HOW WE IMPACT OUR COMMUNITY
We believe in the importance of using business as a force for good in our community. That’s why in 2018 we became Tennessee’s first certified B Corp law firm. In this commitment, we’ve joined a global movement towards accountable, responsible enterprise. For us, that means considering profit as one of multiple metrics of success, including increasing positive environmental and social impact and transparency. The B Corp certification model provides a framework to better serve our clients and the community through socially responsible and environmentally-conscious day-to-day operations — whether that be supporting local non-profits that we believe in, prioritizing protection of the environment, empowering entrepreneurs in our community, or completing pro bono work on behalf of lower income inventors. We’ve accomplished much in a short time, being recognized by B Corp in July 2018 as Tennessee’s only Best for the World honoree.
Our commitment to environmental protection and stewardship extends beyond recycling paper and biking to work (though we do those, too). We partner with organizations that are actively seeking to protect our Tennessee lands and natural resources. Two such organizations are the Southeastern Climbers Coalition and Access Fund who work to preserve climbing areas around the Southeast (and the U.S .more generally).
Southeastern Climbers Coalition
Our focus on positive social impact ranges from empowerment of minority populations to support of student inventors and entrepreneurs. We are able to do this through our sponsorship of social organizations including IMPACT Cookeville, Mustard Seed Ranch, Habitat for Humanity, and the Biz Foundry, among others.
Habitat for Humanity
Mustard Seed RANCH
Overall, in 2017, we designated more than 10% of all client fees to the various nonprofits with notable social and environmental missions. We genuinely value using our business as a way to positively impact the communities where we live and work, and we can’t wait to continue this mission in 2018 and for years to come. For us, being a good corporate citizen comes second only to helping our clients succeed.
What is a B Corp?
The traditional corporate structure is obligated to shareholder primacy; that is, the legal pressure to elevate shareholder wealth as the primary and, in many cases, the only objective of a business, often in turn sacrificing social and environmental responsibilities. We’ve chosen to operate differently by redefining our definition of “success” to a business model that recognizes social, environmental, and financial accounting metrics, i.e., a triple bottom line approach. We’re proud to have entered a global movement along the likes of Patagonia, Warby Parker, New Belgium Brewing, and Ben & Jerry’s to be the change we want to see.
There’s no doubt that serving our client’s legal needs is number one on our list. And we firmly believe that this, in addition to our commitment to the triple bottom line approach is an essential component to being the preeminent corporate and intellectual property law firm in the South East region. We’re also a 1% for the Planet certified law firm, and donate 10% of all client fees to nonprofits focused on social enterprise and environmental conservation.
A Certified B Corp is a legally structured benefit company that is rigorously vetted for endorsement by the global nonprofit B Lab®. B Lab sets and enforces standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. It’s like Fair Trade certification but for the whole business, not just a bag of coffee (or USDA Organic certification, but not just for a carton of milk; or LEED certification, but not just for a building) Learn more here.