Reflections on Becoming a Certified B Corp and the Champions Retreat
Sustainable Law Group is thrilled to be a part of a growing movement of companies that are redefining success in business by becoming a Certified B Corporation. Certified B Corporations are dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. In order to become certified we had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, earn a verified score of 80 points on the B Impact Assessment (we earned a 120), and change our Bylaws to expand our legal responsibility to include the interests of workers, community, and the environment.
We formed our law firm on principles of sustainability to serve social enterprises, green businesses and nonprofits. We decided to seek B Corp certification as a way to measure and track our actual impact. What we gained from the process was far more. Yes, we were able to quantify our impact and we learned or strengths and weaknesses. However, it was at the B Corp Champions Retreat that we really understood the value of becoming a Certified B Corp.
Just one week after being a freshly minted B Corporation, we went to the B Corp Champions Retreat in Boulder Colorado. Despite devastating floods, the organizers of the retreat were determined to not only hold the event in Boulder but to integrate ways the B Corp community could help with disaster relief. True to the nature of this amazing community, funds were raised and gloves were donned to help two of the businesses within the B Corp community dig their offices out of the mud. For our part, we paid part of the hotel bill for a woman who, having come down to Boulder for chemo treatments, had been stranded and unable to get back to her home after the floods washed away the roads.
In addition to the camaraderie felt from helping the local community, the retreat also offered many opportunities to reflect, brainstorm, and plan the next important “ripples” that each B Corp in the room would commit to making to further positive social and environmental change over the coming year. For our part, we have dedicated ourselves to developing courses and panel topics to educate our colleagues on the legal aspects of B Corp certification. We look forward to working in partnership with other attorneys and organizations to make this happen over the next year.
Not only have we learned more about our own impact on society and the environment and ways that we are making an impact and ways we can improve, but we also became part of a thriving movement of change agents. This is a profound shift for us, because we are no longer just one small business trying to make a change, we are one of hundreds (and soon to be thousands) of businesses that stand for something, that stand for positive change.
If you are interested in becoming a certified B Corp we encourage you take the online Impact Assessment. In addition, we are happy provide legal counsel and resources for any company interested in joining the movement. Please contact us here for more information.