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5 REASONS TO JOIN THE BUSINESS REVOLUTION + 3 Simple Things you can do to Get Started Today
AKA Using Your Business as a Force for Good AAKA B the Change!
WE-AR JOINED THE B-CORP REVOLUTION IN 2016
1/ You will be happier.
Happiness can be described in many ways. One way is to categorise it into two types: short-term – the type that gives us a lovely burst but fizzles out not long after our desire has been gratified, and long-term – an ongoing joyful hum. Since Aristotle, the former has been usefully described as hedonia (pleasure) and the latter, eudaimonia (a life well lived). For sure it is possible to have both sometimes……or neither, but regularly we are asked by the universe to choose (want that third takeaway this week, or to save for India?). Neuroscience shows that long-term happiness is clearly related to finding, and living your life with, meaning, or in other words, living a life that is in line with your values.
So it follows, if your business or personal values have anything to do with human and/or environmental kindness, then your next step to eudaimonia is to join the revolution!
2/ Your customers will love you for it.
Let’s be honest, even though as consumers we want businesses to take more responsibility so our environment can flourish and people in teams + supply chains are respected, we’re all a bit tired of the eco-organic-wild-free buzzwords and the clean, green imagery everywhere. Who knows these days what, if anything, is for real? We are in general much more savvy customers now, when it comes to ethics and sustainability, and even though we mightn’t have time to investigate further, most of us can smell when something is genuine and when it’s not.
When you join the revolution, you will likely make some small and some larger adaptations to your business model. It won’t all happen overnight. So, if instead of making bold claims or promises, you simply share from the heart the story of your journey, your story will cut through the marketing quagmire with its authenticity and your customers will connect and want to hear more. Most people know it takes effort to make real change, so they will love you for doing your best.
Maybe more importantly, as consumers we also want eudaimonia (see 1/ above), and to this end we will want to act and purchase in accordance with our values. Granted it’s not always easy and not everyone behaves this way, but the era of ethical consumption is definitely here. One of the fastest growing market sectors, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), is here to stay and they are increasingly interested in who they do business with.
3/ Feel Togetherness when you join a Growing Community of Likeminded Businesses.
Yep that’s right, it’s already happening and if you are not already, all you have to do is jump on board. As a maybe not so random example (see later in this article), check out this amazing, and exponentially growing list of inspiring companies who are already using business as a force for good via the B Corp movement http://bcorporation.eu/b-corp-community.
If you want to get a bit more specific about it, you could also check out other groundbreaking certifying bodies and communities such as: Living Wage movement (livingwage.org.nz), Conscious Consumers (consciousconsumers.net) or Sustainable business network (sustainable.org.nz) or search for similar organisations in your region.
4/ The World Needs You!
This one is quite simple and maybe a bit more intuitive. There is a groundswell of this new way of being but there is also a resistance – the climate change deniers, the multinational polluters, the human traffickers. Right about now, the world needs more passionate leaders being the change to get us to the tipping point and beyond. If this resonates for you, then this means you. The world needs to hear your voice.
5/ You Can Save Money
In order to be sustainable environmentally, your business also needs to be sustainable economically – right? Well the good news is that this is not only totally doable, but your business can boom with your new way of operating.
There are few areas where being ethical and/or sustainable might mean spending a bit more – at least for now. Some smaller areas include costs related to initial changes and assessment, but if your business has a physical product, then you may have guessed the main cost is in the extra spend on materials or products. When enough businesses join the revolution though, predictions are that these material costs will come way down to be in line with or only marginally higher than their non-ethical counterparts. The good short-term news is that in a lot of cases, being sustainable means being more efficient and therefore using (and spending) less.
There are also savings to be made in the ethics side via human relations and it’s pretty straightforward – keep your team and your supply chain happy and there will be less costs associated with hiring + training replacements or searching for new suppliers.
Further to this important reason for joining the revolution is the understanding that in areas where we are saving money or paying less now, there are often other people who we may not see (i.e. in another country and being paid a pittance) who are paying more in a different way so that we can have that privilege of paying less. Or maybe even more directly, but just as invisibly - in relation to paying less for environmentally unfriendly options, the future you may pay.
Now if you’re picking up what’s been put down here, maybe you’re feeling all fired up, here’s a challenge to seize the moment. Making small changes to get started can be simple and effective way to get some momentum going towards any bigger change that may be needed.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to get started today:
1/ Take 5 Minutes and Ask Yourself….
What do you wish the world was like and how can your unique business be that change?
2/ Then, Start With Something Easy so you can Feel a Sense of Progress Straight Away.
Like, build a worm farm for your staffroom, start a donation box/scheme for a local charity, or share this blog with your co-workers and have a brainstorming session after.
3/ Assess where you are at via the B Corp B Impact Assessment Tool – Use Estimate Answers.
It’s recommended that for the first pass you use estimate answers to get a rough understanding of where you are at and a feel for the process. This takes about 1 hour and can be saved and revisited at any time to replace the estimates with real answers. You can find the impact assessment by clicking on the giant red ‘Become a B Corp start now’ rectangle on the B Corp homepage.
This idea may take a little longer than the other two (well, that depends on how intricate your worm farm is), but it may be the thing that completely empowers you to join the revolution, like it has been for many others to date.
Through all of this, if you are inspired to join the revolution, or you are already fully on board, know this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Reach out to others and collaborate. Together we can change the world.
Written by Jasmin Dingemans
Sustainability + Ethics Consultant