We Were at Sustainable Brands 2018!
Earlier this month, Left Coast Naturals was part of an esteemed panel hosted by B Corp at the international Sustainable Brands conference held in Vancouver. The topic was “Good Governance Best Practice: Escaping the Trap of Short-Termism through Stakeholder-based Governance Models.” Long title, yes, but here’s what the discussion centered around:
The B Corp Certification, once the realm of small mission-driven businesses, is being pursued by the likes of Campbell’s and Unilever, including by acquiring Certified B Corps. Over the past two years, history has been made numerous times, first as the multi-billion dollar education giant, Laureate Education, became a Certified B Corp and the first public benefit corporation to IPO. This past month, Danone North America became the largest Certified B Corporation in the world at over $6 Billion in revenue. These companies and many others are setting a new bar for corporate responsibility at scale while impact leaders like Left Coast Naturals continue to push the boundaries of good business practice.
Your Sustainability Call-to-Action
The three leaders from Laureate Education, Danone North America, and Left Coast Naturals—companies differing vastly in size and customer bases—delved into an hour-long talk. In the end, all acknowledged that it’s possible to implement good governance standards regardless at what scale. We thought the most important to share with you (actionable takeaways!) were responses to the last question posed by panel moderator and B Lab Director Kim Coupounas:
“If you could leave the audience with one call-to-action, what would it be?”
“We all have power to a certain limit. We’re all able to talk to someone in the company to convince someone there’s a way we can go further in this movement. We could all be ambassadors if we want to. It’s important that top management support the team, but in some cases we need to convince them. For us it was an easy one coming from the top, but that wasn’t always the case. Don’t hesitate to talk to your leaders—we can be helpful to you.”
— Pascal Lachance, Senior Manager of Sustainability & Environment, Canada, Danone North America
“When you’re at these events, it’s almost as if you’re preaching to the choir. We all believe in good governance, that’s why we’re here. Go out there, share best practices, share resources and try to pull other people in, those who aren’t here. My second one is a personal one I try to do when I come to conferences: Try to learn one new thing, take that, and implement it in your company in some way. Even if it’s small, it makes a difference.”
— Todd Wegner, Senior Manager, Global Public Affairs, Laureate Education, Inc.
“There’s the B Corp B Impact Quick Assessment tool. It only takes about 20 minutes. When I put on an event last year, so many companies came up to me afterwards and said, ‘We’re not going to become a B Corp but we learned some things from this quick assessment that we will implement, so thanks for that.’ My call to action would be to just try it. It gets you thinking, and starting on any path takes one step at a time. So take one step.”
— Ian Walker, President & Co-Founder, Left Coast Naturals