“I know you are trying, but just not hard enough.”
As Greta spoke to Congress, B Corps from around the world spoke candidly with one another at the 2019 B Corporation Champions Retreat, ultimately celebrating that even greater action is needed from this community of responsible business leaders – because that’s what we do best.
Sustainable Business Consulting (SBC), a certified B Corp since 2014, had the privilege of attending the Champions Retreat again. The conference was full of inspiration and big ideas, but above all, it focused on how we can make sure that these ideas become reality. Each gathering of B Corporations has a shared sense of urgency, but this year, it was tangible. It’s time to get to work to make business a force for good. Here’s what we took away from this year’s Champions Retreat.
- B Corps are sick of just talk. There was a resounding sentiment amongst the companies that gathered for this year’s retreat that B Corps could not wait around any longer for others to lead the way. Several grassroots collaboratives and collectives have formed over the last year to embrace and lead on today’s greatest challenges, including The Dismantle Collective, We the Change, and the Climate Collective. These movements transcend the B Corp movement, using this platform as a natural launchpad to then affect systemic change across all corporate players.
- There are two things that matter in this world. The two themes of this year’s retreat, building an Inclusive and Regenerative Economy, offered a very clear framework for how we get to work following the Business Roundtable stakeholder primacy announcement. As Lynn Johnson of Spotlight: Girls emphasized, “What we do to the land, we do to the people. And what we do to the people, we do to the land.” This symbiotic relationship echoed through every conversation, underscoring our responsibility in doing right by all stakeholders. Achieving more Google searches for ‘B Corporation’ than ever before, this business community is uniquely positioned to lead the conversation, and companies of all sizes are leaning into this shared vision with more urgency than ever.
- We are still learning to take our blinders off. Even as a collection of the world’s most verifiably responsible companies, we still fall victim to staying comfortable in our own lanes. The B Economy is made up of incredibly passionate leaders from the social and environmental side of sustainability, and sometimes we forget to talk to one another. We forget to contribute to the environmental movement as social leaders, or to systemic social change as environmental leaders. As a call to action to all B Corp leaders, we need to remember to reach across lanes and collaborate for deep, lasting change with a sense of urgency.
To bring this sense of urgency and need for collective action to a head, B Lab, the certifying non-profit body behind B Corporation, announced a soft launch of their newest product commissioned by the United Nations: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Action Manager. Using B Lab’s unique capabilities, all companies (not just B Corps) will be able to select, measure and advance their actions within the SDG framework, an offering that intends to achieve unprecedented corporate engagement with the global goals.
This year left attendees feeling energized, but with a lot of work to do. While many significant developments were announced, we’re still far from where we need to be to stop the climate crisis, address social injustice, and ensure an equitable future for all. This critical moment in history, heading into 2020, will define what B Corporations have to offer the world, and SBC is looking forward to leading not just B Corps, but all corporations to build a better economy. We hope you will join us.
Curious about joining this movement and gaining B Corporation status? Reach out to Katie at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.