Some of our employee-owners in the greenhouse at our Burlington, VT, garden center. Gardener's Supply became 100 percent employee-owned in 2009. Photo: Frédéric Silberman
GARDENER'S SUPPLY has long been a socially responsible business, which we've expressed by supporting employee volunteerism, sourcing sustainable products and donating 8 percent of our profits back to the community. To solidify our commitment, we have become a certified B Corp, a relatively new corporate designation that combines bottom-line profits and social responsibility.
What's in the name? The B is for benefit, and it's Corp as in corporation. As a B Corp – benefit corporation – we believe that business can be a source for good by serving shareholders and society. How a company serves society can take many forms, including environmental stewardship, service to those in need, sustainability and more. Like other companies with B Corp certification, we are change-makers that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
The B Corp Declaration of Interdependence reads: "We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation —the B Corporation — which is purpose-driven, and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders."
B Corp status is more than a logo and grand declarations. There's a measuring stick. Companies like Gardener's Supply that earn certification have to meet high standards, set by a nonprofit organization that looks at four categories: governance, workers, community and environment. Each company's score is published in a report. To learn more read Gardener's Supply's B Impact Assessment.
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