Why We Went For The B
by crystal wilson
We recently earned the right to use this image and we are so thrilled by it. The idea of having the Certified B Corporation logo gracing our marketing material, and featuring on our website makes us proud.
There are so many certifications out there that people in business are striving for, and they each hold their own meaning and function. The "Certified Organic" label means that someone else is vouching for the purity of your product. The "Fair Trade" certification is described here, and lets consumers know that you are concerned about the welfare of the global community. Certifications like Leaf, mean that green minded consumers can trust the sustainability practices of your restaurant, and working through the ISO 14001 puts you in the company of business owners internationally who use it as a standard to reduce environmental impact. With so many to choose from that are good for the global community, it can be hard to decide which one is the right fit for your business.
So why did FLOW specifically go the B Corp route?
Well, we started where we would advise anyone to start - by examining our values and evaluating how they align with the certification.
When this business was being created, it was springing forth from a desire to make change in society. Observations were made that women were not often employed in a way that best used their gifts. People in the city around us were stuck in tight spots and not thriving because they were not able to find satisfying work that paid well enough to live without wondering where the rent or grocery money would come from. The idea that business owners themselves could be a huge factor in turning that around was front and centre for us.
We operated FLOW for the first two years without knowing that Certified B Corporations existed, and then attended a screening of “Not Business as Usual” – A documentary about this way of doing business. That was a turning point for us – we realized there were others working toward the same goals for community and environmental change and that they were collected in one place! It felt like we had gained access to our tribe.
For many businesses, making the commitments required of B Corps is a very difficult undertaking. For us though, it really just means that we now have an obligation to grow in and improve our change metrics. This is an incredible challenge, but one that is supported by our commitment to our core values:
It takes courage to do something differently – especially something that has been done in primarily one way for over a century. We know that we will come up against many challenges along this journey but are determined to meet and overcome them together and alongside other like-minded business owners.
We must be aware of our business practices and the impact they have on society and the environment. Hand in hand with that is a responsibility to be self-aware, and examine our own personal choices as well.
It has already been mentioned that businesses holding B Corp certification are expected to improve their impact as time goes on. That is transformation in and of itself, but we have a bigger dream than that – to assist in the transformation of the business world as a whole, by authentically living out our values in our business and personal relationships so that we have the highest degree of influence possible.
This is hard work. You plain and simple cannot do it if you don’t have a degree of enthusiasm about it. If you find yours waning – ride the tails of an enthusiastic co-worker until you find yours again! It won’t take long!
Whenever we (April and Crystal) find our energy waning it almost always comes down to this piece about connection. If we lose connection with each other, the team, or the ultimate vision we are nearly useless. We have learned the hard way that it is crucial for a developing social enterprise to maintain a connection with the end goal. A benefit to joining the B Corp community is that there is an external community to connect with that are all working to see change in the world brought on by business.
With this much congruence between FLOW’s values and the B Corporation movement it only made sense to get on board. We are very excited about the connections we will make and the change we will be able to help implement through those connections.