Our friends over at the nonprofit B Lab just announced their 2018 Best For the World lists,  recognizing companies for creating extraordinary positive impact as businesses in six categories. Nearly 1,000 Certified B Corporations were named 2018 Best For The World honorees, representing 52 countries, including the US, Denmark, India, South Africa and Taiwan. Today there are more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations across more than 150 industries and 50 countries, unified by one common goal (which just happens to be Conscious Company Media’s mission as well): to redefine success in business.

Here are some of the 2018 list honorees we’ve worked with in the past — learn more about each of them by clicking through to the individual stories. And to see the full list of honorees, go to B the Change, the digital Medium publication produced by B Lab, at bthechange.com/bestfortheworld.

Featured Companies

Adara Advisors & Adara Partners (Australia) Pty Limited

Audette Exel

We featured Adara’s founder, Audette Exel, in our list of 30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business.

While many US readers may not be familiar with Exel, in Australia she’s a social impact legend. First, she was one of the youngest women in the world to run a publicly traded bank. Then, when she founded the Adara Group (originally called the ISIS Group) in 1998, she created one of the earliest examples of a hybrid social enterprise; in this case a corporate advisory business established entirely for the purpose of funding a nonprofit. All of the profits from both Adara businesses, Adara Advisors and Adara Partners, are directed towards covering the core support costs of Adara Development, which every year delivers services to improve health and education for more than 50,000 women and children living in extreme poverty.

Favorite leadership tip

“Never listen to the voice that tells you no — in your own head, or from others. Use that voice to spur you on to greater achievement.”

Bi-Rite Market

Sam Mogannam

It’s fitting that San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market is an honoree in the Community category, because we spoke with with Bi-Rite’s owner Sam Mogannam for our 2017 issue about community.

When Sam Mogannam graduated from high school, he literally vowed to never be a grocer. Eleven years working in his family’s community market, Bi-Rite, had given him his fill of that. Instead he trained as a chef, traveled the world, and eventually opened his own restaurant in his hometown. The family sold the San Francisco market in 1989, and that was the end of the Mogannam grocery dynasty. Or so it seemed.

Then in 1997, Bi-Rite’s new owner was looking for an out, and Mogannam and his brother Raphael decided to purchase it back. Thus was born — or rather, reincarnated — one of the most iconic community businesses in a town obsessed with the importance of “local,” a mission-driven gathering spot that has become an anchor of its neighborhood and the broader community.

“When we reopened the store,” Mogannam explains, “we brought a chef’s perspective to the grocery world. We built a kitchen into the middle of the store so that we could prepare foods — as a continued expression of my creativity, but also a way to connect with our consumers.”

These days, after close to 20 years under Mogannam’s leadership, the Bi-Rite family of businesses includes two grocery stores, San Francisco’s first organic ice cream shop, a catering company, a three-acre farm in Sonoma, and an affiliated nonprofit community cooking school, 18 Reasons.

We spoke with Mogannam to hear his best lessons on creating a thriving business that’s also a community hub. Read more…

Green Mountain Power

Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power.

Mary Powell, the president and CEO of this Vermont utility, was also a member of our list of 30 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business this year.

“Since she took the helm at Green Mountain Power (GMP) in 2008, Powell has continued to break barriers and shake up assumptions about what a utility can be — going as far as to call the business an “un-utility.” In one example of her obsessive focus on knowing customers, she moved the company HQ from a steel-and-glass fortress into a building shared with line-workers — in other words, the ones who meet customers every day. Under her leadership, GMP also became the first utility to partner with Tesla on Powerwall home energy solutions, and the first to offer a battery/solar off-grid package to its customers. Her focus on “leading with love” seems to be working: in a survey required by Vermont regulators in 2016, GMP received a 94 percent customer service satisfaction score and a 96 percent on providing reliable electric service.”

Greyston Bakery

 

We love Greyston Bakery’s open hiring model and have featured the company and its CEO, Mike Brady, several times. Most recently, Brady joined us for a conversation around creating strong company cultures without hiring filters.

“We think a lot about worker readiness and those skills that perhaps people new to the workforce aren’t as familiar with; responding to your colleagues, showing up to work on time, how to communicate with your senior managers, that kind of thing,” he told us.

“Also, the culture at Greyston has really benefited from a huge focus on quality, and on clear expectations that make it easy for people to understand, “Am I doing a good job or not?” We talk about this concept of “loving action.” If we see someone who isn’t delivering on the expected goals, quality targets, whatever it might be, it’s our responsibility to tell them. If we’re not doing that, we’re not really delivering the best we can to our team members.” Read more…

Spotlight:Girls

Spotlight: Girls

Spotlight: Girls co-founders Lynn Johnson (left) and Allison Kenney.

We ran an interview with this social enterprise’s co-founder, Lynn Johnson, in our Q2 2018 issue about transformational leadership.

The couple’s social enterprise, Spotlight: Girls, is now a certified B Corp with a mission “to educate, inspire, and activate girls and women to take center stage.” Through enrichment programs and a multimedia platform, the Spotlight: Girls team teaches participants “to love ourselves and each other, and to become the leaders the world needs us to be,” Johnson says. Some of the girls who attended the fateful 2008 camp session where it all began even work for the company now.

We talked with Johnson about community development, social entrepreneurship, and how a little time in the spotlight can help girls become the leaders of tomorrow. Read more…

Conscious Company Media

Does this count as bragging? Maybe. But we’re super honored to be on this year’s list yet again, and don’t tell our own story very often. Have you seen our co-founders talk about how CCM came to be?

Or how about this April 2018 interview with our CEO, Meghan French Dunbar, about why we focus on purpose?

 

Best for the World Contributors

We’re also proud to name several leaders of Best for the World companies as contributors to Conscious Company Media.

Congrats to ALL the honorees!

Rachel Zurer

Rachel is Conscious Company’s resident words wrangler, in charge of all editorial content. Before joining the CCM in April 2016, Rachel spent nearly 5 years as a print and digital editor on the award-winning team at BACKPACKER magazine. Her freelance writing and radio reporting has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Issues in Science & Technology, Yoga Journal, Paste Magazine, Pacifica Radio, and Wired, where she was a fellow in 2011. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing from Goucher College, studied linguistics and computer science at Duke University, and is a certified yoga teacher.