Statement of Purpose
Vision – Help make your Ottawa Small Businesses sustainable.
Mission – To collectively create new ways to implement sustainable actions now!
BackgroundSustainable Enterprise Alliance promoting as SEalliance.ca (SEa) is created by and for Ottawa local entrepreneurs.SEa is a B2B action focussed network of small business leaders in Ottawa, that facilitates business community connections of sharing, knowledge, resources and workspace.SEa helps facilitate projects, collaboration and social-responsibility. We bring together for our members best practices from around the world, for a common future .SEa means your business is committed towards sustainable practices that aims to balance People, Planet and Profit.
- We will showcase business members who collaborate with employees to learn, teach and create a sustainable mindset of people, planet and profit.
- We will be empowered, inspired and be proud to take ownership of our role in both SEa and in the larger B2B community.
- We will add value to our members by providing a forum for collaboration and education.
- We will build alliances and facilitate connections between entrepreneurs, organizations and businesses in our community.
- Encourage businesses to pay a living wage and implement a reasonable and flexible time off.
Planet (environmental )
- We recognize the importance of our natural environment and resources. To protect and restore it by choosing sustainable business practices.
- We will promote sustainable communities actions that use strong resources optimization to promote health, quality of life and well being.
- Reduce travel with e-Solutions ?
- We acknowledge business profitability is vital to keep a business alive but profit cannot be the only motivating purpose a balance between profit, people and the environment versus abuse of the people and the environment again balance is key.
- Members work towards a collaborative economy to reduce costs, time and energy that focus on it’s local economic, social, and environmental concerns .
- Through projects investment (time, effort, experience, knowledge, and money) our members will realize their own sustainable benefits earn recognition, financial profits also improve people’s lives and the planet .
- We foster new and support small businesses that offer creative solutions products and services that grow a resilient and regenerative local living economy.
- Building together a strong, mutually beneficial relationships with sponsors, partners, volunteers is instrumental in achieving our goals.
- A Desire beyond talk to put in action
- Community and connections
- Thinking with reciprocity in mind.
- Make an effort to “give back” to the community
- Focus on Relationships (with staff, other businesses, community)
- Interactive learning and teaching with tangible outcome
- What’s good for the sustainable business is good for the environment
- Foster a local living economy
- Strive for business transparency
- Shared learning and teaching
- Foster a sense of belonging among SEa members as well as the business community
- Support localism – consider local first sustainable businesses to other business.
- Keep a balance of the Triple bottom line of People Profit, Planet
SEa operates using a Local Living Economy framework which is an approach to economic development that focuses on local B2B businesses and stresses the necessity of a coherent working framework for Ottawa businesses, as well as challenges the traditional top-down nature of large corporations . A Local Living Economy is grounded in collaboration and the production and exchange of goods and services between businesses thus enabling economic power to be maintained at the local level to the largest extent possible. Local living economies are rooted in smaller, more accountable local businesses instead of transnational conglomerates and superstores. Locally owned, independent businesses enable communities to prosper through higher economic multipliers, greater self-reliance, and stronger labor, ecological, and social standards” (oxfordreference.com)SEa supports business that are independent, primarily locally owned, and are interested in growing the balance of sustainable profitability while valuing the unique needs and interests of local stakeholders. Local businesses have a deep impact and consideration of their community, and work with the natural environment and their community partners to yield a living return.
Measures of Success (2.0)
The Sustainable Enterprise Alliance measures its success by the following criteria:
- Members sharing their success and testimonials towards Sustainable Business Practices
- Good attendance to members meet ups.
- Growth of knowledge-based resource available on SEa web site
- Positive media exposure and increased community awareness
SEa Members (3.0)
Members of SEa are key to the success of the alliance and the players that will ensure a sustainable local economy.
Membership Criteria (3.1)
The following are the criteria and responsibilities of membership with SEa:
- Locally owned , 1-100 employees
- 51% ownership of a business located within Ottawa
- Makes independent purchasing decisions of products and services
- Promotion of environmental sustainability and/or corporate social responsibility in its goods, services and/or operations and an actionable pledge toward sustainability
- Agree and abide to SEa’s Vision and Mission and is willing to collaborate with other SEa members to reach its objectives.
Membership Fee/ Subscription (3.2)
- A monthly or annual membership or subscription fee may be implemented as dictated by the Board. Some member rates may include discounts or services of members or partners.
- To be considered a member in good standing, the member will have no outstanding accounts for membership fees or event tickets
- All Members will be identified on the website.
- For a list of benefits of membership will be listed on the website.
- Note: All first-year active members in good standing (i.e. fees paid prior to May 31, 2011) are considered Founding Members and will be identified as such.
- The annual fee may be waived in lieu of volunteering as lead on one or more working groups. Determined by Board vote.
Move to an AppendixBenefit of Membership to SEa (3.3).
(Member Benefits document that is attached to charter but can be changed by board).Membership to SEa provides a number of benefits including:
- Listing on SEa website as local business who stated a journey towards sustainability
- Platform to facilitate collaboration and projects between members
Our Offerings Online sustainability self discovery questionnaire or audit to produce actionable step by step to do list report
- Digital Help with project planning the ationable step by step report
- Online forum
- Meetups in person with measurable return of time investment
- Meetups online with a definitive takeaways
- Lunch & learn
- Reviews and Case studies
- Member profiles set up on google my business
- Video of a short profile of sustainability of your business
- Business development tools
SEa Organizational Structure (4.0)
The organizational structure consists of four (4) types of groups:
- Board of Director
- Sustainability Coordinator (employee)
- Working Groups
- Business Sectors Groups
Current roster of Board and Working Group members can be found in Appendix D – Working Group Members in this document.
Board of Directors (4.1)
The Board consists of the following positions. Details of the roles and responsibilities are located in Appendix A:
Chairperson Vice chairperson TreasurerSecretaryBoard member (Mix of Business owners, Non business owners, Consultants )
This board is responsible for:
- setting overarching organizational objectives and developing the strategies to achieve them as presented and discussed with SEa members;
- building strategic alliances in support of SEa;
- policies and procedures that will establish SEa as a going-concern organization
- keeping the organization on track with mission, objectives, budget, etc
- ensuring alignment of the activities of the working groups
- developing mid- and long-range strategies, to remove barriers to success for working groups, and to serve as SEa ambassadors
- supporting and steering the work of the grant-afforded employee(s).
All Board members, employees are expected to attend all board meetings. All members in good standing of SEa are welcome to attend any, or all, of the board meetings and are encouraged to volunteer with one of the working groups. Minutes of all Board meetings will be made available upon request. Sustainability Coordinator (employee) (4.2)The employee supports the implementation of strategic directions and various activities as directed by the Board. The employee is expected to attend all Board Meetings and some of the working group meetings if needed. The employee is also the liaison between the various working groups and the board. Description in Appendix A
Working Groups (4.3) Working groups are responsible for delivering to the membership of SEa a program or working examples consistent with SEa’s Sustainable Business practices and objectives. They can also help maintain ongoing interaction with SEa members to identify the causes, ideas and policies that members wish to actively support; identify the most effective avenues to promote SEa’s identified causes, ideas and policies and ensure feedback from the membership on various SEa activities.
The 9 working groups are as follows:
- Membership (linked to business sectors)
- Social media
- Business development
Working groups may be added or removed as needed.
Each working group will be asked to:
- Assign a leader per working group who will coordinate the work of the group and ensure communication with the Sustainability Coordinator as a conduit for information from the Board to the working group and vice versa.
- Coordinate and hold meetings to support their objectives and meet their deliverables
- Electronically submit an activity report, using a standardized form (See Appendix C – Monthly or quarterly Working Group Report), to the Secretary and Sustainability Coordinator a minimum of one week in advance of the monthly or quarterly board meeting.
The roles and responsibilities for each working group are outlined in Appendix B:
Business Sectors (4.4)
Members from all business types are welcomed. A wide-ranging variety sectors is encouraged so that SEa accurately reflects the greater community and thereby offers a balanced living economy.
Within each sector our aim, is to engage the mind like business people to share common business issues and needs that may create projects that accelerate sustainability.
By selecting leads in each sector among our members, it is hoped that each group of businesses can meet, network and discuss issues and create projects with the goal of maintaining or enhancing the economic, social, environmental resilience for a quality life in the Ottawa area.
The following represent the various business sectors groups:Our 15 business sectors or building blocks which businesses may be organising or searched by.
- Shelter (buildings,real estate… )
- Media / Communication
- Business Development / Professional Services
- Health and Well-being
- Art and Culture
- Habitat (outdoor landscaping, gardening etc)
- Waste and Recycling
This lead-business member will be responsible for arranging, with the help of the events committee, networking events as needed and gathering questions and feedback that can be provided to the Sustainable Coordinator so that programs and marketing initiatives may be created and implemented.
Partners and sponsors (5.0)
ROLES The Sustainable Enterprise Alliance offers several levels of organizational affiliations including:
- Partners (can be government, business or non profit).
SEA welcomes the valuable collaborations with its Partners under the following criteria:
- A company or individual who is a member of SEA, and fees are paid in full.
- All Partners will be recognized as such and listed at: http://www…. /partners
- Partners commit to participate in a SEA event(s) in ways to be agreed upon but not limited to: a presentation about their company’s successful application of living economies, agree to an interview for future publication by SEa, agrees to supply company marketing materials for use at SEa community events, agrees to allow the use of company logo on SEA marketing materials.
This in lieu of a determined sponsorship fee.
- A Partner’s membership fee can be waived in lieu of their commitment to SEa. Determined by Executive Committee vote.
Sponsor (Need Marketing Plan)An individual or organization that pays some or all of the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.
Role of A SponsorServes as a voice for the project or spokesperson to those who do not know about the project, including upper management. Gathers the appropriate support for the project. Ensures buy-in throughout the organization. Provides funding.
Benefits of sponsoring an event
- Put your business front and centre. …
- Get in front of your target market. …
- Brand awareness & media exposure. …
- Increase your reach and exposure to new clients, customers and businesses. …
- Reconnect with customers and engage with an audience. …
- Generate strong leads. …
- Deliver great ROI.
SEa recognizes the valuable contributions of volunteers to any organizations. An Individual who wishes to support and further the interests of SEa and who is not affiliated with a member business; Examples: students, family members, community leaders, media personalities. All volunteers will be listed on our webpage by year of their engagement .
SEa will use the Google Suites as its main communication platform and other social media. All relevant information will be available on the organizations website, including events, meetings and resources.
An annual general meeting (AGM) will take place on a yearly basis. Members will be notified of the AGM at least 4 weeks in advance. In addition to the AGM, the Executive Board will meet on a monthly basis. SEa will also encourage regular meet-ups or working group gatherings as needed.
All official meeting notes (AGM and Executive Board Meetings) including a summary of discussion and decisions will be available to all members.
Decision Making and Voting Process (7.2)
Each individual working group is empowered to make decisions on behalf of SEA but each decision must be approved by the Board at 51%.
Decisions with respect to the administrative aspects of the organization including delegating responsibilities, requesting financial transactions should be passed by a majority of the board members. Decisions on changes to the direction of SEa, new initiatives or aspects that need support from the members will need to be presented at the Annual General Meeting. Quorum during an annual meeting will be 50% of the voting members. Documentation of all motions must be present in electronic or paper minutes.
Code of Conduct (7.3)
As members of the greater community, SEA members are expected to conduct themselves in a responsible manner. A high moral sense should guide behaviors. As business people, it is expected that operations be conducted transparently. It is not expectable to publish SEA member’s lists to outside interests without the written approval of the individual member or one of the Executive committee.
Conflict Resolution (7.4)
In the event of questionable conduct being raised regarding a member of SEA, a written letter should be sent to SEA to the attention of Secretary or to one of the other Executive members with a complete and clear description of the concern. A private process will be conducted swiftly to ensure fairness and protection to all parties.
The Sustainable Enterprise Alliance will maintain a current account at Alterna Bank located at Bells Corners, 90K Robertson Road, Nepean ON K2H 5Z1.
All funds received by SEA will be deposited in the bank account and all disbursement of funds will be by cheque.
Two signatures, those of the Secretary/Coordinator and Treasurer, will be required on all cheques.
PayPal Account (7.5.2)
SEA will maintain a PayPal account in order to facilitate the online payment of member fees, event tickets, etc.
The Treasurer will monitor the balance in the PayPal account and will electronically transfer funds to the Alterna Bank current account, as necessary.
As SEA does not generate a large number of accounting transactions, the records of the organization will be maintained by the Treasurer in an Excel spreadsheet or accounting software.
The Treasurer will produce monthly financial statements for presentation at the Board meeting
The Treasurer, in consultation with the Board and working groups will prepare an annual operating budget for the fiscal year June 1st through May 31st, each year. The budget will be presented for final approval of the Board at the annual meeting.
In the event of the dissolution of the Sustainable Enterprise Alliance, all funds on hand will be disbursed in equal measure to all members in good standing within 60 days of the date of dissolution.
The Board must vote unanimously to dissolve the SEA for the association to cease operations.
APPENDIX A – Role and Responsibilities of Board Directors and Employee(s)
- Chairs monthly meetings of the Board
- Polls working groups and members to create agenda items in consultation with the Coordinator/Secretary
- Responsible for making sure the actions of the various working groups are concluded positively and responsible for the orderly functioning of day-to-day activities of the organisation.
- Work with external stake-holders and partner organizations on an as needed in conjunction with the coordinator .
- Support and backup to the Chairperson when not available
- Leads on review of charter or organizational changes if required
- Media contact for SEA (shared with Chair)
- Support the recruitment and retention of SEa partners, through promoting the value of affiliation with SEa
- Working collaboratively with the board members and the working groups to prepare annual budget
- Maintain records of all income and expenses, in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures) and applicable legislation.
- Make bank deposits and issue cheques, as required.
- Prepare monthly financial statements/bank reconciliations.
- Prepare annual report for internal review by April 30th; approved financial report will be posted on the website for member perusal.
- Process new memberships and renewals and track membership payment status in collaboration with Membership Working Group and Treasurer
- Record and distribute the minutes of Board meetings in collaboration with the Board
- Prepare agenda and email it, along with monthly Sub-committee activity reports to Board members.
- Ensure contact info for all the Board and Working Group members in collaboration with Membership Working Group
- Prepare email distribution lists for the above groups.
- Forward copies of agendas, minutes and monthly activity reports to the Webmaster for placement in the online archives.
- Maintain the Partnership Agreement, including criteria for SEa partners
- Maintain SEa permanent records, including Charter
- Support the recruitment and retention of SEa partners, through promoting the value of affiliation with SEa
- Maintain relationships with existing members through email/phone access
- Liaison between working group and members
- Ensure completeness of member information and update database with webmaster
- Keep and manage all the documents (both paper and electronic docs) in order.
- Represent the interest of SEa members on the board
- Help setup the short term and long term goals of SEa
- Assist with working groups as needed and day to day operations
- Ensure communications and outreach to the various business sectors
- Recruit new members to SEa and the board as needed
Sustainability Coordinator (employee)
- Conduct all activities and business in accordance with the mission and principles of Sustainable Enterprise Alliance (SEA).
- Report to and work in close cooperation with the Board of Directors of SEA. Regular progress and tracking reports should be submitted.
- Ensure communication to all working groups and between working groups and Board
- Coordinate natural resources, energy and clean technology engagement in the Sustainable Enterprise Alliance and Loving our Local projects.
- Develop a Sustainability plan pilot with the themes of sustainability as a framework and highlight climate and environmental challenges within these themes.
- Coordinate energy projects, including serving as representative on the Ottawa Energy Collective Impact team
- Research and meet with Clean Technology and natural resource companies in Ottawa to involve them in programs as appropriate. Track collaborations.
- Support communications for SEA & Loving Our Local, including and supporting the webmaster in updating the website and contributing to Social Media.
- Track key project results including key materials and photos for funders.
- Respond to general inquiries from the business community about SEA and solicit interest and participation in the organization and the Loving our Local Campaign.
- Support organizational fundraising for future projects of SEA.
- Assist with support/partnerships efforts for SEA
- Assist with organizational administration and other activities of SEA.
- Grant writer
- Fund raising for Sea
- Fundraising for members
APPENDIX B –
Role and Responsibilities of Working Groups leads volunteers
Working groups are responsible for delivering to the membership of SEa a program or working examples consistent with SEa’s Sustainable Business practices and objectives. Each working group will focus on a different aspect to support SEa and its members, though there may be some overlap. Working groups will be encouraged to share their findings with other groups and members at large. The following is a short description of the role and responsibilities of each group. The focus of each group may evolve depending on the needs, skills and experiences the members bring to the working groups.
- Membership (linked to business sectors)
- Social media
- Business development
Working Groups Leads Volunteers
When feasible, the groups are encouraged to appoint a lead for the working group. The leads will be responsible for the following:
- To act as an information conduit between members and the board and other Working Groups
- Coordinate working group activities: including defining goals and actions for the group, following progress, developing action plans, supporting activities and planning appropriate actions to keep activities aligned with SEa objectives .
- Prepare and submit to the Secretary and Employee, the monthly or quarterly report
- Notify the Secretary of changes to Working Group members
Membership Working GroupThe main responsibility of Membership Working Group is to recruit, attract and maintain SEA member. This main tasks are:
- Develop strategies to identify and attract potential new members and retain SEa members
- Identify potential new benefits available to SEA members and ensure communication of these benefits
- Implement the activities identified in the recruitment strategies to actively recruit new members, as per their sustainable sectors
- Support the recruitment of SEa members, partners, and volunteers to fill the roles within the working group.
- Support the recruitment and retention of SEa partners, through promoting the value of affiliation with SEa
- When new members join, ensure the completeness of member information and send the enrollment details sent to Webmaster. Send a welcome letter and follow up with a phone call.
- Ensure responses to inquiries from potential members
- Engage feedback and or survey from members on a yearly basis
- Keep in touch with members, partners and founding members and provide updated information.
Marketing + Social Media Working Group
The main role of the Marketing Working Group is to ensure increased awareness and understanding of SEa to its members, potential new members and the public. This group will support and collaborate with the other Working Groups as needed. The main tasks are:
- Develops and executes strategies to promote SEA and its activities through various means such as local media outlet, trade shows, events, etc; collaborating with other Working Groups to support their marketing needs.
- Develop and deliver professional presentation to new members groups, sponsors or partners.
- Conceive, create and provide necessary printed or online information and materials to assist promotion and awareness of SEa and its activities. This may include press releases, email blasts, editorial articles, content for displays, assorted handouts or brochures, business cards etc), graphic and photographic images for marketing deliverable (i.e. photos, logos, illustrations, schematics etc).
- Collaboration with Webmaster working group to ensure marketing content available on line as appropriate.
- Provide current member information to Green Pages liaison
Social Media Working GroupThe main role of the Social Media Working Group is to ensure an active presence on various social media platforms. Specific tasks may include:
- Develop a social media strategy, in collaboration with the board and working groups, that outlines potential messages, timing and social media platforms that supports the objectives of SEa
- Work in collaboration with the Webmaster Working Group to coordinate posting and information on the web and on social media
- Follow-up SEa’s social media platforms to ensure coverage, appropriate use and responses
Fundraising Working Group
- Recruit sponsors
- Research opportunities for grants and contributions for managing SEA
- Help organize fundraising events
- Leads review of fees in collaboration with Membership Working Group
Webmaster Working GroupThe main role of the Webmaster Working Group is to ensure a functioning website that meets the needs of SEa and its members. This group will work collaborative with the Board and Employee and other working groups to ensure appropriate content is available on the website. Specific tasks may include:
- Develop & maintain an attractive, functionally effective website to serve as an impressive resource, and also a promotional and awareness tool for SEa, its members and other working groups
- Maintain online enrolment pages (PayPal).
- Add/update member information.
- Add/update assorted information including an Events Calendar, Member Advertising (future), Social networking tools (future), Archives (future),
- Ensure online source/information related to marketing, etc.
- Distribute Press Releases and E-blasts as/when required
- Create/update online archive, a repository of Board agendas, minutes and sub-committee activity reports
- Create, manage & update a future online database
- Solve technical problems that occur on the website (programming errors links, server freezes, etc) and requests from members.
- Other content improvements to site (resources & links, member benefits, etc)
Volunteer Working GroupIn collaboration with the Sustainability Coordinator and other working groups, the Volunteer Working Group will facilitate the engagement of volunteers in various SEa activities when appropriate. This may include:
- Identifying and describing potential tasks that could be undertaken by volunteers.
- Ensure promotion of volunteer opportunities via various communications channels
- Liaison between potential volunteers and working group leads where a match between tasks and volunteer interest exist
- Keep track of volunteer engagement (numbers, hours, etc.)
- Ensure recognition of volunteer on a yearly basis or as deemed appropriate
.Events Working GroupThe main role of the Events Working Group is to identify and implement events that would meet the need of SEa, its members and its initiatives. This will be done in collaboration with other working groups. Some of the tasks may include:
- In collaboration with other working groups identify opportunities for events throughout the year in support of SEa and its initiatives (member recruitment, education workshops, etc.)
- Plan and execute events in collaboration with Marketing and Webmaster Working group to ensure awareness and promotion of events
- Research and list potential member venues that may be available for various SEa related events (workshops, working group meetings, etc.)
Education Working GroupThe Education Working Group is responsible for the delivery of educational programs and initiatives that will support members implement sustainable business practices, community B2B collaboration, and social-responsibility. This may include:
- Develop strategy for education program that line up with SEa objectives and identified by the Business Sectors group and members.
- Identify ongoing educational opportunities and potential collaboration with other organizations (affiliates of SEa?)
- Identify and book presenters for monthly or quarterly seminars
- Manage communications with OCRI administrative staff, regarding monthly seminars
- Manage communications with Webmaster to update event calendar regarding monthly seminar
- Develop a repository of resources (electronic) for the use of SEa members and submit to Webmaster for inclusion on website
Business Development Working Group.
Sustainable Business development group main roles entails tasks and processes to help small businesses develop and implement the triple bottom line practices for growth opportunities within and between organizations.
SEa Sustainable Business development creation is for a long-term value for our local sustainable businesses Help create any activity or projects collaborations with our business members or non-profit or affiliations which can serve the purpose of ‘developing’ sustainable business practices .Activities can be done internally or externally by listing members who are business development consultants.
External sustainable business development can be facilitated through Planning and B2B collaborations , which are put in place to help ottawa small businesses. SEa can help with reputation building its also proven to help facilitate business development.
- Provide connections to small business with staff issues
- Document way to Showcase the business case for sustainability
- Provide tools on how measure sustainability
- Help to set up google my business to be able to showcase their good reputation
- Help create a members Video on the business and its sustainable action
- Document and post interesting info on sustainable action
- Help with reporting
- Relevant info for ottawa businesses
- ethical Sources ?
APPENDIX D –
Committee Report Template Working Groups Activity Report
Working Group Lead:
This Month’s Activities:
Discussion Points for the Board:
APPENDIX E – 2020
Working Group/Board Members
Effective January, 2020, the following persons are members of the SEA Board and/or Working Groups:
Board Role SEA MemberManagement and Administration
Vice Chair Prasanna Siva
Sustainable Development AdvisorBoard member Tim Inkpen