We are the Solar Energy Business Association of New England.

Since 2001, we have been bringing solar businesses together with policy makers and other stakeholders to create a sustainable solar energy economy for New England.

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member spotlight

We love our members! This month's spotlight features our B-Corporation members including BlueWave, PowerDash, PV Squared, ReVision, South Mountain Company, and SunBug.

Pairing Profit with Purpose:  Meet our Solar B Corps

By Alex Kelleher

October 15, 2018

Imagine a global movement of people using business as a force for good.  Solar businesses are among the leaders of this movement, offering clean energy solutions to reduce our global ecological footprint and dependence on non-renewable energy.  Some businesses are taking their commitment to being a force for good a step further, putting people and planet on par with profit, and holding themselves accountable to triple bottom line standards.  

Meet our solar B Corps.   

Certified B Corporations are businesses that balance purpose and profit. Since 2006, B Labs, the organization that certifies B Corps, has built a growing movement of over 2600 businesses in 150 industries and 60 countries dedicated to meeting the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability for the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. In short, B Corps are redefining what it means to be successful in business.

SEBANE is honored to have several member companies that are certified B Corps: BlueWave, PowerDash, PV Squared, ReVision, South Mountain Company, and SunBug. Our longest standing B Corp member is the South Mountain Company, establishing their B Corporation status in 2008, as they found that the values of B-Labs paralleled their own. ReVision became a B Corp certified in 2015. Becoming a B Corp was a “perfect alignment of values and a powerful way to signal to employees and customers our deep commitment to socially responsible business practices,” according to co-founder, Phil Coupe. Their company aims to maximize the good their work does for all of society.  According to ReVision, certified B Corps are competing to be not just ‘The Best in the World’, but ‘The Best for the World’.

PowerDash decided to take the leap in 2016. The company views their work as a clean energy supplier as a “public good” that “accelerates innovation.” PowerDash’s founder Stephen Lapointe explained to SEBANE that the company “wanted to be held to high standards of employee treatment, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. We knew that the process of developing an annual Benefit Report would provide a discipline that would help us to identify where we have strengths and where we have room for improvement.” For them, becoming a B Corp was a motivator and reminder to continue to serve their neighboring communities to the best of their capabilities.

Although it has been a goal of theirs for a while, SunBug became a B Corporation in February of this year. Vice President of Commercial Business Nick D’arbeloff commented that  “ Becoming an official B Corp was a natural evolution of growth for our company. SunBug has always believed in serving their customers and employees in the same fashion as their owners and investors.”

BlueWave, who became  certified in 2017, also uses their status as a B Corporation to do their part in improving the way business is done.   In line with their mission, BlueWave believes that, “Using business as a force for good is not just good business, it’s the only way we want to do business. We are committed to transparency, sustainability and improving the lives of others.” BlueWave hopes to help generate renewable energy that is accessible to all.

Certified in 2014, PV Squared takes pride in “practicing democracy in the workplace.” PV Squared co-owner and former SEBANE President William Stillinger explains, “Although all of our governing is done internally, we wanted to have an independent body (B Lab) assess environmental, social, and economic performance rather than rely on our own perceptions of how we were meeting our responsibilities.” The South Mountain Company is thrilled to be aligned with B Labs, and they have enjoyed the resources that are available as a B Corp (such as B Labs’ white papers on transparency). Meanwhile, SunBug has seen a prominent transformation in-house, D’arbeloff stating, “I think it makes all of our employees think differently about our mission, and helps customers see us through a different lens.”  PowerDash has watched their company become more conscious of their decisions and held accountable since transforming into a B Corp. According to Lapointe, “It has caused us to reflect regularly on our internal policies, including employee benefits and the environmental impact of our supply chain. It has also given us a nudge to participate actively in important industry initiatives that promote open standards.”

BlueWave thinks their customers have more “peace of mind” after knowing that their company is a B Corporation dedicated to doing right by their employees, customers, and community. ReVision Energy noted beneficial changes since becoming a B Corp to include attracting more  employees who “like working for a B Corp,” and attracting customers who enjoy “doing business with a values-driven company.” Coupe credits their B Corp principles for their low employee turnover rate. William Stillinger from PV Squared also believes that becoming a B Corporation has enabled their company  to attract quality employees. Additionally, they enjoy the network of organizations that B Labs has connected them to, allowing them to discuss similar business challenges they face. Despite the intensive process of becoming certified, ReVision finds the process to be extremely worthwhile and rewarding, bringing about only positive impacts.

Solar companies aspire to sustain our world each day with the environmentally conscious work they do. Yet, becoming a B Corp has allowed some of SEBANE’s member companies to take this mission even further.   Not only does SEBANE commend our member companies for being B corporations, but we are proud of their genuine motives in doing so.

We are gratified by their commitment and privileged to have them as members of our solar trade association.   For more information on B Corporations and how to become a B Corp, please click here.

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