5 Companies Using Accountability and Transparency to Advance Their Mission
The Certified B Corporations on the 2022 Best for the World for governance list operate with purpose as their foundation through their legal structure and operating processes. By incorporating their mission into the DNA of their company, these businesses protect their long-term vision and reinforce commitment to social and environmental good.
A stakeholder economy is a new economic system where business decisions benefit all people and the planet. A stakeholder economy empowers business leaders to make decisions that consider the impact they have on stakeholders equally with the financial value they create. To earn Best for the World recognition, B Corps must score in the top 5% in their corresponding size group in one of the five impact areas evaluated on the B Impact Assessment: community, customers, environment, governance, and workers. Best for the World companies are exemplifying ways to bring a stakeholder economy to life.
The Best for the World B Corps for governance embed a focus on stakeholder benefit by adopting legally binding bylaws that ensure their business operations align with their values and goals. By engaging employees, board members, and community in their mission through transparency and communication, the five B Corps in the U.S. and Canada highlighted here live their values now and protect them for the future.
Employee-Owned, Impact Business Model
Grey Market Labs was founded as a public benefit corporation to keep privacy and protection of customer data at the forefront of business decisions. With a core value of “protecting life online” as part of its incorporation documents, the B Corp sets itself apart from other companies in the crowded cybersecurity market. Using its stated social mission as a factor in business decisions adds trust to customer conversations and broadens its focus beyond the bottom line.
As Grey Market Labs continues to grow its software platform designed to protect client data, the company also seeks ways to increase access to the platform for all types of customers and users, including government organizations and nonprofits that provide assistance to underserved populations. Serving these communities has increased the visibility and value that its software platform brings to commercial organizations as well.
Started by four young entrepreneurs and friends, Justo’s seeks to shift the consumer packaged goods market by prioritizing extended producer responsibility, environmental stewardship, and community support. As the company has grown it has expanded on its regional closed-loop glass jar packaging system to incorporate the Plastic Credit Exchange, which supports female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia who gain income from collecting plastic waste and diverting it from waste stream. With every purchase, Justo’s donates one serving of its products to at-risk populations.
By certifying as a B Corp earlier this year, Justo’s cemented its business purpose and mission as a catalyst for change. The company’s founders believe that good governance is reinforced by communicating with stakeholders and adjusting business practices to reflect their input as well as company values.
What Is a Stakeholder Economy?
A stakeholder economy requires businesses to create value for multiple stakeholders including workers, customers, communities, the environment, and shareholders.
Completing its initial B Impact Assessment for B Corp Certification prompted Pure Strategies Inc. to take a closer look at its company values and develop a mission statement that it shared with stakeholders. As part of this process, the environmental consulting company also had several employee-led conversations about what its values and mission mean and how they shape the company and the way it does business — a process that the B Corp continues to prioritize.
Since becoming a B Corp in 2017, Pure Strategies has grown by almost 50%. The company engages newer employees to help evaluate and refine its values and mission, which also serves to strengthen their connection with the company’s purpose so they can convey that message to current and prospective clients — an important practice as a smaller and fully remote company.
Accounting firm Sensiba San Filippo LLP builds B Corp values into its new employee training and partnership agreements to reinforce its social and environmental principles and practices. These principles and practices also have been added as KPIs in its leadership dashboard that is reviewed monthly to monitor progress.
Through the Sensiba Center for Sustainability, the B Corp helps other companies better mitigate risk and make more sustainable decisions for the future by measuring and benchmarking non-financial data alongside financial data and tying environmental efforts to bottom-line gains.
A New Way of Doing Business
To help business leaders navigate the journey to adopt benefit corporation status as a requirement of B Corp Certification, B Lab U.S. & Canada provides this downloadable resource, the Board Playbook, to lay out the process and demystify the risks.
As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Virginia Community Capital recognizes the influence of governance in shaping business models, goals, strategies, and decision-making committees that maximize positive impact for its team and communities. These requirements ensure all stakeholders have a voice, and that there are accountability measures to align the bank’s results and methods of achieving them with publicly communicated goals.
With a focus on amplifying staff voices during the last three years, the B Corp completed a staff-led diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic planning process, and is implementing that plan. In partnership with other social impact bankers, finance experts, economic justice advocates, and academic researchers, Virginia Community Capital also helped develop the Equitable Bank Standards report to guide other banks in improving their social and environmental impact. Virginia Community Capital is using the report as a primary resource for its new policies and strategic planning.
Best for the World
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Best for the World
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Best for the World
2022 Best for the World Customers: B Corps Add Value to Customers’ LivesRead More
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