Over the last three years, Blackrock Consulting has largely focused on sustainability projects and worked with environmental and social justice organizations. These projects have spanned from coordinating Grow Solar St. Louis, a residential rooftop solar group-buy and educational program, to helping with the Green Business Challenge and creating curriculum and trainings for Missouri Green Schools. We’ve also facilitated environmental justice trainings for earthday365’s board and US Green Building Council Missouri Gateway Chapter‘s board and helped earthday365 with their Green Dining Alliance program.
The individuals who make up Blackrock have always been sustainably-minded people at home and in our personal lives – gardening with native plants, recycling, advocating for renewable energy and public transportation, and working for environmental justice in our neighborhoods – but the pandemic has helped us to realize that we could be doing more as a business when it comes to environmental and social stewardship.
Certified B Corporations go through a rigorous third-party certification process to ensure that they are considering their impacts on people and the planet throughout their business operations. There are only a few B Corps in St. Louis, including our friends and colleagues at StraightUp Solar, but the practice has become fairly common globally over the last few years – over 100,000 businesses have applied for the B Corp assessment since 2016.
We are currently in the evaluation phase of our B Corp assessment (UPDATE: awarded B Corp certification in December 2021), but this process has already helped us create a baseline for our social and environmental impact that we can track and improve over time. Once our application is approved, we’ll join a global community of leaders who are redefining what success in business means.
To become a B Corp, we completed a rigorous assessment of our business practices and policies. Our assessment process included conducting a Greenhouse Gas Inventory, performing an employee service day with earthday365, installing on-site renewables (solar power) for two of our home offices, codifying our values in our operating documents and employee manual, and committing to purchasing Renewable Energy Credits to offset 100% of our carbon emissions.
In addition to seeking B Corp Certification, we joined the St. Louis Green Business Challenge at the Apprentice Level, becoming part of a network of sustainable business leaders in the region.
Both of these programs work as internal and external accountability tools, keeping us on track, providing ideas and resources for improvement over time, and connecting us to like-minded businesses here in St. Louis and around the country.
Sustainability is a journey, and we will likely never be finished working to improve our operations, but we are proud of our recent accomplishments and are excited to see what comes next for our tiny-but-mighty business.