We are excited to announce that Common Interests has been named a Best for the World™ B Corp for the 5th time in a row in recognition of our exemplary performance beyond commercial metrics. Ranking in the top 5% of all B Corps in our size group worldwide for sustainable business practices, we have earned this honor because of initiatives such as our sliding fee scale, which bases our hourly fees on our clients’ ability to pay, our lack of an investment minimum, and our commitment to democratizing access to impact investing & financial planning.
This honor is the culmination of many years of work, and is the first time since we moved to Vanderbilt Financial Group in 2017 that the work we’ve put in to raise our scores has been reflected. B Corps are required to recertify every 3 years, and our most recent recertification, which began at the end of 2019 and was completed in February 2020 (which explains why we haven’t had time to talk about it until now), resulted in a 39.5% increase to our scores. We’re extremely proud that our new scores (which you can view here), continue to keep us as a Best for the World B Corp, even as the criteria for this honor have tightened.
The Best for the World recognition is administered by B Lab, the global nonprofit network that certifies and mobilizes Certified B Corporations, which are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today there are more than 4,000 Certified B Corporations across 77 countries and 153 industries, unified by one common goal: transforming the global economy to benefit all people, communities, and the planet.
B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. The B Corp Certification doesn’t just evaluate a product or service, it assesses the overall positive impact of the company that stands behind it—like Common Interests. Using the B Impact Assessment, B Lab evaluates how a company’s operations and business model impact its workers, community, environment, and customers. To achieve the B Corp Certification, a company must achieve a score of at least 80 points on the assessment.
“Best for the World is a special program for the B Corp community, and we’re thrilled to resume it after pausing the program in 2020 due to COVID-19. This year’s Best for the World companies are operating at the very top of their class, excelling in creating positive impact for their stakeholders, including their workers, communities, customers and the environment. We’re proud of the community of stakeholder-driven businesses we’ve cultivated over the last 15 years; together we’re marching toward our collective vision of an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economic system for all people and the planet.”
~Juan Pablo Larenas, Executive Director of B Lab Global.
More than 800 B Corps from more than 50 countries were named to the 2021 Best for the World lists, including 4G Capital, KeepCup, Natura, The Big Issue Group, TOMS, Too Good To Go, and Patagonia. The 2021 Best for the World lists are determined based on the verified B Impact Assessments of Certified B Corporations. The full lists are available on https://bcorporation.net/.
The solution for this Blog is going to ask you to GET SMART! In this case you GET SMART by buying a SMART THERMOSTAT! Thermostats are ‘Mission Control’ for space heating and cooling. Smart thermostats use algorithms and sensors to become more energy efficient over time, thus, lowering emissions. Residential energy use for heating and cooling amounts to 9% of energy consumption in the United States! At present, the majority of thermostats require manual operation or preset programming, and studies show that people are notoriously unreliable in doing either efficiently. Smart thermostats eliminate the capriciousness of human behavior, thereby driving more predictable energy savings.
How can such a little thing as a thermostat make a difference? The Project Drawdown folks have projected the following:
“We project that the number of smart thermostats could grow from 3 percent to 58-63 percent of households with Internet access by 2050. In this scenario, 1,453-1,589 million homes would have them. This reduced energy use could avoid 7.0-7.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions for an initial investment of $155-172 billion. Return on this investment is high: smart thermostats can save their owners $1.8-2.1 trillion on utility bills over the lifetime of the units.”
More specifically, the average household savings looks like this: average heating costs are reduced by 10% to 12%, while cooing costs are reduced by 15%. Generally, therefor, the thermostat will pay itself off in less than 2 years.
The first smart thermostat came to market in 2011, developed by a team of former iPhone engineers who saw an opportunity to bring smartphone thinking to the antiquated temperature controls in homes. Thanks to algorithms and sensors, next-generation thermostats learn over time by gathering and analyzing data. You can still turn the temperature up and down, but these devices will remember your choices and memorize your routines—adapting to the dynamic nature of day-to-day living.
Smart thermostats detect occupancy, learn inhabitants’ preferences, and nudge users toward more efficient behavior. The newest technologies also integrate demand response; they can reduce consumption at times of peak energy use, peak prices, and peak emissions. The net effect: Residences are more energy efficient, more comfortable, and less costly to operate.
A typical list of Important features and benefits of smart thermostats is below:
- The thermostat works with the wi-fi in the home to allow the settings to be controlled from anywhere at any time. For example, to warm the home before you get there!
- The thermostat will also “learn” when you come and go and thereby change its settings to and from Eco Settings while you are away or returning.
- It will report your energy history to you daily and monthly
- With the purchase of one or more additional room sensors, you can specify which rooms should be at a specific temperature and a specific time.
So, for as low as $98 to several $100, you can have a nice cozy house, AND, reduce your carbon footprint. Here’s an opportunity to actually Do Something to help the climate and yourself! In both instances, the rewards are large. You save money and live in comfort, and the atmosphere has a lot less harmful carbon.
In fact, we recently installed a smart thermostat in our office and here is the result for April and May. It clearly works!