The SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS INSTITUTE is the oldest private enterprise-oriented sustainability organization in the world. The Sustainable Business Forum (SBF) was founded in 1994 by Jessica Fullmer, and since then, the organization has completed numerous projects and initiatives. It became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in December 1995 and was renamed SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS INSTITUTE (SBI) in 2000 to reflect its educational purpose. Over the past ten years the SBI has grown to a nationally and globally recognized institution for the private sector, garnering cross industry support and participation from companies such as: Dow Jones, Novo Nordisk, Intel, Patagonia, ST Microelectronics, and Texas Instruments.

SBI since 1994 has grown to now reach corporate business leaders worldwide. SBI as a result has become one of the foremost organizations dedicated to the education of our most influential decision-makers - corporate CEO's and executives - on issues concerning sustainability and sustainable business practices.

We are now progressing to our 6th CEO Forum on Sustainable Business which will happen simultaneously with the hard launch of the Seal of Sustainability.


1993Jessica Fullmer was introduced to sustainability in 1991 when she was asked to chair the March 1993 Dallas, Texas Conference “The Quest for Sustainability: Businesses Face the Challenge.”
1994SBI was founded by Jessica Fullmer and a team of business volunteers as an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with the charter – “Motivating Business to Enhance Profitability through Sustainability.” They created a stimulating, informative, supportive organization where leaders, from various industries and small to large companies, can cross-pollinate ideas and share lessons learned in sustainable business practices.
1995The Sustainable Business Institute became a non profit -501c(3)
1997CEO Forum on Sustainable Business The first CEO Forum on Sustainable Business, an annual conference where chief executive officers can hold an open dialogue with their peers educated and experienced in sustainable business practices. Many early adopters in the private sector developed a competitive advantage by integrating sustainability into their company's business initiatives.

Future Leaders Program
Since the first CEO Forum on Sustainable Business over 800 students ranging from middle school to PhD students have been mentored and participated in our events. Presentations have also been given at numerous colleges and universities including Stanford and UC Santa Cruz.
1999Since Walter Cronkite’s hosting of the 1999 2nd CEO Forum on Sustainable Business, SBI produced a TV special for Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) for use in PBS Educational Channel Network. The first episode of “Sustainable Business” a television special on sustainability with Walter Cronkite Productions, was broadcast in October of 1999, and was aired throughout 2000 on PBS/BTU television. This was linked via cable television networks to over two thousand colleges and universities.
1999Global Outreach
SBI has a commitment to assist and collaborate with other worldwide organizations. One early collaboration was with Business in the Environment (BiE, now BiC) in London, where SBI down linked a CEO to their conference for a television event on sustainable business. This led to BiE’s invitation of Jessica and her guests to have an audience with HRH Prince Charles in 1999.
2000The idea of the Seal of Sustainability was proposed by one of SBI’s key advisors at a strategic offsite in June 2000. The Seal Team was then assembled and met many times weekly to prepare for the Seal’s soft launch at the 2001 CEO Forum on Sustainable Business.
Seal of Sustainability

The Seal of Sustainability ™ is awarded to honor those businesses and business leaders throughout the world who have distinguished themselves through the implementation of sustainable business practices that rise above the norm. The Seal serves a dual purpose to inform the public of those achievements.
20003rd CEO Forum on Sustainable Business provided an important venue for CEO's to air and confront diverse viewpoints. Some of the issues covered were: competitors Interface Carpet and Collins-Aikman presented opposing views over the best carpet recycling methods; Patagonia and Dow Chemical over the optimum methodology of manufacturing clothing and other alternative product from corn; Novo Nordisk and Stonybrook Farms over the role of enzymes in manufacturing; Dow Jones and Innovest over the ways to index companies to Sustainability for Investors; Electric Power Research Institute and the University of North Carolina Business School over the role of the “have not's” in the development of the world economy. STMicroelectronics and Hewlett Packard each delved into sustainability in the emerging and developing countries.
2001The 4th CEO Forum on Sustainable Business held on March 6, 2001 at the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City, CA, where the first three recipients of the Seal of Sustainability were announced. The first recipients of the Seal of Sustainability included Puroast Coffee Co. (Woodland, CA), Novozymes Biotech (Denmark), and General Motors on a corporate level (Detroit, MI).
2002The notorious energy crisis of California starting 2001 led to the SBI holding the first major conference with business, government and the public to seek solutions. The title was: “California Energy Summit 2002: Taking Charge of Our Future”. Nine key organizations co-sponsored this event from January 22-24. Former Interior Secretary and Presidential candidate Bruce Babbit was the honorary chair of this conference. Principal speakers were executives from industry and national and state government.
2002SBI has been involved with presenting at Earth Day programs including the events at Hewlett Packard and the City of San Jose. In 2002 Jessica Fullmer was asked to speak on sustainability at Hewlett-Packard to inform staff members on its benefits.
2002The 5th CEO Forum on Sustainable Business was held on October 15-16, 2002 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, CA. Speakers included: Newman’s Own Organics, President and CEO Nell Newman, STMicroelectronics, Vice President Mike McClarence, Domini Social Investments, Founder and CEO Amy Domini, and BP America, Vice President Sylvia Baca. Three more companies were awarded the Sealof Sustainability including Hot Lips Pizza (Portland, OR), ST Microelectronics (France), and Beijing Glorious Land Agriculture Co. (China).
2004On March 3, 2004 the Sustainable Business Institute jointly hosted “Sustainability in Action” Forum with the Stanford Graduate School of Business to educate students, faculty, and staff on integrating social and environmental practices as core elements of their business models.
2004The Sustainable Business User Group was launched on November 16, 2004 as a meeting to for and by companies on the sustainable business journey to support and share experiences where successful sustainable business management practices and methods, as well as barriers to implementation, are reviewed and discussed.
2005-2007:Major undertaking by volunteers from corporations, NGOs, and other backgrounds to upgrade the Seal of Sustainability. A wide range of stakeholders, including the EPA Environmental Supplier Partnership and the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable worked to create a comprehensive, credible, and fact-based application, while volunteers from numerous organizations worked to formulate the branding of the Seal. Efforts culminated in the Seal of Sustainability Launch event in Washington, D.C. in October, 2007. Concurrently, SBI continued to hold Sustainable Business User Groups and corporate events to promote sustainable business leadership.