People + Planet + Profit. In January 2016, Higher Grounds proudly became a certified B Corp, joining almost 2000 companies from 50 countries and 130 different industries who are committed to using business as a force for good. Along with companies such as Patagonia, Seventh Generation, and Etsy, Higher Grounds took the B Corp Impact Assessment and has committed to continuing our dedication to using business to be the best for the world.

BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD

People + planet + profit. B Corp certification is to business what USDA Organic certification is to milk. As Higher Grounds grows, we are using our B Corp certification and networks to measure ourselves against universal sustainability standards, keeping our triple-bottom-line values (people/planet/profit) at the core of that growth and ensure that the mission we were founded on is protected.

B Corp certification shows that Higher Grounds values the environment, our community and those communities of our suppliers in addition to our financial bottom line.

When employees benefit, we benefit. Since certifying in January 2016, we launched Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program in which full time staff can be paid for up to 20 volunteer hours per year (10 hours for part-time employees) when they give their time to local non-profits. In winter 2016, HG staff collectively volunteered 73 hours to Safe Harbor, our local homeless advocacy organization providing meals and shelter to Traverse City's most vulnerable individuals over the winter months.

Reduce, reuse, recyle, and compost! We have also used our certification as a motivator to amp up our compost and recycling practices, incorporating clearly labeled waste stations with multiple receptacles here at HG, which has greatly reduced the total amount of waste we are sending to the landfill (and increased the amount we are recycling and composting instead).

Biking is good business! In May 2016, we became certified as a "Bicycle Friendly Business" by the League of American Bicyclists.

A growing initiative. In an effort to grow the B Corp community in Traverse City, Higher Grounds hosted two B Corp Happy Hours. In June we invited local, independent businesses to share snacks and drinks and learn more about what it means to be a B and to celebrate our certification.  In September, we partnered with two West Michigan B’s to host the second Happy Hour. More than 30 people joined us in the roastery where we had a deeper conversation about certifying as a B Corp, what the network of B’s has to offer and introduced the “Quick Impact Assessment” offered by Local First of Grand Rapids.

Don't just take our word for it. By scoring 96/200 on an assessment that measured Higher Grounds’ social and environmental impact, we were able to measure our successes and identify areas in need of improvement. B Corp ensures transparency; our B Impact report is available on bcorporation.net. To learn more about our certification, check out our B Corp profile.