Trenton Miller, Principal Software Engineer & Sustainability Program Manager
After a multi-year team effort, Commerce Architects is excited to announce that we have completed the review process and are now a certified B-Corp. We are proud to join hundreds of other businesses worldwide in a collective effort to shift our global economy’s behavior, incentives, and culture to one that values people over profit.
What is B-Corp again?
Certified B Corporations are for-profit businesses (such as ours) that have met high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors such as employee benefits, charitable giving, and sustainable business practices. To achieve certification, Commerce Architects had to prove we had met the following standards:
We demonstrated high social and environmental performance by achieving a B Impact Assessment score of 85.5 points (80 minimum).
We changed our corporate governance structure to be accountable to all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
Exhibit transparency by allowing information about our performance measured against B Lab’s standards to be publicly available on our B Corp Profile on B Lab’s website.
Why did we do it?
Commerce Architects define success using multiple criteria, including much more than bottom-line profit. Through previous exercises, we identified our environmental impact, community engagement, and worker satisfaction as essential elements of measuring our success as a company.
In addition to our own goals as a business, we recognize that the future currently being created by society will pass on societal and ecological challenges to future generations. In light of this likely future, we have a responsibility to do what we can to ensure we pass on a safe and habitable planet for those who come after us.
B Corp certification provides us a framework that we can use to understand better how a business like ours can support the growing movement to make business a force for good. This encompasses everything we do, from how we work and travel to where we invest and who we choose as our clients and partners.
For more context, we previously wrote an entire blog post discussing why we, as a company, decided to pursue B-Corp certification, which you can view here.
What did we do to achieve it?
The certification process requires rigor, focus, and a significant investment of time and resources. Most importantly, it demands a deep internal alignment as to how we walk our talk every day regarding environmental and social sustainability.
As we worked through this process, we identified a few key initiatives we could tackle within our business that would not only increase our score in the B-Corp evaluation but also feel aligned with our priorities as a business and worthy of implementation.
Some key changes we made:
Built and integrated the DEW Environment Management System, which allows us to estimate our company’s environmental footprint. With that information available, we could then purchase offsets and credits to support initiatives promoting clean energy and water and forest restoration.
Moved our primary offices, from an older building with very little energy and water efficient infrastructure, to one of the largest zero-carbon, zero-energy buildings in North America.
Created a minimum for our company donations to ensure that regardless of employee participation, we always donate significant funds to causes that support our community.
In addition to the changes we made, we also received guidance and support throughout the certification process from the local social impact consultant Measure Meant.
What comes next?
Now that we’ve officially achieved B-Corp certification, we have a few ideas about what we’d like to prioritize next.
First and foremost, continue to improve our score! The B-Impact assessment has so many great ideas for how to build upon and improve business practices, and we’ve not yet been able to implement them all! At Commerce Architects, we are always looking to improve, so we will continue to look at opportunities identified by the assessment and try to work them into our business practices. As a side note, the B-Impact Assessment will change significantly in the next few years, and we look forward to seeing the new questions and format so we can have new ideas about how to be the best B-Corp we can be.
Beyond improving our assessment score and business practices further, we are very interested in working with companies that share our values. We hope to find opportunities that will allow us to connect to and work with fellow B-Corps. If you want to improve your AWS-based application’s sustainability, consider checking out our Sustainability-Focused Well-Architected Framework Review offering.
There is so much more to be done in the movement to make business a force for good, and we are excited to be joining and participating in those efforts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask if you have any questions about our efforts to achieve B-Corp certification or our sustainability-focused offerings.