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Steve Ma visits UMD

By Brooks Welsh
On October 14, 2011


            Last Tuesday, Board President and Green Executive Officer Steve Ma of Live Green spoke to students at the Robert H. Smith School of Business about his experiences starting and running a triple bottom line business.

            "I have power, real power to change people, ideas and things," said Ma as he spoke of what he referred to as his aim to have a positive ripple effect on the world.

            Ma spoke to members of Net Impact and the Network for Entrepreneurial Development about his inspiration for Live Green coming from a small coffee shop in D.C. called Java Green.

            Ma, who frequently visited Java Green, a business that employs sustainable and socially responsible practices, began to wonder why there weren't more businesses like this coffee shop.  From that idea, Live Green was born.

            Live Green was created as a triple bottom business that focuses on helping consumers and business owners employ sustainable practices, help the planet by creating more green businesses, and lastly to profit.

            According to Ma, Live Green aims at simplifying green living for consumers to incentivize them shop at Live Green approved businesses.

            Ma said his aim is not to change the human nature, but to help make sustainable businesses and products the most accessible and affordable to consumers.

            "He made going green not hipster," said senior nutrition and pre-nursing major Alex Bogucki.  "He made it seem like, what's your deal?  Why aren't you doing this?"

            Bogucki continued to say that he appreciated Ma's candid honesty and attitude, finding his message of wanting to save the world inspiring.

            "He had great insight on what it's like to raise a triple bottom line plan from the ground up," said finance and information systems major Brandon Carrera.

            Live Green functions by requiring a low membership fee of $18 a year for members to receive discounts and deals with sustainable businesses.  The businesses that are consulted on their green practices and promoted through Live Green also pay a yearly fee.

            Ma said he wants Live Green to be "national in scope, but local to where you are" in his hopes to not only help the country and world become more sustainable, but also to help simplify being green for the consumers and businesses they work with.           

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