Certified Benefit Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit. Society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone. 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: positive impact for their employees, communities, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good and three Local First members are proud B Corps – King Arthur Flour, Mascoma Bank, and Gardener’s Supply.
King Arthur Flour- B Corp & ESOP
King Arthur Flour is America’s oldest flour company and a founding member of B Corporations. King Arthur Flour’s success can be attributed to the fact that the company is one hundred percent employee-owned which was accomplished through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) in 1996. Employee ownership ensures that King Arthur Flour is committed to producing the best bag of flour available and keeps the company accountable for its practices everyday.
“King Arthur Flour’s corporate culture has always been about long-term value and never about the next quarter’s profits” Suzanne McDowell, King Arthur Flour co-CEO
King Arthur Flour’s core values of quality, community, employee ownership, passion, and stewardship are displayed in its practices of community education and service, and environmental stewardship. Founded in 1790, the company has more than 300 employees today and over $100 million in revenue. In 2012, King Arthur Flour took additional steps to protect its mission and legacy: the employee-owners voted to become a Vermont benefit corporation, a form of legal incorporation in state law, which more deeply embeds the same principles as the nonprofit certification process of being a B Corp. As a Vermont benefit corporation, grounded in employee ownership, the company will be able to continue to carry out its mission — “to inspire connections and community by spreading the joy of baking” — and its values, caring for its people and the planet, for many years to come.
Certified B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. They 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 Economy is built by everyone who works for, buys from, invests in, learns or teaches about, or supports businesses striving to create a shared and durable prosperity for all. Vote with your dollars everyday and spend and invest in the businesses that match your values.
Becoming a B Corp
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) is hosting a workshop series this spring for businesses interested in learning more about becoming a B Corp. VBSR’s Measure What Matters workshop series is your opportunity to learn from some of the best companies in New England, see how you measure up against industry leaders, and find new ways to improve your business operations. Workshop attendees will leave with ready-to-use tools for change and an expanded network of professionals who believe in business as a power for good! Modeled after the B-Corp Impact Assessment, this new series will help members to better support their communities, reduce the impact of their operations on the environment and to create the best workplace for their employees. Workshops are available for VBSR and NHBSR members only. Registration is transferable within your organization.
- Wednesday, March 27 – “Being Irresistible, Building Employee First Workplaces”
- Presenters: King Arthur Flour and Rhino Foods
- Host: VSECU- Montpelier, VT
- Thursday, April 25 – “Shared Prosperity, Tools for Healthy Communities”
- Presenters: VSECU and TBD
- Host: City Market, South End – Burlington, VT
- Tuesday, June 4 – “All Aboard, Bringing Your Supply Chain and End User Along the Road to Social Responsibility”
- Presenters: TBA
- Host: Chroma Technology, Bellows Falls, VT
- Wednesday, June 26 – “Leading Your Organization with Accountability and Transparency”
- Presenters: TBA
- Host: Mascoma Bank, White River Junction, VT
- Wednesday, July 24 – “Tread Lightly, Your Next Steps Toward Positive Environmental Impact”
- Presenters: TBA
- Host: Vermont Historical Society – Montpelier, VT