Certification Helps Handsome Brook Farms Formalize Guidelines and Enhance Impact

Handsome Brook Farms. (Photo © Michael George Photography 2019)

The scale of production for the humble little egg is much more massive than most people realize. There were 394 million laying hens in the U.S. flock as of March, and they produce more than 8.6 billion eggs each month. And yet, only about 15% of these are organic.

Why is organic important? The organic label covers what the hens eat (organic, pesticide-free, non-GMO feed) and where they live (in pastures with no toxic chemicals or pesticides). …

Leader of Biotech Business Sees Growing Potential for B Corps in Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the significant contributions of life science companies to a safe and healthy world. So it is not surprising that many articulate that their primary mission is not necessarily economic return, but to contribute to individuals’ health and well-being. Accordingly, one would think there would be many life science businesses among the approximately 4,000 worldwide Certified B Corporations — companies that are certified for their social and environmental performance. Yet there are only a handful.

To understand this paradox, Brian Tinger, Corporate Controller of New England Biolabs (NEB), a biotech company that develops enzymes for everything…

B Corps Collaborate for Investment Company Focused on ESG Standards

Amid market instability from the COVID-19 pandemic and other global crises, an investment tool to raise capital and acquire companies has gained favor in the last year. SPACs, special purpose acquisition companies, are known as “blank check” companies because they are formed without specific target acquisitions in mind with the sole purpose of acquiring enterprises. …

Wefunder Focuses on Small, Startup Businesses and Investors

Even with increased attention and buzz around the sustainable impact economy, investors remain predominantly white and affluent, and investment dollars continue to go mainly to white, male-led companies. There has, however, been progress toward diversifying the investor pool and the allocation of investments, and many companies recently have tried to accelerate that transition.

“If you have a more democratic approach to who can be an investor, maybe we can level the playing field a little bit and get more capital to entrepreneurs of color and women in Tennessee or Ohio as well as San Francisco, New York City and Boston,”…

B Corp Expands to U.S. Amid Growing Consumer Demand

Plant-based foods are more popular than ever. For instance, one study by Packaged Facts estimated 2020 plant-based dairy and egg sales at $4.3 billion. And through Oct. 3, 2020, Nielsen reported that alternative meat sales were up 129% compared to the first nine months of 2019. The plant-based protein market is projected to reach $15.6 billion by 2026, up from 10.3 billion in 2020.

As this industry scales, an important question is whether the heath and sustainability ethos of early entrants will be maintained as mainstream actors join the movement. Impossible Burgers are now being sold in Burger King and…

Establishing a Market for Companies Focused on Multiple Stakeholders and Investors Who Value Sustainable Success

Like many facets of the economy, traditional stock exchanges often incentivize short-term returns while neglecting to facilitate long-term resilience within companies — particularly important during periods of crisis. With expectations for relatively quick payoffs, investment money in stocks is directed to companies that may be quite profitable at the moment but lack a plan or the necessary tools for long-term value creation.

In addition to diminishing company resiliency, this system’s focus on short-term profits exacerbates environmental and social harm. …

Saxbys Campus Cafes Give Students On-the-Job Experience

Bowie State University President Aminta Breaux, left, inaugural Student CEO Devin Gallion, center, and Saxbys Founder and CEO Nick Bayer toast the grand opening of Bowie State’s Saxbys.

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers pointed to a disturbing trend. While graduates believe they are well prepared for a job, employers increasingly think otherwise.

Nick Bayer, Founder and CEO of public benefit corporation and hospitality company Saxbys, expressed it to me this way: “The job market demands skills like critical thinking, emotional intelligence, problem solving, cultural agility — attributes that are extremely difficult if not impossible to teach in a classroom.”

Bayer developed the Saxbys Experiential Learning Platform (ELP), a student-centric entrepreneurship opportunity that partners with leading universities to give students the opportunity…

B Corp Unreasonable Group Collaborates for DEI Impact

Unreasonable Group Founder and CEO Daniel Epstein welcomes a new cohort of fellows. (Photo by Chet Strange)

Advancing economic justice is rapidly becoming a business imperative. Not only will a more just economy support diverse communities — including those that have been traditionally exploited — it also will be more robust, innovative, resilient, and creative. These are qualities badly needed in the market to help tackle global issues, like poverty and climate change. Achieving the level of structural change will require infusing principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion across various facets of our economy and a wide range of stakeholders.

Unreasonable Group intrinsically involves many stakeholder networks in its impact work by connecting entrepreneurs with investors, operating…

Women’s Clothing Company Sets Climate-Positive Goal for 2025

The fashion industry as a whole creates a lot of waste and harms the environment. In keeping up with new trends and fast-fashion consumer demands, fashion companies must constantly create new products for those consumers who will readily throw out older items in their wardrobe. Ethical fashion, however, is a growing movement responding to the increasing consumer and advocate pressures on businesses to center sustainability in their operations — and some companies are responding by finding more environmentally friendly processes.

Reformation is a women’s clothing company that has been on the forefront of sustainable fashion. Since 2015, the company has…

Employee-Owned B Corp Creates Planet-Friendly Foods

The success of companies like Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat has drawn attention to the plant-based protein sector. And recently Bill Gates said that because of the climate effects of beef production, wealthier countries should completely shift to eating plant-based synthetic beef.

The plant-based movement reflects a significant shift in the way people are eating and understanding the relationship between their food choices, their own health, and the health of the planet at-large. As we learn more about the impact our dietary choices have on the resources that sustain us — water, land, and climate — opportunities for companies that…

Christopher Marquis

I write about how companies are creating a more resilient and sustainable capitalism. http://www.chrismarquis.com

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