Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Give Something Back

Give Something Back sounds like a nonprofit but it's actually a highly successful office supply business in California that donates profits to charity. Founders Sean Marx and Mike Hannigan got the idea from the Newman's Own model and today sell some 40,000 office products (including 6,000 green items) from distribution centers and a slick yet friendly web site. Its main competitors are Staples and Office Depot.

Sustainability is more than a slogan--it's a business way of life for GSB. The company takes back cardboard boxes from customers and recycles them; it also picks up other waste and sells it to recyclers.

The money raised from selling merchandise goes to support dozens and dozens of nonprofits, everything from Home Start Inc. and Habitat for Humanity to San Francisco Food Bank and Senior Center of Elk Grove. Since 1991, when the company was founded, it has donated nearly $4 million to good causes. Think of it: Green and giving something back.

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