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Discovering Unexpected Approaches to Doing Good at BLD NYC

Last Thursday I had the great pleasure of attending BLD: NYC B Corp Leadership Development 2016. Common beliefs and shared values are a wonderful part of any B Corp gathering, but it’s the creativity in approaches to using business as a force for good that I find really intriguing.

The most illuminating conversations I have are often with people in industries that don’t intuitively seem aligned with the B Corp approach to business. Even when I can’t imagine how a certain type of company can be a force for good, they are.

Here’s the story behind four B Corps doing good in unexpected ways. (Click to Tweet!)

1. Turnstile Tours – Tours Reimagined for Good

Turnstile Tours partners with for-benefit organizations like BLDG 92, The Street Vendor Project and the New York City Economic Development Corporation to put on tours in New York City. It’s part of their mission to advance public knowledge about the meaning of place, foster connections between diverse individuals and create engaging experiences for people in New York City.

Take a Food Cart Tour to taste food from all over the world and hear the stories of the vendors selling it or take a Public Market Tour to explore the publicly-owned markets and learn about the connections between immigrant communities and local food systems. Take a tour of The Brooklyn Navy Yard to learn how this historical shipbuilding hotspot has become a model for sustainable urban industrial parks and a haven for local artisans and small businesses. 5% of the profits of each tour ticket goes to the partner organization to help further its mission.

2. One Village Coffee – Coffee + Community

There are lots of good coffee companies out there, but One Village takes that goodness to the next level. This founding B Corp works to connect coffee growers, roasters and drinkers to form a single village of people working together towards equitable prosperity.

One Village donated the coffee for BLD and supplies coffee for homeless shelters all over Philadelphia. To date, they’ve donated coffee to accompany over 100,000 meals! Their coffee is certified Fair Trade and USDA organic and comes in compostable bags. One Village is also donating money to build bee colonies in the COSMA co-op in Honduras and donating funds to provide de-worming medicine for 500,000 children in Nigeria in efforts to support the growers who are part of their “village.”

3. The Eco Laundry Company – Doing Good With Dirty Pants

Founder Phillipe Christodoulou is a self-described “Relentless eco-entrepreneur trying to save the world one pair of dirty pants at a time.”

The Eco Laundry Company started in Argentina and now has a location in NYC, with franchising across the US.

There are lots of “green” laundries and drycleaners out there, but very few of them make eco-friendly choices across multiple areas of operation. Phillipe is changing that.

The Eco Laundry Company runs on pure wind energy, uses washing machines that require less water and uses only biodegradable soaps and detergents. They’re a 1% for the planet member and have taken extensive measures to minimize their carbon footprint and support water conservation efforts. This is what a real green laundry looks like.

4. Postcard.com – Revolution Via the USPS

Postcard Impact provides a platform through which people can design and distribute postcards to support social movements. They’ll print and deliver the postcards anywhere in the world. Other offerings include Postcard Educate, a program through which students can participate in grassroots organizing and action, Postcard Edition which is for sharing art prints and messages and Postcard Embrace.

You can learn more about the crucial social movements Postcard has helped support here.

There are no “justs” in the B Corp community – The Eco Laundry Company isn’t just a laundry service and Postcard.com isn’t just a printer. In this group, everyone is working to achieve widespread benefit that goes beyond the expected. What’s the most unexpected approach to doing good you’ve encountered? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

In search of more ways to make doing good a part of your operations? Sign up to get Pegable blog posts sent right to your inbox with ideas, advice and resources on activating your company’s Purpose.

The Company Crush series spotlights companies using inventive business models to create positive change in the world. By sharing their stories, we hope to inspire more people to use business as a force for good.

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Anne is a strategic partner to RoundPeg, offering consulting on select projects to figure out how to use marketing to help people make good choices. In her free time, she enjoys sampling obscure teas, spending as much time at the beach as possible and spoiling her darling rescue dogs, Molly and Phoebe. An impassioned communicator and people person, Anne enjoys bringing people together and offering advice to anyone who wants it [or doesn’t]. See more posts by Anne.
Comments
  • Rob Thomas
    Reply
     

    Through Social Venture Neteork we have established a networking event each evening and now for a day or two after the event as well. We find a relaxed space to further explore concepts and relationships after a few days of fast paced speakers and breakouts allows to really deepen relationships. This has worked for almost three decades!!

  • Alison Klein
    Reply
     

    Rob – So sorry I missed your comment before. That is awesome! I feel like conferences are such a whirlwind of activity I never get to sit back and really digest what’s going on with like-minded professionals. Post-event events are unusual but they also make so much sense. Thanks for reading – maybe we’ll see YOU at an event soon 🙂 Best ~ Alison

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