Introducing Aaron Emery
Daniel Burnham, one of the fathers of the skyscraper, once said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood… Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.” This quote resonates deeply with this week’s guest Aaron Emery. Aaron is a B Corp lead, who is responsible for all B Corp certifications in Canada. As mentioned in previous episodes, a company with a B Corp designation is one who subscribes to a triple bottom line. This means that the company isn’t just responsible to its’ shareholders, but also other stakeholders, the environment, and society in general.
B Corp is a movement, which certifies that companies are effectively making positive impact across their supply chains, while also building a community of like-minded business leaders. As Aaron would subscribe, the imagination of governments and non-profits pale in comparison to the imagination of business people and entrepreneurs to make change. When you consider business interests control that 85% of global capital, imagine what can be achieved morally, and environmentally if even a portion of these companies ascribed to the B Corp mantra.
So where was the inspiration of B Corp? Surprisingly, it came from the world of basketball. And 1 was a basketball apparel company that at its peak was the number two basketball shoe company in North America. It was doing business the right way by being as ethical as possible with its supply chain, particularly with its employee within North America and overseas. And 1 offered two weeks paid vacation, as well as two weeks paid volunteer time. It has nursing rooms for new moms, as well as daycare facilities at work, not to mention a great benefits package.
When it came time to sell the company, its’ owners were not unlike any other capitalist–they sought the best price for the company. Unfortunately, within three months after its’ sale, the majority of the mission side of the company had disappeared. However, from the ashes came the desire to have more companies that believed in the principals that were present at And 1.
In this Episode
- Aaron tells us what is involved with becoming a B Corp from assessment, to interview, to documentation, and changes to articles of incorporation.
- We learn how any company with a score of 80/200 on B Corp’s assessment could become certified (the majority of companies score 52, so it can’t be that hard to get another 30 points, right?).
- We hear a little bit about the 1,200 companies in 80 countries across 120 different sectors that have become B Corp certified.
- Aaron tells us some of the policies that a few of the great new B Corp companies have been installing.
- Aaron tells us why it is important to measure something if you truly care about it.
- Greg tells us about his newly acquired B Corp status and about an idea for his new “Millennial Dream” documentary that gets Aaron “blinded by excitement”.
- Dave is inspired by B Corp’s big message and how the process is broken down into easy steps.