Not Business As Usual Documentary

Not Business As Usual Documentary

We have made immoral
behavior far more profitable. We have, in the course
of the changes in our society, been establishing greater
and greater incentives for people to behave in ways that most
of us regard as immoral. You know, the traditional
form of Capitalism is: Put a product to market,
put a service to market and make money. The way I contemplate
entrepreneurship is figure out how the world is better off because
of your product and service and bring that into the marketplace. Business is kind of construct
for people to get together to achieve some kind of result. So why not take business as a tool to achieve a more progressive result? Instead of seeing Capitalism
as evil and destroying humanity and the planet, you can
take Capitalism and say, “Use it with a conscience to
create a purposeful result – a just and equitable society.” Can’t we agree that Capitalism
is an economic system? A system for the production
and distribution of things we need and want? Go back 70 years. Think about what “Made in Japan”
meant in the 1940’s and 50’s, post World War Two. You have Capitalism as a key
tool in building economies. (announcer) It’s new,
it’s automatic, it dictates, records, seals, sterilizes, stamps
and delivers in one operation without human hand! “Made in China”, “Made in Taiwan”,
and “Made in Hong Kong” in the 70’s and 80’s… (announcer) What do I bid? What do I offer? Sold! Who’s next! These are global economies that
are major economies of the world. What is next? (announcer) Out of the crowds of the Empire City, the Wonder City, the Windy
City, the Passion City… Is it made in Bangladesh? (announcer) Get the big money. You make a pile and raise a pile. That makes another pile! We come full-face into what happens
when Capitalism is left unfettered. (announcer) We reached a million!
Two million! Five million! Watch us grow! The 20th century model of
Capitalism has one rule in its operating system, which is: the purpose of the corporation is to maximize share-holder value exclusively. Even if that means that there are significant, for the benefit of the doubt,
unintended consequences. It’s amazing to me how consumers
just have this unshakable trust in what they buy. (announcer) Pestroy DDT.
Used right, it is absolutely harmless to humans and animals. (announcer) And when drinking water
comes out sparkling clear, an asbestos cement pipe
may have helped guard it from reservoir to home. It’s laden with chemicals and it’s
from questionable factories and I think some of these scares
has done us a favor on some level in raising the dialogue. New communications channels
like social media primarily are driving transparency into companies. They can’t get away with
uncareful behavior anymore. They need to be very, very
diligent about how they serve their communities that they work in. That’s driving corporate social responsibility, it’s driving better governance, and it’s certainly driving sustainability. That’s been a constant trend
over the last 15 to 20 years. When you consider the world
the baby boomers up grew in, it was post World War Two.
Their parents, who lived through the war, they grew up in a world of scarcity. People who were successful had stuff. So the baby boomer generation
grew up in a world where if I had stuff, I was successful. This shaped the minds of that generation. So by the time the baby boomers
get in control of the economy, in the 1980’s, excess was everywhere. It became about stuff. And you
had the big stories of the 80’s, like the Tycos, the Enrons. The corporations became about
adding book value for share-holders, not adding societal value for all stake-holders. In the last 50 years of business,
companies are rewarded based on success of one
metric, and that is profit. CEOs who are successful
deliver profit to share-holders. Our entire stock exchange is founded upon that, so it’s hard for us to criticize
CEOs for forsaking other things like supplier relations or
social impact or other causes. As companies began to feel
the pressure of global competition, the sole focus on making profit,
without regard for society, seemed like a promising idea. Inspired in part by a 1970 New
York Times article by Milton Friedman, the most respected and influential
economist of the late 20th century. And now, ladies and gentleman,
the Milton Friedman choir. We had a very simplistic view
of the world, where we would just define profit as “dollars in”
minus “dollars out” equals profit. What we need
to do now is quantify all the soft costs. It’s very competitive in
the international marketplace to find really low cost labor. When you manufacture
something in another country, and you import it, they put on a duty rate. Countries like Bangladesh – there is no duties. Because of that, you can save 18%. That’s a huge amount of money. So what they do is they go to
a lot of these countries that are exempt. My auditor of fabric mills told me
that they had gone to Bangladesh. He said to me, “Do you know
how many factories had a waste water treatment plant?” And I said, “No. How many?” Two. Out of 300 that they visited. And there’s a lot more than
300 fabric mills in Bangladesh. Where’s the chemicals
and dye stuffs after dying it pink and blue? Where’s that going? Straight into the river.
Straight into the creek. Are those creeks and rivers
connected to oceans that we live beside? Yes.
This was all connected. This is what people forget when
they buy a product that comes from a country that has no
regulations. But they have to, for the corporate culture.
They have to make profit. There’s been another horrific
incident at a garment factory in Bangladesh. It came crashing down, trapping
hundreds of people inside. Officials discovered cracks
in the building yesterday. Producing clothes bound for
some major American retailers… This afternoon, a British retailer,
Primark, announced it would compensate victim’s families. Loblaw is reacting. The company said late today that it will provide compensation to the families of those killed in Bangladesh. There’s something to be
said if you’re going to be in factories and pushing for low cost labor. There’s always a cost. And, on some level, I think a lot of those brands are stepping up and paying a cost at the end of what they didn’t pay at the beginning. The core indicator of a
country’s health is the GDP. It’s the total market value
of goods and services produced in a single year. Social impact is not considered. The environment is not relevant. The health, happiness, and fulfillment of its citizens doesn’t matter. Financial metrics are all that count. We’ve got to a point now
where quarterly returns are more important, it seems,
in the news and more important to the way we cover businesses,
than the longer term work that they do. So we’re trapped in this short return cycle, when most of these big problems
and these big contributions to society actually take far longer cycles. They can be three, five,
seven, 10 plus year cycles. If we’re judging companies
on quarterly cycles, we’re never gonna get the traction
on these long-run goals. So there’s something in the way
that we look at companies, there’s something in the
way we judge companies performance that needs to change. It’s 1987. – Open this gate.
– (crowd cheers) Reaganomics is in full swing… The Simpsons debuts on television… – Change the channel.
– No. and the Unabomber is on the loose. It’s business as usual in America. Then it hits. There’s only one word to
describe what’s happening and that is “panic”. Black Monday, the worst day
ever on Wall Street. The market has fallen over 400 points. 508.32 500 billion dollars in paper
values have been lost. When you see around the globe
the mal-distribution of wealth, the desperate
plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries –
when you see so few haves and many have-nots, when you see
the greed and the concentration of power, did you ever have
a moment of doubt about Capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on? Well, first of all, tell me, is there some society you know of that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy. It’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. (audience laughs) The world runs on individuals pursuing
their separate interests. In the only cases in which the
masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded
history, are where they have had Capitalism and largely free trade. And just tell me where in the
world you’ll find these angels who are going to organize society for us? So there was a meeting in Gold Hill, Colorado, of about 40 people and it
included that generation wave of entrepreneurs who made
the clean, healthy ice cream, Body Shop, Patagonia, who went into business to
try to make a difference and promoted themselves based
on some of those values. And so that was 25 to 26 years ago. They came at the invitation
of investor Joshua Mailman and Wayne Silby, founder of the Calvert funds, to explore the idea of bringing social values into a more collective sphere. What they didn’t know at the time was that this would be the catalyst that would
ignite the social impact movement. When I got introduced to the SVN community, it was the first time I saw
people with business skills who were using it for
social purposes, social good. I had never heard of
Triple Bottom Line before. I mean, I now see it as
a big, global advocate. I heard about it for the first time at SVN. This group started a movement. At that time, they were
laughed at. They were ridiculed. “You’re a bunch of flakes.” That was one thing that had to be countered. It’s kind of not honorable
to believe that Capitalism was about anything other than
“how do I get more money?” It’s okay to give away money
after you’ve made a lot of money, but business is a separate solitude
from what matters in the world. But it gave me a support network that believed in the intersection of values and money. Out of it came businesses
for social responsibility, net impact on business campuses, investor’s circle, which are
people that look to do angel investing in early stages of
investing and companies like this. So there’s now a growing eco-system
of different dimensions of aligning money with doing good. In 2005 the co-founder of
AND1, a 250 million dollar streetball company attended
its first SVN meeting. Two years later, Jay Coen
Gilbert would revolutionize what it meant to be a
socially responsible company. Because of the assumption that
short-term shareholder value is all that matters to
big investors, we now have a lot of states passing laws
authorizing the creation of a different kind of corporation,
so-called B corporations. Stands for the benefit that
can be created for all stakeholders, not just share-holders. How do we tell the difference
between a good company and just good marketing?
Today, everybody claims to be green, responsible, and sustainable. And when everybody claims
to be the same thing, those words mean less and less. It was often a, “well, if I
put all-natural or if I put green in the title, that makes me sustainable and I’m fulfilling part of life… …the fad that is CSR in the world.” There’s a couple of answers
to who’s doing this well. There are a few organizations
that are putting metrics against this kind of performance
and the one’s that on the top of my mind for me
is B Lab and the B Corps certification, where they’ve got a fairly rigorous assessment process. And you’re asked different
questions, but they always talk about your company’s
employment practices, supplier practices, community engagement,
and environmental practices. The survey and the auditing
process – it’s actually quite difficult to get into B Corp. And the company has to
achieve a minimum score of 80 out of 200 on
an independent rating system, run by a non-profit, in order to be eligible to be certified as a B Corporation. When we actually did the
assessment for the first time, we didn’t pass and we
exist for the main purpose! We realized how we really
needed to step up our game in order to play with the people who are actually certified as B Corporations. But even if they scored 140, they’re not eligible to be certified as a B Corp
unless they make that legal change, so that
positive impact is built to last. It’s not pretending to be good for the world. It is actually embedding in
your articles of incorporation and your share-holders
agreement, the fact that this corporation will never forsake
societal value to make money. If you’re familiar with a LEED certified building or a fair trade bag of coffee, that’s what a certification is.
Think about the same thing, but the aperture on your lens is wider. The aperture is looking
at the whole business. Because it’s nice that it’s
a fair trade cup of coffee, but if they’re dumping effluents
or treating their workers poorly, that doesn’t really help anybody. We need to redefine what
corporations are, both from a legal perspective and just
from a community perspective. And so Benefit Corp legislation is legislation that creates a new corporate
forum, no different than a C Corp, an S Corp, or an LLC, that has passed in Maryland
and Vermont this year. It’s been introduced in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan
in 2011 and there are another eight states waiting in line to pass legislation to create a new corporate
forum, to give entrepreneurs and investors another choice
about the type of institution they want to create. It’s hard to keep up with
the growth of B-Corporations. Now over 750 corporations in
the world are B-Corp certified, accounting for more than
six billion dollars in revenues. We’ve played our role. We’ve
certified three businesses, as well as the first ever publicly
traded B-Corporation in Canada. I think it’s the most exciting
thing ever and I think a lot of the old structures
are kind of breaking down right now and we’re seeing,
for example, charities being confronted with funding
difficulties and we’re seeing businesses being questioned
for lack of integerity and lack of values and people,
consumers, losing faith in them. I feel like the Conscious Capitalism movement is taking the best of both. Host of the 2010 Olympic
winter games and birthplace to companies like Hootsweet and Lululemon, Vancouver consistently ranks
as one of the most livable cities in the world. But it’s not all yoga pants and sushi. The notorious downtown east
side has earned a sobering reputation as Canada’s poorest postal code. Pretty complex neighborhood,
the downtown east side of Vancouver. Which is a hugely marginalized
area for people with drug addiction. You know, one of the worst drug places in the world. It could be as simple as
some guy walks in on his wife cheating on him, he gets on a train. Next thing he’s here for 20 years. And the stories down here are rife with that. But somewhere between
privilege and poverty, an interesting phenomenon
has started to occur: ordinary people are embracing
a new way of being in business, with a commitment to social impact
and a purpose beyond profit. So Save On was a haven for me. I would come and eat here
for $3.95 and stuff myself and talk to Al DesLauriers, the former owner. And he was an incredible man. He ran this business from
1957 right up until 2009. His mandate in this area was food security. He didn’t have the words for it – and, of course, now that’s the coolest lingo in the world. So people would come in,
they’d drop $1.50 on the counter and say, “What can you do?”
and he’d get them some honey ham and a couple slices
of bread and off they would go. So that affected me heavily,
that there was somewhere still in the city, ’cause I didn’t
see that piece of the city at all. I didn’t know that existed
until I walked in this building. I saw it as a fast paced, high finance, “what car do you drive?”, intimidating town. The idea was to continue
to make it a community piece of food security, a haven
for people in this neighborhood during a time of gentrification. (bell rings) We run a barrier employment
program out of here and we started working with people
who had all the work ethic, and just had barriers to any kind of employment based on addiction and severe mental disorder. And then we launched a charity
based off of this business model last Saturday, called A Better Life Foundation, which entire mandate is
to feed, train, and employ. We realized that the problems in this neighborhood are so big, and they’re so intense,
that I know what part I can do. And my portion is food and training
and employment and dignity. So we created this token program,
which is hugely controversial, nationally controversial.
You come in here, you go to the diner counter, the butcher
counter, the sandwich window, and you buy these tokens, essentially the size of a [inaudible] sitting in your pockets. Somebody says, “I’m hungry.”
Say, “No problem. Take this and you can go get fed.” So what people say is I’m taking
decisions away from the poor, I’m using it for my own personal development, I’m using it for my own soapbox
to go and do whatever else it may be and leverage it for business. I don’t know if that’s entirely untrue. I do have my own mandates
and things I want to do. I do want to be loud and boisterous about it. I do want to affect change
and I may not be going about it in the most Canadian and conservative of ways. I don’t care. I initially thought we might redeem
5 to 8 of these things a day. Right now, we’re redeeming
anywhere, this week, between 65 and 120 a day. Everyday! And now the VPD outreach,
Vancouver Police Department with their outreach department
carries them every night. It goes to health nurses
that help people who are very close to death or overdosing and they carry them in their pocket. It’s become a part of this neighborhood’s fabric. Very unpopular decision,
very unpopular press piece, I don’t give a shit. At all. I know what the end result
is gonna be in my mind and I’m okay to take
some loses with the wins. I think it’s great to have this huge blowback into what I do because then I get to see from other people’s eyes
who’ve been down here working from 20-30 years. So I come flashing, kid
with tattoos, slicked back hair, I’m gonna do all this social change and good – I’d be pissed off with me too. The detractors also show
me things about myself. They show me flaws in my business. It may be 250 words of vitriol,
but 30 of those might be dead on. And they are most of the time like,
“Oh! I didn’t really think about that.” So I’m reverse-engineering
a business. I’m allowing people to light me up and burn me in the press or on vlogs or wherever that may
be to get better at what we do and I don’t take any of it
personally because you can’t. You know, I was really looking for something that took business and really had
a strong connection to the community, so I stumbled across Potluck. All of a sudden, I was in a place
that was running a business – it was all about social mission, it was
all about community impact and I thought this is the place that I belong. We’re an organization that
at the core of our existence, the reason we started, the core of our being, the fact that we are a charity that
owns and operates a business, in our case, it’s fundamentally
embedded in our DNA. Because it’s not business for business sake. The purpose of running this
great business is actually to have that impact on the neighborhood. We’re seeing non-profits pursue
more business like activities. So we’re seeing this huge trend
towards social enterprise, which is still a very nascent
sector in North America, but it’s growing at an astounding rate. So those two things seem
to collide, with this new look at what 21st century enterprise looks like. It seems to connect non-profit
ethos and for-profit motives, and landing somewhere
in the middle as either the responsible corporation
or the social enterprise. We run a corporate catering business
and a small neighborhood cafe, which is the Potluck Cafe, and we
make about $1,000,000 a year. We employ people facing
barriers, in amongst mentors who are industry professionals
who have been working in the food business for
years and years and years. We prepare and serve anywhere
from 15 to 30 thousand free meals every year to downtown Eastside residents, who are the most nutritionally vulnerable. We started and co-founded a project called the Downtown Eastside Kitchen Tables Project, which is all about reforming
the food system down here, doing it in a way that’s all about
community economic development. A lot of these folks perhaps were not working for a long period of time in
the past, but certainly here, have really shone and really flourished. It’s just very exciting to see
that kind of stability come to people who may have had
so much instability before. We’ve got a bit of a different workplace motto, which is we provide
wrap-around life skills support, particularly for those facing
barriers, but everybody else as well, which means that we absolutely care about if somebody’s housing situation isn’t stable. We care about people’s
mental health, whether they live with a mental illness or don’t. We care about their relationships with
their family and workplace because we know that impacts their job. That idea of wrap-around life skills support is a huge part of our success. There’s a really solid business case
to make for taking that approach. If you look beyond just your own bottom line, if you can see the interdependence
of your neighborhood and your neighbors in the world… whatever’s good for the neighbors, whatever’s good for the community,
will generally be good for you. And consumers no longer think
of businesses in a bubble. They think of businesses as their neighbors and as part of their community. If you can’t treat your customers like you would
your neighbors or your community, you’re gonna get in trouble. Gone are the days of basically
organizations taking and taking and taking and not giving. It may have worked in the past,
but based on my experience, I think we’ve become a lot more educated. If you don’t take care of people around you and the communities you serve… It’s my belief that people
don’t want to be involved. People, they come to organizations
because they want to make an impact. They’re not just doing it for a couple of bucks. The Nurse Next Door, we’re in
the business of making lives better. And we’re in the business of caring. So people look at Nurse Next Door
and think we’re a health care company. And, sure, we do a lot of health care things. But we’re really in the business
of caring for all of the people that we serve and all of
the people that work with us. People, I believe, are inherently good and they want to do the right thing. And when they see organizations
that are doing the right thing, they want to be part of it. There’s a huge shift in social conscious, and knowing that you want
to be part of something, something you can believe in,
something you can sink your teeth in. So we’re seeing more and more organizations adopt a responsible ethos because
that actually attracts talent. And we’re talking about Gen X and Millenials, people who really want to
knit together their purpose in life with their working world. That talent management approach
is really, really important. Thanks for calling Nurse Next Door,
you’ve reached Sara. How can I make your life better today? We don’t advertise for any positions
and for every single position that we have in our office,
we get over 100 applicants. Our voluntary turnover is
under a couple of percent. With our caregivers, it’s under 7%
and the industry average is 70%. Four years into the program, we actually defined what our core values were. And they became the non-negotiable
laws of our organization. We will live a
financial loss to live them. We will free up anyone’s future,
he doesn’t live all four of them. Not great at three and missing one,
but people have to evolve four. We had this one client who
represented a big part of our business. They accounted for about 80% of our revenue. They gave us about $15 million a year, top line. Problem was they weren’t
very nice to our people. They would yell at our people,
treat them like garbage, and so we fired the client. We built the company that day. Someone once said, “It’s not a
principle until it costs you money.” But in today’s highly competitive market place, can businesses really afford to operate
in accordance with their values? And is it realistic to expect
the company to lose money, just to accommodate their ethics? You know, my first story into
business was to Mountain Equipment Co-op, so a cooperative,
but nonetheless a quarter of a billion dollar retailer here in Canada. That was kind of my first step
into the business world. We had built some mountain bike
armor in a factory in China. The way that the scheduling worked
with the auditing that we did, we didn’t really get the results
until the product was made and on the boat. And when we
got the results of the factory, as it turned out the factory
didn’t meet the standards of Mountain Equipment Co-op
and it had some red list issues on it regarding worker rights abuses. And we were going to
make a decision to leave and yet we had six figures worth of product about to land in Vancouver
and the debate was: do we sell it? Everybody had a different opinion. I didn’t want to landfill it or incinerate it, as the environmental person,
and the buyers thought we should be selling it and just be really
transparent and donate the proceeds. By the end of the day, the CEO,
I remember it very clearly, Peter Robinson, said, “We can’t
sell this. And we can’t donate it. This product doesn’t represent anything
that we’re about as a company.” And he made the decision to destroy the product. And it was a tough decision on so many fronts, environmental and financial,
but to me it was probably one of the most significant
points of seeing values in action and seeing ethics
in action in a business and it definitely influenced how I’ve
moved forward as an entrepreneur. We disparagingly talk about
our industry as trash and trinkets and I think that was something
that was, in some way, compelling about coming
into this industry is that it is one ripe for revolution. It is really fun to sit across the table
from someone and say, “Do you really need that?
Can you do something different? Can you do something better?
Can you do nothing at all?” And there’s been cases where
some of our team members and myself have sat with
a client and talked them out of a product because it’s not values aligned, it’s chemically laden, or it
just has no purpose or utility. It’s just a ridiculous knick-knack. We see that as part of our brand promise – talking people out of stuff that
they don’t need to be doing. And when they are
gonna do it, do it right. Our stated current mission,
which has pretty much been the same from
the get-go, is to change the world through the simple act of buying. I’ve got a call from a woman who
said: “I’d like to come and see you; as I understand you’re a local manufacturer
and I want to see what you do.” “Do you have anything that is low impact, environmentally friendly?” And I said: “What do you mean?” And she said: “Well, you know, a lot of this
product is made from petroleum. It’s dyed with this lac dye
which has a lot of heavy metals. This probably has a lot of
formaldehyde on it… Do you have anything that is less
impactful to the environment?” And I just went: “I’m not sure.
I don’t think so.” I was kind of like a wake-up call. I didn’t really know where she was going,
but she was asking questions that nobody has ever asked me before. So, I’m contemplating this and I said:
“No, but I would like to learn more, and what should I do?” Her response to me was: “It’s not what you should do,
it’s what do you want to do? This is not something that you just say:
‘Ok, I’m going to switch!'” And really understand what that meant, I wanted
to do it, but I didn’t really know how. There was no roadmap. So, I had to go and do all
my own investigation. Then I learned about organic cotton,
recycled polyester, hemp, and I saw that there were really
cool fabrics out there, And maybe they weren’t the
best fabrics in the world, but they had less of an impact
on the environment. So, you know, I went down that path and I
changed the way I did things. And I thought – yay, I’m eco now, and
went with trademark Ecoapparel, And I had all these great things. And a lot of it, I didn’t understand,
was marketing. It was: Ok, yes, let’s project to the public
that I’m making stuff that’s environmentally friendly.
When it wasn’t. And this is really what I didn’t understand. There was one case where they were
this large beverage company. Probably like the biggest brand
on the planet. They have a social conscience as well,
and they thought: hey, let’s buy some apparel from somebody
who’s doing it right. I’m sitting there in a room, and there’s all
these suits at speak boardroom table. And I’m doing my little
song and dance: Hey, I’ve got organic cotton;
hey, I’ve got recycled polyester. – Oh, great, that’s awesome. Thanks very much and we’ll be calling you. I’m walking out and I get tapped
on the shoulder. – Come with me. So, I go into this guy’s office and he
sits me down and says: – What are you doing? I said: “What do you mean,
what am I doing?” – I think you’re claiming a lot of things
that you really can’t support. – What do you mean? – Do you know where the fabric
has been milled? I go: “I think so.” – Well, do you know if they have
a waste water treatment plant? – No. – Do you know if there is any sort of
harmful chemicals and/or dye stuffs in this fabric,
that if we tested it, it would inform us that it shouldn’t
be in there? – No. – Well, maybe when you are able to tell us
through a third party, once you can have someone sign off, and
let us know that this is clean and we should be putting our logo on it… We really can’t purchase anything that you have
for us, and we won’t put our logo on it. – Right. Ok, good. This is lesson number one. Now I know what Denise was talking about. There’s all of this supply chain behind me,
and I don’t know what’s going on back there. You know I think most companies don’t know
very much about their suppliers. I’m amazed when I talk to some of
my peers in my industry, how many of them don’t even know what
countries their products are coming from. I took the role of – ok, I’m going to have
to figure all that stuff for myself, and do audits where I don’t really
know what I’m doing. And, it’s usually me hiring them,
and they don’t know that it’s me doing the audit. Which is great. Even though I’m using that factory,
I have an audit, I still go there with my
iPhone and just say: Hi, Mark Trotzuk,
Boardroom Eco Apparel. This is what it looks like. It’s not pretty. This is the factory that we use. It’s not shiny and clean. And there is [inaudible]
still doing business. Certifications… It’s part of our production… It’s really hot by this pot. …quality… …full checks… [inaudible] the yarn… Recycled soda barrel, turned into yarn. And we’re just making sure everything is,
you know, ok. So, we are over there all
the time, checking. And I’m a fairly small company, so I only
have maybe four off-shore factories. So, it’s easy for me. Some of these companies have these
huge supply chains and they’re using hundreds of different factories.
And it’s a different story. Our starting point is always:
simply just ask. We’re always amazed when we’re calling a new
supplier and start asking them questions. And you can learn a lot
from that process. Even if you get very little back –
it tells you a lot. There might be issues at the factory that are
kind of “red flag” issues: The first rule of outsourcing is engagement and
trying to work with your business partners, like you do with any business partner. It’s going in and working with
factory management and saying: this is unacceptable, and it’s illegal,
and did you know that? Are you willing to look at your business practices? And we can help you. Denise introduced me to a whole new world when
she said: “What do you want to do?” Because it’s so easy for me just
to say: “I don’t care. Here, let me just buy this and
I’ll put it together. Are you going to buy it? Buy it! And my hands are clean.”
No! Right now, we set up a system, where I know
where my raw material comes from; only the proper chemicals are used; the right processes with those chemicals are being used; and that people working around them are safe,
and that there are policies, and I know that due diligence
has been done. Compare to the product I was buying
two years ago, I have a product here that I know has a lower impact than
what I was purchasing. And that’s what we’re talking about.
It’s lowering the impact. Are there still harmful things happening?
Yes there are. There’s nothing eco-friendly about it.
It’s a harsh industry. Like I say: it’s dyes, chemicals, waste water,
energy, transporting stuff all over the planet. – Make sure that clean water is returned
to the environment. – And you use this waste water
for irrigation? Yet, I’m trying to do whatever I can
to mitigate impacts. – Vegetables that are grown
from the waste water. – Mmm, very tasty. The end consumer is starting to look
past just the price… Consumers are increasingly expecting brands to
ensure that basic human rights are being met, products aren’t going to be toxic… What I started to understand right away is that
I can save some money… However, I’m just fooling myself. And if it
costs me more, that’s fine, because it comes down to guilt, after a while, and
I can’t deal with that. It’s knowing what’s happening and not doing
anything about it. It’s an industry that has only in the last 5-6 years
started to contemplate the impact they have as an industry on the planet and the people
inhabiting our planet. And that’s why I’m glad that 90% of the people who
buy from me, are buying it because it’s really cool. There’s another 10% who buy it because of that,
but also say: “I want what is attached – the added value of you being socially compliant,
knowing where every component comes from, you mitigating all of these impacts.
That’s important to me.” Yes, that shift is happening and you’re going to
have to figure out how to benefit form this change, and is not about just selling the cheapest
product. And selling more. We look at the great exemplars – all of the
fantastic entrepreneurs that we idolized: the Richard Bransons, the Steve Jobs, and so on. All of these people have talked openly and
explicitly, they’ve written books about pursuing something way bigger than
the quarterly cycles of profits. It’s all too easy to forget the purpose that
lights you up and chase the almighty dollar. Great entrepreneurs don’t sacrifice that
great purpose in exchange for the almighty dollar. They find a way to knit the two together. I don’t – for any stretch – think
that that’s easy. We’re always trying to strike a balance
between the success of this business and making sure that we’re not compromising
our social impact as well. Unlike a typical business,
you can’t abandon your mission. And you don’t want to abandon your mission. You’ve got to be really ingenious
about how you do that. And there are times when we have
to make difficult choices. So, you need help. And there are communities
of great social entrepreneurs, and social venture leaders that exist
to share learning. There is something intoxicating about not knowing whether or not you can pay the rent, cover payroll and if the lights
are going to go off. The idea of becoming an entrepreneur was exciting, challenging and had an element of risk. Any entrepreneur who doesn’t tell you that they go to bed wondering whether or not they’re crazy is lying to you. What keeps me up at night is contemplating
how we’re doing the right thing. Are we actually contributing to our customers,
are we getting enough customers? Are we developing organizations that actually
positively contribute to society? Institute B is a small part of a global phenomenon
called “conscious capitalism”. We exist to become the best developer of
entrepreneurs in the world, period. The way we do that is by promoting
unreasonable business. The world will give you lots of reasons
why you can’t do that. Unreasonable entrepreneurs redefine how they
relate to the cynicism of the world. Unreasonable entrepreneurs are disrupters. Unreasonable entrepreneurs look at reasons
and say: so what? It doesn’t matter if I’m an old entrepreneur,
a young entrepreneur, or an Asian entrepreneur,
a Canadian entrepreneur, or a European entrepreneur, or a woman or a man. The fact of the matter is that we as
entrepreneurs have a responsibility to leave the world a better place than
when we began our companies. So, get paid, do good,
and this is your legacy. Seems really cut-and-dried, right? I want a legacy of giving to the future, billionaire of good deeds,
billionaire of impact. I’ll get super charged up, and it’s not going to be
the amount of money that I made or the companies that I created. But it will be the leaders that I had part
in – sort of – helping out. And I would love it if Fairware would be
a part of moving this industry to greener pastures
on a sustainability front. When all is said and done IB’s legacy will be
the successful development of several multi-billion dollar, top line, companies
that have embedded social impact into the DNA of their corporation
from inception. When that happens that will convince any
old school for-profit only capitalist that embedding generosity into business
is the right thing to do. When the penny dropped that entrepreneurship
was actually really powerful social change thing, or could be, if you did it a certain way,
with a certain perspective, I sort of thought of it as you’re kind of
like a pirate on a high seas of Capitalism. Just the romance of it, just the independence
and the autonomy – I thought, yea, that actually makes a lot more sense than
trying to do grassroots organizing and then having to go somewhere else to get
your money to take care of yourself financially. And I created this product and I thought: I’m going to sell this product and that will finance
the revolution that I want to see – through making this things and selling them. Lunapads are products,
are washable menstrual pads, and they encourage customers to take
more responsibility for themselves from an environmental perspective.
And it breaks down shame. And that is one of the single most powerful
things you can possibly… …like, of any change you can create
in someone’s life, that alone – seismic! And we take it a step further because the
products have that impact but also, what’s behind it is a social change agenda
around the philanthropic side of our business. So, back in 2008 we came to Uganda
to do some voluntary work. One of the biggest things that we realized
when we were there, is that girls skip school during the week of their period, because they have
no access to affordable sanitary towels. Here is a problem. Here is Lunapads, which is an ingenious product
that can also be manufactured locally, because it is just cloth and sewing. And the light bulb went off. For every pad that we sell we make a donation
to our sister company in Uganda who are in turn making their version of Lunapads, called Afripads, and giving them to a girl in east Africa who would
otherwise have no supplies whatsoever. Let’s tell a story of one particular girl,
her name is Saba, and she’s Ethiopian. And she’s probably 16 or 17 now. She told us that her parents have tried to force her
to get married when she was 9 years old. And the receiving of pads had helped her to
convince them to let her stay in school. If they don’t go to school, if they don’t stay
in school, then they drop out, when they drop out they have to get married,
when they get married they are pregnant. The leading cause of death in girls 15-18 globally is complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth. Our products and our practice through pads for girls
has touched the lives of over 120,000 girls. There’s also a story of women involved to,
with respect to Afripads, and… Afripads has 65 employees working for them. We got a letter from one of them, Irene,
and she said to us: “Thank you, Lunapads, for being the inspiration
behind the start of the company.” I now have a job, I now am able to pay
for school fees for my children, I’m able to support my sister and
brothers and my parents. So, she has really turned her life around. To read this letter and meet her in person –
that’s immeasurable as well. – So, fun! Do I get a job?
– Done. That’s why we are a business. We want to prove
the B-corp dream that you can do all those things, and create
employment for people, and create all those changes. So, we are all in for that as well. So, it’s not just this traditional “you make a ton of money and then you give back later.” Start giving now, and don’t do it
the normal way; just be totally out there, be totally disruptive
around your generosity. We’re doing everything we can
to have a greater impact and we’re having fun while we’re at it,
because it’s kind of fun to be disruptive. It’s so fun!
[laughs] You know, let’s face it: the world is
falling apart in so many ways. We need creative solutions that are
economically sustainable, as well as environmentally sustainable
and socially sustainable. People respond emotionally.
I think everybody wants social change, they want a better world for their kids, right? You know, when I contemplate my actions
it’s in the context of my children. You know, what drives me, what gets me
out of bed every morning… …is leaving the world a better place,
that they can look up and say: “Hey, my dad was part of that.” I think old school capitalists should be thinking
about the world they want to create for their grandchildren and their
great-grandchildren, and asking themselves what the true responsibility is
behind the products that they’re making today, knowing that the legacy of that may be long-term
social and environmental destruction on a scale never even imagined. Old school capitalists need
to get in the game. They need to move some of this money around and
allow young, intelligent social entrepreneurs a platform to go and do vertical farming
and employment and figure out unconventional ways to fix our water,
to fix garbage, to fix all of these things. Because they can do it! There’s something noble in everyone. These “old school capitalists” – at the end
of the day, they are just people. They were raised in a system that said: this is
success, this is how you’re supposed to do it. I think those people, if they are smart enough
to build these multi-billion dollar companies, they’re probably smart enough to take on
some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of our time and create
something extraordinary. Our vision is that responsible business
becomes the norm. We are a long, long way from that. Social enterprise is growing at a rapid rate, but
there’re still less than a 1000 true social enterprises in western Canada region, where we
happen to be sitting today. So, we have a long way to go, between today,
and responsible being mainstream. Our work in the world, our social purpose is to help
visionary leaders to change the world. And it’s our job to support them in business
consulting, in marketing and outreach, and in convening communities
of like-minded people. That’s the contribution that we’re trying
to make at Junxion Strategy. So, one of the best ways to develop
a strategy that is socially responsible is to actually engage the executive team.
Make it part of strategic planning. Make it explicit and open, that they can talk about a
vision for the organization that is world changing. Companies that can engage the executive team,
and then engage the managerial team, and then ultimately engage all the constituents
in their organization about a purpose that’s way bigger than just dollars and cents, are the companies that actually drive really, really
interesting returns in the longer haul. So, we attract a kind of investor that is
very intentional around impact, and we call them “impact investors”. They’re kind of like philanthropists who want to
go further than just making a donation. They want to see a return on their capital,
but it’s not just a financial return. It’s like paying a dividend to human capital. So, there’s now a growing ecosystem of different
dimensions of aligning money with doing good. Renewal has gone on to build investment funds –
we call it social venture capital. We are in organic and natural foods, green consumer
products, and environmental innovations. And of course, it’s still early. We are proving that you can make a good return,
and invest with values and purpose. My first 50,000 dollars, which came
from inheritance, I wanted to put it into some things
that I thought mattered. So, I had a friend, I went to him and I said: “I don’t want to do philanthropy with this – I want
some money to go into a business that is going to mean something, and matter,
and have an effect.” So, he introduced me to two guys
in New Hampshire, who thought that small family farms
had a role, still. They had a few cows. And they
were making yogurt. In the luckiest investment I’ve ever made, I ended up as one of the first round of investors
in Stonyfield Farm yogurt. Stonyfield went on to lose money
for 10 years, refine its product, fight its way into the yogurt market
which had nothing organic; and the entire yogurt market – which is sold
as a health food, inherently – was full of all kinds of stuff. We have this crazy idea that if it’s going to be edible,
it ought to be all food. So, it shouldn’t have modified food starches,
it shouldn’t have gelatin, it shouldn’t have chemicals,
it shouldn’t have red dyes. He eventually built the company up to
several hundred million in sales and shopped the major food companies of the world and ended up with the French one called Danone,
and sold Stonyfield to Danone, with a lot of conditions. Company is probably pushing
half billion now in sales. That’s one of the pioneer stories
of someone who just believed in the health and environmental issues
around yogurt, that is now… he’s influencing the global
food system at some level. Organic food itself, which was an obscure,
ridiculed industry 50 years ago, now makes fortunes for people. The major international food companies, beverage companies – Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé – are doing everything they can to both invent products
that meet this consumer demand, purchase companies that are doing those products – and it’s still less than 10% of
a North American food dollar. The top food companies in the world really resisted
for a long time the idea of organic food because it inherently started to suggest:
What’s wrong with the other food? So, if we’re saying “conscious capitalism”…
They’re not going to say they’re unconscious, and I don’t even like to. Everybody’s done the best they can –
or many have done the best they can – but there are both human and biosphere
externalities, that we’re now understanding better. Tourists aren’t going to Hong Kong
anymore (in China), because you have this air pollution problem where
it’s not safe for humans to go and visit. And we’re watching it – we’re watching climate
change, and watching thing going on, and we’re just sitting and going: “Ok, wow, this is
great, this is a good ride, isn’t it? Are you going to do something about it?
Are you going to do something about it? Oh, ok. Well, then let’s just keep going.” But, no. There are some people who stop and go:
“No, guys. Let’s check this out and see what’s going on, and make sure that
we understand what’s happening. And maybe we can change this.
And let’s do it together.” And part of this – really, I think –
is going to come down to a shift where consumers figure out who’s doing it
correctly – those dollars get shifted there. So, the companies who are doing it correctly, and the
companies whose brands stand for certain values, and stand for sustainability,
stand for social compliance – those are the companies in the future – I think –
that are going to be the most successful. Places where we’ve had the most success
were the companies that already had an incline of social responsibility. That was a huge “aha” moment – just recognizing
that we were actually having our most successful case studies come out of organizations that had
already expressed some commitment to responsibility. We’re one of a few companies in this industry
that has an exclusive focus on social and environmental responsibility. You know, it’s an industry ripe for revolution,
and in some ways is literally full of folks that predominantly have that – kind of –
old school mentality of: “It doesn’t matter where the product comes from,
it doesn’t matter where it’s going to go – I just want to make my margin
when it goes through my doors.” And you know, that mentality has really
made it easy for us to succeed. You can’t do business, in this day and age, and
be successful unless there is a giveback. And it’s also cool to be doing it. And people don’t talk about that,
but you know, a few want to be in the “Wallpapers” or the
“Monocles” or any of this cool press, or any of this stuff. It’s kind of like an elephant in a room:
you have to have societal impact. I’ve been using the term and talking about
“organic money” recently; how does it get grown? What’s it like when you consume it, or own it?
What happens next, where do you place it? What you call “conscious capitalism”,
organic money, whatever term you like – it has now seeded in the culture. There is
a rapidly growing ecosystem around it. – We’re business leaders who want to create
a new approach to business that puts people and planet alongside profit. – The term you use is “creating shared value”,
so talk a little about how that would work. – We once thought, if business just
increases its profit, what’s good for business
is then good for society. – I actually think if Milton Friedman were
alive today, he’d be a stakeholder theorist. He would understand that the only way to create
value for shareholders in today’s world is to pay attention to customers,
suppliers, employees, communities, and shareholders at the same time. – I think what this article tries to say is really:
We need to think differently – what’s good for society is actually good for business. Creating societal benefit is really a powerful way
to create economic value for the firm. And that we’ve missed – by and large – many
of these opportunities to create profit – let’s call it “the right way”. Day-to-day press, business magazines, online,
the conversation is so pervasive that this is a movement that is unstoppable. Schools like Harvard producing research that shows
that corporations who are committed to social impact, shared value, sustainability, conscious
capitalism – however we coin it – are actually outperforming traditional
for-profit-only corporations. We’ve gone from an average company to being
consistently a top 10 employer in British Columbia. We’ve been named a “Top 10 fastest-growing distributors in North America” in the last two years running. We just ranked #210 on the 500 list. We made the “Profit 100” for women
entrepreneurs last year. We’ve seen success both in the sustainability
world – people look to us as leaders – but I think even more interestingly,
in the mainstream world of our industry, and in the mainstream world of Canadian
business, we are actually showing up. And I find that almost more rewarding – just to be
able to show folks that you can live by your values and meet success with this
very traditional measures. If you are hanging on to for-profit only, and that
“do good stuff” is for other people, you are out of risk of really being obsolete and
out of touch with what consumers want. Wakey, wakey!
Times have changed. The almighty dollar has driven what organizations
look like for only the last 100 years or so. The industrial mindset, that we are
moving past, quite quickly now, is changing the way we need
to think about the world. And the companies that are going to be really,
really successful in the next 10 years, aren’t thinking in an institutional mindset. They’re thinking in a community mindset,
they’re thinking in a planetary mindset, and they’re reaping the results. I like to say: it probably took 500 years
for North American capitalism to evolve; it will probably take us another 50 years. But there are next generations now
for whom this is becoming more of a given rather than a struggle and an experiment. And they will reinvent the way
the economy is done. So, my favorite quote is from Voltaire: “No snowflake in an avalanche
ever feels responsible.” So, here we are, as business people,
part of capitalism that left unfettered leads to mass destruction,
leads to mass waste. What kind of snowflake
are we going to be? “It’s not my fault. Who am I? I’m insignificant, I’m small.” Are we going to be that snowflake? Or, are we going to be
the one that says: “I’m not part of this. I’m going to
stand for something bigger. I’m going to stand for something better. I’m going to stand for a world
left better because of me.” Subtitled by Sara Huang and Matej Pirih [visit
to see other videos or make a request]

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Watch this documentary film about the beginnings of “conscious capitalism” – a movement among some entrepreneurs that want to include social and environmental considerations in addition to seeking profit in their businesses. Part of the solution are “B corporations” (benefit corporations) – a corporate form designed specifically for that kind of entities.

  2. The arrogant, know it all “ mAstA” he knows it all and can solve all the world’s problems, for he is smarter, superior and savvier. Yet, after nearly 70 years   on the job, we are all worse off, radically poorer,  and more estranged.

  3. I guess a B corp would always start with an "awakened" entrepreneur.. the ? is how can we wake up the sleeping ones – not that they don't care.. they are too caught up in the rat race perhaps?

  4. @Zafar Satyavan Good question. I believe the answer was implied somewhere in the film: by “awakening” ourselves and start buying more and more from B corps, and less and less from traditional businesses.
    Once consumer demand shifts in this direction, the supply will follow.

  5. Take care of the community and they will take care of you. Take care of the Earth and she will take care of you. If we act like a virus, She will destroy us and start over because she, the earth, has an immune system. 

  6. ..and once again complete misdirection and ignorance as to what the issue really is, we do not have capitalism, and have not had it for 100 years….we live under a fascist system. "Big bad evil" corporations could not exist without the assistance of a willing and corrupt government, and the useful idiots (voters) who can't see the forest for the trees. 

  7. Rule No. 1 : Co-owners (owners of capital and creditors) of social enterprise must be employees, customers and supporters.
    Rule No. 2 : Bank loans are not allowed or. desirable.
    Rule No. 3 : At least 10% of revenue should be reinvested in this or similar social business (and create new local jobs)

  8. This documentary is awesome in so many ways. I think the key are consumers and communities (society in general). These B companies will be more, and more profitable when customers will be willing to demand their products and services rather than competitors, even if they charge higher prices in order to maintain sustainability.  The success will depend on the growing of moral and ethical behaviours in society.  
    Furthermore companies can benefit of this new trend by listening to the consumer and enabling the change step by step.    

  9. I am a Sociology undergraduate and I plan to pursue a Masters in Corporate Social Responsibility with energy once I graduate.  I have a passion for sociology and have a heavy interest in large corporations where I feel that my knowledge of sociology could be incorporated nicely.  I think that by combining the two disciplines I will have a lot to offer prospective employers.  This is like my calling – combining social factors with large capitalist organisations. 

  10. Great documentary, thanks for creating, sharing and equipping it with Slovenian subtitles. Yes, we live in a closed system and all what we do influences each other. Besides restructuring companies, we must also create a better economic and social system that will unconditionally  guarantee a dignified life for all >

  11. I would like to thank my school for making me watch this. Didn't watch it yet, but it's like I got nothing better to do. What's 9+10?

  12. Regulations are NOT the solution! Self governance is key, but hiring thugs to enact magical laws that protect established companies with higher entry costs? This is the root of the problem, regulations are the reason new companies can't enter markets.

  13. Thanks for sharing this. I use it to show my students in my highschool business class about the merits of social enterprise, and seeing it in action. It's important that young people understand that while "raging against the machine" is an uphill battle, they can still influence change and use the existing system for the greater good, by learning about and putting their efforts towards creating wealth for themselves and others through social/environmental change.

  14. I think this documentary is brilliant and everybody should watch it. Someone in comments said "all i see is cunning people trying to make themselves feel better". So? Even if? We are all human that are self-centred by the default and only a fracture of human race can acknowledge other people needs and actually do something about it – whatever their reasons are – at least they are doing something!
    This documentary is about businesses – profitable organisations, or rather about businesses that can make money, give jobs, create a conscious product and make a change. I don't think their aim was to show that "oh we are so great we do cool things", I think they wanted to show that it is possible to create and lead an organisation in eco-friendly and human rights respecting manner. There should be more videos and communities like this that build the awareness in the society what is acceptable and what is not.

  15. I don't understand the surprise. There is not contradiction between makey money and beeing socially responsible. Also, a lot of billionaires donate milliones to social purposes. The problem appear when is mandatory by the State, by taxes that goes anywhere and creates political clientelism(welfare). But the primary function and goal of a company is make money selling the stuff that consumers wants. From poverty you can't help anybody. Friedman is right.

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