Becoming a Values-based, Purpose-led Organization: Lessons from XPLANE’s Journey to Become a B-Corp

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XPLANE has been a values-based and purpose-led organization since our founding in 1993, and I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve just become a Certified B Corporation as well. We have joined over 1,900 other businesses in over 40 nations that believe business can serve society, as well as shareholders.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with B-Corporations, we are a community that believes business can be a force for good and deliver “triple bottom line” results—delivering profits while also making positive impacts for our environment and our society. To earn the credential, XPLANE was certified by the non-profit B Lab for meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. We were evaluated on how our practices impact our employees, our community, the environment, and our customers.

Why did XPLANE become a B-Corp?

It's the right thing to do, and it reflects our values.

We are in the positive change business, and businesses themselves are one of the largest forces of change in the world. If we can be a role model by serving customers, owners, employees, and our communities in balance, we are making the change we want to see in the world while becoming an example for others. XPLANE has been recognized for years as a “Great Place to Work” for our employees, a job-creating “Fastest Growing Company,” and a community-supporting “Philanthropy Champion”—now B-Corp certification is another way that we can ensure that we’re walking the talk.

It validates us among other conscious, purpose-led organizations, and will expand the breadth of customers we can work with and the type of work we do with them.

More and more businesses and non-profits are focusing on how to make positive change. It's not a trend; it's driven because their customers are demanding it. That means our clients will need to adapt, develop, and authentically integrate their social responsibility practices across their enterprise. As a Certified B Corporation, XPLANE will be well positioned to work with these customers from an authentic place as trusted advisors.

It's an incredible standard by which we can benchmark ourselves against others, and constantly improve.

Just like we use the nationally-recognized “Great Place to Work” survey to see how our employee practices compare to others or LEED standards measure how buildings are performing environmentally, the B-Corp assessment is a rigorous, end-to-end review of our business practices. It gives us an outside perspective on what we're doing well, where we can improve, and what others are doing that could inspire us to raise the bar. As a shareholder and employee of the company, it gives me great comfort to know that we're not just grading our own report card—an outside, objective body is doing it. And it’s done every other year, so we need to constantly review and improve.

Today, there are thousands of Certified B Corps around the globe, including Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and XPLANE clients like Hootsuite and New Seasons Market. We are proud to join them in redefining success in business, so that one day everyone uses business as a force for good.

To learn more about our certification, check out our B Corp profile.

Aric Wood is XPLANE's CEO.


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Check out our infographic to learn more about what it means to be a Certified B Corporation and why we became one.  

 

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