After a more than year-long process, we are proud to announce that Freeform is officially a Certified B Corp!
What does that mean for Freeform, our team, and our customers?
When we were working through the B Impact Assessment process, I wrote an article titled “Business for Good or Good for Business?” on why we were pursuing the certification and what it entails. As the second generation in a family business, I’m committed to ensuring that the way we conduct business maximizes the positive impact we have on our community’s internal and external stakeholders. I see this aim as not only the right thing to do, but as an obligation I must fulfill to ensure my company’s actions add value to our community and partners, rather than only extracting from them.
The more I talk about B Corp, the more I realize most people have no idea what it means, often assuming it’s some sort of environmental or sustainability audit. That is undoubtedly a portion of it, but it is a much more holistic approach to good business, broken down into five categories: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. Organizations need to earn a minimum score of 80 points on the Assessment to be granted certification – we earned an overall score of 98.6. The results of all B Corps’ Impact Assessments are public, and ours can be found here can be found here.
Although our score more than qualifies us for B Corp certification, I still wish it was higher. One of the added bonuses of completing the assessment is that it provides excellent resources and details as to how we can continuously improve, which falls in with our core value of Kaizen. Our team looks forward to using the next few years to find ways we can improve across all five categories of the assessment, continuing to raise our score as we go through the recertification process every three years.
We’re currently the only commercial furniture dealer in the world that is a B Corp. While I think that’s pretty cool for us, it would be way cooler if there were a big swath of our industry dedicated to changing their communities and the world for the better. I hope in that sharing our B Corp news, and introducing folks in our industry to the concept, more dealers will take the B Impact Assessment and join the B Corp Community.
By existing and operating the way we do, we are putting more back into the community and the people that work for and with us than we pull out of the community. Essentially, our goal is to be a net positive to our community, people, and environment. This aim resonates with our core purpose to create culture, build community, and enrich lives— making business a force for good! That’s the shared vision from B Lab and all those who commit to the mission.
So, although I think the certification itself is valuable, more importantly, the mission I have committed myself and our organization to is changing the way people think about business and their business goals. If you’re intrigued by the concept of B Corp, here are a few questions to help further challenge you:
- How can we make it more enjoyable for employees to show up at work every day?
- How can we ensure that businesses support their community and not just bleed it dry?
- How can we drive less waste, not just in material waste, but in people’s time and emotional energy?
- And if you don’t own a business, how can you challenge ownership to view the role of their business within the community and the world in a different light?
Stick with us for the next month, and we will show you a bit more of the hard facts of what it means to be a B Corp, what it means to be a steward of the community, and what we’re doing to try and make the world a little bit better. Thanks for taking time to see what we’ve been up to and please do try to bring a little more GOOD into the world!
Originally from Kansas City, Derek moved to Boise and joined the Freeform team in 2021 as a project manager. Derek has earned his Associated degree at Johnson County Community College before studying business at The University of Kansas. With 10 years of experience in the commercial furniture industry as a warehouse manager, truck driver, installer, sales manager, and project manager, Derek understands every step of the project process and feels most in his element when he’s on a project site ensuring everything is going to plan. In his free time, he enjoys trailering his side by side to offroad parks and trails and exploring his new home.