“B Corporations use the power of business to solve social and economic problems” – B Lab
A Benefit Corporation – or B Corporation for short – is a new type of business charter that allows businesses to prioritize having a positive social and environmental impact. Traditional corporations are legally bound to serve the short-term interests of their shareholders, often making this difficult. While many large corporations in America and around the world have entire departments dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility and giving back to the community, B Corporations actually use their business model to achieve these goals. This idea is clearly catching on across America, with 476 B Corps in 60 industries grossing over 2 Billion dollars a year!
B Corporations are assessed and certified by a non-profit called B Lab, which looks into the business’ operations, products and/or services, and — very importantly — mission. Certified businesses are audited regularly to make sure that compliance is taking place, and that the B Corporation brand is protected. Business owners sign the B Corporation “Declaration of Interdependence”, promising that the business “is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.” Several states have recognized the uniqueness and potential in the B Corporation model, and have passed legislation to support businesses making these efforts.
As you may know, New Living is proudly a B Corporation. We were certified in January 2010 and have been working hard to do justice to the certification ever since. We start by offering green, healthy products and services — from our organic mattresses and furniture, to our sustainable and recycled building materials, to our relationships with quality designers, architects, and installers. The Green Painter, a more recent New Living spin off sells non-toxic paints and coatings and houses a Certified Green Painting service. We diligently screen our suppliers and subcontractors to make sure that your projects are as healthy and green as they can possibly be! In our day to day operations, we are also very careful to be socially and environmentally responsible. We recycle nearly everything, support small, local businesses when possible, and have transparent and equitable business practice policies.
Education is also an important part of our mission – and an important part of being a B Corp. We have programs training Certified Green Painters, and we would love to expand this type of training program to other professions. We also regularly hold environmental and health education events for the general public. We are always planning and expanding our educational programming, and have made it a priority to make Houston the most informed population as relates to healthy, green living.
For more information on B Corporations, please see B Lab’s website or just stop by either store. We’d love to talk to you about it!