community benefit


Enhancing the social capital of employees, customers, community members, and other stakeholders is seen by many businesses as a cost rather than an opportunity.

green business creates value for the many constituencies it interacts with: employees, customers, community members, suppliers, vendors, owners, and surrounding ecosystems. It helps to enhance social equity and build local assets through its ownership structure and business decisions. It often creates a sense of place and celebrates cultural diversity. A green business tends to meet fundamental needs.  

Employee retention, training, and morale are essential to a strategy of long-term profitability. Businesses that treat their employees well, and instill a sense of shared purpose and values through their operations, gain from increased productivity and decreased turnover.

Value for customers is created both through the quality of products and services and their favorable social and environmental characteristics. For large segments of the marketplace, including the estimated 50 million "cultural creatives" in the United States alone, purchasing choices strongly reflect personal values.

A green business is transparent in its operations, providing accurate reporting of social and environmental impacts and benefits. It also tithes back to its community, enhancing its livability. Over time, this generates trust in the community and a good working relationship with governmental entities. This kind of trust is invaluable in gaining neighborhood support and securing permits for new projects.

Locally-owned businesses make a strong contribution to local economies by keeping dollars circulating locally. They build community through face-to-face relationships, whether food from the farmer's market, fish from the local pier, or wood from the surrounding forests. Ultimately, they are accountable to particular people and places, providing them with a loyal customer base.  

Businesses that are not locally-owned can also make a big difference in their communities.  Everence is a good example of this.  Everence is a Christian-based, member-owned financial services organization that offers banking, insurance, asset management and other financial services with community benefits and stewarship education.  They wish to improve the community through their many services.  Their facilities strive to be "green", and they have many programs to financially support local organizations.  They often tithe back to the community, and, because of all of these factors, they are a wonderful example of community benefit.