Also, inspired by my conversation with Brittany below are the two B Corps I found and ultimately purchased the dog bed for Remy and a new Journal.
ReVision energy is employee owned and mission driven. Their goal, To build a better future that is powered by the sun. With over 250 employees across multiple locations in the northeast, ReVision is a B Corp that is making a difference in communities and for the environment.
Follow ReVision Energy @revisionsolar
Learn more about them at their website.
Check out their latest events.
UNH B Clinic (see episode 02)
Also, inspired by my conversation with Brittany below are the two B Corps I found and ultimately purchased the dog bed for Remy and a new Journal.
And as promised… here are some photos of the doggo enjoying his new B Corp bed. We have a really cool mural in the office that says “Do Good Work” by local artist Ryan Adams (see picture below) that his new bed matches perfectly. Eventually I want to get a pic of Rem in his bed in front of the mural. When I do, that will likely land on Instagram.
Brittany Angelo [0:03]
Challenge yourself internally to work for B Corp, to buy from a B Corp, and if you love where you work but they’re not a B Corp yet, figure out how they can become a B Corp.
Benn Marine [0:14]
From Dirigo Collective, this is Responsibly Different. Sharing stories of certified B Corporations and our journey of joining them in leveraging business as a force for good.
I’m Benn Marine, and I am so excited to share with you this conversation with Brittany Angelo. Brittany is a branch manager in the marketing and outreach at ReVision Energy. ReVision Energy is employee owned and mission driven. Their goal – to build a better future that is powered by the sun. With over 250 employees across multiple locations in the northeast ReVision is a B Corp that is making a difference in communities and for the environment. And Brittany’s passion for B Corps is contagious and is having a huge impact on us here at Dirigo and on my own personal purchasing habits. I’ll share more to come on that after the interview. With that, take a listen to learn more about what makes ReVision Energy responsibly different.
Brittany, to start us off, tell us a little bit about ReVision Energy, how you got started as a company and kind of what you guys are up to today.
Brittany Angelo [1:31]
Yeah, first totally, thanks for having me on. I’m really excited to share the ReVision story and my story and just talk a little bit about the B Corp process for us. So I guess to get started, ReVision was founded in 2003. And two geeks were just tinkering around in a garage and they were getting really excited about some of the content and creations that they were seeing in the renewable energy world. All the way up in northern Maine, which is where our first office was started in the Liberty area. And from there, more geeks were joined on board and with that we now are in 2020, and we have five offices across three different states, which has been huge. We are roughly at 260 employee owners at the company. More to come later on the employee ownership. Yeah, ReVision started just really trying to help neighbors, find alternatives to fossil fuels and the roots of the company are founded with good intentions and strong beliefs that we’re a mission driven company to help our communities out. So almost 20 years later, that mission has been adopted and it still holds true. We want to lead our communities and solving the environmental problems that are caused by fossil fuels by alleviating economic and injustice in our communities.
Benn Marine [3:09]
That’s awesome. And you guys are primarily solar right? Or are there other energy solutions you guys do too?
Brittany Angelo [3:13]
Yeah, great question. We are primarily solar. We started off with solar hot water, and then adapted and adjusted to solar panels, which are known as PV (photovoltaic) systems. But now we really think of ourselves as that full house solution. So it’s PV panels on the roof. It’s a battery backup in the house, usually in the garage or the basement so that the solar panels, the energy can be captured in the battery. It’s heat pumps in the house for heating and cooling, and I have a heat pump up here at my house. It’s driving an electric vehicle, charging that electric vehicle with your solar panels and hot water systems that are a heat pump on top, that then gives you domestic hot water use.
Benn Marine [4:08]
Oh, cool. So it really is like a complete kind of system package type deal.
Brittany Angelo [4:15]
Yeah, it’s really to transition, the homeowner or the business, off of fossil fuels all together. And these are the systems that ReVision has found to be the best and the easiest to transition to.
Benn Marine [4:29]
So with that mission, how has achieving your B Corp status helped to that end?
Brittany Angelo [4:35]
For us, our core values are super strong, and they’re embedded within everything that we do as a company. So our core values go hand in hand with our mission, but it’s caring for humanity. It’s constantly learning, having the passion for the work that we’re doing day to day, keeping communication with our colleagues, but then also with our community. And then being stewards of the planet with the work that we do, but then also the work that we do in our daily lives. So, for us, our mission really helps us to intentionally build the community that we have. So all the way from hiring people who care about the core values, as much as the two geeks that started the company, to then just growing an amazing team of employee owners who are passionate and care about the mission driven work that we do. So being a B Corp has helped us to continue, continually challenge ourselves to be better and do better. But it also, with the certification of being a B Corp, it’s given us a set of questions as a baseline that we can use to compare our work to others but then also check in with ourselves to make sure that we are doing the right thing. And to give us that baseline of where we can grow from.
Benn Marine [4:41]
That’s so cool. Yeah, it’s been really interesting with our, so we’ve just been kind of looking into B Corp certification ourselves. And we’re like, yeah, you know, like, we feel like we do a lot of good and this and that, but then you start looking at those questions. And it really does kind of hold you to account like, oh, wow, like, we hadn’t thought of this. We hadn’t thought of that. And to be able to compare, like, going right to the B Corp website, to see everyone’s scores and how like, it’s really, it’s, it’s cool. It’s really, really cool. What did the process look like to decide to become a B Corp?
I joined ReVision about four years ago, and they were already certified as a B Corp when I came on board. And from what I’ve heard, the original process, it was like, one of our co-founders heard something about B Corps and was like, that is the type of certification that’s tip of the spear do good by all and, honestly just one of the things that ReVision was like, let’s challenge ourselves, we have to do this. So yeah, I mean, from the beginning, once we heard about it, we were like we have to do it. Let’s, let’s find a way to get it done. So Fortunat Mueller, who’s one of our co founders, who really led the effort to become a B Corp and is still very much involved in the B Corp process now. He’s always looking for ways to improve the company, we all are. And this certification just, the questions they really they challenge you. They make you turn inward, to ask those hard questions, which we all have to be doing. So from what I know, it was like we’re doing it and then we did whatever we had to to get it done. And we’re still using those questions to this day to continually change the organization and challenge us day to day. We recently recertified and we can talk about our scores later if that’s something of interest, but we’re constantly using those questions to challenge ourselves set goals for ourselves, and hopefully meet them to improve our score.
Oh, cool. So is it, so do the scores only get updated like whenever you recertify? Cause I’m curious about that I saw, and we’ll get into a little bit later, kind of the details, but I saw that you guys your score had gone up recently. And…
Yeah, so I think it’s every four years you recertify and one of the things that I think is really cool about ReVision is we make it an effort to have different people involved in that recertification process. So usually Fortunat always oversees the process and our HR team. But last year, my colleague from marketing, she was involved in the process and then this coming time I’ll be involved in the process. So it gives our employee owners really great insight into the company and it gets more people involved. So we have more buy in too, which I find to be really helpful.
That’s really cool. So is ReVision 100% employee owned?
Brittany Angelo [9:15]
Yes, we are. Yeah. Recently. Ah, two years, ago three years ago, sorry that I don’t know the answer to that.
Benn Marine [9:24]
No, that’s awesome though. That’s great. Were there certain B Corps that you use as inspiration to strive towards when kind of when you all decided that like, yes, we’re going to go do this thing.
Yeah. So again, I don’t know who were the original B Corps that we were like, they did it let’s do it, sort of thing. But I am on the marketing team. So there are certain B Corps that we look to as inspiration to continue to inspire us to be better. So for me personally, I’ve always thought Patagonia is just an amazing outdoor retailer. I mean, there are so many things that that company is doing right and doing well. ReVision is lucky enough to partner with Patagonia out of the Portland branch. So we do a lot of B Corp events with them, with Allagash, where there’s just co-marketing co- B Corp positivity, just behind the brands. So I do feel like really lucky to have started in the Portland branch and learn about B Corps from what I consider one of the most powerful B Corps out there. But then there’s other really small B Corps, mom and pop shops, that, again are just so inspiring. So, Prosperity Candles, they’re based out of Western Mass. They help refuge women get started in America. And they give them a chance to learn the business world, right here in Massachusetts and I work out of the Massachusetts branch of ReVision. So it’s been really, really powerful to see everything from like, the giant B Corps of Patagonia who are so powerful in their marketing to the smaller companies like Prosperity Candles, where there may be 20 employees, but they are so powerful in the work that they’re doing is so helpful in their community.
That is so cool. So how did you hear about Prosperity or I’m so curious to hear more about like the events with like Allagash and Patagonia. So it sounds like there’s a whole community around B corps? I didn’t even know about that.
Brittany Angelo [11:45]
Yes, there is such a community. I like to think that there’s more power behind the symbol of the B Corporation when there’s multiple companies that can say I’m a B Corp. So when you become a B Corp, which I hope that you guys totally become and I will help you in any way I can, you sign a contract or the interdependence book, I don’t know what it’s actually called, but you sign on board in a community of B Corps supporting each other. So, there are constantly networking events. There are slack channels and beehive groups, just so many ways to connect with other B Corps and just have your ideas be heard and anybody can jump on board. So B Corps always feel passionate to work with other B Corps and it is such a foot in the door. So for me, doing marketing, ReVision does very like untraditional marketing, but I’m always looking for companies to partner with, to team up with, to get our mission heard. And the first group that I look for is another B Corp because I know our missions are going to align. And right off the bat, that is an easy way to introduce ReVision to another company. Is like, hey, we both care about the planet. We’re both going to put the environment first and everything that we do. But we’re doing two very different things, like you’re making candles, we’re doing solar. Those things normally wouldn’t go together, but because Prosperity Candles is a B Corp, I want to support them. They want to work with me. So we partnered on a candle that is soy based pourn by the women when they start working here in America, and we have our graphics on the outside of the candle tin. And then we gave those candles to customers as a gift for them going solar. So it’s things like that, that push the B Corp mission forward when you work together, more people find out about it.
Benn Marine [14:06]
That is so cool. That is really, really cool.
And I have so many of those stories that I could just go on and on about.
Oh my gosh, that’s so great. That’s so awesome. Do you have another like favorite one or…
We, so another partnership that we did was reusable tote bags that we’re giving all of our customers as well. So we partnered with Bag It, which is a B Corp. So bags that are made out of responsible material, they print, they co-printed our logo on it. And we put in like a little card that describes what a B Corp is and why we decided to partner with each other. And we give that out to all of our customers. Another one is with Preserve, they do compostable dishware, I guess I’ll call it, kitchen ware. So, before all of this pandemic stuff, ReVision used to host a lot of events where we would go to customers houses, we would do lunch and learns in businesses, we would bring in all of our own compostable goods so that homeowners would learn how to compost and what is available out there. So I would tell people where your local composting company is, where if you drop it off, or if you do backyard composting, and then I would tell them where they can get compostable goods, mostly from Preserve, and then we would use those compostable goods for that day. So forks, to plates, to napkins, to cups, all that stuff.
That’s so cool. That’s awesome. Once the decision was made to go for B Corp status, were there areas that you need to make drastic improvement on, or thinking back or that may have been a little bit before your time but even thinking forward to you know like you’re kind of turn working on B Corps, are there certain areas you’re like, oh, like we’re going to improve like this bit or that bit or in order to recertify or certify?
Yeah. So the first time around becoming a B Corp, this certification, I don’t want to say it was easy. But because ReVision was started with the roots of intentionally making this organization that cares about the planet and the environment, we were able to hit that threshold score. And we passed the certification the first time around, which I will say is very lucky. But that was also what proved to us that we are doing right by the environment. But then from there, it was like how do we improve so that our score gets better and better over time. So as you pointed out, our first score was 94.4. Our second score more recently was 125.9. So, that’s a huge difference. A lot of people don’t see that big of a jump in their score. One of the things that actually like, really the only thing that made our score jump that much, was ReVision between 2015 and 2019 of when we recertified, we became an employee owned company. So everybody at the company is an employee owner, they have stock in the company. And by making that switch, we saw a bunch of benefits across the entire company that affected how we care for our employees, how we care for the environment, paid sick time, paid time off. All of these things based around decisions and employees made our entire score jump which is great. And I will give so much credit to the co founders, them selling the company to all of the employees. We just, you see all the employees have so much more stock and ownership and care about the day to day decisions that they’re making and planning for their retirement, that you you just you feel the change in the company in the way that people act. And it was a great decision. But that decision alone is what caused our score to jump so high, so fast.
That’s amazing. And was that hard to do, was that transition to employee ownership? Like, like, I’m curious of what did that process look like?
Yeah, it took a few years to do, the co founders researched a lot about it, talked to a bunch of other B Corps that are also employee owned, just to learn, to figure out if it was really going to help the company as much as they thought it was going to. But then from there, it was just all about internal education and learning. What now, as an owner, what do you do? Where is your voice heard? When is it acceptable to speak up? When is it not, and learning how to act as an employee owner, when you’re an employee owner with 260 other people. So it definitely it changed how we report things internally. It also changed the structure of the company. We have a lot of distributed leadership across the entire company. So everybody sort of feels like a manager and like they own what they’re working on, ultimately putting the ownership back into each employee’s hands to kind of double check their work and check themselves and care for the future.
That’s so cool. That’s awesome. So yeah, so kind of talking a little bit about the kind of the scores, in 2015, you had a B Corp score of 94.4. And fast forward into 2019. You were Best for the World, honoree for Best Overall, Best for Workers and Best for Changemaker. And your current overall B impact score is 125.9. And in for folks who are listening or maybe new to B Corp land, the threshold you have to pass is 80. And, it’s so funny like going through the B Corps website, and looking at different B Corps a lot of folks falling just over that. It’s like 85. So, I mean, 94.4 is pretty amazing, but 125.9, I mean, that’s pretty great. What did it take to get there? And what are you, as you’re thinking about kind of your term and helping the process, what are some of the ideas that you have to either continue to support that score or even make that score grow?
So, kind of back to like the beginning and the roots of the company, you have to intentionally try to be good company and be a great company for the planet, in order to get that score of 94.4 to start. So, before we knew anything about B Corps we were, we were practicing what we preached. And I think that really got us off the ground running. And then like I said, becoming employee owned, like that had a huge impact on our overall score. And for the next time that we certify, which I believe is 2024 is when we will be recertifying we, sorry, it’s 2022. We have goals that we’re focusing on right now. That will help us hopefully see our score improve again, but it’s, it’s constantly challenging yourself as a company to grow and improve and ReVision’s doing it internally and I hope that other B Corps are doing it internally and I hope companies that aren’t B Corps are thinking about how they can improve as a company too, because we need to see the way that people do business, we need to see that change. And being a B Corp is just helping us to see how we can change. So we’re not reinventing the wheel, we’re learning from others. And we’re learning from the certification.
And what do you think have been some of the hardest adjustments to make? Kind of overall, and and how and how were those kind of implemented?
Brittany Angelo [22:29]
Okay, so one of the hardest adjustments for ReVision, definitely. was tracking the data. And I kind of smile because, WOW, it is so hard to do something but then also track that you did it. So, B labs, B Corp, the certification, I mean, they hold you to a really high standard, and you have to prove that you are holding yourself to that high standard. So you have to, I mean, you’ll measure what matters and ReVision does a lot of stuff that matters. And it is so hard to track all that and measure it. I sort of laugh just because over the last few years like, I’ve been lucky enough to know about the B Corp certification and know that I’m going to have my hand in in the recertification. So I want to make that certification easier for myself. So now, I’m tracking the data. And I’m trying to get everything in one place that I’m going to need. And it still is so hard to track that data. And I know I need it. Lucky enough ReVision, like I said, we span across three different states. So there are a lot of great colleges in these three states that are involved in the B Corp process and the mission and training their students about how you do business better. Right off the bat, our Brentwood branch in New Hampshire partnered with UNH, UNH is amazing. Just like, shout out to Fiona Wilson, she’s great if you don’t know who she is, go find her. She has started a social impact movement at UNH. And she teaches students while they’re still in college about B Corporations, and they do internships with B Corps remotely or in the area on how to improve their B Corp, their B impact score. But then also, if they’re not a B Corp, how they can become a B Corp and what is involved in the first certification process. So every semester students are eager to learn about businesses that care how to do business better, but then it gives them this training, so that when they do leave college, and they go into interviews, they have this backlog of questions of how employees should be treated, how businesses should be running, and they can ask for that in interviews, and if the company isn’t a B Corp, then this one internship, hopefully or this one interview, hopefully will spark something in that recruiters eyes to be like, why are we not treating our employees better? Or why aren’t we doing this and that, it’s all these little seeds that like students can start a movement of asking for better businesses, if they’re not already a B Corp. I can go on and on about UNH, and that program, and how I wish that I went to school at UNH, because, man, they’re just, they’re great. Back to like the beginning of all of this question. We’ve partnered with UNH on an internship program. And the students come to us already trained on the history of B Corps, already knowing what it is like to be a B Corp. So they work with me and my colleagues on how to track this data, who to ask for the data, and then the best way to share it out and track it internally. So hopefully, come when it’s time to recertify, all the data is there for us to pull from and we don’t have to go searching for it. So it hopefully will make the recertification easier. But that is by far the hardest thing. And the hardest adjustment for ReVision.
Benn Marine [26:16]
I’m curious if you have any tips or advice for folks and comes to tracking and I’m asking that almost selfishly, because, you know, as we were working through our questions, I was looking, I was like, shoot, you know, like, we don’t even have like, we might actually, you know, qualify for this bit, but we don’t have it’s not tracked, haven’t been tracking it, you know, and so it’s kind of I have been smiling a lot, because I’m like, yes, like I can so relate to that struggle of tracking. I’m curious, do you have any tips for folks trying to track some of that information? Have you been, is it all in spreadsheets? Or how have you guys been tackling it?
Brittany Angelo [26:51]
It’s all in spreadsheets. We had these great interns that made a baseline spreadsheet for us and we’re now just duplicating that year after year, but giving ownership to certain groups within our company and saying like, hey, HR, we need you to track when somebody does volunteer hours, so that we can put that on a spreadsheet, so that we know in four years, we volunteered X amount of times and with X amount of organizations. So yeah, I mean, it’s spreadsheet and it all kind of goes back to that employee ownership piece too like, as a company, we’ve decided to become a B Corp. And as a company, we want to keep that status. So each employee owner feels like I need to track when I volunteer so that it counts for the B Corp status. So it’s all about giving the accountability back on to your employees so that they speak up about when they volunteered and who they volunteered with and if for how long and if they track that and give it to HR,and then HR gives it to me to put in the spreadsheet for the recertification, it all just becomes easier. So I guess my big advice around tracking data would really be find one place where you can put all of the information and organize it, but then each individual subsection that comes with the data tracking. Give somebody new, the ownership of that section, so that not all the ownership comes back onto one person. And if each person is responsible for a smaller section, maybe it will get done because it’s not as heavy of a lift.
Benn Marine [28:42]
That’s true. Many hands make for light work, right?
Brittany Angelo [28:45]
Benn Marine [28:46]
That’s awesome. That’s great advice. Thanks for that. What have been some of your most rewarding experiences as B Corp.
Brittany Angelo [28:53]
So my role within ReVision is marketing partnerships, events, outreach, all that type of, of stuff. So, I do a ton of networking, I do a ton of connecting x with y, and just figuring out how our community can better help each other. So, I’m a real people person, I like to talk as you’ve maybe noticed, but I’ve really just enjoyed learning about other B Corps, learning about what they’re doing, and finding ways that ReVision can support them and help them, and ultimately raise awareness around this B Corp mission of doing business as a better company. So, to the Prosperity Candles connection, that was such an amazing experience to learn about them. And to know that within my position at ReVision, there was something that I could do to raise them up a little bit and to get more business. So it’s just, it’s feeling like you’re a part of something bigger. It’s the feeling of knowing that you’re, changing what’s happening out there in the world. And it’s everything from being an employee at a B Corps and feeling like your business is being better, but then also knowing other B Corps so that I can buy from them to raise them up to support everybody in seeking this change. It just just makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger and we’re together in this strong force of hopefully changing the world.
Benn Marine [30:36]
Well, I’m curious, what does the future look like? Are there goals that that you have around your B Corp sounds like are you striving for x score or is it?
Brittany Angelo [30:46]
Before the whole pandemic there was definitely some goals that revision was working to me and unfortunately, we had to push some of those goals back just because other things came up that just had more of a time sensitive matter, not that they were more important, but just time sensitive. So, now that we’re kind of in this new normal of working from home, and having a little bit more time to give to our future B Corp score, I personally am working on a goal of indoor air quality monitoring. So, ReVision cares a lot about the air quality and obviously, carbon reduction in the atmosphere and installing solar panels. So, it’s been interesting to kind of look internally at ourselves and say, like, what does our indoor air quality look like at our offices? And the fact of like, we’re not tracking that data, because we don’t have a system in place on how to track that. So one thing on our score for next time is we’re hoping to say that we do track indoor air quality and that we’re improving it from month to month and year over year. So that’s one one goal that we have. Another goal is kind of around like diversifying our board of directors, ReVision installs solar panels and products outside. So we have a, we have a team of installers and field workers that I would say, maybe aren’t, our field workers maybe aren’t represented properly on our board, our minority women, people of color, they’re just not represented the way that the company would like on our board. Also, people outside of the company need to be represented on the board. So just in general, like diversifying our board of directors is a goal for us that hopefully we can see happen by the next time we recertify.
Benn Marine [32:44]
What advice would you have for other businesses that are maybe thinking about becoming a B Corp or or you know, maybe earlier in their journey,
Brittany Angelo [32:51]
Partner with UNH and having an intern or students do the work for you. No, I mean, seriously, I think UNH is a great resource for people in this area who can partner with them. Like I said, Fiona is a great, great woman. She is, I mean, empowering the youth to speak up about the type of business that they want to work for. That’s the only way we’re going to see change. I mean, if people keep going to work for giant monsters of corporations, then why would they change to become a better company if their employees aren’t asking for it. Starting with the next generation and just educating them, that’s so empowering to me, and I just, I commend her so much. I guess the other part around data tracking, start now, so that you have a baseline of data. I think that’s huge to B Corps. But then, more broadly, I would say educate yourself about other B Corps in your area, or that sell products that you’re looking to use. Unless you know that they exist you’re not going to buy from them and therefore you’re not going to support them. For me, I just moved into this new house and it’s 100% solar I drive an Eevee it’s got heat pumps. I mean I feel like I’m doing really great stuff. But there’s always more that you can be doing. So turning in, like looking in internally, and figuring out like what are small changes that you can make. Can you buy your household cleaning stuff from an organic B Corporation so it’s better for your health, Grove is a great company, they have an office in Portland, Maine and they sell household cleaning products. Toms makes shoes, they’re a B Corp. Supporting them so that every new shoe that you buy goes to help somebody who needs a pair of shoes. Eileen Fisher, I’m huge into activewear. Eileen Fisher makes a great line of professional, but comfortable work attire. Athleta, makes yoga pants. I mean, there’s just so many companies out there that are B Corps that are making the products that you need, what does need actually mean? Products that you want, whatever. You just have to you have to do a little bit of research to find a company that has something that you need or want, but then find that they’re also a B Corp to support the movement. I don’t know if that makes sense.
Benn Marine [35:32]
That totally makes sense. And I think those are some great shout outs. I’m kind of along that line are there you know, knowing that you’re going you know that you’re working towards the next B Corp certification for ReVision? You know, thinking about you know, like we’re working on this podcast to hopefully help folks in their journey and also document our own journey. Are there businesses that you’re like, who I really want to hear their story or I’d love to see them on this pod or hear them on this podcast.
Brittany Angelo [35:58]
For me. I feel Like some of the companies that like I’ve really looked up to, that are just like huge B corporations, I would love to hear a little bit more about how they got started. And also just semi keeping it local, because you’re in Maine and I’m in Mass. I mean, Ben and Jerry’s, like they are a monster of a company in Vermont, and I’ve been to their headquarters and I just think they’re great. I love ice cream. I can’t help myself. I eat ice cream almost every night. So I mean, like hearing how an ice cream company is using a B Corp status to take over the ice cream world. I mean, like, that would be a really cool story, I think to hear. There’s a company called TripZero in Massachusetts, that I’ve been lucky enough to meet the CEO of, but I said straight to his face, like I don’t understand how you make your money and he answered me openly and honestly, and I think his story would be great to share. They help offset carbon for people flying or staying in hotels. So learning more about how, how can you travel but be rewarded for your traveling, I guess is what I would call that. So that one is, again, local and great. I think Badger in New Hampshire also has a great story. They just went solar with ReVision, so a little bit of like a plug there because I love that they went solar, but they recently have moved into a new headquarters that the CEO or the owner of the company built, so hearing more about, like, how, how Badger works internally, and hearing how they’ve expanded and built a whole new office for a company that’s been around for a while they’re family owned as well. So I think they would have a cool story to share. I would love to hear more about Grove. I only really know them as a customer and love what they’re doing. For me as a customer, I would love to hear about how they got started, I guess like 10 Tree is not a US based company. But that’s the cool thing about B Corporations is it expands across the entire world. So pulling in companies that maybe aren’t based in the US and seeing about, like how the movement is a global movement. 10 Tree is sold in, like Rei, it’s a company that makes clothing and hats and helps people just experience the outdoors better. So hearing their story about how they got started and started producing goods that are responsibly made, I think would be cool, too.
Benn Marine [38:53]
Sweet. Awesome. Well, that’s a that’s a good list. Thanks. And they also wanted to add or anything I didn’t touch you hoped I did or anything else wanna throw out there?
Brittany Angelo [39:03]
To you like, thanks for doing this. I mean, thanks for sharing our story as a company and sharing my story as a B Corp ambassador. I’ll say, I mean, to anybody who’s listening to this, I would just say do your research, do your homework, find a B Corporation that you can support because we need your support. We need your help to push this movement forward. Challenge yourself internally to work for a B Corp, to buy from a B Corp. And if you love where you work, but they’re not a B Corp yet, figure out how they can become a B Corp. The movement needs more supporters. So find a way that you can support it. Something else that I totally didn’t mention, I do serve on the B local Boston board, which is the board of humans that work for B Corps that are coming together to help push the movement forward. So, based in Boston, but we serve Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Mass. Boston was just like the central area. But, we have resources to help people become a B Corp. But then we also, once you become a B Corp, we’ll like introduce you into the community. And you can start to attend like the networking events, or host an event and like, we’ll help you market it and share your story. So we act as like a resource center for B Corps before they become one or after. So if there’s any way that you need help, and the board can help you, I mean, feel free to reach out to me for that as well.
Benn Marine [40:51]
That’s so cool. Is there a website for that?
Brittany Angelo [40:53]
Benn Marine [40:58]
And so, I’m so curious, can you tell a bit more about like, blocalboston and I hadn’t even heard about that. So is it? Do you guys meet monthly? Or what is it? What does that look like?
Brittany Angelo [41:07]
Yeah, so right now the board meets monthly and we just talk about ways as a organization we can help other B Corps, from anything like meeting each other, to advocacy work as B Corps, partnership development, to education. I personally am on the events Committee for the local Boston, and I work with my committee to put on an educational event, but then afterwards, there’s always like networking so you can meet other B Corps in the area. Just start those partnerships on how you guys can work together. Last month, we did a training on how to run virtual meetings better. So it was hosted by a B Corporation and then a bunch of B Corps joined, to just learn and then you met other B Corps. So hopefully you then talk to them and learn more about them afterwards. Another thing that we do, normally, around June 19, which is Juneteenth, which is a holiday around black history. I encourage people to learn more about that if they don’t know, we normally do a building leadership development day. And it’s a day long conference, it’s called The Build. It’s a conference where B Corps are presenting on what they’re working on and how other B Corps can learn from them. There’s usually a section on advocacy, so like, we team up with nonprofits to push out advocacy work that a bunch of B Corps and CEOs can get behind. And that’s ongoing throughout the year. The board is going through a diversity, equity and inclusion training, so that we can better be diverse and inclusive and include others into our work and our events as B Corps and then help navigate new B Corps through the process, introduce them to the community, but then as a B Corp, if you’re doing something really cool, really awesome, and you want other B Corps to know about it, The B Local, we’ll share your story, too.
Benn Marine [43:08]
That’s so cool. And do youknow is that are there kind of like chapters of that across the country that other folks, you know, maybe if somebody’s listening, listen, they’re in California or maybe they’re, you know, somewhere else in the world? Are these kind of just all over the place? They happen organically? Or is it part of like the B Corp, B Labs arm?
Brittany Angelo [43:31]
Yeah, it’s so B Labs is the nonprofit that runs the certification process. So they’re the third party that certifies B Corps. B Labs will connect with B Corps, but they sort of have developed these B Local communities all around the world, and they organize their community, their local community of B Corps, to stay connected. B Locals are a subset of B Labs, so that B Corps stay connected. So there’s B Labs all over the country. In northern New England, it’s Boston is the base. I know there’s one in Portland, Oregon. I know there’s like a base state one. I would say throughout the country, there’s probably like 30ish B Locals. And they’re just boards of local companies that constantly are working to keep the mission and the community alive within their area. New England, obviously is a bunch of small states, so we cover a lot of territory with one group. But normally, like Seattle has, that state has their own B Local. And then California maybe has to B Locals just because it’s so long, and then there’s B Locals in other countries. So Australia has one that, actually, one of the Boston board members, went to go work for the Australia one. They’re all over the world.
Benn Marine [45:13]
Thank you so much for tuning in. Be sure to stop by responsiblydifferent.com and visit the show notes for this episode. I’ve included links to all the different B Corps and resources that Brittany named in this episode as well for you for easy quick access. An update on our own journey in B Corp land. On the heels of this interview, I was eager to reach out to Dr. Fiona Wilson at UNH to help guide us in what feels like an exciting, but daunting process, and Fiona was super responsive and willing to be on the show. So in the next episode, you’ll hear a bit more about the program at UNH and some of Fiona’s advice for us at Dirigo Collective. In addition to reaching out to Fiona something I really admired about ReVision Energy and how they approach their B Corp certification is how they share in the work, and the team effort that goes behind it. Inspired by ReVision, we organized a committee here at Dirigo Collective that meets weekly where we are working on ways to track data and create policies around our own mission of putting people first in creating and delivering content that advances good ideas. We do record all those meetings and you may hear snippets from them in future episodes. And as for myself, before I purchase anything I’ve been asking, is there a B Corp that makes that or that I can purchase that from? And two of my favorite recent finds have come out of this question are Pet P.L.A.Y. and Karst Stone Paper. I’ve been on the hunt for a journal and for a dog bed for the office. So I went to bcorporation.net and clicked into the B Corp directory and searched for both items, and I’m super stoked when I found. Karst Stone Paper, who I ultimately ended up buying a journal from, makes journals with paper made from recycled stone, waterproof and tear resistant. And then at Pet P.L.A.Y. based out of San Francisco, I bought the most perfect dog bed for Remy, my pup and Dirigo’s Chief Morale Officer. It has our Dirigo colors on it, but the best part is that with every pet bed sold, they give a bed to a pet and shelter. And in addition, the stuffing in this dog bed is 100% recycled plastic from water bottle waste. I’ll be sure to get a picture of Remy and his new dog bed in the show notes as soon as we receive it for all of you dog lovers out there. Now the real question is, would it have been more responsible to buy from a locally owned non B Corp than to buy from a B Corp that’s not local. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that you can reach me at content@dirigo collective.com, put B Corp in the subject line. I want to thank you again for joining us on this journey. If you’re enjoying this podcast, be sure to subscribe and leave a review wherever you listen. We’re all in this together. Till next time, be Responsibly Different.
This is a production of Dirigo Collective. Music composed by our own Kevin Owens. You can follow us on social media at @dirigocollective or visit our corner of the internet at dirigocollective.com