Being a B Corp was in the plans from the very day I started Neighborhood Sun. After all, my previous social venture, Clean Currents was one of the early B Corps, and in fact the very first retail energy supplier to earn that designation. But one thing stood in our way. In order to be a B Corp, a company has to have at least a year of operating experience. Makes sense, given that the B Corp Assessment is based on policies and actions a company has taken, not hopes to take in the future. Luckily, we were able to start with a “Pending B Corp” status and of course we registered as a Benefit LLC in Maryland (to see the difference between the two, click HERE).
Now, things are really rolling for us. Not only is the Maryland Community Solar program open, but we have earned our full B Corp status! Our report card can be found HERE. We did pretty well for a scrappy start-up, but certainly have room for improvement. Naturally, we scored well on our environmental practices because clean energy and fighting climate change is in our blood. I’m particularly proud of our score in the community section. After all, we’re the company that says we want to put the “community” in “community solar.” It’s something we work very hard at, finding local partners, supporting women or minority owned businesses, and being an active participant in the communities we serve.
What are B Corps?
B Corporations are leaders of the global movement of people using business as a force for good. Certified B Corporations meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The performance standards B Corps meet are comprehensive, transparent and verified. They measure a company’s impact on all its stakeholders (e.g. workers, suppliers, community, customers and the environment). To date, there are over 2,050 Certified B Corporations from 130 industries in 50 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business. Check bcorporation.net for up to date stats.