A Record in Business and a Program for the Treasury
"Green" in the Business World
Steve Grossman has not simply talked about environmental values; he has made them a cornerstone of how he does business.
Grossman Marketing Group, his 100-year-old family business in Somerville, has been at the forefront of environmentally sustainable business practices. It invests in renewable energy certificates to offset its carbon footprint -- one of the first companies in Massachusetts to do so -- and uses 100% certified wind power in the production of its printed products. To date, Grossman Marketing has sold 325 million wind power-certified envelopes. This has resulted in:
* A reduction in CO2 emissions by 1.9 million pounds as compared to fossil fuel energy.
* A savings of 2,100 barrels of oil (roughly 88,000 gallons).
* That translates into saving 41,000 gallons of gasoline and 19,000 gallons of home heating oil.
Grossman Marketing Group is an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "Green Power Partner." It is a founding member of the Environmental League of Massachusetts's Corporate Council, which was created to build business community support for sustainable practices, and the company won Boston Business Journal's 2009 Green Business Award.
"Green" at the Treasury
Steve has a comprehensive program to make environmental responsibility and sustainable practices an integral part of his policies as State Treasurer.
First, Steve will build on the office's direct environmental responsibilities:
* The Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, which disburses EPA funds to municipalities, is part of the Treasurer's office. Steve is committed to ensuring that the program is responsive to changes in the state of the art and in environmental awareness.
* The Massachusetts School Building Authority, which currently has $1.4 billion in projects underway and is one the top funders of public construction in the Commonwealth, also is part of the Treasury. Steve will help ensure that schools meet green building and other sustainability standards, and he will work with the environmental community on renewable energy and water conservation.
Second, Steve will promote green investing.
The Treasurer manages the state's $44 billion in pension fund holdings. While the Treasurer is subject to strict fiduciary requirements for managing pension funds, given equivalent returns, Steve would opt for holdings in companies that adhere to sound environmental practices:
* The Treasury sets aside 2% of pension funds for a program of "economically targeted investments" (ETI) to help build the Massachusetts economy and create jobs. Steve wants to put ETI money into investment funds that focus on companies developing new and emerging green technologies in Massachusetts, just as the pension fund has done for high-tech, life sciences, and biotech.
* Steve would look carefully at the state's investment portfolio to see how well companies and investment funds in which the Commonwealth has holdings meet standards of environmental responsibility. He would also seek guidance on additional environmentally responsible investments.
* Corporate accountability is a cornerstone of Steve's platform. He will use the pension fund's stock voting rights to press companies to uphold the Commonwealth's values, including respect for the environment.
Third, Steve will be an advocate for the environment within state government.
* Steve will use the influence of his office to help overcome the roadblocks that often have resulted in important innovations emerging from Massachusetts universities and labs only to have the production work and jobs go to other states and abroad.
* As someone who has offset 100% of his company's carbon footprint with wind power credits and uses 100% certified wind power in the production of all printed products, he would try to introduce such policies into state purchasing.
* Steve long has been a supporter of expanded commuter rail and mass transit. He believes extending commuter rail to Fall River and New Bedford will help bring an economic resurgence to the South Coast and give that region an opportunity to reap additional economic benefits as a support base for the Cape Wind project and as a site for other sustainable innovation economy technologies.