Regional B Corp Organizations Advance Change Through Partnerships and Impact Focus
As a community of businesses pursuing an inclusive and regenerative economy, Certified B Corporations can play a collective role in championing policy reforms that raise the bar for all companies. More leaders at B Corps and other sustainable businesses are collaborating to advocate for policies and practices that shape an economy where companies create a profit as well as positive impact for people and the planet.
In the United States and Canada, B Local Communities — place-based B Corp organizations — serve as a resource for business leaders seeking more resilient and equitable economies and communities. B Locals, run independently from B Lab, are commonly led by volunteer boards of B Local leaders who work closely with the B Lab team. In recent years B Locals have incorporated policy advocacy as a collective action through learning opportunities, political outreach, and other collaborations.
By serving as a resource for B Corps and other sustainable businesses, B Locals can help companies determine how to best use their social and political capital to advocate for policies that align with their values and provide a framework for a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They also help business leaders speak up in their role as employers and drivers of economic impact — an important constituency for elected officials.
The more than two dozen B Locals in the United States and Canada are making a difference by working with community organizations and other partners to enhance their advocacy efforts. Find examples and inspiration in the B Local policy advocacy highlights below compiled by B Lab U.S. & Canada.
B Local Boston: Partnering for a Stronger Political Voice
After learning that members were interested in meaningful collective action work, B Local Boston has organized a few climate advocacy events with partners who provide topic experts. These include an April 2021 workshop with Ceres and a June 2022 BLD NE workshop with a focus on policy.
Justin Wright of B Corp Habitus Inc. is one of the B Local Boston organizers who coordinate the events. He says the partnership with Ceres has been especially helpful in focusing the group’s work to best serve B Local members and maximize their collective impact. “The business community’s voice is the loudest in the halls of power,” he says. “If we are not advocating for our values, other businesses are advocating for profit over people and planet.”
While individual outreach is important, Wright says it’s important for B Corp leaders to mention their role in the business community as owners and employers. “B Corp leaders have a really important role to play as advocates,” he says. “A letter signed by B Corps makes a big impact.”
The legwork behind advocacy can be a challenge for groups like B Local Boston, Wright says, but it’s important to organize resources and events that make it easy for people to participate. “We have had to invite people personally and then make all the logistics very easy,” he says.
Stakeholder Capitalism: The Systemic Change Our Economy Needs
A new impact economy is being built, one where businesses prioritize and consider their impact on all the stakeholders they impact — including communities, workers, customers, and the environment. Download this free report to learn how the stakeholder model as practiced by B Corps is gaining global traction and validation
B Locals: Prioritizing Community Issues Through Regional Initiatives
As members of the regional Good For Michigan organization, B Corps in Michigan collaborate with other companies that have committed to measuring their social and environmental impact. To reinforce this work, in 2020 Good For Michigan launched The Impact Project to get business leaders civically engaged and align their business impact efforts with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Impact Project includes resources with a focus on regional economic goals — including growing the middle class, supporting small business, and building strong communities — as well as broader policy issues such as accessible voting, affordable child care, and paid sick leave.
Florida for Good, another regional group that includes B Corps and other values-aligned businesses, engaged its community in advocacy for the raise the wage act, which was approved and increased the minimum wage to $10 an hour with annual $1 increases. Now the organization is creating resources to help Florida companies navigate the Stop Woke Act, which established limits on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) training so that it must be voluntary and objective. Florida for Good is creating a playbook that provides businesses with steps to be compliant with the new bill, outlines specific training elements that must be adjusted, and offers ideas for voicing opposition to the bill, including a petition and letter-writing campaign. This resource has the potential to be used in other states where similar legislation is being considered.
B Local Mid Atlantic includes B Corps in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia, which is home to members of Congress and other elected national officials. The group has partnered with policy and sustainability organizations based in the region, including the American Sustainable Business Council and Impact Hub. B Local Mid Atlantic advocated for the Maryland campaign for environmental human rights, raising awareness of the climate justice initiative by writing op-eds and signing letters of support. While the legislation was not approved this year, the group formed new partnerships for community advocacy.
Systems Change Through Business-Led Policy AdvocacyRead More
Take Effective Policy Action at Your Company: Examples and Resources to Demand an Economy for AllRead More
2 Complementary Tools Help Companies Measure and Report Their Impact on StakeholdersRead More
How B Lab U.S. & Canada Will Drive Systemic Change: Advancing Racial Equity, Climate Justice, and a Stakeholder-Driven EconomyRead More
Sign Up for our B The Change Newsletter
Read stories on the B Corp Movement and people using business as a force for good. The B The Change Newsletter is sent weekly on Fridays.