Honoring Wisconsin’s Best for the World™

Vista Global is among a group of 17 Wisconsin certified B Corps committed to being a force for good in the world. We have also been recognized as a 2022 “Best for the World” company in the Customer Category. 

The “Best For The World” designation is given to B Corps that score in the top 5% of their size category from more than 5,000 Certified B Corporations from 83 countries. We’re honored to have received this designation for 5 consecutive years.

Congratulations, Wisconsin’s Best for the World honorees!

Five certified B Corps in Wisconsin achieved “Best for the World” status in 2022. Companies are honored in the following categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Governance, Environment, and Workers. 

The Honorees

Vista Global Coaching & Consulting – Best for Customers

 

ZYN – Best for Community

 

Riverwater Partners Best for Customers

 

Envest Microfinance Best for Governance

 

Cream City Conservation & Consulting Best for Workers

Learn more about the Best for the World™ designation and find other B Corp honorees here.

A Decade of B Corp Certification: Being a Business for Good

For the last 10 years, Vista Global has been a Certified B Corp, making us the longest certified B Corp in the state of Wisconsin. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. This third-party certification legally requires businesses to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, governance, community, and the environment.

In order to achieve certification, a company must complete an Impact Assessment where they are evaluated based on the five categories. The assessment is tailored to different industries and sizes of business. A minimum score of 80 points must be achieved for certification. 

Since our first certification in 2012, Vista Global has been dedicated to using business as a force for positive change in the world. I am proud to announce that Vista Global just completed its 4th recertification and received our highest score yet of 145.3 points! How have we been able to continuously grow our impact over the last 10 years? Below is a breakdown of our current score and how we got there. 

Community – 67 points

The Community category evaluates a company’s engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity & inclusion, economic impact, civic engagement, charitable giving, and supply chain management. In addition, this section recognizes business models that are designed to address specific community-oriented problems, such as poverty alleviation through fair trade sourcing or distribution via microenterprises, producer cooperative models, locally-focused economic development, and formal charitable giving commitments.

Community is Vista Global’s highest-scoring category. From the beginning, our business model has been centered around supporting the local community. We do this by offering pro-bono services, by volunteering on nonprofit boards, and through monetary donations. 

Customers – 57.7 points

The Customers category evaluates a company’s stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels. In addition, this section recognizes products or services that are designed to address a particular social problem for or through its customers, such as health or educational products, arts & media products, serving underserved customers/clients, and services that improve the social impact of other businesses or organizations.

Customers is our second-highest scoring category. The coaching and consulting services we provide to our customers are specifically designed to improve education and support underserved populations. We’re honored to have received the “Best for the World” nomination in the Customers category the last 4 years. 

Governance – 13.1 points

The Governance category evaluates a company’s overall mission, engagement around its social/environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect its mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision-making through their corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents.

From the beginning, Vista Global has adopted a legal framework that is intentionally designed to create a specific positive outcome for all of its stakeholders. 

Environment – 7.3 points

The Environment category evaluates a company’s overall environmental management practices as well as its impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity. This includes the direct impact of a company’s operations and, when applicable, its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognizes companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact. Some examples might include products and services that create renewable energy, reduce consumption or waste, conserve land or wildlife, provide less toxic alternatives to the market, or educate people about environmental problems.

Vista Global operates in a virtual office, which in turn reduces our negative impact on the environment. We have also adopted policies that prioritize supporting environmentally conscious suppliers. 

To learn more, visit our B Corp Profile.

The Decade of Action: Next Steps to Becoming a More Sustainable World

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly created a collection of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), each designed to target a specific area of sustainability. These goals are intended to serve as a blueprint for all countries in order to create a sustainable future for all. The UN determined that in order to create a sustainable world, the SDGs must be achieved globally by 2030.

Although 15 years seems like a long period of time, five years into this, the world remains behind schedule on achieving these goals. As small business owners, we are responsible for incorporating the SDGs into our business models. By doing so, we are setting a precedent and example for other businesses to follow our lead. 

Since 2012, Vista Global has been a Certified B Corp, meaning that our business practices meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance. The B Corp certification was first created by the nonprofit B Lab in 2007, and since its establishment more than 3,000 businesses worldwide have become Certified B Corps. This certification can be rigorous and time consuming. Therefore, to broaden the reach to businesses interested in adopting sustainable practices, B Lab, in partnership with the UN Global Impact, developed a new solution, known as the SDG Action Manager. 

The SDG Action Manager is a free tool that was created in order to bring attention to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. This tool allows businesses worldwide to create goals, monitor progress, and implement change in their business and community. The SDG Action Manager consists of 17 components, beginning with a baseline assessment, followed by an assessment relating to each of the SDGs:

Each category is designed to make businesses think about their impacts, both positive and negative. After completing the different assessments, businesses will be provided with a ranking, indicating how close they are to achieving a certain goal. The purpose of this tool is to provide businesses with a metric for monitoring their impacts and solutions for taking action. 

Vista Global is committed to working towards SDG Goal #5 “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls.” As a woman leader of a certified B Corp, Mary Stelletello, Founder of Vista Global has signed the global WeTheChange declaration. Any woman business owner or ally can sign this declaration. This connects individual action to a global movement.

How does the SDG Action Manager Work?

Find your starting point

To begin, each business will complete an assessment of current business practices. This assessment will identify which SDGs matter most in your company. 

Understand your impact

After completing the assessment, businesses will have a clear understanding of which of their current business practices are creating a positive impact, as well as risk areas that need addressing. 

Set goals and track improvement

After you have a better understanding of your current impacts, it’s time to take action. Stay motivated by creating goals and track your progress on the dashboard. 

With only 10 years left to achieve the SDGs, the SDG Action Manager serves as an easy tool to assist businesses in adopting sustainability into their business strategy. We have the power to build a sustainable, inclusive and regenerative global economy. 

Get Started Today!

Three Ways We Can Reshape the Global Economy for Everyone

It’s been three months since the Business Roundtable released a revised statement of purpose signed by 181 of its 193 members, issuing a new commitment to move from shareholder primacy to creating “value for all of our stakeholders.” This declaration was met with the gamut of reactions including skepticism, “about time” sighs, and a challenge from the B Corp community to follow up with action and collaboration through its #LetsGetToWork open letter and campaign

With $7 trillion in revenue annually, these leading U.S. corporations are a powerful voice in the market and beyond. Their action – or failure to act – will have an undeniable impact on the sustainability and equitability of business and community in the coming decade. Three months later, the BRT Twitter account shares positive individual actions taken by its members almost daily but it remains to be seen if and what collective action will come next. 

But We’re Not Waiting to Take Action

As a certified B Corp, my coaching and consulting firm votes every day to prioritize people over profit and to build a regenerative economy. We do this by providing 95% of our services to customers that address social and economic problems. We also encourage our staff to donate more than 5% of their time to volunteer service.

Vista Global is a small business with a small economic engine. As we’ve discovered from many movements in the past few years – #TimesUp, #FridaysforFuture, and #BlackLivesMatter – there is power in numbers. That’s why I’ve been actively looking for ways to connect with and amplify the work that needs to be done. 

A clear way that we can ensure a more purpose-driven bottom line is to propel more women into leadership roles. As Fortune.com noted in the article, “Climate Change Is Everyone’s Problem. Women Are Ready to Solve It”: 

Women are more inclined to take a broader, more long-term view and are more willing to engage with difficult issues that have an everyday impact not only on a company’s bottom line but across our society as a whole.” 

Ironically, corporations who promote women will not only strengthen their commitment to purpose but will also increase their bottom line: 

“Firms with female CEOs and CFOs produce superior stock price performance, compared to the market average, and firms with a high gender diversity on their board of directors are more profitable and larger than firms with low gender diversity, according to a new study from S&P Global Market Intelligence.” — Korn Ferry Institute 

3 Ways to Close the Opportunity Gap

Unfortunately, finding women to fill these leadership roles isn’t as easy as it sounds due to the “broken rung” of opportunity. This phrase was recently introduced in a study from McKinsey and LeanIn.org. It represents the fact that many women aren’t being denied top management positions. Instead, they are missing out on the initial promotion opportunities to step up into management. Without this first step, there is no further opportunity to climb the corporate ladder. 

This year, as a founding signatory to the #WeTheChange declaration, I have committed to actively building a world where women are equally represented for a “radically inclusive and richly regenerative global economy.” Here are 3 ways that businesses – from a solopreneur to a billion-dollar corporation – can contribute to the conversation, close the opportunity gap for women, and be a positive force for change.

Pay Equity

In recent Congressional testimony provided by Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO and Chair of the BRT, it was determined that Mr. Dimon received total compensation of $31.5 million in 2018 which is 1312 times the starting wage of a JP Morgan teller. Congresswoman Katie Porter attempted to create the tightest possible budget for a constituent living in her district and found it impossible to make this salary work with a monthly deficit of $567. This pay equity gap will add up to an average loss of $418,800 over a 40-year career for a 20-year-old woman starting to work full time this year according to the National Women’s Law Center. Closing the wage gap is about both leveling the playing field and a more robust economy with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research calculating that closing the wage gap would add $512.6 billion to the U.S. economy annually.

Sponsorship: Beyond Mentoring

I first experienced sponsorship when I started a new management position and soon realized that I was being paid 50% of one of my counterparts who had less experience. I rewrote my job description and advocated for myself, but it was the sponsorship of a male colleague in an executive management role that sealed the deal for my pay to be increased to equitable standings. 

Mentors provide encouragement and advice, using their own valuable experience to help their mentee discover opportunities, chart their own path, and avoid pitfalls. Sponsors go one step further and take action, helping to build social capital by introducing junior employees to their social network, going to bat for them in interviews, and creating opportunity for these leaders on the rise. Ellevate, another women-owned certified B Corp, is an excellent example of sponsorship in action with a powerful online network, peer group “squads,” and regional in-person events. Women and men in leadership must take on the responsibility for not only providing sage advice but championing the work and potential of women. 

Leadership Development: 70-20-10

Beyond actively seeking out sponsorship opportunities, businesses must invest in leadership development through coaching, ongoing education, and by simply giving women the reins to lead. Based on 30 years of research conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, Bridgespan Group has designed the 70-20-10 leadership development model that posits leadership is learned by doing. The model calls for 70 percent of development to consist of on-the-job learning, supported by 20 percent coaching and mentoring and 10 percent classroom training. If women know that their leadership development is valued and will be rewarded, that broken rung will practically repair itself.

What’s Next?

We commend Jamie Dimon and BRT CEOs in recognizing that the U.S. economy needs to work for everyone.. Next up? Let’s walk the walk. Taking action by closing the wage gap, fostering sponsorships, designing 70-20-10 leadership development, and implementing inclusive workplace policies is good for business and will reshape the U.S. economy to create a durable prosperity for everyone. 

This blog was originally published on Thrive Global December 4, 2019.

2019 Champions Retreat Recap: How do we evolve capitalism?

A week ago, I returned from Los Angeles after three days of deep engagement at the B Corp Champions Retreat with 600 changemakers who are committed to building a globally inclusive and regenerative economy.

The opening plenary set the stage for a new awakening for me. The theme of the 2019 B Corp Champions Retreat was “Building Inclusive & Regenerative Economies”.

Lynn Johnson, emcee and CoFounder/CEO of Spotlight: Girls stated it in plain terms:

“What you do to the people, you do to the land. What you do to the land, you do to the people.”

I am familiar with the concept of “inclusive economies”. As shared in that opening plenary:

An INCLUSIVE Economy is one that creates opportunities for people of all backgrounds and experiences to live with dignity, support themselves and their families, and make a contribution to their local and national communities.

But the concept of “regenerative economies” was not something I really understood. As shared in the opening plenary:

A REGENERATIVE Economy takes sustainability to the next level. It is rooted in metrics and market structures that meet human needs through equitable access, distribution, fully-costed and priced services and goods, and delivers flourishing value for all within nature’s bounds.

Sustainability is no longer good enough. We are in a climate crisis and we are running out of time before the tipping point of no return. The final words of this definition are what were the awakening for me, “flourishing value for all within nature’s bounds.”  What you do to the land, you do to the people.

There were opportunities to learn from each other, share successes and challenge ourselves to examine our individual mindsets and practices.  Throughout the plenary sessions, there was the constant drumbeat from Mermans Mosengo of Playing for Change, connecting us to the pulse of the land like a heartbeat.

I challenged myself to build my understanding of regenerative economies and started with the opportunity to watch the feature film called The Biggest Little Farm, an award-winning documentary about Apricot Lane Farms, a regenerative organic and biodynamic farm just 40 miles from Los Angeles.  This really crystallized the mantra, “what you do to the land, you do to the people.”

In the keynote by Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia,  gave the call to action, “Capitalism needs to evolve, if humanity is to survive.”

How do we evolve capitalism?

As I sat in many different sessions, the theme that consumer behavior drives capitalism was a consistent underpinning.  The choices consumers make impact the marketplace. So what can we do individually and collectively?

  1. #VoteEveryDay is a campaign to give you, as the consumer, the power to evolve capitalism with your purchases. You have a voice and power beyond the ballot box. By buying from, working for and doing business with B Corps, you vote for what you believe in.  Every day is election day.
  2. Get informed. Just like I did with respect to regenerative economies. If we are in a state of unconscious incompetence, we don’t know what we don’t know and we can’t change our behavior.The first step is knowledge.
  3. Be a researcher for a day. Examine every daily practice that you have from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed. Then ask yourself, “what impact does this behavior have on marginalized people?” “What impact does this have on the land?” And then evaluate, “what can I change to reduce that impact?”
    — Here are a few quick examples of my own examination since I returned, “can I ride my bike instead of jumping in the car?” I am also saying no to paper and plastic bags by bringing my own.
  4. Connect to changemakers globally. All change starts at the individual level but the transformation of the global economy requires us to harness our individual action in a collective way.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet through a framework of 17 goals with targets to be achieved by 2030. Starting in January 2020, you can use the SDG Action Manager to take action, track progress and transform the world. What goal do you want to work towards?

I am committed to work towards SDG Goal #5 “Achieve Gender Equality and Empower all Women and Girls.” As a woman leader of a certified B Corp, I have signed the global WeTheChange declaration. Any woman business owner or ally can sign this declaration. This is connecting my individual action to a global movement.

We can build an inclusive and regenerative global economy. If you need support getting started, let’s connect.

 

Three Steps to Becoming a B Corp “Best for the World”

We are all familiar with the term “Best of”… Each year businesses ask us to vote for them in a specific category, “Best Taco, Best Yoga Studio, Best Chiropractor…” Then a list is published, and it is really more of a popularity contest than a true examination of how that business is the best.  

We are all familiar with the term “Best of”… Each year businesses ask us to vote for them in a specific category, “Best Taco, Best Yoga Studio, Best Chiropractor…” Then a list is published, and it is really more of a popularity contest than a true examination of how that business is the best.   Continue reading “Three Steps to Becoming a B Corp “Best for the World””