How Oliver Russell Advanced Its Social and Environmental Efforts in the Time of COVID-19

B Corp Oliver Russell contributed cash funding and social amplification to Shape Up The Vote, a voter registration project to reach prospective Black male voters through the community of Black barbershops in Atlanta and Milwaukee.

The other day I was in a Zoom meeting with a university class studying social enterprise and a student asked, “What does being a B Corp look like at Oliver Russell?”

I had to think about it a moment. At the one-year mark of the pandemic’s onset, there’s a lot of that going on — reflection and contemplation. So I thought a bit and responded that the best way I could answer her question was to talk about the impact our small company (<10 people) had made in the world since the start of the pandemic.

So what does being…

New Tool Shares the Basics of the B Corp Community

Did you know it’s B Month, as in “B Corp Month”? This, combined with the tumultuous year we’ve all endured, has given me the opportunity to reflect on our company Oliver Russell’s journey as a Certified B Corporation, which is nearly a decade in duration — a long time as a member of this fledgling but fast-growing movement of businesses for good.

One area I keep circling back to during introspection is employee engagement — as leaders we all talk it, but do we all walk it? B Corp leaders certainly understand the value of engaging employees around a strong…

(Photo by Lukas from Pexels)

Benefit Corporation Growth Spurs New Business Collaboration

As those in the accelerating movement for corporate impact know, amazing things happen when businesses use their power as a force for good. There’s a special magic when these same mission-driven companies join forces by combining resources and translating this into collaborative initiatives, whether that be toward achievement of NetZero 2030 through the B Corp Climate Collective or work on SDG 17, partnerships for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It’s this spirit of collective action — and a gap in the marketplace — that spurred the formation of Unit Co., a joint venture started by three Certified B…

Changemaker Double India Pale Ales Tells a Tale on Its Packaging

Changemaker Double IPA. Now here’s a beer after my own social-change-making heart, and I’ll double down on what Imagine Nation Brewing Co. is trying to accomplish here with the packaging design on its beer can label.

It reminds me of the timeless label from Dr. Bronner’s (All-One!), updated for 2021. Its use of the label to deliver a longer-form narrative is super intriguing. The overall message of the circular design is tough to capture in an image, at least for comprehension of all that’s going on with the label, so I’m going to transcribe it here, along with supporting images.

I love this iconic image of Dolores Huerta.

Call this what you will: a list of silver linings, gratitudes (not platitudes), or — and not in the strict religious sense — saving graces. Not to polish this supreme turd of a year, but it has, far beyond family and friends, provided each of us with a new opportunity to rediscover our world by reclaiming appreciation for the everyday wonders among us.

In no particular order, here are my top-ten saving graces for MMXX, Twenty-Twenty; two-oh, two-oh-no!; 2020.

1. Nurses

In the best of times, nurses don’t have easy jobs. Now consider this year: sandwiched in the competing priorities…

credit: plan c empowering circular futures

By Markus Kessler and Russ Stoddard

The linear life we’ve chosen and the way it affects how we conduct business or create consumption — by designing and mass producing single-use, throwaway products with a complete emphasis on convenience — can no longer be the way we live our lives or how our economies operate.

In the first part of this article, we introduced the circular economy as a new business model to address climate change, though its precepts are to be found in the “old ways” prior to mass production and the explosion of the industrial age and its child…

Photo credit: FES in Mena, 04.23.20

The Pandemic as Prelude to a Circular Economy

By Markus Kessler and Russ Stoddard

Authors’ note: This is part 1 of a two-part article prompted by the world’s current state of pandemic affairs and its effect not only on society, but on the world of commerce and the opportunity for business to battle the true threat — climate change — by embracing a circular economy as a means to a stronger and longer-lasting recovery.

During this global pandemic, we’ve seen the world turn on its head in ways that were, just 10–12 weeks ago, imaginable only in the context of…

Image Source Credit: Patriot Software website

I’ve been with a Big Bank for a long time. And yesterday, it failed me.

What happened is that, along with millions of other small businesses, I was left with hat in hand when Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funding via the CARES Act ran out. It’s my own damn fault, really, and therein lies a cautionary tale about the choices in banking we make.

For those of you who know me, it’s odd that I’m even with a Big Bank. I’m a B Corp kinda guy and local banks, not BIG ones, are in alignment with creating a business…

Here’s a B for Boeing. One for Bank of America, too. And one for all the other mega-corporations that are elbowing at the table for billions in government Bailouts (with a capital B) via the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

At the heart of my Plan B bailout proposal is an intriguing and relatively new legal structure called a “benefit corporation.”

Legislators fashioning the CARES Act are rightly focusing on safeguards for making loans to public companies that limit the recipient’s ability to fund self-serving stock buybacks, cap dividend payments, and corral managerial compensation and bonuses. …

Our company uses The Good Traveler to offset our carbon emissions from business travel.

Why You Should Buy Carbon Credits To Offset Your Business Travel

If your company is interested in putting the word “act” into climate action, a simple and positive step is offsetting the carbon that’s released into the atmosphere through your business travel.

Carbon offsets are pretty simple. You pay money for “offsets” that are measured against the mileage of your air travel (or automotive) mileage of your trips; your funds are then invested in projects that reduce the carbon equivalent impacts of your travel. …

Russ Stoddard

Social Entrepreneur, branding expert, and author of “Rise Up — How to Build a Socially Conscious Business.

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