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Being a Responsible Business Is Not Simply a Section On Our Website – It’s a Part of Our Corporate DNA

Since its inception, Substance151 has made a commitment to be environmentally and socially responsible and help foster a new sustainable design model through its design practice, education and example. Sustainability is not simply a section on our website – it’s a part of our corporate DNA.

We define “sustainability” as environmental, social and economic responsibility. Our founding principal and creative director, Ida Cheinman, has been recognized as a leader and an advocate for environmentally and socially responsible business practices. Ida has been named one of Baltimore’s Green Masterminds by Bmore Media and named an Eco CEO by Baltimore SmartCEO.


I believe that as citizens and business leaders, we have a responsibility to lead positive change

Ida Cheinman


Becoming a Benefit LLC

On June 1, 2011, Substance151 became one of the first Benefit LLCs in Maryland and in the United States. While becoming a Benefit LLC has not changed fundamentally how we work or how we operate, it has provided us with a structured framework to report on our social and environmental impact, which in turn has given us the discipline to continue improving what we have already done to this point. By being among the very first Benefit LLCs in the state and in the country, we believe that Substance151 is playing a part in creating a movement: creating a stronger voice for businesses seeking to do well and to do good.

Related Press

Substance151 Becomes One of the First Benefit LLCs in the U.S.
MD LLCs Seek ‘Benefit’ Status For Eco-Friendly Causes
Ida Cheinman Presents on MD Benefit Corporations


How We Live It

We view each project through a “green lens” and engage in a dialogue about sustainable alternatives with each and every client. We seek to understand the environmental impact of our firm, our clients’ firms and each project we undertake, and we continually educate our clients and our team on how to become more environmentally and socially responsible.

We work to advance the understanding of environmental and social issues through speaking engagements, writing and panel discussions.

We follow responsible office practices – for example, 100% of our electricity comes from wind power; continuous efforts are made to use eco-friendly materials and energy savings practices throughout daily operations; our website usage is offset; electronic communication and filing is used instead of paper; and all recyclables are collected and stored for curbside pickup from the city of Baltimore.

We partner with vendors and suppliers who share our philosophy of environmental and social responsibility and whose products are sustainable.

Through professional services, pro bono work, volunteering and sponsorships, we have provided support to organizations that work to improve our lives and benefit our communities, including Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance, Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council, Baltimore Bioneers, Buy Local Baltimore, Koolhof Earth, Maryland CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), NAWBO BRC, Open Architecture Collaborative (formerly Architects for Humanity), Social Enterprise Alliance, Delaware Valley Green Building Council and U.S. Green Building Council Maryland.


Related Clients and Projects

Langan Corporate Sustainability Plan
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Maryland branding and marketing
Baltimore Bioneers Conference
Habitat for Humanity Chesapeake
The Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) Energy Campaign
Koolhof Earth Visual Identity

See all work


Related Articles and Presentations

How to Leverage Corporate Citizenship for Your Brand
Sustaining Social Enterprise Through Branding: Connecting Purpose and Profit
5 Things Marketers Should Not Do on Earth Day
Substance151 featured in the Big Book of Green Design/HarperCollins
Substance151 Featured in Designing for the Greater Good
Ida Cheinman Joins the Board of the Open Architecture Collaborative
Ida Cheinman Presents to NAWIC Baltimore on Green Marketing
Ida Cheinman Present at the SMPS Philadelphia’s Educational Program “How to Market Green When Everyone Else Is”
Ida Cheinman to Guest Lecture at Hult Business School, San Francisco, on Principles of Branding for Social Enterprise
Cheinman’s Interview with Multifamily Executive: Marketing Sustainability
Ida Cheinman Named Eco CEO by SmartCEO
Who’s a Social Entrepreneur: A Conversation with Ida Cheinman


Annual Benefit Reports

Substance151, Benefit LLC 2014 B Impact Assessment
Substance151, Benefit LLC 2013 Benefit Report
Substance151, Benefit LLC 2012 Benefit Report
Substance151, Benefit LLC 2011 Benefit Report
Environmental Policy