B Corp Aims to Reduce Travel Industry’s Environmental Impact While Building Economic Impact

Before the pandemic, travel and tourism accounted for almost 8% of all human-made emissions. Historically, the industry has been slow in addressing climate challenges due to industry fragmentation and low margins that have hindered necessary sustainability-focused investments. The result is maintenance of the status quo for too many years. As we emerge from the pandemic, when travel and tourism fell by more than 75%, we must look for better solutions to reduce the environmental impact of this critical industry.

Fortunately, the demand for sustainable travel has been on the rise. Recent studies show that almost 90% of us want to…

Through Employee Ownership and B Corp Certification, Global Prairie Operates with Stakeholders in Mind

When family ties led to moves to two new cities, colleagues Anne St. Peter and Douglas Bell decided to seize the opportunity to build a new marketing consulting enterprise with what they call an “inside-out approach.” In establishing Global Prairie in 2008, they built an employee-owned firm designed to help clients identify their purpose and engage their stakeholders around it.

Now, with offices in nine cities around the globe — including their respective offices of Kansas City and Cleveland — St. Peter and Bell have further baked purpose into Global Prairie’s DNA by becoming a Certified B Corporation and adopting…

B Corp NativeEnergy and Its Clients Pursue Climate-Positive Change

As the climate crisis has pushed the evolution and growth of the clean energy industry over the last two decades, NativeEnergy has been among the companies on the frontlines. The Vermont-based company develops wind, water, biogas, solar, and other renewable energy and clean water projects that generate carbon offsets and partners with other businesses looking to mitigate their climate impact. Increasingly, the projects go beyond taking carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere to create environmental benefit and mitigate the effects of climate change.

This transition from doing less harm to having a positive impact will be…

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…

Christopher Marquis

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

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