Did you know that there’s a new way – a better way – of doing business? When Cultivation Center was first incorporating in 2012, we researched business structures to learn about options that integrated our commitment to doing good for our community while building a sustainable and viable company. Ultimately, to meet our goals, we certified as a B Corporation.
According to B Lab, the nonprofit spearheading the certification and policy changes, “B Corporations are leading a global movement toredefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.”
For the last two days, I’ve been soaking up B Corp goodness at the annual Champions Retreat in Burlington, VT. Among the fall colors and blustery Vermont winds, I connected with brands I admire like Klean Kanteen, The Honest Company, and Happy Family. Later in the conference, I had the opportunity to meet leaders at Dogeared and Inspire Commerce. These are all companies that span the spectrum from big to small, products to services, and local to international. With more than 1,100 BCorps in 35 countries across 121 industries, the movement was clear. We are creating a ground swell.
However, for the movement to take off – and take over – as a way of doing business that respects employees, our planet, and our communities while still building commerce, we will need more than 1,000. The founders of B Lab reminded us that we will need a million, maybe more. That’s daunting. Sometimes as a small business in a big movement it can be easy to get lost. After all, what can I really contribute when Patagonia, Etsy, and Ben & Jerry’s are leading the charge. The following is a list of my commitments to make my small drop in the bucket that will help it overflow. Keep reading – some of these reflections include you.
I commit to:
1) Highlighting amazing BCorp businesses on Cultivation Center’s blog several times a year as a way to introduce our community to better business practices;
2) Shop B Corps. I commit to learning what companies are certified and shopping with them or hiring them for services. What they stand for matters to me and I will vote with my dollars.
3) Finally, if there are companies who I want to shop at but aren’t on the list, I will invite them to join us. Be warned friends, if you do good through your community and I love your product or service (or you!), I’ll be reaching out to share this movement with you.