Our slower time of year allows us to reflect on the past year and to start planning for the next. One of the items that we are reviewing is how we express our values. When we first started the business we wanted to verify through third party certifications that we are living our values. The values we choose to operate the business by include the following:
- Reliability offers us the chance to be a pillar in our community. As we teach our leaders to stay committed to their responsibilities, we intend to stay committed to our clients, employees, vendors, and the youth we mentor.
- Inspiration isn’t always a naturally occurring ingredient. We strive to push ourselves and our creativity to provide powerful and empathetic leadership to our community, even when we face challenges.
- Value is in the service we provide. We intend to serve our community with everything we’ve got. We resolve to nourish, empower, and develop our youth to become the best they can be.
- Education is crucial to the self-improvement we encourage. We’re determined to provide top-tier leadership training through our community of peers and mentors. We intend to teach future leaders how to be self-aware, how to communicate, and how to listen.
- Respect is our top priority. Whether it’s the future leaders who have taken on the Fifty5 Life or the environment that allows us to provide our community with ethical cold brew, we will communicate and live by our respect.
While Climate Neutral, 1% for the Planet, and becoming a certified B Corporation does help us "prove" or certify we are living our values, there is a shadow side to this approach. When it comes to donations, not all entities we want to work with are members for 1% for the Planet. There are also restrictions placed on what money counts when you are working with B Corp certification. When reviewing the cost of the certification itself, we determined thousands of dollars are going to the certifying bodies. While pursuing our B Corp certification we committed to 2% of Fifty5 Rivers Cold Brew revenue going back to the community in some form or another. What we realized is the thousands of dollars going to the certifying bodies are leaving our community and thus not having any impact locally, which goes against our core values.
Starting in 2023 we will no longer be pursuing certifications from certifying bodies and instead we'll be partnering with local businesses (non-profit and for-profit) that keep us in alignment with our values AND keep our money local. We will maintain our commitment to 2% of our revenue of going back to our LOCAL community.
Over the next few weeks we'll be updating our website. The Living Our Values page will include the latest companies and organizations with which we are partnering. Our packaging will have a QR code that will link to this page as well.