We decided to become a B Corp. Here’s why.

by Ashton Anderson

The world has been slowly moving toward environmental sustainability for a while now. But the pandemic, bank crises, remote work, and a host of other factors over the past decade have forced new ways of thinking about what it means to build a truly sustainable future. Now, we’re asking broader questions about human and economic flourishing and expanding the definition of sustainability to include considerations across the array of impacts that an organization has on a wide range of stakeholders.

This movement has been called many things: Sustainable Capitalism, Capitalism 2.0, ESG. Each initiative has different expressions, yet at their core they’re all about creating the most positive impact and limiting or mitigating negative effects on stakeholders while maximizing shareholder returns. No small feat.

As the definition of sustainability expands, we’ve seen firsthand the challenges that business leaders face when trying to evolve business operations to address these holistic sustainability considerations. What we’ve noticed is that organizations that make the move towards this new form of capitalism aren’t having conversations about a “sustainability strategy”, but about their business strategy as a whole.

That’s because sustainability isn’t a subset of strategy, but rather a strategic approach to business itself. And, for organizations that make the transition well, sustainable approaches to business can serve as a robust profit center, rather than a cost center, as leadership uses stakeholder-based thinking to make meaningful choices about where they operate and how to position themselves for healthy growth for years to come.

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As an innovation studio focused on helping clients build better, more sustainable tomorrows, we’re firmly convinced that the organizations that will stand the test of time are the ones that realize that a business’s license to operate is predicated on a wide range of factors previously unconsidered in the development of core strategy. And, those who double down on holistic sustainability set themselves up for a strong competitive advantage, both now and in the future.

These beliefs led us to become a B Corp because, well, we couldn’t offer advice to clients that we weren’t willing to take ourselves.

Out of many certification options out there, some are better suited for certain types of businesses than others. We chose a B Corp certification because it’s an all-in one approach that evaluates environmental, governance, worker, community, and customer impacts and fits a broad range of business types.

The certification wasn’t easy. It took some commitment of time and resources because it’s incredibly thorough. BILD went through an evaluation where we had to demonstrate 1) high social and environmental performance, 2) a legal commitment to be accountable to all stakeholders by changing the corporate governance structure, and 3) transparency by allowing our performance measurement to be publicly available on our B Corp Profile. If that model piques your interest, you can read more here.

As a B Corp, we are ensuring that for both now and the future, BILD will remain committed to improving today and inventing tomorrow sustainably, ethically, and with all stakeholders in mind. Isn’t that what we should all be doing as business leaders?

Sound interesting? Let’s chat.

Ashton Anderson is an Analyst at BILD, where she loves helping people create a better world through business. Her simple pleasures in life include binge reading, color coded project plans, thrift store finds, amateur interior design, and weaving business theory into casual conversation with unsuspecting family and friends.

Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.