Blog Published: January 2023
Namaste Solar is celebrating our 12th B Corp birthday this January, and we’re taking some time to reflect on how being a B Corp has impacted our business. We’re so proud to be part of the ever-evolving community of companies striving to prioritize people and purpose alongside (or over) profit. The community of fellow B Corps and our employees continue to inspire us to improve our business practices to be more socially and environmentally responsible.
What does it mean to be a B Corp?
To put it in the simplest terms, being a B Corp is a measure of our social and environmental goodness as a company. The B Corp certification process looks at how you operate as a company based on five categories: treatment of workers, environment, community, customers, and governance/accountability. A company has to earn a minimum number of points to become certified as a B Corp. This holistic way of measuring a company allows a variety of companies to earn the certification in a variety of ways. Check out Namaste Solar’s B Impact score and see how we’ve done over the years.
How has being a B Corp impacted Namaste Solar?
We’ve seen a number of benefits since we became a B Corp in 2011. The certification signals to potential customers and employees that our way of doing business is different. Namaste Solar believes that the way we do business is just as important as what we do.
"Being a Certified B Corporation isn’t just a rubber stamp certification. It’s a public commitment to higher standards of how we do business and a commitment that we make to our employees, customers, partners, and community,” says Dave Rizzotto, co-owner and Director of Marketing. “It’s not just claiming we are sustainable or socially conscious; the third-party vetting requires that we demonstrate creating real benefit."
Additionally, one of our favorite parts of being a B Corp is the community that it has given us. We get to interact with 100+ local Colorado B Corps to learn from them and their ways of doing business, and we get to be in community with the likes of Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s. This community gives us the chance to learn and push each other to strive for more.
The B Corp certification is changing. What does that mean for Namaste Solar?
B Corps have to recertify every three years. Namaste Solar is currently in the process of recertifying and will be using the existing assessment. Starting in 2024, however, there is a major overhaul of the assessment. Instead of five areas to score points in there will be ten areas going forward, and even the existing five areas are likely to change and become more rigorous. The evolution of the assessment encourages B Corps to keep improving and digging deeper into how they can benefit all stakeholders.
B Lab has expanded its focus on diversity and inclusion efforts. What does that look like right now?
Since 2019, and thanks to the advocacy of many BIPOC members, diversity and inclusion has become a main focus in the B Corp community. The new assessment will include additional questions relating to diversity and inclusion. B Lab (the nonprofit leading the B Corp movement) created a Level program that provided 10 BIPOC-owned companies with all the resources they needed to become certified B Corps. And B Lab has been sharing the resources and results of its own antiracism journey. They developed three pillars of focus and change for B Corps US and Canada; racial equity, climate justice, and stakeholder economy.
As usual, the work that B Lab is doing provides an example and resources for other companies who want to improve the diversity and inclusion efforts at their organizations. Namaste Solar has been following along and is currently looking at how we can incorporate and utilize some of the tools and methods being developed. You can read more about B Lab’s antiracism journey here.
Even though the evolution of the B Corp assessment often means it’s more challenging to maintain a score, let alone score higher, Namaste Solar looks forward to this evolution. The assessment is a great tool for B Corps and non-B Corps alike to look at their practices and policies and find areas for improvement. In addition, we love to see more and more B Corps joining the community. We continue to learn from and push each other to use business as a force for good. The more companies that join, the better our society will be!