Why We’re Proud to Be a Certified B Corp

 In News You Need

by Quigley Freedman

Quigley Freedman, Manager of Software Engineering at Omnidian

As a founding engineer at Omnidian, I often find myself contemplating the most amazing thing about this company. There are certainly a lot of options, but one of my absolute favorite things about Omnidian is that we’re a Certified B Corp with an impressive 90.8 score, at that!

B Corp companies are recognized by the non-profit B Lab Global as businesses meeting high social, environmental, and internal governance standards. From the moment I started working at Omnidian, I dreamed of finding a way to show the world that we were committed to more than just being successful. Getting a B Corp Certification was and remains one of the best ways to show our commitment to having a transformational impact on the world.

So without further ado, let me take you behind the scenes to look at the process my colleagues and I worked on to become B Corp Certified, and what implications it has for us in the future.

What Did It Take to Become a Certified B Corp?

The decision to become B Corp Certified shouldn’t be taken lightly, and the process to become one isn’t simple. But this didn’t deter several of us who shared a core value of working for a positive-impact, mission-driven company and knew this was a key way to elevate our company’s ethical business practices.

We started the process of achieving B Corp status over 5 years ago. In fact, I remember the date: July 16, 2018. It was during the all-company meeting when the proposal came from one of our front-line employees, and everyone in the room seemed to take it seriously. Our leadership team was very interested, but didn’t want to distract too much from our rapidly growing team or their ability to serve our customers around the nation.   

Certification took a long time. Years, in fact. There were over a dozen employees, including myself, working together in their spare time to keep moving things forward, inch by inch. I’m so thankful for all our efforts and persistence, because it was tough work

Part of the problem is that it’s challenging to consistently create diverse teams, especially in engineering. You have to set rigorous goals, create diverse candidate pipelines, ensure your candidates can see themselves in the interview team – you have to be very intentional. We had elements of that but we hadn’t really codified it so that it was consistent, and we didn’t set goals for ourselves so it was difficult to measure our success.

We have since generated many more reports of that nature. Because of this, we’ve gained a lot of knowledge about ourselves which has helped us be a better company.

“While we were fortunate to have passed the certification process the first time around, it was an impactful self-assessment that inspired a number of meaningful changes to our people and partnership practices,” explains Leah Kyle, Head of People and Culture. “It was a demonstration of our mission and values in action and it helped us to codify our commitment to operating with integrity and taking care of our community and our planet.”

“Because we work in climate tech, we have a lot of employees that wanted to ensure Omnidian was actually walking the walk,” says Business Operations Manager Mal Culbertson, who was involved in the entire certification process and creates our annual ESG impact report

I think a lot of us saw the years-long effort to obtain B Corp Certification as validation that Omnidian was putting up the time and money to live our mission statement and corporate values.”

Omnidian earned a total impact score of 90.8 from B Lab Global. To put that into perspective, most companies who apply for B Corp Certification only receive an average of 50.9, and the threshold to obtain certification is 80. 

“Achieving B Corp status is an important milestone and a genuine testament to our commitment to balancing purpose and profit and driving an important change in the world,” adds our CEO Mark Liffmann.

What Does This Mean for Omnidian?

Now that we’re B Corp Certified, we have a fantastic way to communicate all of our high ethical standards and impact to our customers, clients, and candidates. But what does our certification mean for us for the future?

For starters, it means we might attract and work with other like-minded companies. Pivot Energy, for example, felt a kinship to us due to our B Corp status. “A key piece to having a Certified B Corp partner [like Omnidian] is transparency and openness to share best practices and guide us to better decision-making,” said Angie Burke, Director of O&M at Pivot. “I think those are things that non-B Corp companies hold a little closer to the vest.”

Mal believes being a B Corp certified company should “help prove that putting the planet and people first is good for business.” 

“My hope for Omnidian is that B Corp Certification inspires us and our fellow O&M providers to make greater positive impacts in our industry and community,” they say. “I’d like to see us lead the charge in becoming a carbon-negative organization, further invest in and empower our employees, and make renewable energy accessible to all.”

Omnidian's B Corp Certified status partially comes from its company culture and employee initiatives.

Being B Corp Certified means we love to give deserving employees awards (like ones with goats on them) for their incredible work!

As for me, I hope that the B Corp Certification encourages Omnidian to continuously aim for both internal and external sustainability, because what I like about B Corp is it sets a standard for what it means to actually walk the walk

I’m deeply of the opinion that if you go out and say, “I’m making a sustainable world,” but then you internally go, “But we’re not going to do it in a sustainable way,” you’re not ever actually going to help the world, not in a truly meaningful way.

There’s a bright future ahead not just for the solar industry, but also for those companies within it – like Omnidian – that are truly dedicated to making the world a better place.

Will you come join us?

P.S. We’re also a Global Cleantech 100 company!