To B or Not to B? That’s Not the Question at Namasté Solar
For Colorado-based solar company Namasté Solar, the answer was clear. Become a B Corporation. You may have heard of a “B Corp”, but what does it really mean? A B Corporation is an organization that has been certified as meeting the most rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance both profit and purpose. Certified B Corps act with integrity when conducting business and they aspire to be the change in the world.
Given Namasté Solar’s drive to shift traditional energy consumption, to clean renewable energy, while proving there is a way to make a profit and a difference, the B economy was the perfect fit. For 15 years, the company has performed over 7,400 solar installations for customers ranging from homeowners to commercial businesses. Namasté Solar aims to empower people to take control of their own energy consumption while decreasing carbon emissions.
The company earned the B Corp title primarily based on practices the company already incorporates into their everyday activities. Co-Owner and Co-Founder, Blake Jones, says, “When we first heard about the B Corp certification, I thought, ‘Wow this is a fantastic idea.’ It resonated deeply with what Namasté Solar was all about, and the legal requirements for becoming certified matched what we had already been doing all along (e.g. we had language in our Articles of Incorporation that stated that our board of directors must consider all stakeholders – not just stockholders – in their decision).”
Another common question when asked about becoming a B Corp is about the length of the certification process. Although this can differ based on the size and complexity of your business, the overall process starts with a free, online platform called the B Impact Assessment to evaluate the performance of your business. For Namasté Solar, Blake Jones remembers that, “Once we decided we wanted to become a B Corp, it didn’t take us too long to get our original certification.”
Since the company became certified, Namasté Solar has experienced many successes and overall benefits with internal recruiting efforts as well as external interactions with customers. “Being a B Corp helps with both recruiting and providing an external differentiating value (or set of values),” remarks Luke Simmons, Co-Owner, Residential Sales and Design Specialist at Namasté Solar. “I love being a B Corp because I can confidently tell customers that we stand for something greater and have the certification that demonstrates we ‘walk the walk.’ This builds value with our customers beyond our product offerings and gives them an additional reason to support us.”
One of the main challenges when obtaining the certification is the process of continuous improvement. The B Corporation strives to uphold a high standard for all companies seeking certification and encourages businesses to keep improving their processes to maximize their impact. Geri Mitchell-Brown, Co-Owner and Director of Employee Experience, states, “What got you certified three years ago shouldn’t be the same as what gets you certified now, otherwise you didn’t make any improvements. Being socially responsible means that you’re out there pushing and doing things. What are you doing next? You have to continually strive. I think that is a challenge but it inspires us to push for positive impact.”
Having the official B Corp certification is also a great way to showcase your dedication to your customers. It demonstrates your commitment to sustainable business practices and to your customers in being a transparent and ethical company. The Marketing Manager and Co-Owner, Dave Rizzotto, says, “We include the B Corp logo on all our materials, and our sales team tells all potential customers during their conversations. There is still a great amount of education that needs to happen before B Corp is more widely recognized, but we’ve found that once people know about B Corporations that it is a strong influence on their purchasing habits.”
As a company dedicated to reducing the negative environmental impacts from fossil fuels, when asked what Namasté Solar would strive to accomplish in the next several years to make a ripple this is what they had to say. “Becoming carbon zero as a business would be a huge accomplishment, and one very much aligned with our business mission to propagate the responsible use of solar energy. We are running out of time to stop the impacts of climate change and being a leader to the B Corp community in this area would be a tremendous success” says Luke Simmons.
Based on Namasté Solar’s numerous B Corp awards and constant commitment to improvement, this carbon zero goal seems to be an attainable goal for in the not too distant future.
While achieving certification may seem daunting to obtain, there are over 3,200 certified B Corporations in countries around the world that have committed to using business as a force for good. By becoming a certified B Corporation, you are joining a community of other businesses dedicated to making ethical decisions that consider all social and environmental implications.
Becoming a B Corporation is more than just a certification. It is a way to demonstrate your commitment to balancing financial goals with social and environmental goals. If you are interested in learning more about the certification process, please visit https://bcorporation.net. Join a community of businesses dedicated to making a difference in the world. #BTheChange