Your business – it’s built with ingenuity, intention, and purpose. Perhaps your products or services are employing an underserved community, addressing a global issue, or inspiring creativity, beauty, or health. That’s admirable on its own, but what’s next? How can your purpose-driven company become a leader in the field?
1. Get Inspired
It’s no challenge to find impressive examples of leading social enterprises. Patagonia, Warby Parker, and Everlane are just a few of those names repeatedly recognized for their social and environmental achievements. They go beyond their missions by continuously innovating and leaning into the nitty gritty details of their models. From their supply chain transparency to their environmental stewardship initiatives, they leave close to nothing unkempt. However, they’re certainly not the only ones prioritizing their triple bottom line.
Smaller companies, like Sun & Swell Foods are constantly looking to innovate. Kate and Bryan Flynn started the company with the mission of making healthy snacking more accessible. Just last year, they became a B Corp.
Certified B Corporations are businesses across the globe that commit to the highest social and environmental standards, using business as a force for good.
Throughout the process, Sun & Swell made substantial improvements across their model, from establishing a relationship with a local non-profit partner to setting goals for source reduction in their packaging in 2019. They’re still improving, day by day, and seeking inspiration from their leaders.
How can smaller companies (likely without a social responsibility department) build an equally robust and thoughtful business? Like Sun & Swell, the B Impact Assessment designed by B Lab, can be a great way for a business to assess, benchmark, and set goals. Oftentimes, it is challenging to know where your blind spots are in a business. That’s why the assessment holistically addresses five key areas: workers, governance, customers, community, and environment. Once you have assessed all the areas, you will have a more thorough understanding of where you can improve to build a stronger, more sustainable company.
Start designing! With your shortcomings exposed, you can begin making incremental changes throughout your model. Whether that’s revamping your environmental performance by disposing of your waste properly or developing health and wellness benefits for your workers, you can start to design new programs and policies for your company in line with the impact you desire to make.
Once you have made these changes and joined the B Corp community, the next step is to engage your employees and ensure they are on board! Inform them of the new and exciting programs they have access to and communicate how integral they are to becoming a leading social enterprise.
Your workers are a pivotal part of your company’s long-term growth and impact.
Once you create measurable goals and set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), you can see your impact grow over time.
5. Celebrate & Collaborate
As your business continues to improve, celebrate! Your community and other like-minded companies will be inspired by your actions and more apt to join the movement. As more businesses jump on board, we’ll see more positive change happen across the globe – whether that’s by cleaning up our ocean, improving the quality of life for workers, or giving back to our local communities – and that’s just the beginning.