When we first learned about the nonprofit B Lab and their work to build a global community of like-minded organizations called “certified B Corporations” who meet “the highest standards of verified, overall social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability,” we were immediately intrigued. Higher Grounds has always been committed to those very values, and pursuing the opportunity to engage with others who shared those values seemed like a no-brainer.
Certifying as a B Corp provides us with a frame for many of the projects and initiatives that shape who we are as an organization. Since our inception, we’ve been forging relationships with people and organizations around the world in an effort to build strong, resilient communities both in our local area and far beyond. Here are some of the ways Higher Grounds has demonstrated the values of a B Corp from our very beginning:
A commitment to organic standards. We purchase only 100% certified and transitional organic coffee from small-scale farmers.
Direct, long-term relationships, transparency in our contracts with farmers, and paying above fair trade prices. Check out fairtradeproof.org to view our contracts.
Investing in producer communities via our sister nonprofit, On the Ground, which has partners and projects in five countries and enables a strong connection between growers and consumer.
Investing in the health, financial security, and community engagement of our staff via a flexible wellness program, health savings accounts, 401Ks, and paid volunteer hours.
Caring for our environment by delivering coffee by bike locally year-round, using recycled and recyclable products in-house, and composting our spent coffee grounds.
Continuing to care for our friends at origin via the Coffee Farmer Resilience Fund, through which we donate 5 cents per pound of coffee purchased from our Central American farming partners impacted by coffee leaf rust to our importing cooperative’s Roya Fund, which supports agricultural solutions for those farmers.
We’re thrilled to be a part of the growing global network of B Corps, and we love the framework it provides for us to measure our progress as we continue to seek ways to improve how we do business.