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Life Arts    H2'ed 4/23/15

2015 'Best for the World' List Highlights B Corp Honorees

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KK: Good question! The first distinction to make is that they don't provide home care services on a fee for service basis. Almost 100% of the people they serve are Medicaid recipients and so CHCA is reimbursed through Medicaid. Having said that, it's true the rates from the managed care companies do not provide enough resources to support this model. Instead, CHCA has been successful in diversifying funding to include both private and public funding which supplements the rates they charge. This enables them to both enhance training and provide a more robust work environment.

JB: I'm not that familiar with the ins and outs of Medicaid and funding, but I'm glad that they've found a working model that benefits everyone involved. Let's talk now about Etsy. Not being much of a shopper, I neverthele ss do know that company and was happy to see that they figure in B Corp news.

KK: Yes, Etsy is a great company and an interesting example of a B Corp. Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods and crafts. Their community-based model allows anyone to become an entrepreneur. They are on a mission to reimagine commerce and empower people to change the way the global economy works. With 40 million members and over 1 million active shops in 200 countries.

JB: 40 million members?! Really? I had no idea!

KK: Yes! They're helping very-very small businesses have much more sway in shaping the economy.

When they were first certified, Etsy barely cleared the bar for social and environmental performance. However by hosting hackathons, engaging employees and forming working groups, the company has improved their B Impact Score by over 20 points.

JB: Back up please. What the heck is a hackathon? Where I come from, the world of elections, hacking is bad. I'm assuming this is something else completely.

KK: A hackathon is when a group of people all come together to brainstorm and solve a common challenge. The group is first presented with the problem or specific subject. Participants then suggest ideas and form teams based on individual interests and skills. After a day long (or longer) working session, the group regathers and each team presents their results.

JB: Ahhh. Yes, it's quite different.

KK: In Etsy's case, this meant a day off work to brainstorm ways to improve the company's social and environmental impact. Teams were formed based on interests (ex: women leadership, diversity, recycling) and at the end of the day, employees held a vote on which initiatives to continue moving forward. You can read more about Etsy's Hackathon for Good at https://hbr.org/2012/11/etsys-hackathon-for-good/ .

Employees now receive paid time off to volunteer, the company donates to projects that train women and minorities on programming skills, and the offices compost over 600lbs of food waste each month at local community farm. These are only a few examples of how Etsy is walking the talk.

The big news is last week Etsy had their IPO, making them the second Certified B Corp to go public. (Rally Software in Colorado was the first.) This is important for the B Corp community, as it further shows how this is a viable model and that you can do well by doing good. In fact, CEO Chad Dickerson cited their B Corp certification as an important part of the brand's value. This sets the stage for future B Corps to follow suit and raises the profile of the entire community. Investor education is just as important as consumer education if we truly want this model to go mainstream and Etsy's IPO is a great opportunity to start the conversation on Wall Street.


(Image by B Lab)   Details   DMCA

JB: This year's Best for the World List was even picked up by Forbes. Is this kind of mainstream coverage new? No matter how you slice it, it's good news.

KK: Yes, we're thrilled to be able to reach a wider audience, as anyone can and should start measuring their impact with as much rigor as their profit. We have seen a marked increase in mainstream coverage over the past year which will hopefully lead to higher recognition of B Corps and more people using business as a force for good. We hope all business leaders will see the Best for the World List as an inspiration and a challenge to take the first step and measure their impact. The B Impact Assessment is free, confidential and easily accessible to anyone online at bimpactassessment.net - so everyone can strive to be Best for the World.

JB: Remind us how we can check if the companies we deal with are B Corps. And is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap this up?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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