22 May

Recap: NYSSBC’s 3rd Annual Albany Sustainable Business Summit

Business leaders from New York City to Buffalo and Binghamton to the Capitol Region convened in Albany on May 9 for NYSSBC’s 3rd annual Albany Sustainable Business Summit, a non-stop day of briefings, legislative visits and networking. It was the first time many of the attendees had ever been to the Capitol buildings.



Some of the founding members of NYSSBC (L to R): Hilary Baum of Chefs for the Marcellus; Chris Burger of Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition; Laura Ornstein of NYSSBC; Jan Rhodes Norman of Local First Ithaca; and Ajax Greene of Re>Think Local


Our agenda was packed with NYSSBC’s priority issues for 2016: clean energy, safer chemicals, GMO labeling, rural economic development, worker-owned cooperatives, and campaign finance reform. We were inspired by the successful New York Paid Leave Coalition; well-fed thanks to lunch sponsor Clean and Healthy NY; and well-recycled and composted by Zero to Go.



Presenters of issue briefings (L to R): Andrew Delmonte of Cooperation Buffalo & Buffalo First! on employee-owned enterprises; Jan Rhodes Norman of Local First Ithaca & Silk Oak on Citizens United; Kathy Curtis of Clean and Healthy NY on safer chemicals and the Child Safe Products Act; and Artie Malkin representing Food & Water Watch on GMO labeling. Not pictured: Bill Nowak of NY-GEO on geothermal energy and Jeffrey Quain from the office of Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo on industrial hemp


IMG_6735NYSSBC partnered with NY-GEO to highlight two bills that would provide tax parity for geothermal energy by creating a sales tax exemption (S6250A/A9128A) and tax credit (S6249/A9925). Our work on GMO labeling (S485/A617) was enriched by our collaboration with Food and Water Watch and the NY GMO Labeling Coalition. We advocated for the updating of the Industrial Hemp Pilot (S6960/A9310A), designed to spur rural economic development especially in the Southern Tier, and educated legislators on the needs of incentives and support for worker-owned cooperatives (A9618). The business perspective on overturning Citizens United was presented to encourage New York to become the 17th state to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to limit special interest money in elections.

IMG_6737Attendees were provided a folder with summaries of the policies and their current status, a schedule of legislative meetings and legislator bios, and talking points memos on the various issues.

NYSSBC will continue to monitor these issues and update our business community on opportunities to participate and support them. Sign up for our newsletter (on the right) to stay in the loop!



L to R: Nicole Matteson, NYSSBC member Andrew Delmonte of Buffalo First! & Cooperation Buffalo, and Bill Nowak of NY-GEO


L to R: Sarah Womer of Zero to Go & Laura Ornstein of NYSSBC


L to R NYSSBC Members: Anne Sherman of Staach, Bob Rossi of the CommonSpot, and Leslie Ackerman of Local First Ithaca


A special thanks to:

Our lunch sponsor


Promoting safer chemicals, a sustainable economy and a healthier world.






Our waste manager







Our promotional partners

summit promotional parner