By Rachel Adrian
Here at JS Daw & Associates, we have been inspired by the B Corp movement and are making a New Year's resolution to further our goals of becoming more sustainable and 'measure what matters'! B Corporations are companies that take time to think innovatively and create shared value opportunities for all the stakeholders affected by their business. While traditional businesses tend to value their profits above all else, B Corps act with their social purpose at the core of everything they do. JS Daw & Associates has always strived to operate sustainably and with a strong purpose, but we hope to push this further in 2015 and improve our score on the B Impact Assessment!
Over 1100 companies from 120 industries and 40 countries are now identifying themselves as B Corporations, but many of us still don’t really know what that means.
The B Corp movement began in 2008 and has since exploded to include many of the responsible brands we know and love. Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, Seventh Generation, Klean Kanteen and Etsy are just a few of the awesome companies that I had already heard of before I understood what a B Corp is. See the Full List of B Corps here! Since learning about B Corps, I search out B Corp brands like gold. As soon as I see that logo, I know that the product is not only environmentally responsible, but the workers were treated fairly, and by purchasing the product, I am supporting the growth of a local economy. The B Corp community recently launched an exciting new online store full of great B Corp certified products!B Corp Bootcamp: Better Your BusinessIn mid-November I attended a Conscious Brands seminar called B Corp Bootcamp: Better Your Business. The seminar was a great chance gain exposure to world of B Corps and to learn about the (intimidating but exciting!) process of becoming a B Corp. My three biggest takeaways from the event were:Any business can become a B Corp, if they want to.
Hearing the stories of other companies going through the process of becoming certified B Corps were inspiring. Leadership that really wants to make a positive change and ‘do business better’ is the key to success in this process. It was surprising to hear about the wide range of companies that already have B Corp status – from small businesses to huge, multinational corporations --
The B Corp community acts as a tightknit support group for each other.
During the seminar we heard stories of B Corps helping each other to reach higher and further improve their business practices.
The intensity of the B Corp certification process.
There is no doubt that the process is intense. But in my opinion, this rigor is a very good thing! By having a tighter set of standards than many certifications of its kind, B Lab (the non-profit behind the certification process) ensures that all B Corps are of the highest quality. If a company has B Corp certification, you know that they are not just green-washing or social-washing their true actions, but that they are truly a great company.
Measuring What MattersThe B Corp movement is growing and there is increasing evidence to support the fact that millennials are seeking out the values associated with B Corps when choosing where to shop, live and work. As they are an increasingly prevalent segment of the population, I believe that B Corps will have a huge advantage as the new economy begins to shape itself.Even if your company isn’t quite ready for official B Corp certification, I strongly recommend taking a look at the free, online Quick Impact Assessment tool provided through B Lab. This 20-minute test gives a great baseline for companies to measure themselves against and has ample suggestions for improvements as well as opportunities to measure your business’ performance up against other companies of a similar size. In 2015, JS Daw & Associates New Year’s resolution is to operate more sustainably and begin ‘measuring what matters’. Follow us throughout the New Year to learn more about B Corps and how we are improving our score!