This March, AMIBA invites you to celebrate Choose Indie Sustainable Month.
We’re teaming up with partners throughout North America to spotlight businesses that benefit local economies, the environment, and communities — triple-bottom-line companies such as B Corps and Cooperatives. We’ll also highlight the Fourth Sector Economy.
A certification process called B Corp helps a company “measure what matters” and better balance its purpose and profits. B Lab, the nonprofit that leads this movement, currently lists 7,999 certified businesses from 93 countries.
“B Corp Certification is holistic, not exclusively focused on a single social or environmental issue,” reads B Lab’s website. “The process to achieve and maintain certification is rigorous and requires engaging teams and departments across your company. Recertification confirms these standards continue to be met on an ongoing basis.”
Any business can complete the B Impact Assessment online and see how they rank. For a business to become a Certified B Corp, it must earn at least 80 points in the B Impact Assessment and pay a certification fee. The certified company receives a full report with recommendations from B Lab on how to boost its positive impacts.
Cooperatives, companies owned by their members, also represent triple-bottom-line businesses. A cooperative exists to serve its members and follows seven guiding principles, including democratic member control and concern for the community.
“A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise.” ~ International Cooperative Alliance
Fourth Sector Economy
Our economy has three widely recognized sectors: for-profit businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Over time, these sectors have become blurred — as for-profit companies look to maximize social benefits over financial profits, and nonprofits sell products and services to diversify their revenue streams. The lines have become so blurred that many believe another sector has emerged, the Fourth Sector.
The Fourth Sector represents a merger of movements that intentionally integrate social purpose with traditional business methods. Unlike regular for-profit companies, for-benefit businesses prioritize maximizing profits for their shareholders. These businesses’ products and services help them serve their purpose, not just bring in financial gains.
Stay tuned for more during this year’s Choose Indie Sustainable Month.