Over the past several months, TriplePundit has published many stories about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s stance opposing climate change legislation, and the subsequent announcements by Nike, Apple, PG&E and others that they would be leaving the national chamber in response. The Chamber has been embroiled in even further controversy, when it was discovered that the organization was playing fast and loose with its membership numbers and suffered a false press conference attack by the Yes Men.
Yesterday, we reported about several organizations that see sustainability as a catalyst for economic opportunity, and are helping member businesses realize the potential. Today, I would like to add to this list the Green Chamber of Commerce, a San Francisco-based business network of more than 160 Bay Area businesses from various industry sectors including architecture & design, media, finance, legal, renewable energy, and health. The company is celebrating its second anniversary this Thursday, November 5th, with an event titled, “Building an Honest Economy”, featuring a keynote speech by Ahmed Rahim, CEO and co-founder of Numi Organic Tea.
According to Green Chamber’s president, Phoebe Higgs,
“The Green Chamber of Commerce is built on the passion of companies and leaders who know going green is both better for the planet and good for business. To succeed in today’s environment, business must act with the greatest integrity, produce best-in-class products and clearly differentiate themselves in the marketplace. Companies must beat the competition on all fronts AND be green.”
Members of the GCOC include well-known SF companies Vetrazzo, maker of recycled glass countertops, Mechanics Bank, Sustainable Industries Magazine, green coupon provider EcoMetro Guide, and Oakland-based bus company AC Transit. These words by Vertrazzo Co-Founder Olivia Teter echo the sentiments of many small businesses that are striving to operate under a sustainable business mandate:
“At Vetrazzo, our goal is to demonstrate a better way of doing business, evaluating success based on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. With the Green Chamber of Commerce we are able to work with other businesses to leverage our resources, giving us greater influence and increased effectiveness in our efforts towards sustainability.”
The GCOC future plans include nationwide expansion. Who knows, perhaps, in the near future, the GCOC, or one of its cousins, will supplant the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as the default voice for businesses in the Unites States. Stranger things have happened, for sure, like a small upstart electric vehicle manufacturer purchasing a plant from former powerhouse GM.
The Green Chamber of Commerce’s annual celebration will be held Thursday, November 5th, in Oakland, click through for details.
Steve Puma is a sustainability and personal technology consultant. He currently writes for 3p as well as on his personal blog, ThePumaBlog, about the intersection of sustainability, technology, innovation, and the future. Steve holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Computer Science from Rutgers University. You can contact Steve through email or LinkedIn, or follow him on twitter.