Thinkshift | September 4, 2019
For the second year in a row, Thinkshift has earned a place on B Lab’s Best for the World list, announced today. We’re just as proud this year as we were in 2018—especially in light of the illustrious company.
Thinkshift was recognized as among the Best in the World for Governance for scoring in the top 10 percent in that category of the B Impact Assessment (among nearly 3,000 Certified B Corporations). The governance portion of the assessment evaluates our overall mission, ethics, accountability and transparency, measuring whether we have adopted a social or environmental mission and how we engage with employees, board members and the community to achieve that mission.
This year the governance category strikes a loud and resonant chord because the Business Roundtable (an association of CEOs of some of the biggest U.S. corporations) mainstreamed B Corp values last month in its Statement on the Purpose of the Corporation, which replaces shareholder primacy with a call for companies to be run for the benefit of everyone: communities, employees, customers and suppliers as well as shareholders.
It’s the walk, not the talk, that counts
B Lab’s founders hailed the statement as a “significant sign” of a culture shift, calling on corporations to follow up with actions, not just words.
“It’s time we work together to redesign an economic system for the 21st century that prioritizes the long term over the short term and the creation of value for all stakeholders, not just shareholders,” they wrote in an Aug. 22 op-ed in Fast Company. “Unless we address the systemic context in which CEOs operate, celebrating their latest announcements about purpose will remain more hope than strategy.”
We agree. We also believe in the power of business to be a force for good. That’s why we work with clients that want to change the world, such as fellow B Corps CNote and RSF Social Finance (both are also Best for the World companies).
It’s also why good governance matters to our business: we have a foundation that allows us to deliver on our mission and demonstrate that we are living up to the values we promote, both inside our organization and for our clients.
Measuring what matters
We earned high marks in particular for being a California benefit corporation (one of the first!) and measuring our performance on social and environmental objectives over time against predetermined indicators, among other actions.
B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps, also recognizes B Corps as Best for the World Overall, Best for Environment, Best for Customers, Best for Workers and Best for Community—here’s the full list. Many are well known (All Good, Eileen Fisher, New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, Seventh Generation) while many others will be discoveries.
When Thinkshift became a B Corp in 2010, there were about 300 of us, all in the U.S.—we could fit in a midsize hotel meeting room. Topping 3,000 B Corps in over 64 countries is exciting. It’s not nearly enough, but that growth is a sign that we are, in fact, seeing a shift in business. It shows too that the best companies around the world believe that you can always get better.
B Lab co-founder Jay Coen Gilbert put it so succinctly last year it bears repeating: “People are hungry for companies [that] are changing the system by building businesses that seek to create the greatest positive impact. As consumers, talent and investors increasingly demand transparent, values-aligned businesses to buy from, work at and invest in, companies will need to be not just the best in the world but the best for the world, and not just to be nice but to be the most successful.”