PUBLIC Chats: B Corp

We love B Corp.

It’s no secret.

We’ve been a B Corp for a little over 2 years and have had the pleasure of watching the B Corp community grow to over 200 Canadian companies (and 2,441 world wide). If you’re not familiar with B Corp, you can think of it like a stamp of approval for social impact companies across all industries. The certification comes with a rigorous (and I mean intense) assessment that evaluates every aspect of business from employee treatment, financial transparency, environmental impacts down to the tiniest detail. Beyond the assessment, being a certified B Corp means we get to be a part of an incredible community of like minded businesses that we absolutely love.

There’s also something else we love about B Corp… it’s Kasha Huk.

A former Publican and current B Corpian (B Corpian? The verdict’s still out on that term), Kasha sat down with us to share some insight into the heart of B Corp and what the future holds for the growing community.

Kasha, for those readers not familiar with B Corp, how would you describe B Corp in your words?

I would describe it as a movement of companies that are using their business as a force for good. Whether that’s social or environmental impact or combination of both, or if their business has a built in impact model, those businesses can become B Corps. It’s similar to the way that a building can become LEED certified or organic certified for food. The difference is that instead of looking at a single product (like an apple or building), B Corp looks at the entire organization and take a holistic view of their operations and practices.

Love it. And what’s your role in the B Corp community?

My role is to help companies that are looking to become certified and engage with companies that are already part of the movement. So, on a day to day Im either organizing events or meet ups for local or global B Corp communities. I also talk to companies with questions about the assessment.

So all sorts of support! That’s great. I know it can be a daunting task to become a B Corp, and I love that there’s so much support available. And was that community aspect what drew you to the organization?

For sure, to be surrounded by businesses with aligned valued. I think there’s this magic that happens when businesses that are aligned come together with the goal of a shared inclusive economy and I’m really motivated by that and I wanted to surround myself with those people. On the other side of things, working on the side of systems change and addresses problems from a large scale has always interested me.

And have you found the difference between the response to B Corp in American where it’s more prevalent, than on the Canadian front? 

I think there is some subtle differences. I think in the way of mindset and values there is a lot of similarities, but the differences are definitely in the size of the communities. We have a community of just over 200 in Canada vs. 1000 in America. There are also some policy around B Corp in the U.S, 31 states have adopted benefit corporation which is a legal structure that allows companies to factor in stakeholders with shareholders values, but Canada has not yet adopted that legislation (hopping to move towards it). Also, in Canada, these values are a natural fit to the culture, so in a lot of ways there’s B Corp minded businesses in Canada that have yet to be certified but are in alignment with the values.
 

Bringing us back in time a bit to October when Toronto hosted its first Champions retreat (an annual global B Corp conference), what was that experience like for you? I know this was your first year being on the B Corp staff, so I imagine that experience was exciting. 

Yeah, it was incredible. There was a lot of buzz about it being held in Canada for the first time. 10% of the global B Corps came out, which is our biggest yet so that was exciting. We’re also in such an interesting political time that we really felt that energy in the rooms with talking about collaboration and having more inclusive economies. It was a powerful few days to be part of. It was such an incredible opportunity to host people and be a part of that.

What’s next for B Corp, specifically B Corp Canada? 

Right now we’re just working with a few really exciting companies that are getting on boarded and looking towards growing the Canadian community. I think we’re going to be seeing more brand awareness about what the certification is, especially on a consumer level. There’s a lot of momentum that came out of the retreat so we’re excited to harness that energy and see what we can do.

Amazing, thanks so much for your time. Looking forward to the incredible things B Corp will be accomplishing this year.

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