Tag Archives: B Corp

14 Jun 2018

We’re a B Corp!

We’re proud to share that we have just received confirmation that Impact Hub Seattle has been re-certified as a B Corporation for the third time since our first certification in 2014!

What are B Corporations?

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today, there is a growing community of more than 2,100 Certified B Corps from 50 countries and over 130 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business.

Why is it important that Impact Hub is a B Corporation?

To put it simply, we believe that business can be used as a force for social good, and we want to practice what we preach! There are tons of other good reasons too: to be leaders in a movement, to differentiate ourselves, and to better align our purchasing power with our values. The questions themselves challenge you to think differently about how to organize your business.

What does it take to become a B Corporation?

Take the assessment and see how you compare to other companies! Even if pursuing full certification isn’t your ultimate goal, taking the assessment can give you ideas on what it might take to become a better business for your workers, community and the environment. For example, encouraging your employees to participate in the community through volunteering or serving on a Board of a non-profit organization can increase your score, while also giving your company increased visibility, develop leadership skills of your employees and advance your own career.

Curious about serving on a board or starting a volunteer program for your employees? Talk to Seattle Works, an Impact Hub-based organization that is dedicated to connecting volunteers with service opportunities!

Here’s a sample question that you can find on the assessment:

Evey question is scored and weighed to add up to a total, where a score of 80 is the minimum to qualify. After the assessment, the B corp team reviews your answers and verifies the most critical questions in an interview.

How did Impact Hub’s score change between 2016 and 2018?

Great question! It’s a little tricky to answer because the assessment has evolved since 2016. This is the 4th iteration of the B corp assessment, and every iteration, the bar is raised. In the latest reassessment, we have been able to maintain our B corp status and raise our overall score by three points.

As Impact Hub, we make thoughtful choices about vendors, purposefully build a community of people that makes the world a better place through their work, have local board members and suppliers, have some basic sustainability measures in place for the building, and share all company information (such as financials) among our staff.

Having said that, we’re not, as B corp calls it, one of the ‘best for the world’ in any of these categories. And as you can see, we have some work to do when it comes to the Workers category. As an example, while we do offer our employees health insurance (dental/vision included), we are not yet in a position to offer retirement plans – but we want to get there! And ideally, we would be creating more jobs by growing our business faster. Finally, the thought of an employee-owned (or community owned!) business is also enticing and a step forward.

What other companies are B Corporations?

The B Corp movement continues to gain momentum globally, with high-profile companies like Patagonia, Althleta, Seventh Generation, Warby Parker, Dr. Bronners and Allbirds having received certification. In Washington State, we are are proud to support our fellow B Corps such as Starvation Alley Cranberries, Aslan Brewing, Finn River Cider and Snoqualmie Ice Cream – and right here at onsite at Impact Hub Seattle, we are in good company with members and tenants like Yin Yang NaturalsMilepost Consulting, RALLY and Natural Investments. You can also check out the list of companies that have been named “Best for the World” or search for a specific company on the B Corp website.

So what’s next for Impact Hub Seattle?

Taking the full assessment and going through the re-certification process is no small feat, so we’re definitely in “self-congratulation” mode right now, but we’re eager to continue the conversation within our team and our greater community about what we can do to continue to improve our score before 2020, and we’d like to encourage others to think about what they can do be become B’s too.

If you have questions about our experience, reach out to Kristian Bolk, our Managing Director who led our re-certification process! If you are interested in seeing our full assessment, let us know. We’re happy to help you prepare for your own.

26 Nov 2017

[Gift Guide] Shop B Corps

 

As Seattle’s only coworking space with a B Corp certification, we’re honored to be in the company of so many great businesses that are using the power of business to create meaningful, positive change in our communities. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite companies operating locally, nationally and internationally – many of which we discovered were BCorps AFTER we’d already purchased their products!

Allbirds, Inc.

You might have noticed Allbirds’ digital marketing strategy following around the world wide web, peddling a shoe made out of Merino Wool. We took the bait and placed an order for a pair of Wool Runners (in mint!), and discovered that Allbirds really WERE some of the most comfortable shoes we’ve ever worn – and what’s more, they’re breathable, washable, and no sheep are harmed in the making. Once we started looking around, we started to notice that even our Board President was sporting a pair of the loungers!

Allbirds just released “Smallbirds” for the kids in your life! To read more about what makes Allbirds a B Corp, click here.

New Seasons

New Seasons is the first grocery store to receive the BCorp certification! We first discovered the magic of New Seasons when we were on a hunt for three large, Kosher turkeys for Thanksgiving, and New Seasons had us covered. Their commitment to triple bottom line principles of people, planet and profit shows up in how they set goals and measure what matters: creating pathways of opportunity within the company for women and people of color, nourishing local communities, promoting environmental stewardship, and supporting the local food economy.

New Seasons Market first got started in Oregon, but has recently opened a store on Mercer Island! Visit them in person and learn more about what makes them a B Corp by clicking here. We also suggest checking out their 2016 Impact Report for an in-depth and transparent look at how the successes and challenges they faced in growing the ultimate grocery store experience!

Warby Parker

For years, the eyewear industry has been dominated by a single company that owns most major brand labels of frames, which allows them to charge however much they want and keep prices high. Warby Parker disrupted the world of vision by offering quality frames for just $95, allowing you to order several pairs at a time and only keep the ones you liked, and by implementing a give-back incentive: for every pair of glasses that you buy (for just $95!), they give a pair to someone in need. By purchasing your next pair of glasses from Warby Parker, you are literally giving the gift of sight.

To read more about Warby Parker’s B Corp score, click here. We also recommend the Warby Parker podcast episode of “How I Built This” on NPR!

SheaMoisture / Sundial Brands

Sundial Brands is one of the largest Black-owned businesses in the country, and focuses on the un-met skin and haircare needs of a diverse population. By pioneering the concept of “New General Markets”, they are working to transform the beauty industry by shifting from serving standardized ideals and moving towards supporting inclusive representation of their consumers. Their brands, SheaMoisture, Madam CJ Walker and Nubian Heritage are all made with the highest quality products possible with natural, certified organic and ethically-sourced ingredients.

Learn more about Sundial’s Community Commerce purpose-driven business strategy by clicking here!

Finnriver Cidery

Finnriver Farm & Cidery is located in the Chimacum Valley on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington, and is Washington State’s first winery and cidery to reach B Corp status! Their products – artisan ciders and fruit wines – are made from the 20 different varieties of apples that grow in their orchard – and are all Certified Organic. Bonus: you can visit the Finnriver Cider Garden 7 days a week for guided tastings and flights, and even work from their coworking partner space, the Farmhouse CoLab – and you can find cocktail recipe suggestions on their website!

Read about how Finnriver works to ‘serve the land with cider’ and check out their B Corp assessment here!

Miir

What started as a product-based company designing water bottles has quickly expanded their line beyond drinkware to now include bikes, bags, and journals. Every product you purchase from Miir has a trackable code that funds a giving project around the world. By earmarking a percentage of revenue from each purchase, Miir works with their giving partners to determine where the dollars can make the most impact and a grant is made to the partnering organization, which then gets to work. You’ll receive a GPS code with the coordinates of where your dollars have been put to work!

You can experience all of Miir’s products at their Flagship store in Fremont, or order individual items online! Miir bottles, bags and bikes make for great gifts – and you can also order custom products with your logo and artwork!