The field of academic research on Certified B Corporations is currently small, but growing fast as the movement to use business as a force for good expands around the globe. Our B Local PDX community and B Corp companies here in the Pacific Northwest have been part of many of these studies. Here is a roundup of this research that we have received permission to share.
There are so many perks to working for a Certified B Corporation, not least including some generous discount on local products! Oregon’s B Corp wineries offer a generous 20-30% discount on current release wines for any employee of a Certified B Corporation, both online and in person at the wineries.
Holiday shoppers in Portland are getting a new concept store to purchase their gifts from this year: a B Corp™ Store, the first of its kind in the world. The store is a pop-up shop located inside of Lloyd Center Mall, as part of the Lloyd Local Initiative. Officially called the Certified B Corporation® Store (though visitors might hear ‘B Store’ for short), the shop showcases and sells products sourced exclusively from Certified B Corporation® companies.
Please join us on Thursday, February 21, 2019 to take part in the first Portland B Corp Day of Service! This is a community-driven effort for employees of Portland-area B Corps to get together and engage and volunteer in a meaningful way with local nonprofits.
At our November B Learning lunch, we heard from Lisa Cox from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, along with representatives and interns from New Seasons Market and Nossa Familia Coffee, about the Oregon Applied Sustainability Experience (OASE). OASE is an internship program administered by Oregon Sea Grant and Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, funded through a grant from EPA. This non-regulatory and voluntary program invites Oregon businesses to host a free, full-time, ten week intern to conduct onsite sustainability research at their businesses.
The North American Certified B Corp Community gathered from September 25-27 for the 2018 B Corp Champions Retreat: Building the B Economy in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was an inspiring couple of days learning about the “B Economy.” We are all involved in creating a more inclusive B Economy, which is built by everyone who works for, buys from, invests in, learns or teaches about, or supports businesses striving to create a shared and durable prosperity for all. It is comprised of Certified B Corps, Benefit Corporations, social enterprises, and other types of businesses united around a principle of using business as a force for good. The Champions Retreat was a great reminder that while our movement has incredible momentum, we also have a lot of work to do.
Grand Central Bakery is poised to enter its 30th year by becoming the first Northwest bakery to earn B Corp Certification, joining a movement of other businesses using Business as a Force for Good. Values are at the heart of the company and sustainability touches everything – from where the bakery buys ingredients to how it cares for employees and invests in communities. Founded in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, Grand Central currently operates seven bakery-cafes in Portland and three in Seattle.
On June 4, 2018, the Pacific Northwest community of Certified B Corporations came together at Revolution Hall in Portland for the 2nd annual B Corp Leadership Development Conference Pacific Northwest. This year's conference theme was VALUES TO ACTION. We heard from more than 25 speakers about how to translate the values that drove us to certify as B Corps into real action. We are happy to announce that videos of the main speakers from BLD PNW, thanks to the wonderful support and work of Zach from local B Corp video production company One Hundred Seconds.
We have spent the past couple of years speaking with newly-certified and nearly-certified B Corps and have heard of the very real need for certification assistance and support. In light of this feedback, we are very excited to be rolling out a couple of new options that we think will provide some much-needed support to companies seeking to get certified.
Thank you to everyone who came to our July B Learning lunch, where we focused on a project entitled US, A Collection of Immigration Stories from Our B Corp Family: Their Journeys, Experiences, and Reflections on Home. The production of this book was an all-volunteer initiative, and the goal was to learn, highlight and reflect on the unique immigration stories in our community. The project was “driven by the need for personal connection and the desire to recognize ourselves in each other. The result is a collection of stories that feature the paths by which members of our B Local community, originating from all over the world, came to reside in Portland, Oregon. These volunteers were asked to share their personal experiences in the effort to foster a bigger conversation about immigration.”
Thank you to everyone who came to our June B Learning lunch at HUB, and special thanks to our speaker, Anais Tuepker, from 350PDX. We learned more about how B Corps can become involved in the organization's mission to "address the causes of climate disruption through justice-based solutions by inspiring, training and mobilizing people to act," with a particular focus on the Portland Clean Energy Fund.
At our May B Learning Lunch, Heather Schrock joined us again at Hopworks for the second installment of her two-part series of talks on environmental footprint for business, this time on measuring a company’s water footprint. In her talk, Heather addressed some questions that companies face on the B Impact Assessment around measuring water usage, and actions that a company has taken to measure and reduce its water footprint.
Portland B Corp Fully has been honored with a 2018 Oregon Ethics in Business Award from the Rotary Club of Portland. These awards honor organizations & individuals who have demonstrated ethical business practice in its broadest interpretation: in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment and the community. Two other B Corp representatives and past award recipients spoke on a special keynote panel: Deb Hatcher of A to Z Wineworks and Tom Kelly of Neil Kelly Company.
Our April B Learning Lunch was held on April 26, 2018. The topic was Carbon Footprinting & Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Business 101 with Heather Schrock, Environmental Products Representative, from Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In her talk, Heather demystified some questions taken directly from the B Impact Assessment around measuring your greenhouse gas emissions and figuring out carbon footprint. She also discussed carbon offsets and how they can be calculated.