What is a B Corp? Certified B Corps, or benefit corporations, are companies that have elected to meet “higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance” in areas related to the environment, community, employees, and corporate governance. Not to be confused with legally incorporated b corporations (though we support that too!), the majority of B Corps produce consumer-facing goods - think Patagonia, Method, and Warby Parker.
There are only 1,165 certified global B Corps and with an estimated 6 million corporations in the U.S. alone, it becomes immediately clear that this is a small and elite group. WaterSmart is one of those select few and has been certified since 2011. We’ve recently seen more B2B businesses paying attention to the value of becoming B Corp certified and earlier this month we were excited to hear that the first energy utility in the world achieved the designation.
- Align Vision With Action: WaterSmart believes in the sustainable management of water to ensure healthy, reliable water supplies and services for people, animals, and the natural environment. We’re always thinking about ways we can help people learn more about their water usage and nudge their behavior in a more efficient direction. This leads us to develop intuitive, easy-to-use products for residential water users, and brainstorming new, creative products that can help others save water as well. Our responsibilities as a B Corp help remind us to continue to walk the talk.
- Take The Long View: Because we consider the impact of our actions on our employees, community, and the environment, we are always concerned with making responsible, long-term decisions. This requires discipline, as there is always pressure from investors, utilities, and regulators to respond to ‘urgent’ needs. Our B Corp status keeps us laser focused on long-term outcomes, which in our case requires a commitment to data quality. Without good data, we aren’t able to influence behavior change in the way we aspire to.
- Find The Best People: We’ve got all sorts of people here at WaterSmart, but the one thing we all have in common is a thirst for finding ways to help people become more aware of their behavior around how they use the world’s most important resources. This means we are constantly looking for passionate, value driven, hard working, intelligent, solutions oriented, and fun individuals to join our team. Being a B Corp attracts the type of passionate, mission driven individuals we crave.
- Give Back: We value the community in which we work and live. Participating in events like the California Coastal Cleanup Day along with 60,000 volunteers statewide, is just one of the ways we connect and engage with our community. As a B Corp we have set a goal of donating a portion of our annual revenues to various charitable organizations at the local, national, and international level. We have a natural affiliation for water causes, but we also contribute to other environmental focused causes as well as organizations dedicated to helping those less fortunate live better lives.
- Inspire Each Other: WaterSmart employees believe in leading by example. Every member of the team bikes, takes public transit, or carpools to work. We contribute to the community and spend time outdoors enjoying the natural environment and recharging our psychic batteries. We aspire to challenge each other, hold ourselves accountable to the highest ethical standards, and have a great time doing something that we see making a difference in the world. The decision to become a B Corp underpins that inspiration.
WaterSmart was formed to answer the question: How do you advance sustainable water management? This question continues to drive our work, and using business as a force for positive change is built into the fabric of our company culture. Being a certified B Corp is a fundamental part of who we are.