Certified B Corp
Natural Investments LLC is proud to be a certified Founding B Corp, often referred to as a benefit corporation.
The B Corp designation recognizes companies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to producing benefits to customers, employees, communities, and the environment. When the folks at the non-profit B Lab created the nation’s most rigorous assessment of a company’s positive social and environmental impacts, we were naturally curious about just how well we walk our talk. After all, we’ve been champions of sustainable and responsible business for decades, so we surely hoped that we had internalized these ideals.
We were thrilled that B Lab agreed: their 2011 audit of our policies and practices, we were given a “Best For The World” award for being in the top 10% of all B Corporations with 10 or fewer employees. Considering that 15,000 companies have taken the impact assessment, and only 1,000+ have earned the B Corp designation, we’re honored to be one of only 25 small businesses to have achieved this level of excellence.
To qualify, we met rigorous criteria in all aspects of our operations, including:
- Accountability – governance and transparency in a company’s practices and policies and stakeholder engagement.
- Employees – how a company treats its’ workers through compensation, ownership opportunities, work environment, management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.
- Consumers – the impact a company has on its’ customers, including how a company produces public social and environmental benefits, including to marginalized populations.
- Community – how a company relates to its’ suppliers, supports diversity, and is involved in its’ local community, including community service and charitable giving.
- Environment – a company’s environmental performance through its’ policies and practices in the areas of facilities, materials, resource, energy use and emissions.
A company receives points for qualifying policies and practices in these realms. Natural Investments was audited by B Lab in 2011 and scored a total of 176 out of a possible 200 points. The minimum qualifying score is 80.
Specific areas in which we were lauded include consumer engagement and education (as represented by our publishing of books, articles, and newsletters on socially responsible investing), our advisors’ participation in local events, educational activities, and local green economy organizing, and our Heart Rating of sustainable and responsible mutual funds, which explains the nuances of criteria used by fund managers.
We were also characterized as having an environmentally sustainable business model through our cloud-based, paperless offices as well as our advisors’ commitment to practices such as recycling, on-site composting, water conservation, and renewable energy.
For the third time, we are pleased to announce Natural Investments was rated “Best for the World” by B Lab, the national organization certifying B Corps worldwide. This award is reserved for the top 10% among over 2000 B Corps that are certified based on a company’s commitment to responsible environmental, social, and governance policies and practices. Natural Investments, now in its 10th year of certification, receives high marks not only for the types of investments it facilitates for investors in addressing social and environmental issues, but for internal practices regarding our own ecological footprint, including supply chain commitments to buying local and green, our civic engagement and charitable giving, and our transparency and accountability.
While we engage in responsible practices because it’s the right thing to do, we also take seriously our role as leaders in our industry and in our communities.
Being a B Corp reflects our values as a firm; and, of course, the purpose of our work is that this way of operating may soon become the norm rather than the exception.