B-ing the Change
In a recent interview, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario said, “what the B Corp community does is it brings together like-minded companies to be a greater force for good in the world.”
Looking at 2017 and beyond, Marcario’s words could not be more poignant. Much of the social and environmental progress that has been made over the last eight years is likely to be challenged in the coming weeks, months and years.
The incoming executive administration of the United States has outlined plans to undo the socially beneficial accomplishments that have been realized in energy efficiency, climate policy, and resource management. For example, President Trump’s public denunciation of climate change and directives limiting several federal agencies from publicizing information on climate-related issues, followed by his counterintuitive pick of Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, is particularly concerning given the overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that climate change has emerged as the greatest threat to humanity’s existence. Meanwhile, clear strategies for addressing the myriad complex social problems affecting our country (e.g., healthcare access, income inequality, wage stagnation) have yet to be announced. This ambiguity, combined with the plans already delineated, makes for an uncertain future for many industries going forward.
But there is reason for optimism. As much as the new administration may try to alter or terminate the reforms enacted during the Obama years, businesses can and will continue their pursuit of sustainability in the interest of long-term economic security (aka, the greater good).
Even in the absence of federal regulations, sustainability has proven to make good business sense over the past decade. A few comparative advantages that come to mind are lower operating costs, reduced waste, increased productivity and margin, mitigated risk and positive brand recognition. And let’s not forget consumers, especially the massive audience of millennials, and shareholders – all of whom are increasingly holding corporations accountable for the way they make their products, use and dispose of resources and treat employees. Businesses that don’t work toward the triple bottom line are finding it harder to compete for market share, talent, PR wins and ultimately, margin.
Now is the time for the business community – along with state and local governments – to play a critical role in ensuring our society continues to evolve in a progressive, inclusive, responsible manner.
This is why we believe it’s more important than ever to be a member of the B Corp community. B Corps work to leverage “the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.” As a business community, we are in a unique position to use this power to face the challenges of what promises to be a turbulent period in our national and global history.
B Corp membership recently eclipsed the 2,000 mark – and it continues to grow every day. This number is more than a symbolic milestone; it represents tens of thousands of leaders and members of the business community who work tirelessly to uphold equality, sustainability, justice and inclusiveness as a means of doing business – ideals that are translated into technological advancement, effective resource management, job growth, and improved quality of life across all socioeconomic sectors.
Milepost has been a certified B Corporation since 2010, and we remain steadfastly committed to our company’s vision of an inclusive, just, egalitarian and resource-efficient world that perpetually keeps the long-term interests of society in mind. As we enter a new political era, we continue to stay focused on helping our clients and stakeholders adapt and thrive in a world challenged by social, environmental and political change with the firm conviction that responsible business is the most effective point of leverage in the world.
We invite you to join us.