Advocating for policy changes that focus on the climate cannot be tackled by a single organization’s actions, but must be addressed through the power of collective voice. B Local Boston has partnered with Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization, to work together to elevate the role of advocacy in the community by bringing engagement opportunities to certified B Corps. This collaboration leverages the national partnership between B Lab and Ceres to address climate resiliency through promoting policies at the state and federal levels of government. The objective is to provide a platform for Massachusetts B Corps to raise their collective voice to drive climate policy change.
B Corps have a unique and important voice in state-level advocacy. As part of the business community our voice carries extra weight with policy makers, and we can bring a strong principled view for climate action interconnected with a drive for equity. In recognition of our niche perspective, and desire to engage in advocacy, in 2019 B Local Boston hosted two collective action events in which New England B Corp leaders and NGO partners gathered to envision how to act together. Building on the momentum to take action and enthusiasm to protect the climate, B Local Boston and Ceres teamed up to provide the B Community with an advocacy opportunity focused on Massachusetts net-zero legislation.
Ceres proposed a first opportunity to influence a vote on the agenda for before the end of the Massachusetts General Court legislative session was the 2050 Roadmap Bill, which outlines the roadmap to Massachusetts achieving carbon neutrality, emitting net zero carbon emissions, by 2050. To provide a vehicle for local B Corps to voice their unified support for this legislation, Ceres and B Local Boston crafted a sign-on letter to share with the B Community. In a short turnaround of only two weeks, 8 Massachusetts B Corps became signatories of this letter - BlueWave Solar, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, The Green Engineer, Habitus Incorporated, ReVision Energy, Powerdash, Preserve, and TripZero. The support of the B Community, amongst many others, for this legislation resulted in the 2050 Roadmap Bill passing in the House of Representatives with specific provisions around interim targets and environmental justice communities.
The swift mobilization of Massachusetts B Corps to take part in climate advocacy signals this is a priority for the community. In shaping future advocacy actions, B Local Boston and Ceres plan to apply key learnings brought to their attention through a debrief session with net-zero support letter signatories. A shared goal in this debrief is to gauge the policy opportunities these organizations would most like to engage in. Education for B Corps on the current climate policy outlook will also be a focus this coming fall. Through these curated events B Local Boston and Ceres aim to continue to build power, and frequency, behind the collective voice of Massachusetts B Corps in protecting the climate.