Business as a Force for Good

Written by on September 23, 2013 in Social Business - No comments

 

Earlier this year, our agency joined a global movement of socially responsible companies who are committed to using business as a force for good. By being certified as a B Corp through the nonprofit B Lab, we were welcomed into a growing community of leading companies who are using business to solve social and environmental problems.

This past week, we were fortunate enough to participate in a gathering of more than 250 B Corps in Boulder, Colorado. There were representatives from all across the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and Australia. When not volunteering to support nearby victims of tragic flooding, we spent time in deep discussion about the future of social business, the state of social responsibility and how this community of social entrepreneurs and passionate leaders could take the “good revolution” to the next level.

Our time spent in Boulder with our fellow B Corps was so inspiring, we thought we would share a few highlights with you.

 

Lending a Hand During Aftermath of Colorado Flooding 

Days before we arrived in Colorado, massive flooding placed the greater Boulder area in crisis mode. Several groups of B Corp volunteers gave up free time or extracurricular activities to pitch in and help local residents and businesses. Pictured above is a group of volunteers helping fellow B Corp Namaste Solar dig out after a mudslide.

 

Putting it Down on Paper: How We Will Drive Change

Throughout the course of the gathering in Boulder, individuals from B Corps across the world made commitments of how they will contribute to the B Corp movement and how they will use business to drive greater good in the year ahead. These colorful cards clipped along the back wall of our meeting room represent a small portion of the promises made for actions big and small.

 

Retailer Shines Light on the B Corp Movement in It’s Boulder Storefront

GoLite is an outdoor equipment and clothing manufacturer based in Boulder. It’s a fast growing B Corp and an early adopter of a new campaign to demonstrate how B Corps are changing the world and how consumers can join the movement. As you can see, the retailer’s Boulder storefront is decked in “B the Change” visuals and messaging, explaining to their customers what B Corps are all about and why they are so important. GoLite is just one of many places you can expect to see these messages appearing. Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s, method, Warby Parker, Plum Organics and Seventh Generation are among the well-known consumer brands participating in the B Corp movement.

 

Climbing the Mountain: What Will it Take for Good Business to Be the Norm

While presenting to the group, B Lab Co-Founder Jay Cohen Gilbert, pictured above, acknowledged the complexity of the changes B Corps seek. To truly revolutionize the way business is practiced, it will require buy in from more organizations around the world. It will require additional shifts in legislation to encourage and protect business practices that aren’t solely driven by shareholder profits. And it will require deep and sustained interest and demand from consumers supporting good businesses as brands of choice.

It won’t be easy for good business to carry the day. However, the B Corp movement is growing fast and has already made great strides in all the areas discussed above. We’re far from declaring victory, but we are climbing the mountain. And we are blazing a trail for others to follow. It’s an exciting time to be using business as a force for good.

And that’s a good thing. Because after all…Good. Must. Grow.

How You Can Join the Movement

You might be wondering how you can get involved. That’s a great question, because changing the way we do business requires everyone’s participation. Here are a few starter ideas.

  • Become a B Corp - If you are a company that is purpose driven, and you adhere to a triple bottom line of planet, people and profit, you are likely B Corp material. More than 800 companies across the globe have been certified. By becoming a B Corp, you can demonstrate and codify your commitment to social business and be part of a movement that will alter the future of enterprise. Get started here by clicking here.
  • Buy from a B Corp - Whether you are a business or a consumer, when you spend money with a B Corp, you do good. There are a variety of companies who have certified, ranging from professional services firms to technology companies to a variety of consumer products. You can check out the B Corp community by clicking here.
  •  Spread the Word - The more support socially responsible businesses receive, the more socially responsible business will be. This is a movement after all. So, learn more about what B Corps are all about and help us spread the word to other companies and consumers. Social enterprise and triple bottom lines are still foreign concepts for many. So it’s paramount that we show the world that doing good can be good for business.

As for our firm, we have big plans for the role we’ll play in the B Corp movement, starting with growing the community of B Corps in our hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. There is palpable energy here around social enterprise, philanthropy and entrepreneurism. Basically, the perfect storm for business as a force for good. Our prediction is that Nashville will soon be seen as a hub for social business innovations, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

 

 

 

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