Businesses for Good


Can a company make money and make the world a better place? Adam Navis and Liz Waid look at an organization helping companies do just that!

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Transcript


Voice 1  

Welcome to Spotlight. I'm Adam Navis.

Voice 2  

And I'm Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1  

What do these three companies all have in common: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Karasimbi Business Partners, a business planner in Rwanda, and Patrus, a transportation company in Brazil? They all sell very different things. But they are all B Corporations. B Corporations, or B Corps, are companies that are trying to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. A B Corp promises to care for workers and the environment and money. But can these two goals work together? Today's Spotlight is on B Corps.

Voice 2  

A company called IceStone is one example of a B Corp. IceStone makes hard surfaces for kitchens and bathrooms. These surfaces look like stone, but are made from old glass bottles. The workers break down the bottles and use them again. The colour of the bottles creates the colour of the surface. IceStone, like other B Corps, concentrates on sustainability. They aim to use natural resources in a way they can continue for a long time. This is better for the environment. Ashon McCollin works for IceStone. She spoke to Impakter.com:

Voice 3  

"Sustainability was always very important from the beginning of our business. The co-founders wanted to create a business that used sustainable practices in the product and in the production process. IceStone is made of 75 percent recycled glass. The other ingredients are cement and non-toxic colors. To date, we have saved 16 million pounds of glass from landfills."

Voice 1  

IceStone is concerned with making money and protecting the environment. But it also wants to create a good place to work. McCollin explains,

Voice 3  

“The three things that are most important to us are: People, Planet, & Profit. All employees own a small part of the company and earn living wages immediately when they begin work.”

Voice 2  

These methods often cost more than running a typical business. So what does it mean to be a B Corporation? Why would someone choose to become a B Corp? The B Corp website explains that our earth’s most challenging problems cannot be solved just by governments and aid groups. B Corps aim to reduce poverty and to treat every person equally. They work to make a healthier environment and stronger communities. They also work to create many high quality jobs. They say that by using the power of business, B Corps use profit and business growth for a better purpose. They make positive change for their workers, communities, and the environment.

Voice 1  

It does not matter what kind of product a company makes. All kinds of companies are becoming B Corporations. There are internet companies, banks, beer makers, and ice cream companies. One example is King Arthur Flour. This is the oldest flour company in the United States. Their flour is used to make all kinds of bread. King Arthur became a B Corp in 2007. They added these ideas to their official business goals.

Voice 2  

When King Arthur wanted to expand their factory they had to consider many things. How much would it cost? How much money would it make? But they also had to consider something different: How many trees will be cut down? How will the new factory feel to the workers? They decided that these things were important to them.

Voice 1  

B Corporations affect people around the world. Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products is another B Corporation. They sell a drink called yerba mate. It is a kind of tea. The company website explains how they connect the Amazon Rainforest with tea drinkers around the world.

Voice 4  

“We think about people, community, and nature in our business model. Every purchase of Guayakí Yerba Mate drives rainforest stewardship, protecting the culture of native people, and reducing carbon dioxide gas. When you enjoy yerba mate, you reconnect with your own life. When we come to life, we care about one another and stand together to create a better future.”

Voice 2  

However, B Corps face a big issue. People see the B Corp as helping the world. But, the B Corp does not have to actually solve any problems. Jay Coen Gilbert is one of the people who started B Labs. It gives the B Corp certification. He argues that B Corps are just part of solving the world’s problems. He wrote for Forbes, a business magazine.

Voice 5  

“B Corps do not believe they are the solution to anything. B Corps do believe that business can be an important part of creating and growing solutions. Business has a necessary part to solve the world’s problems. Government and nonprofits are also necessary. None of these things alone are enough to solve our most challenging problems. We can only do this together. That is the most basic belief of the B Corp community.”

Voice 1  

This is also why it is not easy to become a B Corp. To become a B Corp, a company must answer a series of questions. B Labs makes sure these answers are true. Companies who want to become a B Corp must have documents to support their answers. B Labs also inspects B Corps every year. This makes sure that businesses do not change their methods once they receive a good mark. Finally, to become a B Corporation, there must be a change to the documents that govern a company. The goals of a company need to include thinking about the environment and the needs of the workers.

Voice 2  

Some problems cannot be solved by businesses buying and selling. For example, increasing global education, equal rights for women, and ending human slavery, all require help from governments, non-profits, and religious organizations.

Voice 1  

However, B Corp business owners think about more than only making money. A business can be a force for good or evil. When a business becomes a B Corporation, they promise to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. They are trying to be the change they want to see.

Voice 2  

Have you ever thought about owning a business? What kind of business would it be? Would you like to be a B Corp? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio.

Voice 1  

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and New Zealand. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Businesses for Good’.

Voice 2  

Visit our website to download our free official app for Android or Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Would you be more likely to use a business that thought about the environment and its workers?

Comments


Kaleb Kolaibi's avatar
Kaleb Kolaibi
said on November 15, 2018

I do not believe that there businesses for good.
The business is business FOR MONEY AND MORE MONEY!
God bless you

Avatar Spotlight
Honneur
said on November 15, 2018

I had never heard about B Corps. It is a surprise for me and I think that is a good idea. The Icestone is an example of a good business for to make money and to protect environment at the same time. Thank you for more a program that has two points of interest: brings information and teaches English language.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on November 15, 2018

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: to answer to the question below
Date: Thrusday 15 November, 2018
São Paulo city, São Paulo Brazil

Dear Adam Navis, Liz Waid, and Michio Ozaki:

First, I want to thank you for bringing us more one great article for us. Thank you.
Question 1 - Would you be more likely to use a business that thought about the environment and its workers?
Answer 1 - Yes, I would. It is a very important thing to protect our environment and worker. So, everything will be heather and our rainforest will be protected.

Your regards,
Severino Ramos
From Brazil

Avatar Spotlight
Dela
said on November 17, 2018

In my opinion B Corporations can become the big contribution in a business domain because of being concerned about several important purposes. In particular, B Corps try to modify the production processes to protect environment, they strive for using natural recources in a correct, suitable way. The another goal is care of workers, improvement of social conditions, creating possibilities for many people to get a good job.
Naturally, helping to solve the world’s challenging problems wouldn’t be successful without working together, it means cooperation of governments, non-profit and religious organizations as well. Only the collective effort can bring the positive results!