B-Corp Champions Retreat Plenary Session Presentation March 2024

Two Busch Systems employees – Marissa and Steph – had the opportunity to attend B-Lab’s semi-annual Champions Retreat: RESTORE in March 2024 as part of B-Corp Month. Here is a recap of their week spent with other B-Corporation Champions & leaders!

Plenary & Keynotes – Wed March 20th

The first full day of the B-Corp Conference was filled with large-group plenary sessions and keynote presentations. And let us tell you – being a single room filled with over 700 B-Corp representatives and hopefuls was a powerful experience!

The full list of presenters is too long to share here, but specific highlights were hearing from Keynote Speaker Jenn Harper, Founder & CEO of Cheekbone Beauty, about her journey into success – and successful B-Corp certification, as well as hearing Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Executive Director of the David Suzuki Foundation, speak about climate change and the collective action we can take as corporations to actively combat its impending devastating effects.

Breakout Sessions – Thurs March 21st

On the second day, we broke out into smaller sessions to dive deeper into some current, pressing issues facing the B-Corp community.

One of the over-arching main focuses of this year’s entire Retreat was the upcoming Evolution of B-Corp Standards, and the proposed upcoming changes to the B-Corp Certification/Recertification processes. We were able to attend a Feedback & Review session with representatives from B Lab Global “to dive into the latest draft of the evolving B Corp Certification standards with fellow community members … [and share] feedback directly with the B Lab Global Standards team”. (see more)

And, we were able to absorb a LOT of useful take-aways about Digital Accessibility from “Designing for Accessibility: Inclusive Practices for Your Digital Presence” ranging from capitalizing all the words in hashtags (so read-aloud software can in fact read the hashtags aloud), to using high-colour-contrast in design for better readability/visibility, to notable back-end website coding to ensure greater ranges of user interfacing than what is considered the ‘standard’. (You can learn more about the basics of Digital Accessibility here: Digital Accessibility Toolkit – Canada.ca)

Integration Sessions – Fri March 22nd

The final morning of the conference was spent in Integration Sessions – learning how to take aaalllll the take-aways back home with us, and what in the world to DO with all the info we had now! Both of us felt these sessions were the most helpful of the entire retreat, and really focused on solid, tangible next steps all of us in the B-Corp community can take to keep improving from here.

And this is one of the most impactful components of the B-Corp Certification, in our opinion – the focus on continual improvement! You don’t just achieve certification for high levels of social and environmental responsibility and then ‘call it a day’ – every certified B-Corporation is continuously called on to do better and be better every day, on top of setting large improvement goals for every 3-year round of recertification. So, having the time dedicated within the conference to distill what we’ve learned and what we can take home with us to keep doing and being better was quite special.

Main B-Corp Take-aways

In their own words; “B Lab is currently undertaking a multi-year stakeholder engagement process for evolving the standards for B Corp Certification – asking big questions about how the current standards meet the needs of the moment and how we can optimize the B Corp movement for the future. The new standards will provide clarity for companies, galvanizing the most impactful business actions and focusing on what matters, meaningfully demonstrating the leadership role that B Corps and the B Corp movement play worldwide.” (see more)

So, aligning with this big upcoming change, most of the Retreat for us at least was focused directly on possible future changes coming down the pipe – and learning all about them to provide feedback on the proposed Evolving Standards.

You can learn more about where B Lab Global and the B-Corporation Certification is growing from here on their website here and take a look at the latest draft standards here.

Learn More

If you would like to read more about B Lab and their work to make business a global force for good, you can find them online here: B Lab Global Site (bcorporation.net)

If you’re interested in learning more about Busch Systems as a certified B-Corporation, you can follow this link here: Certified B Corporation | Busch Systems | Recycling and Wa…

And if you have any questions about our certification, our high social & environmental responsibility standards, or our products, feel free to contact us here: hello@buschsystems.com