We’ve all seen the ads. Telus employees planting trees. Dawn employees releasing penguins back into the ocean. WestJet passengers receiving the gift of their dreams. But what’s the difference between making a commercial about the good you’re doing, and actually integrating that good work into your company mandate?

There are a growing number of companies that want to do more than the odd give-back project. And it’s becoming the norm for customers to demand a higher level of transparency and accountability. Gone are the days of buying from mammoth companies, not knowing where the product came from or how it was made. Consumers want to know that their go-to brands share their values and care about their community. We have embraced think global, act local.

B-Corporation certification is a movement to grow and establish companies that place making a positive social impact on par with making a profit. The theory behind it says that business can be about more than just money – it can be good for the planet too. This means businesses voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, being accountable to customers, vetting suppliers and closely monitoring manufacturing processes to ensure fairness, safety and low environmental impact.

The certification process is intensive, but the end results are businesses with higher quality jobs, and higher quality of life for their employees, clients and customers – all while driving the economy.

B-Lab has certified over 1,000 businesses in the United States and Canada. Companies are giving their time, capital and effort to getting inducted into this new level of business.

Unsurprisingly, there has been huge interest in B-Corp certification from Guelph-based companies.

Last October Innovation Guelph held a workshop on becoming B-Corp certified. Over 30 companies came out to learn about B-Corps, and 10 immediately signed on to receive mentorship from IG to go through the certification process.

Creating a higher quality of life and strengthening the community through business is at the core of Innovation Guelph’s work. We want to help as many businesses complete the certification as possible. Our goal is to make Guelph the B-Corp capital of Canada.

With that in mind we are going to post a blog series highlighting the efforts and successes of a few of our clients who went through the certification process. You’ll read about their experience, how it has impacted their business, and what the changes they made mean for Guelph and the planet.

“Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders”. The growth of B-Corps means greater economic opportunity, addressing the most pressing environmental problems, and more employee satisfaction and fulfillment.  Companies right here in Guelph are redefining success in business and bringing these benefits to our community. Stay tuned to read about three Innovation Guelph clients who got B Corp Certified!

P.S. You can still register for B Corp Bootcamp 2015! Register here.