In May, Maiya and Marie attended B Corp Leadership Development, or BLD, at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. The gathering brought together more than 50 leaders in the Bay Area B Corp community to share best practices and leverage the network of over 200 B Corp Certified companies. With discussion topics in the form of Open Cafes, B Corps discussed building B2B relationships, collaborative marketing efforts, and presented environmentally and socially responsible products made by fellow B Corps. Here are some great takeaways from our first BLD:
Top 4 Takeaways from B Corp BLD:
1 – We are part of a larger movement, and it will only get stronger as we actively spread the word.
There are over 2,000 B Corps in the world and 10% (the largest concentration) are in the Bay Area. We heard many passionate success stories and panel discussions from a range of companies: Helen Russell of Equator Coffees, Lotus Foods, Traditional Medicinals, Change.org, North Coast Brewing Co., Rubicon Bakery, Inflection, B Lab, Rimon Law, LIFT Economy, Nutiva, Alter Eco, Creative Action Network, and Plum Organics. They reminded us that we are in the best of company. We are more energized than ever to educate and encourage others to be involved in the B Corp movement. Together this group is making a difference, and being united as B Corps across different industries is an impressive thing to experience.
Action: Keep building the movement and revel in this amazing community of changemakers! Keep spreading the word through every interaction we can.
2 – B Corps are committed to working with other B Corps. Collaboration within our community is as important as extending our reach beyond it.
In the Open Cafe (small discussion group) B2B Corp, we discovered that many other B Corps wanted to learn how to better leverage the network through tools like the online community, B Hive and directories that connect B Corps to each others’ networks. We are excited to join the conversation about how we can further support the B2BCorp interactions with our technological expertise.
Action: Keep exploring ways to use our unique offerings to foster stronger connections within the BCorp community.
3 – We can thanke Change.org for originating the taco emoji
There’s a longstanding joke within Mangrove about tacos, and the taco emoji gets a fair bit of use in our Slack channels. We even measured Maiya’s growing (pregnant) belly in estimated tacos that could make up this bump. So, we giggled when we found out that the taco emoji was created via a petition on the Change.org platform by Taco Bell! (This petition came about after a successful public campaign urging Taco Bell to switch to cage free eggs, which they actually agreed to adopt at the end of 2016.) Oh, the wonders of the internet, and crowdsourcing for change!
Action: Eat more tacos, use the taco emoji frequently, and don’t forget to have a laugh while at work.
4 – Our current score (81) is a great place to be.
When we first received our B Impact Assessment score, we just eked past the threshold of 80 points. After celebrations subsided, we immediately began to brainstorm how to increase our score, feeling that this score perhaps wasn’t enough. During the closing presentation, Allbirds CEO Tim Brown shared that they also scored just above 80, and reminded us that becoming a B Corp and bettering your company is a solid achievement. Many companies never get close to the 80 points necessary for certification. The effort we’ve made to get this far is substantial, and what counts is that we are committed to this movement. We will build systems to improve our score as we continue to learn more about the B Corp community and find creative ways to use our business as a force for good.
Action: Celebrate where you are and find ways to grow.
Next stop for the Mangrove team: the B Corp Champions Retreat in Vancouver, Canada, October 3-5, 2017. See you there!
To learn more about B Corp Certification and benefits drop us a line!
A Certified B Corp, Mangrove is a woman-owned website design and development company with a diverse, talented team distributed around the globe. We’ve been building websites since 2009 that amplify the work of change-making organizations and increase the competitive power of businesses owned by historically marginalized people.