B Corp Certification is a recognition of the arduous work we’ve been doing to create a better world as one of the top consulting, sourcing, and advising firms in the world. It took us three years to cross the finish line, yet here we are. Over 100,000 companies have applied and less than 4000 globally have been certified.
B Corp certification is a great sign that we’re on the right track. Yet our mission has only begun. What is a B Certified Corporation?
The world is confusing, and business is no different. How can you tell if a business is any good?
If you read stock tables, balance sheets, and headlines, you can tell which businesses make money; but there’s no easy way to distinguish sweet companies from sour ones. It’s an oversight that there’s no nutrition label on corporations, and not very many Google Reviews or transparency. No simple way to tell which businesses are “elevating the way business does business” and which are like corporate psychopaths, or run by sociopaths.
B Corp Certification is a mark, an accreditation, a stamp of approval, so you can tell the decent outfits from the ugly ones. B Corp Certification is a movement to transform the global economy to benefit people, communities and the planet. B Corp Certification means a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials.
B Corp certification is growing in popularity, but it’s still a select club: Only certified companies can call themselves B Corp Certified. There are only about 2,000 B Certified Corporations in the U.S. and just under 4,000 globally.
Patagonia, Ben & Jerrys, Seventh Generation, and the Guardian newspaper are all B Corp certified. Exxon, TikTok and McDonald’s are not.
Our History in Business
I’ve always wanted to do business differently—and better—since I was a cub entrepreneur and salesman pushing stylish customized and vintage sunglasses and eyeglasses. I was doing my best to sell quality and cool with enough profit to drive impact.
As I looked around, I was shocked to see not everyone was doing business this way. Many businesses, I realized, are psychopaths.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by manipulation and a lack of empathy and remorse. We see extreme versions all the time: Theranos, and FTX are the obvious examples of psychopaths, because their CEOs got caught committing obvious crimes, and damaging the health and finances of real people. But lots of companies—from Goldman Sachs to Dollar General—are American Psychos. Sometimes they’re just being greedy: acoss America, CEO pay is, on average, 300 times the average worker. Sometimes they’re stealing and skeeving: Mark Zuckerberg’s website runs on stolen data and manipulated emotions. (Zuck’s net worth is more than 5 million times the average person’s.) Everyday, companies are looking at only one outcome: money pulled out at the top. Even industries that ought to be hippie love-fests, like psychedelics, become extractive capitalism.
I’ve always felt that it’s not fair, the way things work in corporate America. I’ve always felt deeply assaulted as a human being.
How We Got Here
In the face of a country-wide landscape of fraud, chicanery and slime, I did small things to help: When I owned an eyeglass shop, I sent thousands of eyeglasses to Indians.
Then, we built RampRate around increasing transparency and fairness in the corporate IT world, helping companies innovate and grow, championing them to become inspiring. We have coordinated complex decisions and driven corporate strategy around IT sourcing from corrupt and opaque to transparency, innovation, and impact. Driving consulting to Microsoft around corporate citizenship, improving child-safe computing, and funding programs for blind compute—it’s our DNA.
As technology researchers and IT sourcers, we were able to cut 24 percent off each budget we touched for the likes of Sony, Riot Games, eBay, and Merrill Lynch, emphasizing and pioneering moves to geo-thermal and hydro-powered data centers for carbon and cost reduction.
Our impact always went beyond saving clients money: we were trying to help the wider world.
RampRate’s work spreads across sectors and geography, and everything is threaded through this needle of positive impact. We have zero clients, zero investments, that are not pushing positive impact and measuring the outcomes. Every one of our portfolio companies adhere closely to RampRate’s Mission Vision and Values statement. We grade and incentivize ourselves to live this to a T.
- Support the art work of tribes in the Amazon.
- Honor the sacred medicines of Gabon.
- Promote wellness through alternative medicines & Entheo therapeutic digital apps.
- Drive awareness around tribal reciprocity through articles and funding.
- Sponsor schools in rural India and afterschool programs in LA.
- We were early stage investors in India’s leading social impact funds, over a decade ago
- We advised and invested in the largest charitable effort in the cryptocurrency community.
- We have created a grants matchmaking program to drive into 2023
Syzygy Impact is our brand for the arm of our company building an ecosystem for impact-preneurs. We’re crafting a new, optimist narrative for the digital economy and the Web3 space—like NFTs, DAOs, the Metaverse, Blockchain, crypto. We are ambitious and want to fix the world and pass a better world on to future generations. We serve real people’s needs. For example:
- Putting zero-emission computing centers in “opportunity zones” to provide jobs in economically struggling areas with the Redivider Blockchain Opportunity Fund.
- Supporting clients who are building social tokens and grant programs for more vibrant communities that inspire action with Social Stack: An Inclusive Web3 with a Purpose.
- Making it easy for communities and governments to create their own decentralized organizations with Menagerie.is, created with Dr Wulf Kaal.
- Fundamentally changing corporate structure by supporting new tools like Decentralized Autonomous Organizations — DAOs.
- Supporting a BIPOC-owned metaverse company called Metatopia
- Pursuing a fully-anonymous healthcare wallet enabling consumers to own their own data and shift the value exchange between patients and insurers
- Funded a multi-million-dollar grant to moonshot NGO, Xprize, to support their evolution into Web3 and broadening their reach.
- Supporting KeneLife, bringing plants and textiles from the Shipibo Conibo people to market, while making sure the Shipibo Conibo benefit from their intellectual property using novel IP NFTs.
- Supporting decentralized telecom, capable of improving performance by routing traffic around greedy telecoms and with lower carbon, Syntropy, formerly Noia:
While operationally impact focused, we still allocate part of our equities / cash flow into our Syzygy Foundation with the intention of matching funds and resources for boots to the ground impact outcomes. This foundation launches its activity in 2023.
We get by with a little help from our friends
Some angels that help make our impact possible:
- Richard Condon of MissionB, an unrelenting, uncompromising force of nature, coached and counseled me and the team towards the transition to becoming a company living true to our Mission Vision and Values.
- Will Poole, my former client at Microsoft, the first guy who rode a Segway to work, who runs audacious Venture firm Capria.vc and Unitic.vc, the purest impact investment funds I know of, which my father and I are happy to be an LP for a decade.
- Miriam Davidovic, another unstoppable impact warrior whose dogmatic beliefs about B Corp Certification and mission to help others achieve is simply stunning.
- Dr Wulf Kaal, whose decade-long work around decentralized governance helped us understand the evolution of these models.
The Journey of Becoming B Certified Corp
I long ago knew I wanted RampRate to be a B Certified Corp. I wanted to be in the club of people who are conscious and weren’t necessarily talking about it. But it was a long journey.
We submitted our application almost three years ago to a group called B Lab, the nonprofit that judges B Corp certification. We were in continuous conversations between RampRate and the B Lab analysts.
(We want to note: B Corp Certification is different from benefit corporations. Anyone can say their company is a benefit corporation. You just pay a fee to the state and … bingo! You’re a benefit corporation. To become B Corp Certified, you have to prove your worth to B Labs, doing the B Impact Assessment to measure, manage, and improve positive impact performance for the environment, communities, customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders.
I was so happy when we were approved to be B Certified Corporation. And yes we deserve it.
Becoming a B Certified Corp is not a guarantee of success. While the certification can provide some potential benefits, it does not guarantee increased sales or improved financial performance. Yet, as our chief strategy officer Alex Veytsel has noted before, there is a correlation between company profits and companies who try to make the world a better place. ( read this)
We’ll have to be careful. Companies can lose their B Corp status if they’re not living up to their commitments. Recently, a Scottish beer company called BrewDog had his B Corp status revoked after workers wrote an open letter saying the company bullied them and “treated [them] like objects.”
We have to live up to our commitments.
Benefits of Being B Certified Corporation
B Certified Corp status is the cool kids’ club, it’s Studio 54, an invite to WEF for a guy like me. I get to be around throbbing, engaging minds looking to better the universe.
It gives us access to a community of other B Certified companies, which can provide support and resources for us to improve our social and environmental impact. B Corp certification differentiates us from competitors and potentially attracts more environmentally and socially conscious customers and employees.
The certification potentially improves the company’s reputation and public image. When you’re a B Certified Corp, the press writes kind articles about you like “B Corps Using Business as a Force for Good” and “The Best Certified B Corporations to Support.”
Getting B Certified Corp status isn’t the finish line—it’s the starting gate.
This is where we begin and we’d like your help to use your leverage and notoriety in the world so folks can help us be more impactful in the world.
We know what our capacities are, but we’re open to ideas and we’re open to seeing how you want to help.
We look forward to working with startups and partners that share our vision: a business world full of benevolence and love, while still making a profit to support our families and build a better planet together.
TonyG, AlexV and team
Tony Greenberg is an investor, consultant, impact creator, and advisor to dozens of groundbreaking entities, the founder of RampRate, a top advisor for technology, and now directs his energies toward fostering projects with transformative potential, including technologies that democratize access to investment and reduce the potential for corruption. Tony’s newest entity is Syzygy Impact, a growth strategy firm advising impact-focused companies across various industries. Syzygy focuses on Web3, from governance in firms and organizations to edge compute, universal broadband and energy-efficient crypto\ mining in inner cities. Syzygy synchronizes hard-to-align variables like profit, people, and environment. At every stage, Syzygy tracks outcomes with cutting edge tools to measure real-world impacts and “elevate the way business does business.”