This editorial article is a part of Tech for the Common Good Month of Technical.ly's editorial calendar. This month’s theme is underwritten by Verizon 5G. This story was independently reported and not reviewed by Verizon before publication.
We live in a society where billionaires like Tesla founder Elon Musk, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates make daily headlines for the wealth they have accrued and the challenges their workers face on the job. If you’re not as plugged into the social entrepreneurship or impact investing movements, it can be easy to lose sight of the potentially positive impact for-profit companies can make on the communities where they’re based.
B Corps are a subset of for-profit companies that have made strict commitments to social causes. They voluntarily adopt rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Their goal goes beyond profit, aiming, too, to treat their workers and the planet well. (Check out the intensive certification requirements.)
To get certified as a B corp, a company must be certified by Berwyn-based nonprofit B Lab, founded by Jay Coen Gilbert, Bart Houlahan and Andrew Kassoy — all of the philosophy that stakeholder capitalism is failing us. Coen Gilbert was also a cofounder of basketball footwear and apparel company AND1, which once mandated that its suppliers pay workers living wages and offered its employees received free day care. The company gave 10% of its profits to local charities.
Today, thousands of companies are certified as B Corps. As of May 2021, 24 of them are based within Philadelphia city limits. From breweries to coffee chains to real estate startups, these socially minded for-profits balance business with the public good:
- Triple Bottom Brewing — Fair-chance brewery
- Saxbys — Coffee and café chain
- Arcweb Technologies, LLC — Software development
- Rethinc Real Estate — Real estate and design
- Wescott Financial Advisory Group — Investment firm
- Simply Good Jars — Casual food services
- Shift Capital — Real estate development
- MOR Wealth Management, LLC. — Wealth management
- ROAR For Good — Technology hardware
- Houwzer – Real estate brokerage
- MIO — Home furnishings
- Pixel Parlor — Design studio
- Message Agency — Digital strategy
- Blue Hill Partners LLC — Green sector investment firm
- Solar States — Solar installer and educator
- Home Care Associates of Philadelphia, Inc. — Worker-owned home health care agency
- Form & Faculty — Educational design firm
- PWPvideo — Video production
- United By Blue — Sustainable clothing and tools
- 3Sisters Sustainable Management, LLC — Financial management company
- YIKES, Inc. — Web design and development
- Azavea — GIS software
- Praxis Consulting Group — Consulting agency
- Re:Vision Architecture — Architecture firm
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