Heather Paulsen - B Corp Consulting Expert

Heather Paulsen, MS, PMP.jpg

Heather Paulsen Consulting (HPC) works with mission-driven businesses to create an economy (and a world) that works better for all of us: owners, employees, suppliers, customers, our communities and the environment. We provide practical strategies for clients to create positive impact through their daily operations, taking care of the environment and stakeholders while also improving the bottom line. HPC specializes in B Corp and Zero Waste certifications, sustainability-related strategic planning and facilitation.

Heather Joins Sustainable Nation to Discuss:

  • Trends in the business world including collaboration and coopetition

  • The benefits of B Corp certification

  • What the B Impact Assessment teaches businesses

  • Top resaons companies decide to pursue B Corp certification

  • Advice and recommendations for sustainability leaders

Heather's Final Five Question Responses:

What is one piece of advice you would give other sustainability professionals that might help them in their careers?

First thing I would say is to just do it. I hear a lot that people are tentative about making that transition from whatever they're doing to working in the sustainability realm, or even within their current roles in their current companies. I met with a company a while back and as I was describing to them what the B Corp certification is all about, they just stared at me in silence after I was done talking and they said, "This is who we are outside of work. This is how we live our everyday lives. It never occurred to us to bring these values into the workplace and clearly we should." They just couldn't believe that it hadn't yet happened. So, I think that everybody can be a sustainability professional, whether it's making a career change and just having a consulting company, or staying within their existing role in their existing company and bringing those sustainability issues forward within those companies. Just do it.

What are you most excited about right now in the world of sustainability?

There are two things. One is the shift from the focus on sustainability to regenerative development. The idea that sustaining what we have isn't enough and we have to shift towards a more regenerative approach. The second thing that I'm really excited about, that I touched on before, is the hope and the inspiration that comes from seeing so many businesses doing their unique piece of the puzzle to solve these issues. The more we're in communication about those things, the more we can see how our own piece fits into that mosaic of the whole.

What is one book you would recommend sustainability leaders read?

Well, I'm going to have to say there's two. One recent read is The Regenerative Business by Carol Sanford. She masterfully points out why so many of our best practices that we see in business today are actually undermining to the agency and to the creativity of our employees. She describes this in some detail and then offers alternatives to those toxic business practices. She offers a framework and an approach to build businesses that bring the whole person to work so that people can be creatively engaged, and it makes for a much more resilient, productive company. The next book is the second edition of the B Corp Handbook by Ryan Honeyman and Tiffany Jana. I'm super excited about this because it's a great resource for any company that is thinking about taking that B Corp journey. It highlights hundreds of companies, why they did it and what they're getting out of it. It also gives you a really great best practices guide or being a business for good.

What are some of your favorite resources or tools that really help you in your work?

My growing network is my favorite tool actually, if you can call awesome human beings a tool. I think I mentioned before that I am not naturally an extroverted person, yet through this work of being in the B Corp world I have discovered that pretty much everybody that I've met at the B Corp Champions Retreat, for example, is awesome. Everybody's got these great tools, skills, talents and perspectives to bring. So, my network is my favorite thing to tap into when I'm facing a challenge.

Where can our listeners go to learn more about you and the work that you're leading?

I do have a website: hpaulsenconsulting.com. I'm also on LinkedIn and Twitter.