The Fredericksburg Forum, held at the University of Mary Washington on Saturday, Nov. 10, was certified as a “Virginia Green” event, which employed ‘green’ practices of recycling, waste reduction, energy and water conservation.
The annual lecture featured Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., who shared insight on their philosophy of socially conscious entrepreneurship. Their lecture, “An Evening of Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Responsibility and Radical Business Philosophy,” was held at 8 p.m. in George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium.
The Fredericksburg Forum was the first UMW event to be certified and is one of more than 40 Virginia Green events being held this year across the state. Virginia Green is a statewide program that works to reduce the environmental impacts of Virginia’s tourism industry. The program is operated through a partnership supported by the Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Hospitality and Tourism Association. Virginia Green events are committed to providing highly visible recycling, minimizing the use of disposable food service products, reducing the use of printed materials and reducing overall wastes. For more information about Virginia Green events, visit http://www.virginia.org/WhatisVirginiaGreen. The green certified event also is in keeping with the university’s dedication to sustainability, initiated by the President’s Council on Sustainability in 2009.
The Forum’s speakers, Cohen and Greenfield served the first Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Burlington, Vt., in 1978. Since then, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar entity with an international presence. Cohen and Greenfield received the Corporate Giving Award from the Council on Economic Priorities in 1988 and were named U.S. Small Businesspersons of the Year by President Ronald Reagan the same year. Their best-selling 1997 book “Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip: How to Run a Values-Led Business and Make Money, Too” uses their experiences at the helm of Ben & Jerry’s to illustrate their views on socially responsible business. Greenfield currently serves as president of the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.