B the Change
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Some of the world's most climate-progressive businesses worked together to shape short- and long-term plans at B Leadership Summit.
Leaders from some of the world’s most climate-progressive companies gathered
Feb. 11–14 in New Mexico to shape a short- and long-term collective action
plan to address the threats of climate change.
In attendance at the B Leadership Summit were more than 35 North American
Certified B Corporations that have demonstrated leadership in environmental
action and progress — many have been designated “Best for the
in the Environment category.
B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to build a more inclusive and
sustainable economy. Today there are more than 2,700 B Corps across more than
150 industries and 60 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success
in business. Any company can measure and manage social and environmental
performance with the B Impact Assessment.
“With a decade of credibility as their foundation, B Corporations have a unique
and powerful role to play — both as a collection of purpose-driven businesses
and in collaboration with others — to reverse climate change,” said B Lab Global
Ambassador Kim Coupounas. “The seeds planted at this gathering will
accelerate existing efforts while serving as a model for collective action for
others to follow.”
In creating an initial six-month action plan and shaping a 10-year vision, the B
Leadership Summit attendees identified concrete steps to accelerate climate
mitigation work collectively, as individual companies, and through cross-sector
collaboration and public advocacy.
Emerging from the Summit is the B Corp Climate Action Collaborative — a
group of committed B Corps interested in furthering this work, which has agreed
upon a draft Vision statement: “We demonstrate the collective power of our
businesses to transform commerce, and to create an inclusive society and
environmental regeneration. We commit to taking bold steps towards climate
resiliency by using advocacy, cross-sector collaboration, corporate action, and
the capital markets to stop emissions and drawdown carbon, improve global
The Collaborative is launching with five B Corp Action Groups:
Climate Advocacy Action Group to be led by Chris Miller, Social
Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry’s;
Measure What Matters CO2 Reduction Action Group to be led by Saskia
van Gendt, Senior Director of Sustainability at method products pbc;
Climate Employee Engagement Action Group to be led by Rob Michalak,
Director of Social Impact at Ben & Jerry’s;
Pilot for Sustainable Packaging to be led by Sasha Calder, Director of
Sustainability at Beautycounter; and
Climate Action Collaborative Governance Creation Group to be led by
Stephen Irvin, CEO of Amicus Solar Cooperative.
“This summit demonstrates an important shift in the B Corp community that’s
underway, from supporting the growth of a purpose-driven model, to harnessing
that collective power into a compelling level of advocacy and actions that can
drive the critical changes necessary to create a world that serves our
collective humanity and the earth we all share,” Michalak said.
The Collaborative’s Action Groups have each developed six-month action plans to
drive wider stakeholder engagement and to further this work, with the next major
convening to take place in September at the 2019 B Corp Champions Retreat in
The Summit was held in and hosted by Taos Ski Valley, a B Corp in New
“As the world’s first Certified B Corporation ski resort and one with a deeply
vested interest in changing our current climate trajectory, we’re honored to be
hosting the 2019 B Leadership Summit,” said Taos Ski Valley CEO David
Norden. “We can’t wait to see the transformational change that will come from
this gathering of leaders.”
Image credit: B the Change
B Corps participating in the leadership summit included: 1908 Brands,
3Degrees, All Good, Alter Eco Foods, Amicus Solar Cooperative,
Athleta, B Lab, Badger,
Beautycounter, Ben &
Jerry’s, C.F. Martin &
Co., Cabot Creamery,
Dr. Bronner’s Magic
Eileen Fisher, Gaia
Herbs, Guayaki, Habitus Incorporated, KeHE Distributors,
MegaFood, Meow Wolf,
method, Namaste Solar,
Patagonia, Provoc, Rhino
Foods, SecondMuse, Seventh
Energy, Simply Straws, Taos Ski Valley, Inc., and Wanderlust Festival.
“Business is changing, and remaining relevant is no longer simply about a
product or service, yielding a transaction. The role of the private sector in
shaping and driving positive economic, social, and environmental change is
critically important,” said Angela McElwee, President of Gaia
Herbs. “This is our responsibility as leaders, and part of a new paradigm of
measuring what success looks like in business. The opportunity to work alongside
fellow B Corporations this week on climate was equal parts inspiration and
perspiration. We worked hard and with urgency, and I found myself deeply
appreciative of this community filled with so many aligned leaders, coming
together with shared purpose. Business as a force for good is a powerful vehicle
for creating change — and hope — as we work to address the effects of climate
“The B Leadership Summit was an amazing gathering of business leaders determined
to work together to find systemic solutions to address the biggest challenge of
our time — climate change,” said Seventh Generation CEO Joey Bergstein.
“This gathering served as an inspiring example of how business can work together
as a force for good.”
“Given the critical state of our Earth and the increasing divide between her
most privileged and most vulnerable people, the world needs the B Corp movement
now more than ever,” said Amy Hall, VP of Social Consciousness at Eileen
Fisher. “I left the Summit with a profound sense of hope in the power of
business to heal the planet for future generations.”
A version of this post first appeared on
on February 20, 2019.
Published Mar 26, 2019 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET