We are thrilled to announce that Impact Hub Boston has become a Certified B Corporation. This puts us alongside many other “profit-driven and purpose-driven” companies that believe that business can be conducted so that people and planet are considered as important as profit — and that doing so actually makes good business sense.
We are used to thinking of business as driven by the goal of making profits for the owners-in fact, we are used to thinking that is the only purpose of a business. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. For many years, a small but growing list of companies have demonstrated that it is possible to build a profitable, successful business around the idea that a business can have a social mission at its core, and that focus on its mission can actually become an “unfair advantage” over its competitors that are purely focused on profit.
Have you ever bought Ben and Jerry’s ice cream? Do you know anyone besides the Impact Hub team who buys Seventh Generation cleaning products? Have you seen ads from Patagonia that tell you not to buy more clothes? These are all examples of “profit-driven and purpose-driven” businesses that you may have heard of. These companies are also all B Corps!
More and more, businesses say they’re doing good things in the world — but how do you really know? That’s what the “Certified B Corporation” mark is all about. It’s an independent certification, involving extensive reporting and examination of business practices, and it’s a way for you to know whether a business that claims to be socially-minded in their practices is for real or not.
The Certified B Corporation mark is administered by the B Lab, an organization which has certified over 3,000 businesses in the US and around the world. B Lab certifies companies based on the way they run their business, considering not just profit-making, but also:
- Their local community, and
- The environment
Note that this is not the same as the form of legal organization that you may have heard of, Benefit Corporation. That’s a type of company you can form in Massachusetts and in some other states that protects the Board of Directors and the managers of the business from legal claims from shareholders who want management to solely maximize profits. Impact Hub Boston could have just become a benefit corporation, but instead chose to become a Certified B Corporation because we believe it’s important to have independent certification of our business practices.
We are proud to join the ranks of businesses that are verifiably demonstrating that “business” can mean much more than “maximizing profits”. Not only can businesses be run to avoid doing harm, but business can actually be a force for good.
Not only can businesses be run to avoid doing harm, but business can actually be a force for good.
Each of us, every time we open our wallets, gets to vote for the kind of world we want to live in. Do we spend our money with businesses that are supporting the kind of world we want, through their business practices, in the suppliers they work with, the way they treat their employees, in the effects their products have on the planet?
You, our members, have chosen to spend your money with us, Impact Hub Boston, and we’re grateful for your “votes”. By naming us a Certified B Corporation, B Lab is ratifying your vote.
We give special thanks to two visionary and incredibly capable people who made this happen: Katie Shultz, our former Director, was relentless in pursuit of this certification. Thank you, Katie! (we know you’re reading this — we all say “hi!”) And one of our members, Kelsa Roidt, was incredibly helpful in using her expertise with the B Lab certification process. I don’t think we would have made it without her advice and perspective. Thank you, Kelsa! We are very excited for this new chapter in our story.
On behalf of the Impact Hub Boston team,