Brand Cool Becomes Rochester's Third Certified B Corporation

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Sustainability Communications and Engagement Agency Accelerates Its Growth and Impact by Using Business to Solve Social and Environmental Problems

'Becoming a Certified B Corporation simply formalizes the principles we practice every day in helping our clients, employees and partners make their organizations—and our world—a better place,' said Sue Kochan, Brand Cool's CEO and co-owner.

Brand Cool announced today that it has been named a Certified B Corporation. In doing so, the agency joins a select group of companies, including Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's, which share one unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Today, just over 800 Certified B Corporations exist in the world, from more than 60 industries and 27 countries. Only two others currently exist in the Rochester area and fewer than 10 firms are certified regionally in the upstate region. The designation marks Brand Cool's continued and rapid growth in providing brand and engagement services to clients in the sustainability and energy-efficiency sectors. In the last year alone, the agency has grown its staff by 20 percent, and last month expanded into a neighboring building to accommodate new employees.

To encourage other companies to be a force for greater good, Brand Cool has made a short video conveying key “B” principles. The agency also will be participating in Greentopia’s Futures Summit on Sept. 10 and 11, which brings together more than 40 thought leaders who are working toward building sustainable communities, businesses and cities.

Certified B Corporations represent a new class of companies and a global movement by entrepreneurs to use their business to help solve social and environmental problems. Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions not only on their shareholders, but also on their stakeholders (workers, suppliers, community, consumers and the environment). To satisfy this requirement, Certified B Corporations must meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. While companies applying for certification must score at least 80 points out of 200 during a rigorous assessment review by the non-profit B Lab, Brand Cool exceeded the average scored by companies of its size.

As part of the certification, Brand Cool shareholders also elected to change the firm's corporate structure to a "benefit corporation" in New York State, a legally recognized switch that New York instituted as an option in February 2011. The law requires that NYS benefit corporations adhere to a third-party standard of doing business for the public good, and publish an annual report to be filed with the NYS Department of State, shared with shareholders, and posted on its website.

“Creating greater economic opportunity, strengthening local communities, preserving our environment and giving talented people meaningful work to engage in are the very tenets that have defined Brand Cool since its inception,” said Sue Kochan, Brand Cool’s CEO and co-owner. “Becoming a Certified B Corporation simply formalizes the principles we practice every day in helping our clients, employees and partners make their organizations—and our world—a better place.”

Last year, Brand Cool was named the 15th fastest growing company in the area in the Rochester Business Alliance’s “Rochester Top 100,” which ranks companies based on the three most recent years of revenue growth.

Sandra Parker, Rochester Business Alliance CEO, said, “We congratulate Brand Cool on being Rochester’s newest B Corp. Their efforts toward more sustainable business practices send a message to the Rochester community, and beyond, that success is not just defined by the bottom line but by generous engagement.”

Central to Brand Cool’s focus is helping companies implement sustainability initiatives and drive behavior change. Through a clear focus on growing the brands of its clients, the agency also emphasizes the need to think on a global scale. Offering strategic assistance to people who want to make the world a better place has helped the agency maintain a diverse client list and steady development inside the organization itself. Brand Cool is currently planning to expand even further with current open positions for an Executive Assistant, Controller/Operations Manager, Creative Director/Copy and Copywriter/Strategist.

While the agency assists companies in balancing people, profit and the planet, it applies the same commitment to its own business through a number of visible initiatives. Brand Cool promotes the causes of several community non-profits, such as Bivona Child Advocacy Center, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT, E3 Rochester, and the Rochester Advertising Council. The agency also strongly supports its internal team with flexible hours, allowing “Cools” to engage in the causes they care about. This includes joining boards and committees, participating in fundraisers, offering marketing expertise, volunteering and more.

About Brand Cool

Brand Cool is dedicated to sustainability communication and engagement, bringing humans and brands together to make the world a better place. Brand Cool is a WBENC, WBE, WOSB business and Certified B Corporation. For more information, visit http://www.brandcool.com.

About B Lab

B Corps are certified by B Lab, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. For more information, visit http://www.bcorporation.net.

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Holly Barrett
Brand Cool
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