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We're Proud to be an Oregon Benefit Company

Person standing in a green field of a farm working with a hoe.

This has been a big year for Mountain Rose Herbs! As a values-based company committed to transparency and accountability, we think that businesses can and should create good in the world. We’ve taken another step toward formalizing our sustainable business practices by becoming an Oregon Benefit Company. This legal, corporate designation states that Mountain Rose Herbs provides “a general public benefit” by meeting the criteria of making a material, positive impact on society and the environment through our business decisions and operations.

“Providing high-quality organic products, environmental stewardship, and caring for our community are all core aspects of our mission. It’s about taking responsibility for our impact and creating positive change. We are proud to become an Oregon Benefit Company to help show other companies what that looks like,” said Shawn Donnille, Owner, Vice President, and Mountain Rose Herbs’ Benefit Governor.

We believe that the traditional definition of a corporation is outdated and does not align with our commitment to creating a healthy community for all. Our stakeholders are the growers, customers, employees, and ecosystems that sustain our business. That's why we're always seeking new ways to redefine the role of business in the world!

There has been some confusion about the difference between Oregon Benefit Companies and B Corporations. To be clear, Benefit Companies are not the same as B Corp businesses. Benefit Companies adhere to a certain set of mandates outlined by the State of Oregon, and they self-assess using a third-party standard, whereas "B Corp" is a certification managed by the nonprofit, B Lab. Still confused? You can read more about Benefit Companies versus B Corps on the Benefit Corporation website.

So how does a business become a Benefit Company? In compliance with Oregon state law, we amended our bylaws with the Oregon Secretary of State. Next, we selected B Lab’s Impact Assessment tool as a third-party standard by which to gauge our impact (there are other third-party standards we could have chosen, we just found B Lab's assessment to serve our needs well). 

Group of people planting a tree.

In 2018, Mountain Rose Herbs completed the Impact Assessment survey and received a score of 84.8 out of 200 available points. To put this in context, according to B Lab, the average score of 510 conventional businesses that have 50 to 249 employees was 53.6, so we are encouraged to have started off with an above average score! This will serve as our baseline year, and we will measure our performance against our initial score in future assessments. Every year, we will publish a Benefit Report in conjunction with our Sustainability Report which details how we are creating positive change in the world through ethical business practices.

One part of the required self-assessment is to set continuous improvement goals and publicly report progress towards achieving these goals. We landed on some ambitious goals for the next two years which include expanding employee trainings, enhancing our organic land care practices, auditing our packaging materials, and more!

A robin perched in a tree in a wooded setting.

Many thanks to the extraordinary staff at Mountain Rose Herbs, our vendors, and our customers who have helped make us an herbs, health, and harmony company since 1987. Stay tuned for the release of our first-ever Benefit Report and our annual Sustainability Report this spring.

Want more on how we help our planet and community?

Learn How We Clean Up Our Oregon Coastlines!

 

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 Pin to Why We Became an Oregon benefit company.

 


Topics: Inside Mountain Rose Herbs, Sustainability

Alyssa

Written by Alyssa on December 31, 2018

Alyssa Bascue, Director of Sustainability, is a trusted professional in her field with a passion for employee engagement and reducing environmental impacts of business operations, including emissions, energy, waste, and water. Growing up in an income-sharing, egalitarian community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, she’s a farm girl at heart. She received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Sociology, which helps to support Mountain Rose Herbs' mission of supporting organic agriculture and embodying socially conscious business practices. Alyssa completed a nine-week Master Recycler training and is well-known in town as an Employee Transportation Coordinator. She currently volunteers with Friends of Trees, Provender Alliance, Sustainable Food Trade Association, and the Willamette Valley Sustainable Foods Alliance. And she is an active member of the International Society for Sustainability Professionals. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, reading, cooking spicy foods, hiking and camping with her husband and brindle pup.

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