Can Corporate Sustainability & Economic Growth Coexist?
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A mission-focused Hawaiian business is stepping away from the conventional and joining other ethical companies in certifying business practices that lead to social change.
Submitted by: Hawaiian Ola
Posted: Oct 14, 2013 – 04:34 PM EST
SAN RAFAEL, Calif., Oct. 14 /CSRwire/ - In the new consumer economy, transparency is the new green. Businesses embracing openness, authenticity, and accountability are quickly gaining ground and growing fast.
Hawaiian Ola is a mission-based food and beverage brand and a newly Certified B Corporation that has made it an important part of their company’s DNA to consider things such as environmental and social impacts when doing business. For Ola, joining the new class of companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems was a natural step. Certified B Corporations must meet comprehensive and transparent performance standards that measure a company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment.
Not Business as Usual
In Hawaii, where the number one agricultural export is GMO seed corn and less than 1% of all farmland is used for organic farming, a grassroots movement is underway to promote cleaner, more sustainable, low-input farming. The Hawaiian Ola mission is to expand the demand for organic, GMO-free Hawaiian goods by producing and exporting healthy products made from sustainably grown, island-native plants, like Noni.
“The idea for Ola started with the mission,” says Brett Jacobson, Ola’s founder. “When we became educated about the effects that conventional, GMO monocropping were having on the land—mainly from the use of pesticides—we wanted to get involved…for our part, we wanted to show farmers and producers that there was value in products made from organically grown goods. As we continue to grow, being a B Certified Corporation will help us continually measure efficacy in meeting our mission’s goals.”
By 2020, Hawaiian Ola plans to educate over one million people on the importance of their mission and to create a demand for one thousand acres of organic farmland in Hawaii. The end goal is to reduce the amount of agriculture-related pesticides running off the island and polluting the native ecosystem and the surrounding Pacific Ocean.
About Hawaiian Ola
Kona, HI-based Hawaiian Ola (www.hawaiianola.com) is an organic food and beverage company offering healthy, functional packaged goods to retailers, smoothie bars, and sport shops wherever they are needed. The company was established in 2012 and has since released two flagship products. Hawaiian Ola Noni Energy is a functional 2.5oz shot taken for energy and a daily serving of super fruits; Noni Energy is caffeinated naturally with yerba mate and green tea. Hawaiian Ola Noni Immunity is a caffeine free, no-sugar-added immunity shot taken for a full serving of Hawaiian Noni and a complex of immune boosting vitamins. The first ingredient in both shots is organic Hawaiian Noni (Morinda Citrifolia), which is antioxidant rich and contains a variety of powerful anti-inflammatory compounds. Noni is also known in traditional Hawaiian medicine for its immune boosting properties. Ola products are certified organic by the USDA, certified vegan, certified Fair Trade, gluten free, and packaged BPA free. Currently Ola Noni Energy and Noni Immunity shots are sold in over 300 retail locations, including Whole Foods, and are distributed through UNFI.
About B Corp
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of September 2013, there are more than 800 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 28 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiative: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (12 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) driving capital to high impact investments through the use of GIIRS Ratings and Analytics (more than 60 investors with over $3B in impact assets under management use GIIRS); and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 7,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment).
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