Using business as a force for good isn’t just an idea. It’s a move-ment that’s happening across the country and around the world. Companies everywhere are retooling their mission and vision statements, and updating their business plans to reflect values that put people and the environment first.
There is a growing community of businesses working together toward one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Since its beginnings in 2007, almost 2800 companies have become certified B Corps™. Their ranks have grown to include large, well-known brands such as Patagonia, Klean Kanteen, Ben and Jerry’s, Bullfrog Power, BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada), ME to WE, and locally, OMISTA Credit Union. OMISTA became a Certified B Corporation in 2016.
OMISTA has also just announced it has chosen renewable energy across all branches.
Bullfrog Power, Canada’s source for smarter, greener energy solutions, will help OMISTA reduce its environmental footprint and support the development of community-based renewable energy projects across Canada. OMISTA will use Bullfrog Power for 50% of its total electric energy in 2019, moving to 75% in 2020, and a full 100% in 2021 and beyond. By paying a premium for green energy, OMISTA and other Bullfrog-powered customers ensure the energy put on the grid on their behalf is from clean, renewable sources. Bullfrog’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydropower sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.
What is a B Corp?
A "B Corp" is a company that has been certified by B Lab®, a nonprofit focused on promoting ethical business practices. Think fair trade certification for coffee or organic certification for bananas, but for the whole business. B Corps can exist in any industry or field, if the business can meet certain criteria for demonstrating sufficiently positive business practices in five areas: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Certification is based on answering a series of questions in each of the five areas that affirms the business is considering its impact on all stakeholder groups.
Each year, more financial companies make the list. Although none of the big banks have managed to obtain certification to date, several credit unions have.
“Being a purpose-led business is more than hanging a set of values on the wall or writing them in an employee handbook; it’s about living them each day throughout our entire organization. As we continue to plan and think about where OMISTA will be in the future, we think about the impact we want to make on our community and the environment and what employees, customers and investors want to see from us,” says Trisha Leaver.
Is this the year to finally change your bank?
Are you someone who feels it’s important to shop local, buy ethically-sourced groceries, and engage in philanthropy? You can take this same approach in your financial-services world also.
Credit unions provide a local, sustainable alternative to big financial institutions. Being a B Corp helps OMISTA identify as part of the much-needed solution in the financial services industry―a network of local, socially-sustainable, financial service cooperatives that have a true concern for stakeholders.
Banking locally is a simple yet powerful way to support your community. When you deposit money or buy a GIC at a credit union, a much larger percent of your dollar is reinvested back into the local economy in the form of small business loans, mortgages for homes in your community, and vendor purchases with other locally-owned businesses.
Interested in learning more about B Corps? Visit the website: bcorporation.net.
Trisha Leaver, OMISTA's Senior Marketing Manager, has a passion for sharing the credit union difference and empowering New Brunswickers to choose a better way to bank. www.OMISTA.ca