When speaking of the movement of businesses doing good in the world, the movement is really based on people using business as a force for good, on people making a difference and demanding more from companies.
The beating heart of this movement: The inspirational business leaders at the vanguard of pushing their own enterprises to do better. John Mackey of Whole Foods Market, Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, Mary Powell of Green Mountain Power, Mandy Cabot of Dansko — these are a handful of the names synonymous with conscientious business leadership. They are joined by thousands of thought leaders seeking ways to include more women in business, recognize and address inequality and seek a more inclusive economy. These are the people who use their positions to address the environmental and social issues that surround us all. Learn more about business leaders who have found benefits from becoming Certified B Corporations and committing their values into their companies in our free report.
Community leaders join these business executives in combined efforts to create a positive relationship between enterprises and the communities in which they operate. Community building is a tenet of many socially conscientious businesses. Cooperative Home Care Associates springs to mind as a strong example, as does Greyston Bakery, both of which operate in New York. The inspirational business leaders at the helm of these companies provide jobs to those often considered “unemployable,” giving their employees the chance to improve their lives and, in so doing, bettering the community in which their employees live.
The relationship between government and business cannot be ignored. Government leaders also have a role to play they can join in the movement of people using business as a force for good by enacting legislation that allows and supports businesses to do the most good possible. For example, the passing of benefit corporation law gives business the opportunity to voluntarily commit to all of its stakeholders, including the community, customers and environment, instead of solely to shareholders’ fiduciary returns.
Athletes and celebrities also have a part in this movement. As role models who live, for better or worse, under society’s microscope, their promotion of businesses that authentically seek to better the world in which they interact has the potential to widen the conscientious business movement to new sectors of the global population. Athletes such as Chanelle Sladics and actors like Hugh Jackman and Jessica Alba have already become involved as ambassadors or as founders of their own socially responsible companies.
Last but not least, all consumers, employees and global citizens with a passion for this movement is a part of propelling it forward. Each voice adds to the volume of the chorus for change.