The 8 best companies for the world, according to a major sustainability nonprofit

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Employees at New Belgium Brewing, which made this year’s Best Companies for the World list.
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New Belgium Brewing Company

No business is immune from making bad decisions, but some companies do more good for the world than others.

Every year, the nonprofit B Lab rolls out its list of the best companies for the world – that is, the top 10% of B Corp-certified scorers on the B Impact Assessment, a sustainability management tool that examines a company’s effect on the environment, workers, and community.

B Lab certification requires companies to meet a rigorous set of criteria related to corporate social responsibility, including environmental and legal accountability. It’s a high benchmark in and of itself, so a B Lab-certified company that also scores highly on the impact assessment is a big deal.

This time around, over 500 companies were eligible for the Best for the World awards.

Scroll down to see the top small, medium, and large businesses who scored highly.


Roshan

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B Lab

Roshan is Afghanistan’s largest telecom provider, and as of 2014, it was the largest private employer in the country as well.

“With significant investment in philanthropic sources, they built out a telecommunications network across Afghanistan and brought cell service to the majority of that country” says Bryan Welch, CEO of B the Change Media. “They’ve regularly had to deal with the Taliban blowing up their towers because [the Taliban] is resistant to people having good communications facilities.”


Cooperative Home Care Associates

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Carsten Koall/Getty Images

A home healthcare provider in the Bronx, Cooperative Home Care Associates is the largest employee-owned co-op in North America. The majority of board members are employees.

“They’ve succeeded in one of the most difficult businesses in one of most difficult communities for decades,” says Welch.


Juhudi Kilimo

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B Lab

Juhudi Kilimo is a microfinance organization in Kenya; it was also Africa’s first B Corporation. Unlike most microfinance institutions in the country, Juhudi Kilimo focuses on rural smallholder farmers. The organization provides banking resources for a community that might otherwise not have access to them.

“We finance productive agricultural assets to increase income levels and foster the development of farmer groups to provide a forum for training, leadership, and business development and build self-supporting communities,” Rachel Brooks, Director for Marketing and Social Performance at Juhudi Kilimo, told B Lab.


Beneficial State Bank

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Flickr / myfuture.com

Founded in 2007, Beneficial State Bank is a community development bank in Oakland, California that was founded by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and his wife Kat. According to B Lab, the bank has a unique ownership structure: profits can only be distributed to the bank’s accompanying foundation (Beneficial State Foundation) to support the environment and local community.


South Mountain Co.

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South Mountain Company

This residential design and renewable energy firm on Martha’s Vineyard is employee-owned, and only employees are allowed to serve on the company board. South Mountain also emphasizes sustainability by using solar and wind as often as possible, using local and recycled materials, and relying on local suppliers.


Imajine That

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Imajine That/Youtube

This Massachusetts-based company has an interactive museum for kids; it also provides pop-up experiences in local community centers and public schools. Imajine That is focused on STEM-based learning for kids of all socioeconomic levels.

The company’s mission: “Inspiring humans through playful imaginative exploration for those young and evolved, by bringing them closer to their true nature of love, one family, one community, and one planet.”


Discovered

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Discovered

Headquartered in the Netherlands, Discovered is like Etsy for global artisans. In 2016, the company launched the Discovered Foundation, which offers support to low-income and female artisans (who in turn help to supply the larger Discovered marketplace).

Discovered became a B Corp in 2014.


Via Gutenberg

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Via Gutenberg

Founded in 2003, Brazilian consulting firm Via Gutenberg focuses on sustainability and social responsibility. The company, which is focused on management in large institutions, helps organizations with sustainability reporting through its proprietary methodology.