Today, Ecotrust Forest Management was recognized for its positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab, by being named to the third annual “B Corp Best for the World” list. The Best for the World list honors 92 businesses worldwide that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community, and the environment. Honorees were recognized among micro, small, and mid-sized businesses.
Ecotrust Forest Management is an Ecotrust subsidiary that manages over 17,000 acres of Northwest forestland on behalf of investors and forestland owners to enhance forest health and productivity, and to produce a diverse array of forest products and services including timber, biomass, carbon, and improved habitat and water quality.
Other highlighted companies include CDI Lan, a Brazilian education and training company generating income and employability in low income communities through internet cafes, d.light design, a manufacturer and distributor of solar lighting and power products providing access to reliable, affordable, renewable energy for nearly 30 million people in 60 countries, and Sunrise Banks, a Minnesota community bank supporting affordable housing, small business development, and not-for-profits.
“EFM is honored to be named among the top B Corps in the world, for the second year in a row.
We are committed to demonstrating an alternative approach to managing forests in the region — one that can be financially competitive, while at the same time beneficial to the health and resilience of ecosystems and rural communities,” says Bettina von Hagen, CEO of Ecotrust Forest Management.
“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 is critical to achieving our objectives,” von Hagen continues. “We share these common values with B Lab and appreciate their legitimacy as an independent third party in assessing environmental and social claims. We are also seeking investor and stakeholder communities that share our values, and the B Corp community meets that standard.”
The Best for the World companies come from 31 different industries such as manufacturing, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and real estate. A majority operate in a service industry, including 17 honorees in financial services and 15 in environmental consulting. 30% of honorees are based outside the US with 15 companies operating in emerging markets, such as Afghanistan, Kenya and Colombia. (Full list at bestfortheworld.bcorporation.net)
“Employees, consumers, investors, and policy makers increasingly want to support companies that create a positive impact in the world and the Best for the World honorees are the best of the best,” said Jay Coen Gilbert, co-founder of B Lab, the nonprofit organization that certifies B Corporations and governs the independent third party standard used to generate the comparable assessment of corporate impact. “It’s particularly inspiring that 21% of the 2014 honorees are first time winners but long time B Corps. They’re winning the race to the top.”
Each honored company is a Certified B Corporation. They use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and have met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are over 970 certified B Corporations, across 60 industries and 32 countries, unified by one common goal: to redefine success in business.
B Lab will release separate lists recognizing the companies Best for the Environment (environmental impact), Best for the Community (community impact), and Best for Workers (employee impact) throughout 2014.