What’s Trending—Using Your Business as a Force for Good

This blog post is co-bylined by Sheila Herrling, SVP, Social Innovation at the Case Foundation and Hardik Savalia, Senior Associate, Standards, at B Lab—a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

It’s undeniable; entrepreneurship is experiencing a culture shift. Everyday we hear more stories about the power of business to be a force for good. It’s no longer enough for an enterprise to earn a good profit. There’s a growing expectation that it will contribute to society and to a sustainable future. In his State of the Union Address, even President Obama articulated the need for businesses to get serious about improving their social and environmental impact. He stressed how businesses can do right by their workers, customers and communities, in addition to generating great profits.

Heeding the Call–Corporations committed to positive impact

Urgent social needs—access to energy, education, healthcare, clean water—don’t show signs of decline, making it clear that philanthropic and government resources alone won’t be sufficient to address them all. Communities around the world will need committed entrepreneurs and investors to help drive the next wave of great social change and environmental conservation.

Luckily, more than 1,600 companies including Patagonia and Warby Parker have taken the lead in this growing movement, by completing an extensive certification process to become B Corps. Yet, we believe that if we’re going to make real progress on social and environmental issues, we have to empower all companies, no matter the industry, location or size, with the tools to benchmark, measure and compare their positive impact on workers, communities and the environment. After all, how can any business start to improve their impact, without first knowing where they stand?

Through our partnership, we at B Lab and the Case Foundation have created the B Impact Assessment to do just this, and it’s already being used by more than 40,000 businesses in 80 countries. We’ve also recently released an enhanced, more user-friendly version of the Assessment to make it easier for any team member—ranging from CEO, to intern, to manager—to start this exercise confidentially for their business.

Ready to see it for yourself? Check out the new assessment!

B Impact Assessment SH

The Assessment takes users on a step-by-step journey through a variety of best practices that have already been adopted by leading companies. For example, what percent of the company’s workers receive a living wage? The tool provides examples from companies like Ben & Jerry’s on how they’ve successfully implemented a living wage program for all of their employees.

We believe there’s no single way to build a better business and the initial baseline assessment is the first step on a pathway to improvement. After completing the first, quick assessment, which on average takes about 30 minutes, we encourage companies to come back and use the built-in tools to set goals, create an action plan and start implementing those best practices to realize better social outcomes.

B Impact Report

Join the Movement–Use your business to drive social change.

The B Corps community and the Case Foundation, together are proud that more than 1,600 companies have fully committed to do their part as certified B Crops—redefining success for business—and that another 40,000 companies have shown an interest in doing better. We’re excited to invite all businesses to join this movement, and measure your ability to build stronger communities, create environmentally sustainable operations or cultivate empowering employment opportunities. We invite you to use business as a force for good.

Join our upcoming webinar, Increasing Your Impact & Improving Your Score on the B Impact Assessment, to learn more about how business can measure and improve their impact.

Measure What Matters: Announcing a New Partnership Between the Case Foundation and B Lab

This post was written by Andrew Kassoy, Co-founder of B Lab, and Kate Ahern on behalf of the Case Foundation:

The Case Foundation and B Lab are pleased to announce a new partnership called ‘Measure What Matters’ that will leverage the power of the B Corp community to help all companies use business as a force for good.

In February, the Case Foundation, B Lab, and a number of leading social entrepreneurs and impact investors participated in an event to talk about the need for business to join government, nonprofits, and philanthropy in solving social problems. We were fortunate to be joined by leaders from two certified B Corps—Warby Parker’s Neil Blumenthal and Happy Family’s Shazi Visram.

Warby Parker—which sells affordable, stylish prescription eyewear and incorporates a Buy One, Give One model—and Happy Family, which makes affordable organic baby food and other products, are two examples of the incredible power of business to do well by doing good. They are frontrunners in this growing movement because they are proving that they can solve problems and turn a profit.

B Lab, which certifies socially and environmentally responsible companies like Warby Parker and Happy Family, and others like Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, and Etsy (which just filed for an IPO) has built some of the critical building blocks of the social enterprise ecosystem. Measure What Matters builds on the momentum from the B Corp Certification program and marks a second phase of the B Corp movement’s aim to help all companies use business as a force for good.

How will this partnership help all companies to Measure What Matters?

We are thrilled that the community of Certified B Corps has grown to 1,200 leading companies globally. Remarkably, there are 20,000 more companies that have engaged with the B Impact Assessment to start to benchmark and improve their social and environmental performance.

B Lab’s newest initiative, Measure What Matters, builds on that momentum. It will provide easy-to-use online tools including the B Impact Assessment and B Analytics that any company can use to assess, compare and improve their impact. This initiative will adapt these tools so that they can be used by millions of companies around the world.

Earlier this month, these tools made it possible for the City of New York and the B Corp community to launch a new campaign called Best for NYC, which will inspire, equip and celebrate all NYC companies to improve social and environmental performance. Measure What Matters will be the entry point and first step for thousands of new companies in New York, across America, and worldwide to learn about how to evaluate their business practices, to compare against benchmarks, and to improve their performance.

The Case Foundation has long partnered with organizations like B Lab that disrupt industries and make markets for social good, and we are happy be able to continue that tradition with our support of B Lab’s newest effort.

We know that only a small percentage of the companies that use B Lab’s tools will likely become certified B Corps, but we also know that all companies—large and small, public and private—can benefit from measuring what matters to them and what matters to their shareholders and customers in improving social impact and sustainability. In a generation’s time, this work will help establish a culture in business where all companies measure and manage impact with the same rigor as they do profits.

Read more about B Lab here, and learn more about the B Impact Assessment. Read more about the Case Foundation’s impact investing work here.