Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16U360 is a partnership between Manomet and universities that allows students to engage with small businesses nationwide and learn how to apply general sustainability principles to individual business models. There are approximately six million small busi- nesses in the U.S., representing 99% of all employer firms and 55% of all jobs. Managed by our Sustainable Economies Program, U360 is designed to support the growth of our Root360 small business sustainability initiative and to continue our long-standing prior- ity of engaging with younger generations. “Manomet’s tools for improving the triple-bottom line will reach more businesses across the country, while the students gain practical sustainability knowl- edge, have valuable experiences outside the classroom, and develop important career skills,”says U360 project manager Lora Winslow. The project launched in January 2016, with a pilot at University of Southern Maine (USM). The team was comprised of three undergraduate students and a university employee who helped facilitate the project. "U360 offers students a concrete experience to connect with business owners in the real world,” says Emily Eschner, who works in USM’s Office of Sustainability and is Manomet’s on-campus liaison for the school’s U360 team. “They gather information that ultimately produces a report businesses can use to improve and grow in a more sustainable way. It's an informative and valuable exercise for all parties involved." As a result of this promising pilot, USM will be a U360 participating college again this fall, along with three other New England universities. Each semester participating colleges will have a team of U360 students who are either enrolled in the program as interns or through a class project. After receiving training from Manomet, students reach out to multiple small businesses nationwide to ask a series of questions about their current sustainable busi- ness practices. Following all of the interviews, Manomet teaches the students how the businesses they studied could benefit from an increased focus on sustainability. At the end of the semes- ter, each student selects one business to create a case study and Sustainability Action Plan for, which they present to a panel of small business professionals from the community in a “mock pitch.” The Plan will include recommendations for specific actions the business can take to improve its triple-bottom line, along with compelling reasons why increased sustainability is important for that particular business. U360 teaches the next generation how to make our planet more sustainable and fosters both environmentalism and entre- preneurship. Kristen van Dissel is a USM senior majoring in Social & Behavioral Science with a Public Health minor and she was drawn to U360 because of the relationship between environ- mental health, sustainability, and socioeconomics.“U360 incorpo- rates the triple-bottom line in its standards for helping businesses with their economic viability, which are similar to the key factors On a snowy March day, the president of a local solar company and a college student spent an hour talking about everything from the company’s recycling and water-saving practices, to employee benefits, to its management. At the end of the conversation, the student got an invite to visit the company’s facility to learn how solar panels work and to test-drive an electric car. This remarkable connection took place because of Manomet’s newest project: U360. U360: Educating students about sustainability through engagement with small businesses Clockwise from upper left: Brook enjoys her drive in their electric car after interviewing ReVision Energy. Joe Walsh, President of Green Clean Maine, shares his thoughts about Kassandra’s mock pitch. Kirsten interviews Sam Mateosian, the Chief Innovation Officer of Big Room Studios. Lora Winslow celebrates with the U360 students at Capstone Event. 12 | Manomet Partnerships for Sustainability • Spring / Summer 2016