New Company Earns B Corps Certification

By Sara Schneider

Notogroup, a Portland-based, national executive search firm, has been awarded B Corp certification after undergoing a comprehensive examination of its business practices, by the nonprofit B Lab. Companies that are designated B Corps meet high standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

As written on the B Lab website: “B Corp certification is to sustainable business what LEED certification is to green building or Fair Trade certification is to coffee.” As a B Corp, Notogroup joins well-known brands such as Ben and Jerry’s, Patagonia, New Seasons Market and Warby Parker, as well as many other notable, smaller firms. There are 786 B Corporations in 27 countries in 60 industries.

To become a Certified B Corporation, the B stands for “benefit,” a company is evaluated on its impact on the environment, its treatment of employees and its contribution to the community. The evaluation process is rigorous.

“As the saying goes, ‘nothing worthwhile comes easily,’” said owner Roy Notowitz. “Now, having been through the process, we can say sincerely that we made a giant step in becoming the company we always aspired to become.”

Notogroup’s High Standards

As part of the B Corp process, the firm:

  • Developed a code of ethics to align with its values and service standards;
  • Established a more formal volunteer service and community program;
  • Launched a process for measuring and reducing overall energy use;
  • Incorporated social and environmental evaluation in performance reviews;
  • Integrated the “benefit mission” into its operating agreement; and
  • Clarified the company’s focus for social impact and the greater good.

The culmination of these changes ultimately resulted in Notogroup drafting a customized, 35-plus page employee handbook that specifies the company’s values, mission, policies and benefits.

“As a service firm that helps client-companies identify and select top, executive-level talent, it is essential for us to be able to attract and retain a world-class team at Notogroup,” Notowitz explained. “We now have a roadmap and the tools to follow through on our commitment being a great place to work for all the right reasons.”

According to Notowitz, while achieving B Corp certification is an honor, it is not the finish line.

“We have to continuously measure and evaluate our progress, and reapply every two years,” he said. “It requires us to set a vision for the ‘change we seek’ and holds us accountable for living up to it.”

About Notogroup

Notogroup is an Executive Search Firm with a proven service model that takes into consideration the intricacies that effectively fuse leadership, culture, and business ambition. The firm’s expertise, track record and reputation in consumer goods enable the team to attract the highest quality talent and opportunities for clients.  For more information, contact Roy Notowitz.

About B Corps

The concept was introduced in 2007 by a group of entrepreneurs seeking to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Today, there are more than 700 certified B Corps working to redefine what the definition of success is in business. They demonstrate a willingness to undergo a rigorous examination of their business practices, and evaluate their success based on their impact on the environment, their employees and the community at large.Φ

Sara Schneider handles marketing for the Notogroup.

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