When we first started to research becoming a B Corporation, we were happy to see that corporations committed to living consciously can be identified and can identify one another through an organized community.
In truth, The Moderns have been living the B Corporation principles and standards since our founding over twenty years ago.
Environmental Performance Standards
The Moderns were pioneers in environmental stewardship since well before “going green” came into vogue. Sustainability is part of our twenty-year history and DNA and, in our opinion, this is true innovation looks like. Just as human-centered strategic solutions-based thinking and design methodologies are integrated into all of our projects, so too is an environmental message. In fact, we audit every project we work on for its impact on the environment, extending that same discernment to our own office in which, for instance, we create our own compost from leftover food and flowers.
We recycle, use the greenest cleaning products available, and compostable plastic bags. Our new space was designed to the highest sustainable standards (i.e., LEED Silver Status pending).
We are also members of several non-profit organizations dedicated to sustainability, including Social Venture Network and Slow Money. We have also founded our own food activist group, Union Square Grows, to help in the fight for everyone to have access to clean, healthy food.
Comprehensive and Transparent Social Standards
Extrapolating our environmental principles, we also take both employee and community interests into consideration when making decisions. The Moderns have always provided the most comprehensive medical and disability benefits possible, going above and beyond industry standards to make sure that our employees are truly cared for. We first offered disability insurance so that our new mothers could take off two months with half pay. We even have a hospital grade air purifier and have Mountain Valley Water, the healthiest water available nationally, delivered once a week.
To that end, we try to work four or five days a week inspired for our clients and take one day getting inspired. That’s why we reserve Fridays for our weekly Imagine the Next™ series, during which all of us solutionists (and oftentimes our clients, friends, and family) invite guest lecturers and hold forums. We also offer regularly scheduled field trips and have taken a bee keeping class (that’s right, we’re keeping bees in NYC!).
Each Imagine the Next begins with a group movement class led by our coach, Colleen Wahl-Culley, who uses the Laban method of movement analysis to help foser a strong community and development team work. After this, we all gather for a healthy lunch made with local organic ingredients (in addition to the healthy, organic, and fair trade foods and drinks we keep in our fridge at all times for staff).
We are also committed to fostering non-profits that promote social equity, including More Art, an organization dedicated to enabling community members from all walks of life to approach and access art. Most recently, in collaboration with More Art, The Moderns hosted the premiere of Korean artist Kimsooja’s “An Album: Hudson Guild.”
Living a Beautiful Life
In short, we continuously try to take the words of Mohandas Gandhi to heart: “Become the change you want to see in the world.” Becoming a B Corporation is one great way to formally declare our commitment to this spirit of continuous improvement.