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August 18, 2020

Ethan Kalishman is back for more with his second blog. This time discussing the importance of B-Corps and their correlation to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Always pushing the fight for good.

During my junior year of high school as Iwas preparing for my international Model UN conference, I learned of the real UN’sSustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 17 ambitious, yet interconnected challenges to achieve universal peace, prosperity, and equality by 2030. I was immediately impressed by the ways in which these goals centralize awareness on the world’s largest issues while simultaneously serving as blueprints for individuals to follow in order to generate positive change. As a Model UN delegate, I became inspired to apply my proposed resolutions from conferences onto actual civic engagement efforts at home, which ranged from a year-long independent study of my school’s environmental impact to simple clothing collection drives that benefited a local shelter for at-risk teens. The SDGs spurred all sorts of progress for me because I was enabled to visualize how localized action engenders global change.

Likewise, I also became fascinated by companies known as “B Corps,” which, as stated on the official website, “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” In essence, B Corps aim to craft an equitable and sustainable society through economics (whereas the SDGs more broadly focus on society as a whole). B Corps focus on the longer term, too, while the SDGs have an agenda that expires in only one more decade.

I soon realized that these two missions inherently and quite cohesively support one another. Take XACTLY, a pending B Corp (a status for those companies currently enduring the certification process). Their focus on creating universal access to clean water through the construction of water towers clearly aligns with SDG number 6, which aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” In fact, during this pandemic, it is even more crucial to provide access to water for the three billion people who do not have adequate facilities in their homes to prevent transmission of the disease, as stated by the UN. And if we remember what I said about the SDGs being interconnected, then we can see that this specific project within XACTLY’s social mission also supports other goals, like numbers three (Good Health and Well-Being), nine (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), and ten (Reduced Inequalities). Even within XACTLY’s ethical and post-consumer sourcing, there is clear and underlying support for other SDGs. In essence, this company’s efforts to forge meaningful impacts remain true to their B Corp roots, but they extend beyond, too. 

I share this explanation to show that there is an excess amount of ability that can be geared towards supporting social change on any level, and that these two campaigns hone in on that energy to guide us towards progress.

Secondly, I want to highlight the fact that it’s okay, if not normal, that most of us haven’t created our own B Corp, UN Resolution, or non-profit. Actually, as consumers, we’re given distinct opportunities to assist great causes since we can choose where to place our votes of confidence. With this power, I urge you to make a commitment to simply live better by standing for something significant – and utilize these two missions to aid your journey down that path. Whether you’re purposefully purchasing or endorsing specific entities that resonate with your values, you’re fulfilling a cycle of positivity, too. That’s true synergy. And by supporting the SDGs and B Corps together, we can revolutionize the definition of success.

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