BBOT Pledge member, Traction on Demand, has long been hard at work at reducing their environmental footprint and at giving back to the community. Through B Corp Certification they’re moving past CSR into Corporate Social Integration. Manu Varma, Subject Matter Expert People and Culture at Traction on Demand, tells us how.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT
As we look around, it becomes increasingly obvious that we cannot look to our governments to maintain the world that I want to live in. Whether it be restrictive immigration policies; blatant racism and sexism; disregard for science and the environment, and disrespect for the less fortunate, there is a global focus on profit as the bottom line, as evidenced by populist movements across the globe. We can exercise our choice through the ballot box and also through other mechanisms and start leveraging business as a vehicle for change.
THE BCORP MOVEMENT
The journey to becoming a Certified BCorp is a journey that every business should embark on. This is not just for millennials. We need to not only be a great place IN the world to work for, but be best FOR the world. Companies are getting better at getting more involved in giving back, but it needs to be part of their DNA, and ideally, give what they are good at– it is a great way to move beyond a check box mentality of social responsibility to weaving into the fibre of your company’s DNA: corporate social integration. It is not just a program, a day, an event– it becomes indivisible from the ethos of the company.
At Traction on Demand, we feel very humbled at being one of the first 100 in Canada. Take a look at the impact this global movement is having! Two of the more recognizable brands are Patagonia and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Here is a short video of the BCorp Anthem:
Even if you are not successful becoming certified, even just starting the journey is a great learning and team building experience. It will require you to take a very close look at how you run your business.
B Corps are highly successful. These companies are just as profitable and resilient as traditional businesses. But they also have advantages when it comes to brand differentiation and for employee recruitment!
To become a B Corp, your business should have clear, specific social or environmental goals. It should also be managed in a transparent way and be accountable to stakeholders, including the local community.
If BCorp is not your thing, think about ways you can “do good” in your own business with how you integrate “good” in your daily business.
Here is what we do at Traction on Demand.
TRACTION FOR GOOD
Our 4 pillars are woven into our regular business and I will share one example of each!
- Grow Non Profit Capacity Through Technology; we provide service grants for non profits across North America to help them do more with less; automate business functions, put them on more technology forward donation platforms: giving what we are good at: technology.
- Inspire Philanthropy; every new hire at Traction on Demand gets a free KIVA micro loan which they can gift to any aspiring entrepreneur around the world, and once that loan is repaid, Tractionites can re-gift that loan.
- Empower Children; empowering children through learning code: we host a kids camp called Bytes and Bikes where children come to our office and spend half their days learning how to code and the other half biking. Our employees volunteer their time teaching kids the language of our time!
- Encourage Social Business: this is really about focusing on the power of BCorp.
Incidentally, doing good, is good for business!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Donating money is always good and volunteering your time is great too. Picasso said it best, the Meaning of life is to find your gift, and the purpose, is to give it away. So, if you can find your gift, and give what you are good at, imagine the impact you have have on your community, on society?
Give it a shot! The best way to do that is to try one of the two free online assessments for BCorp Certification:
- The short 30-minute assessment will give you an idea of your business’s potential as a B Corp
- The full B Corp assessment, which takes two to four hours to complete