Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as a means to a greater end. Each B Corp is committed to having a positive impact on their employees, communities and the environment. Here’s a brief overview of a few U.S. companies in the B Corp community.
Patagonia Works. Located in Ventura, Calif., this leading outdoor apparel company takes responsibility for its entire supply chain, pushing for just working conditions while protecting the environment.
Greyston Bakery, Inc. Located in Yonkers, New York, the bakery that supplies Ben & Jerry’s with brownies, opens its hiring to anyone, including community members returning from incarceration with workforce development and mentorship programs.
Cascade Engineering. This 40-year-old plastics manufacturer, located in Grand Rapids, Mich., works with the local government to help employees move from welfare to a career and diverts 100 percent of its waste from landfills.
New Belgium Brewing Co., Inc. This employee-owned brewery, located in Fort Collins, Colo., diverts 99.9 percent of its waste from landfills and is the third-largest craft brewery in the U.S.
Clear Blue Commercial, a Petaluma commercial real estate property management company was recently named a B Corp “Best For The World” honoree for its positive impact on the environment, its workforce, community, suppliers, clients and corporate governance.
Best For The World honors go to the top 10 percent of Certified B Corporations—for-profit companies—which must meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit with purpose. B Corp certification and Best For The World recognition are administered by B Lab, a global nonprofit. Today, there are 3,000 Certified B Corporations across 64 countries and 150 industries, dedicated to using business as a force for good and a shared goal of redefining business success. The Best For The World ranking puts Clear Blue Commercial in the company of Certified B Corporations that include other businesses such as Patagonia, Beautycounter, Dr. Bronner’s, TOMS and Seventh Generation.
“It was Clear Blue Commercial’s goal since our founding five years ago to become a B Corp, and this honor is a recognition of philosophies we have long embraced,” said Carolyn Pistone, president and managing director in a prepared statement. “Because commercial buildings are the world’s largest single source of greenhouse gases, we knew we had a role to play in helping our clients operate sustainably. We help them save money, while saving the planet. We actually didn’t set out to be a differentiator, but we want every company to think about its impact on the environment and make conscious choices to improve the human condition and the world.”
Santa Rosa Junior College is developing a hemp program in the agriculture department for the fall 2020 semester with the goal to train students in the cultivation process of the industry. SRJC is the first community college in California to have such a program.
Students can get a head start during the upcoming 2020 spring semester with courses such as introduction to plant science; soil and plant nutrition; integrated pest management; and organic crop planning and production. These courses previously existed in the SRJC curriculum, but will be adopted for the new hemp agriculture certificate and degree.
“One of our top priorities is ensuring our career education programs align with current industry trends,” says Benjamin Goldstein, SRJC dean of the agricultural department, in a prepared statement. “Hemp is a versatile plant at the center of a multi-billion dollar legal industry for medicine, fiber, oil, seeds, textiles and more. We are preparing our students with the knowledge and skills to be competitive in the workplace.
The college’s own Shone Farm will be the test site for planting. A 0.8-acre plot of land, while following all federal, state and county legal requirements, is registered by the Sonoma County Ag Commissioners Office for hemp use.
Here are just a few positive impacts of independent businesses on local economies, according to the U.S. Small Business Association and the U.S. Department of Labor. Consider this:
· For every $100 you spend at local businesses, $68 remains in the community.
· Small businesses employ 77 million Americans and accounted for 65 percent of all new jobs over the past 17 year.
· Independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales to the community in which they operate than chain competitors.
· Independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.
People in the Netherlands enjoy the best work-life balance, according to recent findings by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The most important aspect for a healthy work-life balance is the amount is the people spend outside of work, how many people work long hours and other factors. Authors for the Better Life Index note that “evidence suggests that long work hours impair personal health, jeopardize safety and increase stress.”
In the Netherlands, only 0.4 percent of employees work long hours (50-plus a week), the third-lowest rate in the OECD, where the average is 11 percent. In contrast, 11.1 percent of American employees work long hours, so the United States doesn’t make it in the top 10 ranking. It ranks No. 27 out of 38 considered countries. What’s more, the U.S. is the only OECD country without a national paid parent leave policy, though three states do provide leave payments.
Disney, the iconic movie studio turned monolithic empire, is on top once again—this time for pay discrepancy between employees and top executives. Disney’s chief executive officer Bob Iger leads all companies with the largest wage gap between boss and employee among Fortune Magazine’s “most admired companies” ranking. His $65 million annual salary equates to $31,560 an hour for a 40-hour workweek. A Disney princess, or other park employee, has to work 2,338 hours to earn what Iger makes in just one hour on their $13.50 hourly wage.
This study shortly followed Abigail Disney’s comments about Iger’s salary. “Let me be very clear. I like Bob Iger…but by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane,” says Disney. She is the granddaughter to the co-founder of The Walt Disney Company, Roy O. Disney.
After becoming CEO in 2005, Iger purchased Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and 21st Century Fox. His annual salary jumped 80 percent from last year to $65.7 million.
Disney is not alone in the mammoth wage gap. Wal-Mart CEO Douglas McMillon’s hourly salary clocks in at $10,830. That is equivalent to 138 Wal-Mart employees earnings combined after working an eight-hour shift on an average of $9.84 per hour.
An Apple Genius needs to work 45, eight-hour days to earn as much as Tim Cook does in an hour. A Netflix customer service representative would have to work 31 weeks to match Netflix CEO Reed Hastings hourly salary of $17,346.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos ranks lower on the list of CEO earnings, as a warehouse employee almost earns in an hour what Bezos earns in a minute. But to put these daunting numbers in perspective, an Amazon employee working full time for 60 years would still not earn as much money as Bezos did in 2018.
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