Danielle and Brandon talk about the purpose driven company movement, triple bottom lines, B-Corporations and other ideas to run your business with other missions than just profits alone.

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welcome back to the on business podcast with tons of experience in different
Industries in Canada and the United States Danielle and Brandon give you real talk no-nonsense expert advice
about running and owning successful companies here’s your host Danielle Jenkins and Brandon White
started calling it purposeful business because it used to be honest it used to be maybe it’s still a triple bottom line
or socially responsible business
yeah I think um so here under four it says linked to
authenticity this trend is all about ensuring your organization or company exists to serve a meaningful purpose and
not just serve up profits to shareholders um purpose defines why the organization
exists not what the organization is or what it does or for who therefore purpose is different to mission and
vision importantly a strong purpose has the promise of transformation or striving for something better be it a
better world a better way to do something or whatever is important to your organization so thought it was a
very cool topic to talk about because do businesses
do they have this and why is it so important for like why did Forbes consider it an important trend for 2022
so I thought we should talk about it and uh because I think it’s interesting
well a few things I think it’s a trend because it’s become
a trendy thing to say but the challenge has been
that legally and I think this is true and I know it’s true in the United States and
it’s certainly true and can uh I know it’s certainly true in the United States I’m pretty sure it’s the same in Canada
is as a corporation you have a fiduciary fiduciary responsibility to your
shareholders first and the famous case in this
field was Ben and Jerry’s ice cream when they sold to Unilever and they did not
want to sell to Unilever when they sold Ben and Jerry’s they wanted to sell to another company that was more socially
responsible so purposeful company socially responsible whatever
triple bottom line whatever you want to say and they did not and could not have
sell because they needed to optimize for the shareholders and felt that they
would be sued if they sold Ben and Jerry’s for a lower price taking social
responsibility into account so that’s the the quote unquote famous case out
there that has led to this the reason that I know so much about this is because
I helped get legislation passed in the United States and Maryland was the first
state to do this to actually create what they’ve called a benefit corporation
which is a purposeful Corporation and uh Jamie Raskin was the Maryland’s
I guess he’s a senator rep whatever he is in law in lawmaker that
really pushed it through and then the group who created a nonprofit called B corporation which
created the benefit Corporation they were founders of a company called And1 as in and one in basketball and they had
a clothing company and came up with this idea and the challenge which the Ben and
Jerry’s ice cream company example illustrates was that legally
they just couldn’t do that so this law that we got passed actually
changed the legal language to say that you could take three the triple bottom line into
account so it was the shareholders but it was also your community and the
environment I’m dumbing that down a little bit into big categories but it said that that legally was allowed and
we were the our fishing clothing company which is still
lingering around was the first B Corporation in the United States that there it there might have been like
one minute or something difference between one us and one other person but I but but nonetheless we are
the first B Corporation in the United States and then that that has since prolific proliferated to other states
and we got an award for it um I thought it was important mainly because
it’s very hard not to take these other things into account but if at the end of
the day the legal language doesn’t support it and you wind up getting sued then you just cost yourself more money
by trying to do something good so that that’s effectively and you can now
in the United States in I don’t know how many states have already adopted it I’m pretty sure Delaware which Delaware in
the United States is where most corporations register because the case law
for businesses is in their favor for the most part so
you’ll you will hear businesses most public companies register in Delaware you’ll also see some Florida in some
Wyoming and maybe some Las Vegas I mean Las Vegas Nevada but for the most part
the the big state that they needed to get past with Delaware and I’m pretty sure they created a benefit Corporation
in Delaware so the the triple bottom line is one of those things that now legally if if you register but I
don’t I’m not a lawyer so if you’re listening Danielle and I aren’t giving legal advice you need to talk to your lawyer because it can have tremendous
impact on your business if you are not registered or there isn’t the equivalent in Canada you do risk getting sued by
the shareholders for not optimizing profit I mean that is if you’re so if you’re a sole owner and
you own all the shares in your C Corp or whatever equivalent then it doesn’t matter
but if you have any sort of investors that’s when it becomes complicated so
that’s some history of what’s happened in the United States around this purposeful
business which I think is what they mean by that don’t you think from
what you read yeah for sure um I think it is interesting because
ultimately when it comes down to business at the end of the day whether unless you’re like a non-for-profit
organization we’re all in business to make money whether it’s you’re self-employed or whether you have your
shareholders whether you’re a person like a one-person show a 10-person show or a 100 person show and ultimately we
need to make money and so crazy that law is involved because
I like having you know obviously for us I want to make money that’s my job that’s what I want to do or I wouldn’t
have this company that I do however I do want to make sure that my company
is purposeful you know we’re trying to be sustainable like our product line we
are sustainable we are biodegradable so that helps with the environment we do you know living wage certified so that
helps with our economy um and the economics and our employees um we do a lot of charitable stuff so
there’s like our philanthropy um philanthropic um aspect so there’s like so many good gracious things that our company is a
part of But ultimately if it came down to the law and we had to decide whether you know I
stopped giving so much money because our shareholders are going to get annoyed things like that so it’s quite
interesting that this is actually a quote unquote Trend that is coming in
um and while you were talking I actually looked up because you were asking if it is in Canada
um if we have B Corp so uh B Corp um we do have B Corps here
um the first BDC was the First Financial
institution in Canada to receive a b Corp certification
um the certification reaffirms our unwavering commitment to creating greater economic social and
environmental value for Canada and its entrepreneurs um in February
2022 there were over
4673 certified B corporations across 155 Industries and 78 countries including
Canada okay so Canada had 78 companies that were B Corp as of February 2022
this year so there you go the the B Corp the B Corp certification is part of the B
Corporation non-profit uh that certifies you which
has some requirements that you have to show what you’re you have to put out a report effectively every year it could
have changed a little bit since we were involved I keep up with it just tangently now one of the companies that
we have I think I want to make a b Corp but the you can for listeners
you can become B Corp certified without having the legal
Corporation with the the government registered but it is important at some
point to make sure in a sale
that you are registered Corporation in a
State Province wherever you are that supports and and has the benefit actual
Corporation so what we’re talking about here Danielle is the a C Corp an LLC in the United States a
uh S Corp designation or a sole proprietorship which really nobody should have but the it’s
an official designation so with C Corp with an LLC there is actually a benefit
Corp so you can become B Corp domestic Divas could become a
corporation certified but then you want to make sure that you go back and change your corporate papers
and register in a state that does that so that you’re aligned so that’s it it’s a little bit confusing but it’s it is
similar to becoming certified in something else and it’s a good designation because you you are
audited they do require this annual audit so to speak where you have to put out a report of what you’ve done and
really that holds you accountable and it communicates to your customers and and
other people that you are actually doing it yeah I think it’s interesting
um I I was looking up here some B Corps in Canada and there’s some very cool
ones that really are in industries that you almost wouldn’t think and I
obviously we would have to look into it more and see like what they’re actually doing uh for these things but there’s a
company out of Vancouver called all-purpose creative Inc and they are a creative agency so they have freelance
writers designers illustrators videographers things like that and they are a certified B Corp
um and it says here all purpose is a creative agency we help organizations Drive positive change through the design
and creation of experiences and products we believe inside every organization
there are people who are ready to change the world so that’s interesting because you know a design company you wouldn’t
like off the top of your head what are you thinking would there would be their economic or environmental change or
impact to to the the community right um there’s a few other ones this good
gift code they do um gift baskets and things between
businesses so I could hire them for you know to buy gifts for your business
um sustainable Advantage now this one sounds like it could be something that would make sense
because so they work with companies
to integrate sustainability strategies into their existing company strategies
so that’s interesting and I think that that’s a cool one um that applies really well
I think the services businesses that are part of that and there’s a a bunch of them in the United States I believe
can have an impact because you could use solar instead of using coal electricity you could be doing things in your
community as a a company you could take into account when you
sell or if you sell that you’re going to sell to what you believe is a socially responsible company that is
uh taking you over so to speak and taking care of your employees that
that socially responsible and environmental that two other prongs to it there’s a lot of things that you could
do you could you know Patagonia is a company that allows and they’re not the only one
they’re just the one that came to mind that they allow a certain amount of hours a year
paid if people are doing other non-profit
work so they actually I don’t know what the number is but say you get 40 hours a year that you’re paid
that Patagonia pays their employees to go work for these non-profit efforts for
volunteer work yeah so that would be an example where a Service Company could
still be a triple bottom line company I think it’s like you were saying when you have a
product it’s easier to think okay well we’re going to do biodegradable cleaning stuff we’re going to do recycled uh car
um packaging we’re going to do these what seem
tangible but you could also in and this is a coveted thing but if you allow people
in administrative jobs to work from home you’re effectively reducing the carbon
footprint given that most people don’t have electric cars and and I I don’t I
do have an electric car I don’t want to sound like this big advocate for electric cars because electric cars aren’t always good there’s there you
could still power the electric car with coal electricity so if you’re not sort
of making sure the grid is clean then that doesn’t mean it but there’s all these things that you
can do you can buy office furniture it sounds dumb but you could buy office furniture that’s only made of recyclable
material yeah plastic wood um there’s tons of things that like today
I’m actually I need a new table top for our in studio desk and I was and I’m gonna I was gonna make
one I was like I can just go to a recycled or refurbished or whatever they
call it wood place which we have here in Half Moon Bay and go instead of buying one from Ikea I’m not busting on Ikea
because I think Ikea has recycled materials instead of going there and buying
another new thing I could just go to this other place and find one that you know can be
refurbished so I think all those little they sound trivial but they do add up
it just adds to being a good you know company or business owner
um I mean we do so many things but are we B Corp certified so now it’s making my head spin because
ultimately could I get in trouble for doing some of these things if they
are affecting the bottom line for shareholders um well the question let me so I think
we need to talk about that a little bit and unpack it again not a lawyer but I do have experience in this
you if you I think that
most of it revolves around a sale of the company however you make a very valid
point that what if you are allocating what what could be seen as a significant
amount of your GNA to the toy matching drive that you do every year right and
and is that could a shareholder come back and say well we think you’re doing too much charitable work it’s an
interesting thing that at least
the organization of the corporation as a b
Corp would protect you more but I want to be clear that just because you’re B Corp certified
doesn’t mean that that would protect you you would need to go reincorporate as an
actual B Corporation different than the designation that you are now
because the certification itself is really an outward facing
certification it’s not illegal you have to take that extra step but right it’s a
good question like yeah I mean if you have shareholders do you you don’t have any shareholders I don’t know
um but I mean it’s a general conversation like or like a general topic because if I did
charitable work is very important to me like I donate a lot of money personal
and Company to community initiatives um programs that need funding events
that you know are for the community Splash Pad things like that so I do a
lot of that so if one day I have three other shareholders and they really don’t
give a about the the splash pad that we just donated forty thousand dollars to
it could it be detrimental it could be an issue right so these are important things to talk about because for anybody who maybe is starting a business or has
a business and maybe wants to do more you know be Corp stuff this is something
to think about especially if you’re planning on becoming even larger you know once you hit say 10 million you
have more shareholders things like that I mean it’s very it’s important things to think about you don’t want to be in that position and then get screwed
no I think you just have to if you do have shareholders you need to be aligned but people change and
people’s opinions change and you know it’s not bad I think that
one thing that I wouldn’t want to happen
that I think some movements have tried to make happen is that
making money is bad and it’s evil and all these things like it
maybe money is not bad it is not evil and there’s nothing wrong with it that
if if people didn’t make money in business we wouldn’t have what we have
in fact the irony that were some of these narratives come from is from large
non-profits that were founded by entrepreneurs who made a bunch of money so uh you know you
wouldn’t even have a job if you if if entrepreneurs didn’t in entrepreneur or
entrepreneurs didn’t create these things so money is not evil I think it is weaponized and I think it’s dangerous
I think doing the right thing should just be doing the right thing that’s why I grew up it wasn’t called a triple bottom line
and that was sort of a movement that came a decade or two ago and now that’s being called purposeful business
I think it just really just be a FN responsible citizen of Earth
yeah like a half decent person like just be a good human on earth and and
try to take care of other people it doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t mean everybody needs to like you and it
doesn’t mean that you will like everyone there’s seven billion people on this Earth I think
I can accept that I’m not going to like everyone and they’re not going to like me but it doesn’t mean that we don’t
share the same planet or the same place and that
we should probably try to take care of it so I think it’s it’s like why do we even have to
why do we even have to create these Frameworks around just being
a good Ethan human actually I I have to add that
um add to that little point that you just made when people always say well why is this a thing or why is this why
do we need this or why is this in this contract and like 99 of the time it’s because
somebody has created a problem about it or bitched about it or something and I
have to laugh so on Monday I was with um my lawyers doing the documentation for the closing of this condo and so
because it’s a Condo building in a city there’s going to be noise obviously
because you know on one side you have a Starbucks and a McDonald’s and things
like that on the other side you have some grass and some townhouses and whatever so one of the documents that
the condo Court made a sign were um you know I Danielle Jenkins uh will
not Sue or or create issues and I
acknowledge that the condo is in a city that there will be noise
and I laughed and he said you laughing you’re laughing he says but it’s because somebody’s bitched about buying a condo
in this building and they don’t like the noise and so you know we started laughing
about it and he was telling me about a story how somebody bought a home in this beautiful area and uh the back of it was
really close to an air strip like a airplane strip and after they bought this house they
came back to the realtor and tried to do the realtor for selling them a home that is very noisy and they didn’t realize
how noisy it was going to be you just bought a house next to a airstrip so of course it’s going to be
noisy so you know it’s funny that you said this but back to the point about the the B Corp like why do we need to
have this is it because some greedy shareholder got pissed off
with somebody donating too much money to charity or didn’t give a about the environment and all just just wanted all
the money um who knows that’s because the laws say you only optimize for profits and it
never took into account the other things I mean that’s a literal answer
but it but a lot of it to your points because it’s funny when you said the
noise thing we had a this is this is actually a thing here in Half Moon Bay
there is fog here occasionally and most of the time it’s sitting right offshore but there’s fog and
there’s foghorns oh amazing Foghorn novel idea uh lighthouses novel
ideas the a person moved into Half Moon Bay
and the fog horn the main the main fog horn
is on a a reefer shelf that’s
on the North End Of Half Moon Bay off a pillar point so which Pillar Point
Jets out into the ocean because Half Moon Bay is sort of a bay and you could
easily come in towards Shore and then hit this point and run it run aground
and it’s sort of a cool thing like I listen for that
every night when if you open your window you can hear the fog horn on and it’s sort of this you can hear the ocean and
the Foghorn it’s sort of cool he complained that he thought the fog
horn was too loud and was disrupting him sleep now the fog horn is loud
because if you’re on a ship or a boat and the water is slapping against the
hall you probably won’t freaking hear volume Foghorn I think horn it
designates and to your point like so yeah unfortunately there’s these
and maybe he didn’t do his diligence you didn’t do your diligence you you moved to a community on the effing ocean
the Pacific Ocean the Northern Pacific Ocean which is just a rough spot in a
place that everyone knows has fog I mean that’s what happens when cool air
meets warm air well it makes sense and
you know then you have to create some law that is done so that and then what happens
and I think some of these things are legitimate legitimate concerns if the late if the
people on top of you stomp their feet all day long and you’re on a condo
we’re all living in this thing you got it this just goes back to can you just be a good effing human yeah
do you understand what that would be like for somebody who who I mean but then what happens is it
becomes it spirals right now now we’re trying to protect we have to protect everything and it becomes this crazy
world where it’s like if we’re going to go down that rabbit hole Jesus can you imagine how
long a contract would be yeah it’s your dog can only bark 29
times in a day between the hours of nine and five when I’m not home thank you
I’m just saying like it’s it’s uh so I I think that this social responsibility I think it’s
a good thing I think a triple bottom line is a good thing if you’re not doing it doesn’t mean you’re bad and I’m sure
you still do good things and you know what if you make a lot of money in your
business and you don’t want to do anything
to donate to Charities or anything like that you know what
I might not like it and you might not like it but they get to make that choice because
they did it they’re the owner I think that human you know we could be good humans I’m not saying you should donate
money I’m just saying be a good be a good citizen of Earth but if you don’t want to do that I don’t get to tell you
what to do I can have an opinion that I think it would be nice for you to do something but you don’t get to tell that
person what to do with their money and I think that is a line that the movements
can tend to attack people who don’t do it and I just
don’t think that’s right I mean the one that comes to mind is Steve Jobs a lot of people criticized him that he didn’t give a lot of money to charity and who
knows maybe he did and he just hit it because he didn’t want all these people calling him up asking for money and he
did it through some three shell corpse or something I’m not saying he did or didn’t I’m just saying it’s like the
Elon Musk and world hunger and stuff yeah like why
are you going to Mars when you should be doing world hunger well I mean have you
donated to world hunger are you donating 30 of your income to oh then I can’t afford it Brandon well you definitely
can afford to invest your time in telling someone else what to do I think that maybe you should invest your time
in making more money so that you can further the cause that you’re passionate about right how about how about doing
that because time is currency or if you can’t give money go and give your time
yeah there you go like stop posting on Twitter with your time and go
advocate for what you think you should do I mean it’s just humans are crazy they’re very
predictable animals they’re very predictable animals I’ve been reading that that book again
um what is it called I told you about it um not that you should remember like
Danielle you should remember I’ll just start taking notes what you tell me Brandon thank you that’s a type A
personality for you stolen focus and it’s
it’s the book has I recommend that people read the book and I did in the newsletter
but I tell you it’s gone off the rails Danielle and it’s sort of like this topic it’s that that he has started to
go way off the rails in that this is this is socially responsible he says
that that if you use techniques basically I’m
summarizing if you use techniques that you know we’ll get people to use
your product or that air quotes exploit the dopamine
Rush that you shouldn’t be able to do that and he has gone has far to say
that social media it could be a good idea to make social
media companies a utility like the electric company and let the government run social media companies
which seems to me to say that the government should take over the internet I I don’t know it’s a good book in the
beginning to become aware of these things so that you can stop yourself but um anyway I mean that that’s that’s just
an example of where doing the right thing and then
going too far over the line to say well you know Danielle I actually I don’t
think giving kids toys are important I think you should be getting
uh homeless people I think you should be using that money to build homes we could have built three homes with that forty
thousand dollars that you donated mm-hmm yeah like you don’t where’s your forty
thousand dollar check well I can’t afford it Danielle I can’t afford that well then go and volunteer
to help somebody else build a home for someone that’s all I’m saying plenty I think that I think the point is you just
can’t take this over the line no if somebody does something good that’s their choice uh my opinion in your
opinion is hey be a good citizen of Earth be a good human try to keep your together don’t but
you you’re not entitled to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do I just
I just also at a point to be um my experience this week tipped me
over the edge um three times in the last two months I have either come out of my office or
come out of the grocery store and some has dinged my car
I got one on my driver door I got one on my passenger door that I got buffed out
and fixed two or three weeks ago yesterday I came out of Home Depot
somebody had you know like the long trolley things where they put the long pieces of wood on
it had and it was windy and it had obviously like I guess sideswiped my
passenger door so it scratched the out of my passenger door I am the most accepting forgiving person
if somebody came to me and said I’m so sorry like they waited at my car I’m so
sorry this happened here’s my number get a quote I’ll pay half or something it was so windy I’m so sorry whatever it
may be I have not seen these people I have not gotten numb numbers I haven’t gotten business cards I haven’t gotten
to kiss my ass or anything regarding this so one thing I would like to say is if you accidentally ding someone’s car
please just leave a little note that says I’m so sorry for dinging your car you don’t even have to offer to pay just
acknowledge or or own up to the fact that you just did that because I’m
telling you yesterday when I came out and I saw that I’ve accepted the first two and I’m like you know what it is what it is and got
them fixed and now this one I actually put a rant on Instagram about it because
I am sick and tired of people not being human or decent humans
like just apologize and just at least acknowledge that you’ve done it and not just leave because you obviously know
you’ve done it so that’s just my rant to being interested here ran on Instagram but I
but I caught myself this morning uh looking at it and I turned it off
but yeah I hate that Daniel I I
um I really hate it because the problem is
is that when that happens to your car luckily these dings if you get them you can
pull them out and get them buffed out but it is a pain in the butt
but when a major thing happens and there’s an insurance claim it has now affected your asset
and it never can go back right and it just I I park I don’t know about
you but I park Yvette hates it but you know it’s good to get some steps in anyway I park
at the way end the funny thing that happens is you park out in the boonies
in the parking lot and they still someone’s still yeah still part parks next to you
I know and Parks this close I and I have to say I also the other day again you
probably saw it on my Instagram and for any of the listeners that follow me on Instagram so I have and I’m sure your
Tesla has it too they have like the the cameras right for the backup and you can see the front and the back end so I got
into my car and went and I wasn’t even looking because again most people Park
between the lines so they have the parallel parking lines you’re supposed to park your car in the middle of the
front and the back line so I get into my car I go to reverse you
know a foot just to be able to pull out and [Music] it was Brandon literally I could read
the license plate sticker on their license plate I saw uh you said thanks
for uh it’s okay I don’t need to get out of my parking spot today yeah because
literally like they so when I got out and looked at where they were they were
like three feet over the front line of where their car was supposed to be
yeah I the good news on the good news and the bad news I guess for for on Tesla is that there’s probably like 15
cameras around that car and it has a Sentry mode as in like the century who protected castles and you get everything
I mean everything it’s not just a front and back camera it’s a side it’s a side it’s
you get all the video of of that but yeah I hate that I think going back to
just being a good citizen and in in your company you know if you want
to do something good then every Everybody benefits the
getting certified is a good way to convey to your customers that you care
and I think that having that is a good thing
I think that sometimes that can get abused and that people will just use it for marketing but
you know even then at least you’re at least you’re getting audited every year and you’re gonna even if you show up
well you know you’re on a calendar year and in December or November you panic
because you haven’t done anything but you still want the B Corporation or the B Corp certification and all of a sudden
you do some good things then then it still worked and in the sense that even
though you might have been doing it just for marketing it still pushed you to do something good so I think all of these
things are generally good I think being a good corporate citizen is a good thing
I think that you just have to you can’t get caught up
in the one thing that you can’t get caught up in the
in the online twitterverse that’s forcing people to do things
because one thing you texted me earlier this morning when we were talking about talking about this topic was authenticity and I think just be
authentic just just be authentic all too often we’re so scared to be authentic
because ultimately our human psyche is that we want to be liked or a lot of
people do and that that just takes away your authentic self just be authentic if
you want to you want to clean up streams if you want to help homeless people if you want to give toys away if you don’t
want to do any of it just whatever you want to do just be authentic and authenticity
good and bad for what is perceived actually will help your business
Steve Jobs will go back to that because it was just a it’s an easy slow pitch to talk about
the fact that he didn’t and decided not to and that people criticize them actually still helped his business
because they were still talking about him you know that’s bad there’s no bad there’s no bad press yeah I mean there
is bad press but you’re still talking about you they’re still investing their moments of their life that they will
never get back to talk about you it’s sort of funny when you start to analyze
your time you you start to say wow am I really going to invest in worrying
about what someone else doing that I can’t control maybe I should just invest that time in myself I think this has
been become very poignant for me lately outside I’m writing I’m writing this other book The the business plan book or
a business how to build a business plan on Pitch deck but I’m tangentially working on a book that I think is going
to take me a minute I know it’s taking me a minute which is Leo and I talked about it on the show a little bit what is happiness and how to be happy and I
think those all of this analysis of time
like just think about how much time you take worrying
or investing in what you think other people should do
it’s true I mean what a waste yeah it really is
it really is but this has been this has been a good topic um something that you don’t typically
think about on a regular basis but I think it’s very important uh socially personally and corporately business
owners I think it’s important to be a little bit involved but if again if you
choose not to that’s completely up to you because guess what you’re the boss and that’s the benefit that we have of
being a business owners yeah I will put for listeners the B Corp
non-profit and then I’ll put a link if you found it you can text it to me after the show the
information on it probably is on the B Corporation website what states and what
provinces in other countries including Canada can actually have the legislation
passed that you can do that so we’ll put all that in the show notes if you start looking around and you’re listening if
you start looking for a little B Corp on people’s websites you’ll actually see it there’s more than you think out there
and there’s some really high profile large brand names that are B Corps in
fact Patagonia is a b Corp I’m pretty sure they also did one percent for the planet but some other big names out
there are B Corps that that are worth investigating so we’ll put all that in the show notes Danielle and I have
no financial interest in or other no
financial interest in B Corporation or anything else else other than just being good citizens of Earth and
trying to be a good human and leave it leave this place a little bit better than what we
came into it with and don’t think people’s cars without saying sorry
yeah don’t think people’s cars that’s not that’s not that’s not being a good citizen on Earth all right it’s been fun
yes thanks everyone hi everyone