Worcester SBLP

Welcome to the Worcester Sustainable Business Leader Program


Launched in March, 2011, in collaboration with the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, the Worcester Sustainable Business Leader Program:

Supports locally owned and independent businesses in reducing their operating costs, improving their business practices and reducing their environmental footprint

Greater Worcester communities have traditionally been under-served in regards to technical assistance in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, pollution prevention and safe alternatives, transportation, local procurement, and sustainability management.

The Sustainable Business Leader Program (SBLP), launched first in Boston in 2008, provides hands on support in all of these areas with a proven methodology that results in measurable benefits. In addition, the program provides formal certification and PR & marketing benefits to successful program graduates.  

Click here for a full overview of the program process and benefits of participation!

Since the programs launch in Worcester, the WSBLP has certified six companies as Sustainable Business Leaders and is currently working with an additional nine companies. The WSBLP accepts businesses into the program on a rolling basis.  For more information or to enroll in the program contact:  Will O’Brien, WSBLP Director, Email: [email protected], or Phone: (978) 793-1635

Together with SBN’s Sustainable Business Leader Program, over 120 businesses have been certified as Sustainable Business Leaders to date. The SBLP and WSBLP work with all business sectors ranging from automotive to retail and with businesses ranging in size from 700 to 100,000 square feet and 1 to 200+ employees. The tailored, hands-on nature of the program allows program coordinators to tailor their recommendations, resources, and support provided to the specific needs and priorities of each participating business. 

Benefits to Participating Companies

Besides certification as a Sustainable Business Leader, businesses receive numerous benefits from participation in the WSBLP including: 

  • Cost savings through reduced resource consumption
  • Reduced environmental impact & carbon footprint 
  • Connection to rebate, discount, grant programs etc.
  • Formal recognition by City Representatives 
  • Increased marketing and branding opportunities 
  • Contribution to the “Sustainability Ripple Effect”
  • Increased staff pride and camaraderie
  • 1-year complimentary SBN membership

Worcester SBLP Management Team 

The Worcester Sustainable Business Leader Program is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization supported largely by volunteer veteran sustainability experts and student interns.  

The management team is comprised of: 

Bill Bean – Service Delivery; President, Green Planning & Coaching*

Will O’Brien – Director; Executive-in-Residence at Clark University*

Laury Hammel – Executive Director, Sustainable Business Network

Kate Hanley – Net-Impact Co-chair

Katy Sullivan – Executive Director, Worcester Local First

Bill Bean: LEED® AP – Worcester Program Coordinator
Bill’s role with SBLP is Program Coordinator for the Worcester area. He performs the sustainability audits, creates the Action Plans for the individual participants and follows through with them to certification.

Outside of SBLP Bill is a Strategic Business Consultant in the Green & Sustainability space. As President of Green Planning & Coaching (GP&C) he helps companies and individuals “Capture the vision for their Green business initiatives, build better plans faster to achieve them and then actually DO IT”.

Bill has a BA and an MS in Wood Technology from UMass, Amherst and over 30 years of experience in strategic and tactical business planning in for profits and nonprofits in the US and Canada. He earned his LEED AP® in 2008, has certificates in planning for Chief Sustainability Officers and for sustainability audits, has been certified for executive coaching and career coaching and teaches Green and Sustainability as an adjunct professor at UMass, Amherst and in the Master’s program for the Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University in Boston. He is also on several nonprofit boards including; The Sherwood Institute in San Francisco, CA, Berkshire Children and Families and Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, MA.

Bill is a Massachusetts native who currently resides with his family in the western part of the state in Tyringham, MA in the Scenic Berkshires.

[email protected]

Will O’Brien
Will is an experienced business executive, attorney, change agent, entrepreneur, consultant, and teacher. His current teaching roles include: Executive-in-Residence at Clark University Graduate School of Management, Lecturer for Johns Hopkins University Environmental Studies Department, Massachusetts Maritime Academy as well as for Benedictine University’s Asia Institute. .

Will has 40 years experience in starting businesses, creating new organizations and managing P&L responsibility for global operations resulting in consistently high financial performance. Experience includes: marketing management for computer systems and services, technical support, operations, supply chain management for multi-vendor service delivery as well as a small law practice. Much of his professional career has been leadership positions for worldwide organizations addressing strategic issues or consulting with executives from global companies in various industries..

He is a Member of the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts Board of Directors and Director of the Worcester Sustainable Business Leader Program. In the summer of 2012, he will teach management courses at Vietnam National University in Hanoi; i.e., as part of Benedictine University Asia Institute’s Executive Education program. Additional information may be found at www.greenprof.org .

WSBLP Sponsorship:

As a largely volunteer run not-for-profit organization, the Worcester SBLP relies heavily on the support of community corporate sponsors. All corporate sponsors participate in the WSBLP, demonstrating their own commitment to environmental sustainability, and receive a broad range of additional benefits including website banner advertisements, recommendation of services, directory listings and more. The annual WSBLP Corporate Sponsorship fee is $3,000.

Donations received from Corporate Sponsors are used to develop and implement plans to enable and support small businesses, who otherwise could not afford to participate, the opportunity to become environmentally sustainable. Besides having a positive environmental impact on the individual businesses, participation in the program results in significant environmental benefits for the Greater Worcester community as a whole, including reduced carbon emissions, cleaner air, cleaner streets and more. Furthermore, as the Sustainability Action Plans are implemented using local companies, jobs are created in Worcester and surrounding communities, creating positive economic benefits as well.

Current Corporate Sponsors include:

  • AbbVie Bioresearch Center
  • Absolute Green Energy
  • Digital Credit Union

To become a corporate sponsor, please contact: Will O’Brien, WSBLP Director, Email: [email protected], Cell: 978-793-1635

WSBLP Partners:

In addition to corporate sponsors, WSBLP is continually working to develop partnerships with relevant service providers and community programs to enhance program delivery. WSBLP’s current program partners are:

  • Casella Waste Systems (recycling, composting)
  • Penta Communications (PR & Marketing)
  • ThinkLite LLC (lighting audits & cutting edge LED lighting upgrades)
  • World Energy Solutions (energy management)

To become a partner of the WSBLP please contact Will O’Brien, WSBLP Director, Email: [email protected], Cell: 978-793-1635

The Worcester Sustainable Business Leader Program (WSBLP) is a sister program of the Sustainable Business Leader Program (SBLP) launched in 2008 by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Boston Redevelopment Authority.