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What Is Best for Colorado?

Across Colorado’s business community, a variety of initiatives are working to help grow the sustainability movement. All these initiatives share a common vision: accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. These initiatives highlight and share best practices and tools, giving companies the opportunity to learn from their peers and to join of a movement that is working for good.

You may have heard about B Corp certification, B Local Colorado, the Best for Colorado program, and benefit corporations. We know the intersections and unique qualities of these concepts can be confusing, so we have created a guide to help distinguish between these different tools, initiatives, and organizations.

Organization, Program, or Certification?

  • Best for Colorado is a program and a challenge run by The Alliance Center, which invites all Colorado companies to measure and improve their social and environmental impact, regardless of where they are on their corporate social responsibility journey.
  • B Corp certification is a certification of performance, like LEED certification for buildings or FairTrade certification for coffee. B Corps are certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. To be certified, a company has to meet the legal requirement of a benefit corporation; meaning they must consider the impact of their decisions on all their stakeholders. Because of these high-standards, the B Corp community represents the leaders of the movement to use business as a force for good.
  • B Local Colorado is a non-profit organization that serves as the home of engagement and volunteer opportunities for the Colorado community of Certified B corporations – creating space to connect, grow and give back to the communities where they work and live.

Where should your company engage?

Best for Colorado is specifically designed to engage all businesses on the path to positive impact, regardless of whether B Corp certification is a goal for their organization. The Best for Colorado program is the prime business environment for a company curious to learn more and assess its performance in corporate social responsibility with no fees, legal requirements, of any sort. Companies self-report their information for the Best for Colorado program, allowing them to start from any place on their sustainability journey.

Certified B Corps go through a more in-depth process. B Corp requirements include meeting a minimum level of performance on the full Impact Assessment and making a legal commitment to adopt the benefit corporation status and the requirements to consider shareholders in decision making. B Corps also receive additional benefits as a result, and there is a fee associated with the certification.

A close partnership to grow the sustainability movement in Colorado

Best for Colorado is a program focused on business improvement by connecting companies to local resources and programming. Best for Colorado is valuable to ordinary businesses but also to B Corps who are looking to improve their practices and to receive support along the way.

After launching the Best for Colorado challenge, B Lab transferred the reins of the program to The Alliance Center in October, 2018. B Lab will continue to be a strategic parter for the program, providing technological support and administering the full B Impact Assessment. Certified B Corporations in Colorado are invited to engage with Best for Colorado in in a few ways: In a leadership capacity, by serving as a mentor or speaker, or by sharing stories and best practices to inspire other Best for Colorado companies to follow in their footsteps. They are also invited to engage in the program as a participant, to utilize the impact improvement education and resources. This is a great way for B Corps to improve their B Impact score before recertification!

The Alliance Center to head Best for Colorado program

In May, The Alliance Center was honored to celebrate the Best for Colorado Awards with B Lab and the Best for Colorado partners. It was a thrill to spend the evening with an amazing group of leaders who are using their forces for good – harnessing the power of business to not only be the best in Colorado but also to be the best FOR Colorado.

Here at The Alliance Center, we connect people to inspire impact. We drive collaborative solutions to create a sustainable future – a future where our communities are inclusive, our democracy is strong, our economy thrives and our planet is healthy. We know that this beautiful vision can only be accomplished through collaboration, especially with the private sector.

We actively work to create a sustainable and inclusive world through our building, using it as an incubator of green building innovation, piloting and testing cutting-edge technology and ideas to reduce greenhouse gases, while enhancing the human experience, and the wellness of community that it serves. We do this through our 50 tenant organizations that are leaders in the sustainability movement in Colorado.

We do this through our impact programming that convenes government, nonprofit, academia and for profit stakeholders to drive collaborative solutions for the largest problems we face in our economy, our environment and our communities. But, a sustainable future is not possible without leadership and innovations from private sector. Colorado has one of the highest percentages of B Corp certified businesses in the country. We are already leading the way.

This is why The Alliance Center is thrilled to announce that we are closely with B Lab to transfer Best for Colorado over to the Alliance Center as the new Program Lead.

We can’t wait to harness the power and passion of the community of Colorado B Corp leaders and Best for Colorado participants, and together with B Local, B Lab and many other partners, continue to help companies deepen and measure their impact. We see this evolution of the Best for Colorado program as an incredible opportunity to play a more central role in creating a thriving regional economy that honors community, respects nature, and engages others in this powerful movement.

We each play a role in moving this important work forward, individually, and collectively. In addition to our roles as employees, business owners or leaders in the community, we each also harness individual power to align our daily choices with our values. Each of us votes multiple times everyday with our dollars. We the people have the purchasing power to drive a galvanizing movement. Ready to vote wisely with your dollars? Check out these resources:

When the power of the people voting with their dollars is paired with the inspirational leadership we are seeing from our B Corp and Best for Colorado communities, this movement will be unstoppable! But only if we fully engage, inspire others to step up and make it possible for even more to join.

We at The Alliance Center are incredibly excited to lead this program and begin working to diligently transform the business paradigm, fully embracing the true power we hold and harnessing that power to be the best for Colorado, and the best for the world.

Written by Brenna Simmons-St. Onge, The Alliance Center Executive Director