It’s a private non-for-profit label, created in the US a few years ago, and now certifying more than 1700 for-profit companies in 50 countries.
Their objective is to redefine success in business. Those companies are more ethical, have official engagements for stakeholders, and more generally, have some extra-financial objectives, which can be social or environmental, for example. Famous ones : Ben&Jerry’s and Patagonia.
Our interest in this label is one of the reasons we visited World Centric, in Petaluma, CA.
Word Centric’s amazing story
World Centric was originally a non-profit organization. Its goal was to raise awareness of humanitarian and environmental issues. As a non-profit organization, they did not want to be able to survive only through donations. So they decided to retail fair-trade products and compostable goods. They eventually realized that this business allowed them to make money. In order to keep their ideals straight, they decided to keep going with this activity as a profit organization that is there to help their non-profit organization.
Now, World Centric is known as a seller and designer of biodegradable and recyclable food containers and other products.
Those products are available directly via their website, and we’ve seen them in several companies (at Uber, Culture Amp, Google, and even in NYC).
What specific differences do they make?
Their offices have produced zero carbon emissions since 2009. Their carbon footprint comes for the most part from production, and they try to decrease it as much as they can by using solar, wind, and water energies. In their headquarters, they use natural light rather than electricity.
They give 25% of their profits to charities which are selected by the employees. At the end of the year, every employee has a share of the profit and can choose to invest it in one of the pre-selected organizations. In order to privilege a few organizations but be able to invest more in them, the collaborators are encouraged to exchange between them.
What are World Centric’s objectives for the years to come?
World Centric was founded in 2004, and has strong core values. It is a project of a life. Aseem Das, the CEO, gave his company a mission, and truly believes in it. As the company keeps growing, they decided to start producing in the US, in order to make their products locally.
They try to make a difference not only outside of the company. Indeed, they are starting a management transformation that will enable their collaborators to make decisions and take initiatives. For now, it seems to be complex, as growth is fast and decisions need to be made with expertise.
According to the founder and CEO, the teams are quite junior. They need to be trained to be able to take initiatives and make sure the decisions they make by themselves are good ones.
World Centric is one of those companies that have values and stick to them, thanks to a strong and inspiring leader. The money they made with their growing activity did not change their path, and the money seems to serve their mission to make “a world where everyone’s basic needs are met with a beneficial impact on the environment.”
Permission to republish granted by the authors to Enlivening Edge Magazine.
Featured image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine.