What if we, as a community, nation, society, decided that a company was an abject failure if, in the operation of its business, it caused environmental damage or perpetuated social injustice?
What if we all judged this business as an epic fail? And what if we had a slew of tools to, not only prevent such companies ever doing business in the first place, but also tools we could employ to either help businesses correct unintentional failure, or face immediate and consequential punitive action for this harm caused? For example, the immediate cessation of the right to operate; or hefty penalties.
What would these tools be? Corporate legislation, government regulation and policy, taxation, financial penalties, legal action.
But what do we do instead when a company pollutes or has modern slavery in their supply chain? At best, we do nothing. At worst, we applaud and praise these companies for making huge profits for their shareholders. A token of which they may throw at a worthy charity, or sponsor a sports team, as part of ‘giving back’.
Meanwhile, the world burns.
The climate crisis and egregious social injustice are human-made crises mainly created and exacerbated by those with economic power and privilege. When we buy something “cheap” we are supporting and perpetuating these power structures. (By the way, there is no such thing as “cheap”. There is only passing on the true cost. In other words, another being is suffering so we can can have our “cheap” delusion. That being could be a child in the Congo, a woman in Bangladesh, a cow in America, orangutans in Brazil… someone is paying for our “cheap”. The irony is, it ultimately comes back to bite us.)
What if, we all judged a business as a wild success if it healed and regenerated the environment and drove social justice and equity? And what if our societies, and our systems of education, law and governance were structured to encourage and reward these businesses. What if we had tools to help these businesses flourish and thrive?
Then we would not be facing the biggest existential crisis ever faced by humankind.
It does not need to be like this.
Happily, there is change afoot. And it cannot come quickly enough.
The one unifying goal of all certified B Corporations – businesses of varied sizes, industries, and sectors — is a mission to use business for the good of all people and the planet rather than singularly focus on profit.
Redefining success for business and creating new economic norms also involves speaking up for change and learning continually.
At your company, this can mean launching a sabbatical program that acknowledges the need for rest. In your community, this can mean forming advocacy partnerships that support climate justice. With federal leaders, this can mean sharing how your business is using clean energy to reduce its environmental impact.
Through small and large changes and actions, B Corps are weaving a future when business as a force for good is the way everyone does business.
Are you Ready to B Better?
Ready to take the plunge towards becoming a B Corp business? Let the Grow Good team guide you through the process either through 1:1 coaching or group coaching on one of our regular cohort programmes.
Don’t wait to be a better business, get on with it now. The planet depends on it.
Here at Grow Good, it’s our job to help businesses become B Corp certified. Because the process can be confusing and daunting. We translate it, break it down, offer resources to make it as manageable as possible. If your business is ready to go B Corp, give us a shout or book in a discovery call.