best for Colorado challenge launch

Colorado Innovation Network May 12, 2017

good business – it’s our nature

It’s well known that Colorado is at the forefront of global entrepreneurship; we also lead the way in corporate responsibility. Colorado is home to some of the most innovative, inspiring and impactful companies in the world, with thriving industry sectors such as renewable energy, clean tech, natural and organic foods and outdoor recreation leading the way.

With one of the highest concentrations of Certified B Corporations – or “B Corps” – in the world, Colorado is a place where companies embrace the notion that their purpose in business is not only to generate private wealth but also to create higher quality jobs for Colorado’s citizens, to strengthen our communities and to protect the environment. B Corps voluntarily meet rigorous global standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. There are over 2000 Certified B Corporations around the world, including almost 100 in Colorado. Notable Colorado B Corps include New Belgium Brewing, Bhakti Chai, Madhava Sweeteners, Door to Door Organics, Foundry Group, Colorado Impact Fund, Techstars, Newton Running, Gary Community Investments, Moye White LLP and many others.

Colorado also has one of the highest concentrations of benefit corporations in the United States and was one of the earliest states to pass benefit corporation legislation – now available in 31 US states plus the District of Columbia. Benefit corporations are a new for-profit corporate form that holds a company legally accountable for the interests of their workers, communities and the environment.

B Lab, the global nonprofit behind B Corporations, opened a full-time office in Colorado in 2014 thanks to a generous grant from The Piton Foundation. The significant growth in the responsible business community in Colorado in recent years, including a 300%+ increase in Certified B Corporations, is due in large part to this focused statewide effort.

a global movement

Businesses seeking to channel innovation and talent to help address our planet’s most pressing social and environmental challenges are some of the most important trends of our time. There are already tens of millions of consumers, investors and workers who want to align their purchases, investments and employment decisions with their values, and these trends will only accelerate. Research shows that Millennials are seeking meaningful work and investments that make money and make a difference, and since they represent 50% of the global workforce already and will inherit $40 trillion in the coming decades, they will shape labor and capital markets like no other generation in human history. With its vibrant innovation and impact-focused ecosystem, Colorado is well-positioned to lead the way in contributing to – and benefitting from – these global trends.

good business pays

Most credible sources from McKinsey to Deloitte to Harvard Business Review all agree that companies that measure and improve their impacts on society and the environment perform better. Goldman Sachs reports that “companies that are the leaders in sustainable, social and good governance policies have 25% higher stock values than their less sustainable competitors.” Price Waterhouse Coopers reports that “there is a positive, statistically significant, linear association between sustainability and corporate financial performance.” In other words, responsible business practices are not only the right thing to do, they are good for business.

best for colorado – accelerating good business

And while Colorado is home to so many leaders in good business, we have room to grow. 2017 marks the launch of Best for Colorado, a program designed to equip and celebrate ALL companies in Colorado who use their business as a force for good – creating more high quality jobs, stronger communities and a healthier environment for our state. The program is a cross-sector partnership between B Lab, Colorado Certified B Corporations, more than 30 local organizations include the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT).

Participating companies access unique marketing and technical assistance resources, increasing their ability to attract and retain customers and talent, access capital and build more resilient businesses. By taking the Best for Colorado Challenge, companies compete not only to be the best in Colorado, but the Best for Colorado.