Food brings people together in ways that nothing else can, and while desserts may not be essential to human survival, they certainly make life a little sweeter. The three companies we’re talking about today are making the world a sweeter place not only through their products but through the ethical ways they approach their business. Here are 3 Certified B Corporations that support employees and the outside community through their business practices.
Greyston Brownies makes brownies for special occasions and corporate gifts to order. They’re a Certified B Corp as well as a Benefit Corporation (learn the difference between the two from our blog post here). They create brownie inclusions for Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream flavor, which they helped develop in 1989. They also use-open hiring practices. In a recent Responsibly Different podcast, Sarah Marcus, the Director of our Center for Open Hiring at Greyston explained what open hiring looks like.
“Open hiring is essentially providing a job opportunity, no questions asked” Sara says. “The only question we ask is, ‘are you authorized to work in the US?’ other than that we have no requirements. We don’t do background checks. We don’t do resumes. We don’t do interviews, even. We don’t do drug testing.”
Greyston was created by Bernie Glassman, an aeronautical engineer who was also a Buddhist monk at the time. He started by hiring people off the street, many of whom were homeless. He saw them “not as liabilities on society, but as really untapped assets that could create immense value for businesses and that was the beginning of Greyston,” says Sara. Listen to our podcast episode with Greyston here.
Another company supporting their employees in innovative ways is Rhino Foods, a ready to eat cookie dough producer with innovative business models that support employees. Thanks to their Employee Exchange program, Rhino foods avoids seasonal layoffs by transferring employees during slow times, helping employees gain new skills and maintain work.
Their Income Advance program gives employees quick access to a small loan should outside circumstances arise. Director of People and culture Caitlyn Doss explains “It’s a no-questions-asked day-of loan.” Employees request a loan “without any judgement and within 24 hours get up to a thousand dollars to be able to meet that immediate need. It’s paid back through payroll deductions.” Once the loan is paid off, the deductions go into a savings account if the employee so chooses. 97% of people who use the Income Advance program continue on to have their deduction added to a savings account, according to the Rhino Foods Foundation (source).
The company supplies cookie dough bites in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Rooney Castle, Vice President of Rhino foods explains that it took the President of Rhino Foods “about 2 years in a collaboration with ben & Jerry’s to figure out how to get that ooey gooey good cookie dough that stayed in that nice chewy form” after being mixed into a batch of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Rhino Foods’ cookie dough bites can still be found in several Ben & Jerry’s flavors. Listen to our podcast episode with Rhino Foods here.
While Ben & Jerry’s is probably most famous for delicious ice cream, the company is also known for its commitment to equity. In 2015 they received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (source). The company champions a number of social causes ranging from climate change to racial justice. In a Responsibly Different podcast, Ben Cohen, from Ben & Jerrys about the company’s support of fighting to end qualified immunity in response to the police killing of George Floyd.
“The norm used to be that businesses felt like it was harmful for their business to take a stand,” says Ben, “but business is just another member of our society, it happens to be a very, very powerful member of our society. And as such, it needs to take a stand for the common good.”
Listen to the podcast episode here.