In March there is a lot to celebrate. There is craving for spring and newness. Most of the world celebrates the contributions and leadership of women and let’s face it, well - deserved glory that should be exercised more practically. On the other side of March, in the world of business partnerships, initiatives, and corporate responsibilities we are tapped in to the exclusive and standardized markings of excellence that is B Corp month, “and If you don’t know - now you know.” - Biggie Smalls (sic).
If you know B Corp then you know that it is a movement run by B Lab that continues to evolve their tools and assessments to recognize and reinforce practices of good; with the intention of building global economic impact and strong communities.The “good” references how you operate your company with humanity in mind. According to the B Corp website, they have over 6,400 companies under their certification. For us, the “good” has been making sure that our values are aligned and reinforced with providing resources in spaces that we know need them. We're moving with intention of knowing what we do today, can and will impact the world later. Although those are just the nutshells (or coffee beans) of our values, it’s easy to see the initial stepping stone toward B Corp certification - but how did we do it?
First, not to toot our own coffee (or brew?) but we earned the certification within the first two years of becoming a company. Part of that focus was our "For Our Youth" initiative that we prioritized even before the construction of the company. For Co owners Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson it has been imperative that the perspective they contribute to the world of supplier diversity has equally matched energy in contributions to organizations that are looking to pour into our 14 Pledge Partners.
“We are constantly pushing for our Pledge Partners, it’s not just about giving back to these organizations monetarily, it’s about involving ourselves and values in spaces that want to be resources and pour into future generations with time and educating youth with new skills… We’re glad B Corp has standards that align with our values, but it’s reassuring to be recognized for doing what you planned to always do," said Johnson.
As BLK & Bold continues to grow the bounds of what “good” means for us, we inch further into what it means to prioritize social responsibility and part of that is our sustainability initiatives. Sustainability for us, looks like making sure we’re following initiatives and arduous standards of Fair Trade that ties resources and practices into creating one billion dollars of impact to Farmers across the world. They also have a very nuanced auditing process. On a local level, it looks like creating our own programs to ensure we’re recycling chaff, and products properly. In the future, we plan to create systems of checks and balances that will hold us accountable as our scale continues to grow in business and in impact.
‘We believe that a sustainable community, a consumer community, builds a sustainable for- profit business; connection with the B Corp movement has allowed for accountability as well as connecting to a network of like minded organizations that are striving to tie consumer experience with the impact of stronger communities,” said Cezar.
As we continue to grow our company and expand our accessibility, sustainability practices and overall social impact we’re happy to have an infrastructure that is tied to the B Corp movement.