New program teaches sustainable business
Businesspeople concerned with fair and sustainable practices need not learn only from the "school of hard knocks" anymore. As interest in the triple bottom line—people, planet, profit—has increased, so has the need for training in how to build a business based on those principles. Now, Green Mountain College, in Poultney, Vt., offers an online Master of Business Administration program emphasizing sustainable business practices. Beyond a foundation in core areas such as finance, marketing, leadership and law, the program focuses on the triple bottom line concept. Students learn how to attain their financial goals while still meeting the needs of employees, their community and other stakeholders. The course schedule is designed for working professionals and includes an optional track in nonprofit management. For more information, visit www.greenmtn.edu/graduate_studies/mba.
Partnership brings naturals, organics to social services
Twin Cities-based retailer Fresh & Natural Foods is taking natural and organic values into the social services sector, partnering with Golden Valley, Minn.-based Meridian Services to launch a home-health nutrition program, including revised menus for Meridian Services residence homes, which comprise supervised living, in-home and semi-independent living services for disabled people and their families.
The new menu items will include organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, chemical-free meat and dairy products, and gluten-free items. Bill Fogerty, owner of Fresh & Natural Foods, says his company's mission is to promote a preventive approach to health care, which includes clean food choices.
LOHAS consumers preach benefits of eco-shopping
Consumers in the lifestyles of health and sustainability category are the most influential and least price-sensitive, according to a new report from The Natural Marketing Institute, a Harleysville, Pa.-based consulting and research company. NMI's Consumer Trends Database reports that 76 percent of LOHAS consumers teach family and friends about the benefits of buying environmentally friendly products, compared with about 25 percent of other shoppers. That's good news for organics, since 82 percent of the surveyed LOHAS shoppers recognized the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification logo, and said they "totally understand" or at least "somewhat" understand what it means. Only 9 percent of LOHAS consumers said their purchases are mainly determined by price.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 22