by Francesca Curtolo
Five companies in Tahoe and Truckee have taken their social and environmental commitment to a new level by formalizing it as part of their corporate structure.
Mangrove Web Development, bigtruck, Environmental Incentives, Eagle Protect PBC and the Law Office of Lara Pearson joined the B Corp movement built on the belief that businesses should be a force for good.
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab after meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The companies say that Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty and lifestyle compelled them to consider their impact on the environment and community, and they turned to the B Corp model as a way to make a difference.
B Corps are to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee. By evaluating the entire business, the certification measures the benefits to all stakeholders—everyone who is directly or indirectly affected by the organization. The B Impact Assessment breaks down the impact in four areas—corporate governance, workers, environment and community. Companies need to score at least 80 points to receive the certification.
Some of the most responsible companies on the planet are certified B Corps, including Patagonia and Seventh Generation. Upon passing the B Impact Assessment audit, certifying companies sign the Declaration of Interdependence with B Lab. The document affirms a culture of collaboration over competition.
“One of the most amazing parts of being a B Corp is being immersed in the community,” says Maiya Holliday, founder and CEO of Mangrove Web Development. The company, which Holliday manages from her home office in Truckee, consists of a remote team of developers and designers spread across the globe—from Ecuador to New Zealand, Europe to Truckee. Since Mangrove’s certification in 2016, Holliday has acted as a champion for the B Corp cause, especially in the area.
“I think there is a lot of potential for other local organizations to became B Corps,” says Holliday. One of the contributing factors is Tahoe’s connection to the Bay Area, which is home to a large number of B Corps and the origin of the movement.”