Ecotrust Forest Management (EFM) recently gained certification as a B Corp, a fast-growing corporate designation that requires participating companies meet a triple bottom line: high environmental and community standards, in addition to delivering financial returns to shareholders. The certification comes through B Lab, a leading advocate for corporate reform. More than 500 companies are certified nationwide, and California recently added its name to a list of seven states that have passed legislation making benefit corporations a new, legal corporate class.
EFM has been working since 2004 to develop a style of forest management that boosts economic activity and jobs in Northwest communities while restoring long-term forest health and productivity. With 12,000 acres of private forestland under management in Washington and Oregon, EFM has been able to leverage the environmental and social benefits generated by its management to win conservation grants, financing for carbon storage, open space easements and tax credits.
“We chose to become a B Corp because we believe that long term stewardship of forestland is fundamental to our business model and that having strong social and environmental governance are critical to achieving our objectives,” says EFM CEO Bettina von Hagen. “We share these common values with B Lab and appreciate their legitimacy as an independent third party in assessing the environmental and social claims. We are also seeking investor and stakeholder communities that share our values and the B Corp community meets that standard.”
WATCH: B-Lab founder Jay Gilbert on how B Corps are changing the way we do business.