbyists. My fear is we adopt some weak and ineffective system that sets back real reform another decade or two.

I’ve been a Single-Payer supporter since I first learned about the idea of universal health care back in 1991. I’ve been waiting 18 years now. I’d love to see the US solve this problem but we won’t get there if we allow corporate lobbyists to set the agenda like we have with carbon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Connection, experience, meaning

It can be hard to keep up with blogging. I hit a peak back in February but then slowed. Summer in Portland is not the best time to be sitting at a computer writing. I apologize for not posting more often but my inspiration/time ratio hasn’t been there, until today.

I just got another piece of junk mail from Office Depot. They purchased our name from the business license list after we opened TriLibrium and we’ve gotten bombed with their catalogs ever since, despite repeated requests to stop mailing to us. We are primarily a paperless firm and it is discouraging to consume more paper in their worthless catalogs then we’ve put through our printer in a nearly a year.

I hate Office Depot and other advertisers who bombard me with their junk mail. I don’t want it and yet they continue. Is this how they win over customers?

Permission based marketing is the rule these days. If your prospects don’t want to hear from you, don’t continue pestering them. You’ll waste your money and might actually create an “enemy.”

Here in Portland, I would venture to say there is a significant percentage of the population who despise getting junk mail and other unwanted and intrusive solicitations. If you are responsible for marketing, you must figure out a way to reach people in ways that don’t offend.

Jelly Helm, a casual friend and the former Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy, gave a talk on advertising and the consumer culture back in December for the Oregon Council for the Humanities “Think & Drink” series. It was a great event and the one thing that really stuck with me was Jelly’s contention that advertising was dead and no longer worked.

People are essentially immune to advertising at this point he said. Advertising used to move products but no more. Given the current state of technology, people expect control over what reaches them.

Jelly claimed that consumers now make decisions based on meaning, connection and experience. If your company isn’t delivering on those intangibles, you will lose customers as someone does.

Finally, if you want to get off mailing lists and reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, this blog post had the addresses and websites so you can make it happen.