Posts Tagged 'ron blitzer'

Be Green Packaging Joins Whole Planet Foundation Trip to Visit Microfinance Recipients in Thailand: Day 1

Whole Planet Foundation logoWith operations in 50 countries and over $224 million dollars donated since its inception in 2005, the Whole Planet Foundation is a major force for positive social change worldwide.  The WPF works with a global network of microfinance lending institutions by offering them grants, which are then disbursed to the local communities in which they operate.  These grants allow the local microfinance offices to offer what are known as microloans — typically on the order of about $100 — to members of the community.  Although a small amount by Western standards, it can be life changing for poverty stricken individuals in developing countries.  The efforts of the WPF, in conjunction with its worldwide partners, have positively influenced the lives of thousands of families and individuals, allowing them to rise to a new standard of living, which often includes access to education and other essential needs.

Every year the WPF invites some of its largest annual contributors to travel to a selected destination where they are working with microcredit lenders.  The trip is a chance for companies and individuals donating to the WPF to see the change their contributions are making firsthand. This year, the WPF invited the group to Thailand, where they will be visiting with the communities and recipients of their donations.

Be Green Packaging’s CEO Ron Blitzer joined the group for the second time following his trip to Brazil with the WPF last year.  As a founding member of the Whole Planet Foundation’s ‘Change for Change’ fund, Be Green Packaging has been involved with the organization for many years.  A long-term supporter, Blitzer was interested in seeing what kind of impact the company’s donations were having on people’s lives, this time in Southeast Asia.

Days 1-2

After arriving in Bangkok the night before, the group started the day off touring the Grand Palace where their guide educated them on the history of Thailand, it’s people and their rich culture.  They travelled through the city on some of Bangkok’s many rivers where they got a firsthand glimpse into some of the more impoverished shanty towns existing on the banks of the polluted waterways.

After a bit more sightseeing to help them adjust to the local culture, in Blitzer’s words “The real adventure began” as they boarded an all-night train to Surin to visit with the Small Enterprise Development group and microloan recipients in the field.

microfinance program

meeting with local microfinance coordinators

The group arrived at the Chamuang Village Bank house in Surin around 10am after a long, bumpy train ride.  The weather was typical of equatorial regions — hot and humid.  The local bank put together a presentation for the group covering their activities and programs in the area.

villager crafts

locals display their wares in the village of Chamuang

Chamuang is located near Tramuang in Surin province.  It is a small village consisting of roughly 650 people who make string beads, key rings and other souvenirs as their main livelihood.  The community welcomed the WPF team and the village Chief, Mr. Sonsok, spoke to the group through an interpreter.  The community leaders served a traditional lunch of rice, veggies, fruits and tea.

Blitzer and the group observed the very real effects of the microfinance efforts in the community — the people seemed happy and content and the children all had smiles on their faces as they played with the guests and among themselves.  The houses in the village were small with wood and steel siding and you could see the general prosperity the villagers enjoyed with cars and satellite dishes accompanying their homes.

cooking silkworms

locals making silk

After the visit to Chamung, the WPF group was off to another village where the locals made woven silk fabrics.  This community had been involved in microfinance programs for the past 17 years and it showed — they spun beautiful silks and gave the group a tour to see how the material was harvested from silk worms and woven into the finished goods.

The long day ended with elephant rides (yes, elephant rides) and quality time spent time with the residents of the local community.

elephant ride in thailand

getting ready for elephant rides

Stay tuned for more details of the trip as it unfolds.

Opportunity Green Highlights Reel 2011

Opportunity Green 2011 Highlight Reel from Opportunity Green on Vimeo.

Among this years speakers and attendees were Be Green CEO Ron Blitzer, who spoke on a panel about the sustainable packaging industry/market and what it means to be a triple bottom line company in todays marketplace.

Be Green CEO Ron Blitzer to Speak On Panel at 2011 Opportunity Green Conference: Los Angeles

Opportunity Green is an annual gathering of visionaries, inventors, industry leaders, and professionals from a wide variety of fields who share a common goal of bettering the planet through an innovative approach to business centered around the triple bottom line philosophy.  The triple bottom line philosophy is a method of measuring organizational success that places social and environmental responsibility on par with profitability.

From the Opportunity Green Manifesto:

Opportunity Green inspires a collaborative culture of new thinking and unconventional ideas that pushes change in unexpected ways.

We’re not about business as usual. We facilitate the movement to transform business for good, through advancing change and market transformation by providing open-minded professionals unprecedented approaches to sustainability that are bankable and exciting. In everything we do, we seek to balance the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

Our purpose is to fill your head with knowledge you can use: ideas, new trends, amazing ingenuity. We seek to create forums diverse in content that generate dialogue and create valuable connections between individuals. This revolves around helping transform business as usual by partnering with extraordinary visionaries, forward thinkers, creative industry leaders and companies committed to building profitable + sustainable enterprises while solving some of the world’s toughest problems.

We believe in collaboration with individuals and organizations that look to push the envelope by creating a mutually supportive community that is invested in the future of our society and acts as a catalyst for positive change.

Be Green CEO Ron Blitzer has been asked to speak on a panel at this years event, which will be held on November 10-11th, 2011 at Los Angeles Center Studios.

Ron Blitzer

CEO & CoFounder
Be Green Packaging 

Ron Blitzer (CEO/Co Founder) of Be Green Packaging LLC. Be Green Packaging,) designs, manufacturers, and distributes Cradle-to-Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for both the food and industrial/retail packaging industries. Blitzer has been in the packaging, beverage, retail food, and distribution business since 1982. A serial entrepreneur Blitzer founded American Softserve Systems Inc., which manufactured and distributed softserve ice creams and yogurts under license to ARCO am/pm Mini Markets. In the mid 1990’s he started a chain of organic juice and smoothie bars in San Francisco called Re Juice A Nation. He was a co-founder of Bank of Santa Barbara in 2007. He is a trustee of National Jewish Hospital in Denver and was appointed by President George HW Bush to a select committee for White House Fellows in 1991. Mr. Blitzer has a BA from UCLA and a MBA from the University of New Haven. Blitzer lives in Santa Barbara with his wife of 28 years and their only child studies music at the California Institute of the Arts.

Be Green Packaging is currently building the nations first plant fiber mold and pulping operation in Ridgeland SC. In August of 2011 Be Green Packaging was honored with a Diamond Award for Packaging by DuPont for their work with Gillette on their Fusion Proglide package. In October P&G awarded the company with their “Changing Lives-Touching Lives” award recognizing the companies values and community relationships.

SC Biz Magazine Reports on Be Green Packaging

SC Biz Magazine Fall 2011 issue reports on what exactly motivated Be Green Packaging to come to open their latest manufacturing plant in South Carolina.

(Note: Click images to view larger version which can then be enlarged or download the entire article here: SC Biz Magazine Article)

Governor Haley Speaks at Be Green Packaging Facility in Ridgeland, South Carolina (VIDEO)


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Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the food and consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.

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About Be Green Packaging

Be Green Packaging designs, manufactures and distributes Cradle to Cradle™ certified, tree-free, compostable packaging for the consumer packaging industries that is safe for people and healthy for the planet.

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