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BS* + Beer

BS* + Beer Show: The Triple-Bottom-Line Business Model

A deeply layered conversation about developing a sustainable company

Photo: Getty Images

This episode of the BS* + Beer Show is a nuanced discussion with Mel Baiser and Kate Stephenson from HELM Construction Solutions, and John Abrams and Deirdre Bohan from South Mountain Company. The four pose questions and give answers covering the topic of the triple-bottom-line (people, planet, profit) business model. We hear why it matters and how it works, as well as ideas around rebuilding a company in that mold. They share strategies for employee recruitment, noting the value of long-term investment in current employees. Ideas for contributing to workforce development run from scholarships and mentorships to employing undocumented skilled young people. They offer insight into how triple-bottom-line businesses can address the affordable-housing crisis, the climate crisis, and the labor-shortage crisis; and they dive into diversity and inclusion actions. There’s talk around the role of peer networks in growing healthy businesses and teams; they describe systems for clarifying a company’s mission, expectations, and deliverables; and we hear how those factors support a sustainable company that offers “ideal careers,” which, in turn, bolster the business. In short, we learn the difference between running and leading a company, and how to “Do Less, Better.”

Enjoy the show!


Join us on December 9 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. ET for a discussion on “Solar Power Storage and Backup” with John Semmelhack and Alex Lepore. It will be the second show in a series on site-generated solar power. We will tackle topics such as best practices for storing PV-generated energy, the capacity of today’s battery technology, and whether fossil-fuel-powered generators fit into grid-tied and off-grid systems.

Use this link to register for The BS* + Beer Show


John Semmelhack is the owner of Think Little. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant, a member of the Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) Technical Committee, and a PHIUS Trainer for the Certified Passive House Consultant and PHIUS+ Rater training programs. He sits on the boards of the Passive House Alliance U.S. (PHAUS) and the Passive House Alliance U.S. – Capital Chapter. John is also a certified Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rater, a Technical Advisor to builders in the EarthCraft House Virginia green building program, and a BPI-certified Building Analyst. He is a graduate of the Leeds School of Business (no, not that “LEED”) at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Alex Lepore is the regional Southwest sales manager at Fortress Power, and has been with the company since its inception in 2016. Fortress Power is a lithium battery provider focused on lithium iron phosphate solutions for homes and businesses. As sales manager, Alex is responsible for the Southwest territory and ensuring Fortress Power stays up to date in this territory with different code/legislative requirements and working with Fortress Power partners. He has completed the Solar Energy International Trainings up to the 300 level.


Kiley Jacques is senior editor at Green Building Advisor. She can be reached at [email protected].


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