Love when the conversation turns to certifications! A couple interesting points:

- the negative implications of certifying via phone. I definitely get that (could be super easy to be super sketchy) but as a co-owner of a small business in Guatemala, I also understand the costs of certification are REAL. Flying someone in to do the inspection for so many days, having to pay for their time and lodging and everything… it’s made certifications completely out of our reach.

- the mention of recyclable straws pushing too much of the responsibility on to the consumers. 100% agree companies, especially large companies with influence, must be proactive in making changes that are socially, environmentally, and ethically driven so those options are more accessible. However, the realities of the capitalist world we live in make doing responsible business expensive. Consumers have to be the source of change as it is their decision (to purchase) which is the financial incentive and reward, i.e. a business that survives. Maybe I’m jaded but it just doesn’t seem like there are enough consumers who truly care enough to demand that their products do as little harm as possible by being willing to pay for that model. The big box model seems to be winning at every turn. So agreeing that certifications are lacking and consumer’s should educate themselves on what they actually do (and don’t) certify, do you have any ideas on how a small business can communicate aspects of their business and model that they’re proud of without a, shall we say, stamp of approval? Focusing on making sure internal factors are as great as can be is of course excellent, and should be done regardless because that’s just right, however it also is a great way to connect with like minded folks who might support your product. How can those cool values and practice be communicated to help ensure the survival of the business (and therefore those ideal practices)?

PS: Thanks for the great conversations always!

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Anyone can go to the Bcorp site and start an assessment. Its free and very enlightening and educational. One thing that becomes clear is how cross cutting ethical business issues are. It’s an excellent tool and the verification process is not accurately portrayed in this article. No mention is made, for instance, of the documentation that must be submitted.

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