Ryan Honeyman - Author of The B Corp Handbook
Ryan Honeyman is a consultant and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, October 2014). Ryan has helped over 30 companies--like Ben & Jerry’s, King Arthur Flour, Method, Klean Kanteen, and Nutiva--become Certified B Corporations and maximize the value of their B Corp certification. He also trains aspiring impact consultants via his recurring "Secrets of B Corp Consulting" courses.
Along with his LIFT Economy team, Ryan helped cofound the Force for Good Fund, a $1M fund that invests in women and people of color-owned, "Best for the World" B Corps (e.g., those that score in the top 10% of all B Corps worldwide). He is also a co-host of "Next Economy Now," a podcast highlighting the leaders who are taking a regenerative, bio-regional, democratic, transparent, and whole-systems approach to using business for good.
Ryan Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:
The Force For Good Fund
The B Corp Movement
Importance of Social equity and diversity in the sustainability movement
Benefits of becoming a B Corp
Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders
Ryan's Final Five Question Responses:
What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?
One thing that stands out is, again, that you don't really need a particular background or experience to do sustainability or to make the jump. For example, even if you've done social studies or chemistry for 10 years, doesn't mean you can't be a sustainability consultant or professional. So I would just say it's more about connecting it to your passion and making the leap, then having some particular background lined up.
What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?
I think a lot of sustainable businesses, who are sort of deep in the eco movements, are starting to realize that things like diversity, equity, inclusion and racial justice are just as important. Sometimes as sustainable businesses we can sort of nerd out on the way that carbon in the soil gets sequestered, but the neighborhood a few miles away is burning because of economic inequality and sort of like fighting between racial fights. So I started to see more businesses in the community, and also in sustainable business movement, start to say, "What are we doing about inclusive hiring practices? How are we looking at not just having a diverse group of people but also making them feel included and belonging?" So really looking at, is the product or service serving different communities, people of color, women, LGBTQ, immigrant communities? So it's been really exciting for me looking at sustainable business and regenerative development beyond just the environmental lens only.
What is one book you'd recommend sustainability professionals read?
This is a book that I read that was pretty powerful. It's not necessarily narrowly within the sustainable business category. Charles Eisenstein wrote it, it's called A More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible. So, Charles Eisenstein's a pretty cool guy, a philosopher, but also interested in climate change and regenerative ag. But this book is really looking on a deeper level, how do you really make personal changes and perceptual changes that can help you in your career? And so I think that it's applicable to sustainability professionals as well.
What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in the work that you do?
Definitely bcorporation.net and the bimpactassessment.net. Those are two free tools for folks who are just interested in benchmarking their social and environmental performance. I definitely love podcasting, as Josh knows. We have our own podcast, Next Economy Now, the Lift Economy podcast. I'm super excited there's more people like you, Josh, who're doing this sort of like pumping out more information about regenerative development. Just keep following Josh's podcasts.
Finally, where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you are leading?
Yeah, so our website is lifteconomy.com. Our podcast is Next Economy Now and we're on iTunes and Google Play and Soundcloud. If folks want to check us out on twitter, I think it's at @lifteconomy. And then my email address is on the Lift Economy website as well if folks want to reach out directly.