Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion at the San Diego “Build a Better Business” event hosted by VIANOVA, Inc. at the SDG&E Innovation Center. The event was intended to help San Diego business owners, CEO’s and social entrepreneurs find out what a certified Benefit Corporation is, and help them understand the process of certification.
The event was created to let other businesses see and understand how a few local Benefit Corporations are ‘measuring what matters’ in an effort to help them learn how they can Build a Better Business – better for the workers, better for the community, better for the environment, and better for the bottom line.
If you’re curious about what a Bcorp is here’s a great video overview:
The panel discussion was comprised of:
- Frank G. Scarpaci, Founder of VIANOVA, Inc. (Moderator)
- Kristin Carroll, CEO, Rescue Social Change Group
- Julien Brandt, CEO, OrganikSEO <—- Hey that’s me
- May Harris, For Purpose Law Group
- Amon Rapapport, VP- Brand Purpose, i.d.e.a.
Below is a sampling of a few of the questions that were asked along with my responses. Unfortunately I didn’t record the event to get everyone else’s responses, but I encourage other Bcorp companies to chime in with comments and answer the questions on your own.
Q: How do you use business as a force for good?
A: “At Organik SEO, we take on clients who have values that are in alignment with our own, and who’s messages we feel good about amplifying. We know we have a lot of power with our ability to help organizations build brand awareness and promote themselves online, so we make sure we are using, and not abusing our power.”
Q: Why did you decide to become a Bcorp, and are there business benefits?
A: “We realized we were already, in essence, a Bcorp – we just didn’t realize there was a name and a certification for it! When I stumbled across B Corporations a few year ago, I knew it was something I wanted to work towards. About a year later, Organik SEO was a certified B Corp!”
Q: What did you learn by using the B Impact Assessment? What impact has it had on your social and environmental impact?
A: “The impact assessment measures things we wouldn’t have thought to measure. It’s caused us to re-evaluate everything from the products we use in the office to the vendors we select…”
Q: How did you engage your employees in this process?
A: “I picked one point person to spearhead the initiative. I brought it to the team as an opportunity and got employee buy-in. Explained it in a way that matters. In regards to ongoing engagement, its baked into everything we do. Paid volunteer hours, adopting a beach, monthly giveback initiatives, a blog series highlighting other purpose driven brands and organizations, professionally facilitated strategy days, pro-bono hours for non-profits, paid learning opportunities etc…”
Q: How has becoming a B Corp helped with recruiting and retention?
A: “Many of our employees applied for a job at Organik SEO because of our values, our culture, and our purpose driven philosophy. Organik SEO has deep roots in our community, and becoming a certified B Corp was an excellent way to amplify that cause-driven aspect of our business. It’s helped us attract the right people and retain an amazing team of like minded individuals that embody our values and our vision.”
We consider it our responsibility to be environmentally conscious and active members/contributors to our community. Apart from working with purpose driven companies, we’ve done a lot to earn our Bcorp status – and believe it or not, it didn’t come easy.
Organik SEO became a Certified B Corp in 2013, and as of August 2015, we are one of 8 certified B Corporations in San Diego county, and 1 of about 1,200 world wide. To see a complete list of Benefit Corporations and to learn more about Bcorps, please visit www.Bcorporation.net
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Becoming a B Corporation: A Humble Achievement.“ Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!