Six Ways to Make the Most of Your Life in a B Corp

By Adie Bartron / Dec 10, 2015

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Okay, so your company is a Certified B Corporation®. You agree that it’s possible to use the power of business as a force for good. Maybe you’ve memorized some ideas about what it means to be a B Corp for pitches to new clients. Perhaps you have the Certified B Corp logo in your email signature. But where has it gone from there?

Chalkboard

If you’re like me, probably not too far. I’ve always been proud to work with a company that’s actively working to make the world a better place. But I confess I didn’t know a lot about our B Corp certification or the magnitude of the B Corp movement.

So when I was offered the opportunity to attend the 2015 B Corp Champions Retreat in October, I figured, what the heck, let’s see what the excitement is all about.

Bcorp Champions Retreat

The retreat was incredibly eye-opening. PDX Magazinecalled the conference “a gathering of the movement’s heavy-hitters and leading thinkers,” and they weren’t kidding. I met tons of smart, friendly, passionate individuals from every corner of the globe. I learned about challenges that we as B Corps all face, like how to maintain company culture through growth. I discovered how to connect with clients and colleagues through values-based storytelling. And I was finally able to grasp just how large this (now) international movement is becoming.

Throughout all this, I knew what I really wanted to take away from my experience was a list of ways to bring the B Corp love back to my colleagues and share real, tangible ideas for how we can continue to grow and improve as a B Corp. Here are six of the ideas that I shared upon my return to Idaho:

1. Familiarize yourself with what it means to be a B Corp and follow B Corp best practices:

Ryan Honeyman’s B Corp Handbook provides great insight into what it means to be a B Corp, including everything from taking the assessment to tips and tricks from companies like Ben & Jerry’s and King Arthur Flour. (Check out our review of that book in this blog post.) 

2. Learn about your company’s current assessment score:

I’ve never been involved in the rigorous assessment process for Oliver Russell, so it wasn’t until I was doing some pre-retreat research that I realized the areas where we fall a bit short, which leads me to my next tip…

3. Consider having your suppliers take the B Corp assessment:

One area in the assessment where we can improve our score is by asking suppliers to take the assessment. Both you and the supplier can gain a better understanding of their social and environmental practices, while adding points to your own score.

4. Check out the tools available on the B Corp website:

Want to write a blog about being a B Corp, but not sure where to start? There is a great set of blog prompts in the B Corp Resources Portal that can help guide you. There’s also a new set of brand guidelines, which include talking points to help you clearly and succinctly explain to others what it means to be a B Corp. 

5. Organize local events with other B Corp organizations:

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  • On the last day of the retreat, I fortuitously met another woman from Boise. As soon as we returned home, we met to discuss what we had learned and how we could affect change among our own local B Corp community, starting with a series of Boise B Corp volunteer events. (And we actually had a great first event in November).

    Raking

    6. Join the B Hive:

    Be a part of the larger conversation within the B Corp community by joining what is essentially a social network for B Corps. There are plenty of groups and conversations, from best practices to building company culture to assessment tips to resources for women in business. It provides a great sounding board for sharing ideas and for meeting others in the B Corp community.

    As human beings, most of us would like our work to have greater meaning than just a paycheck and a place to sit all day. The desire for meaning at work is the motivating force behind the B Corp movement. B Corp certification is simply an objective measurement for how well your company is really performing against a bottom line that includes people, profit, and planet. It’s also proof that other organizations (clients, suppliers, and others) share your values. We’re a tribe that’s getting bigger and having a greater impact every day. If you care about what’s happening in the world and want to do something about it, these are your people. So be a part of it: learn more about B Corps, educate your suppliers and clients, and get to know your B Corp counterparts online and in person. If it’s just a logo in your email signature, you don’t know what you’re missing.

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    Adie Bartron

    With every project, the devil—and the beauty—is in the details. And there’s no one better to keep track of them than Adie. She runs projects with both a laser-like focus and a big-picture perspective, making her a favorite of clients like Hewlett-Packard, Mountain Health CO-OP, and the City of Boise. She has a sixth sense for looming deadlines and spends our clients’ budgets as carefully as her own. And she bakes. Did we mention that?

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