Capitalism as a Source for Good
Kent Gregoire is the Co-founder of Stakeholder Business, a firm that helps leaders build thriving stakeholder businesses that matter. He is also the Founder and CEO of Symphony Advantage. Kent is a serial entrepreneur who launched his first manufacturing company at 14. Since then, he has founded and led over a dozen organizations throughout his entrepreneurial journey. Kent has also provided advisory training and coaching services to executive-level management under the Symphony Advantage Brand. He is an angel investor in purpose-driven companies and a sought-after speaker in the US and beyond.
Welcome to The Future Is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.
David Nilssen 0:20
Hey, David Nilssen here, I’m the host of the podcast. The Future Is Borderless. And I launched this as a way for me to connect with business leaders across the world who have what I call a borderless mindset and trying to make a space for where we can exchange ideas, shine a spotlight on new innovations and best practices. And those things that are not just business, but also personal. And ultimately, the goal here is to help us grow and to lead in a world that’s just ever-changing. Now this episode is brought to you by DOXA Talent, a company who’s obsessed with lifting global communities by creating meaningful work, and making work meaningful docks helps businesses to source full-time highly skilled workers from all over the world. And as a result, these companies can scale faster increase margin and improve culture. To learn more about how DOXA can help you leverage borderless talent, simply go to doxatalent.com. All right, well, I’m really excited for today’s session. I’m thrilled to introduce Kent Gregoire. He’s the co-founder of Stakeholder Business, and Kent has made it his mission to help entrepreneurs maximize their impact, he champions a win-win approach that creates exponential value for all people that are involved. And funnily enough, his entrepreneurial journey began at 14 when he launched his first manufacturing company. And since then he’s founded or led dozens of organizations has raised millions for business ventures and even guided them to several exits. Now with 35 years under his belt, advising top executives, and is one of the first certified conscious capital consultants globally, Kent’s expertise is unmatched. I should also note that can’t lead Symphony Advantage, another statement or another testament, I should say, to his commitment to helping businesses thrive by doing good. So with that, welcome to the podcast, Kent.
Kent Gregoire 2:05
It’s great to be here, David.
David Nilssen 2:06
Glad to have you. I actually I love just looking at your bio there you started your first business at 14. Not a common thing I would say. So I’d love to hear just a little bit about that experience. How did you get into business? What was your product? And then what did you take away from the experience?
Kent Gregoire 2:24
Yeah, so I had a couple of smaller ventures before, but they weren’t actually incorporated. And I was on the entrepreneurial path at a young age. My parents were entrepreneurs, my dad in particular. And I decided it was my turn. I was ready to jump in and try it out. A great uncle of mine had a formula for a cleaner that he had set aside. It was successful in his life, but he wasn’t a traditional entrepreneur, tried to build something and sell it; he used the money to create a nice lifestyle, and then let that formula sit. I was a little bit of coaching with my dad, my mom; they suggested that I approach him and see if I could get the formula. The answer was yes. But I also needed to give him something. So entered into a royalty agreement. And then from there had to buy everything and create this business. It was manufacturing a cleaner that was used in jewelry stores, hardware stores, marine large marine, so those would be from Naples, Florida, all the way up to Burlington, Vermont, and mostly on the East Coast and sold it in jars, 24 cases, to 24 jars to a case and sometimes large buckets as well, especially for the marine industry or auto industry. So it was a pretty exciting adventure and lots and lots of learning lots of stories.
David Nilssen 3:45
That’s interesting. When I asked the question, I sort of assumed you’re going to tell me you started a landscaping business. I think that was my first business and I assume that was yours, too. So you actually we’re manufacturing a cleaning, and you got distribution?
Kent Gregoire 3:59
David Nilssen 4:00
Like how did you do that at 14?
Kent Gregoire 4:02
Yeah, my first one, at 14, you can’t technically own the company or have a bank account. So mom and dad have to help out somewhat, but as well as drive, my dad took me to his commercial loan officer name. I know it very well, Marcy Harding. And, of course, this is a long, long time ago, I was 14. And he said, I want you to bring a sample. We’ll put a case in the back of the car. And I want you to tell her all about your cleaner I did and she was my first customer. And she bought some cases on consignment. She managed to pay me for all of them. And then my parents who drive me in different places. But I think the most interesting story of all of those hills, the hardware store, not department store hardware store. There was one probably about five miles from where I lived and they allowed me to go in and demonstrate the product. I brought in a very, very old I don’t know what vintage automobile. It was a chrome bumper, and it excelled at cleaning chrome had excelled at cleaning glass, your glass would never fog again. And it actually is because it cleaned it can put a film on it, countertops, Korean you name it, it just jewelry, fine jewelry, silver. So you could use it in all different ways. So I would go into hills and demonstrate it on the weekends. And not long ago, I came across the pictures just laughing hysterically, partly because of how I was dressed.
David Nilssen 5:27
And how was that?
Kent Gregoire 5:28
Oh, yeah, those pants. Yeah. Don’t ever want to show those pants. There was a lot going on. That was back in the, let me think, what year that probably was like, in probably like 74. Well, let me think I was 13. So 63. Yeah, it wasn’t quite 74. It’s probably about 72. Yeah.
David Nilssen 5:48
Well, what goes out of style comes back eventually. So maybe you can bring them out again? Well, let’s talk about what you’re doing today. So I thought it’d be fun to learn a little bit about some of your earliest experiences, but you do a tremendous amount of work in conscious capitalism. And I just I’d love to learn a little bit about your journey towards that sort of what got you so invested in that movement.
Kent Gregoire 6:13
Yeah. So part of it was my father being an entrepreneur, I had my own company when I was pretty young, not 14 years old but right out of university, and it became a very successful venture rather quickly. He was not involved. Although if I had one thing to do over again, I would have asked my father to be involved, I think that probably would have been a good thing to have done since we had a good relationship. But along the way, after starting that company, he realized that I wasn’t the person who he thought I was. And he had to take me for a walk one day flew into town, it was coming at me. And he met me at my office and said, let’s go for a walk. And abruptly out of nowhere, said, Kent, you’re just not who I thought you were, you’re not living the values you were raised with, which would be caring and kind. You’re not paying attention to the things that really should be mattering in your personal and your business life that seems to be out of alignment. And I think the thing that actually really upset him more than anything else, because I was financially successful in a real significant way, is that I was using my money with no purpose behind it all. In boy, he was accurate I was anything I could buy or wanted, I seem to do. And I didn’t really care what I was doing, I was still a nice person, I just was lost in the way in which I was raised. So that caused me to eventually wake up, I wouldn’t say I woke up right away and really understood how to adjust. I did adjust. There were lots of different points over the past several decades, that were moments in which I said, there is got to be a better way to do business. The way I’m doing business seems hard. I even questioned at times was I knew I was ethical I pretty strong, ethical bearing. But I felt I was making an awful lot of decisions that I felt didn’t really serve other people very well. But they serve me and they serve making money. So along the way, I continue this, I’m founding companies, I’m helping others, I’m testing out this new way, which was really the way my dad did business. So I had to return to my dad pre-70s, how business was done back. And I eventually meet John Mackey, the co-founder of Conscious Capitalism and meet him at an event in Atlanta. And I realized right then in there speaking with him that there was a tribe of others. And that really helped propel me into where I am today.
David Nilssen 8:53
Yeah. And it’s interesting. So I actually didn’t know that there was such thing as a certified conscious capitalism consultant. But you’re one of the first people to obtain that credential. What does that actually mean? And like, what’s the process that you go through to be able to earn that designation?
Kent Gregoire 9:14
It’s a year-long programming on the program’s side, there’s also a case study, a use case study with a client. So you’re going through and what it’s doing is it’s really checking to make sure that you understand the four tenants of conscious capitalism. There’s a lot in this space to learn but you truly understand those four tenants. You understand the relationship you understand, when working with an organization, how they come into play. The real test comes in the case study, my case study was fairly lengthy. I hit on three of the four which I really only had to hit on one of the other tenants. But I hit on three of the four tenants, particularly two of them very, very strong. I did a lot of assessment work along the way before and after, I’d have the client sign off and attest to the changes and the transformation in their organization. Whereas you spelled out, and you do it in writing, and then you defend it as almost like a thesis, or verbally, I had two people grilling me about it, Nathan and Amanda, it was a really, really good experience. I tell you, the most daunting thing was, all these other people were traditional consultants in this program, I mean, traditional consultants, they’re used to writing 3000-page reports, and I don’t like writing reports. So the most daunting thing was to write this, I was in my sprinter RV on the beach, literally next to the beach in Maine. And I’m like, I got to get this thing done. I sat down one morning, and I just hammered it out. And I finished it up. The following day, I did a quick edit of it. And I sent it to him, and I was sure it wasn’t going to hit the muster. It did. And the live part I think, was really meaningful because it helped me understand that what I was working on, that it attested to I was focused on the right things. I understood it. And I passed right there. Not everybody passes the reverse time, it can take several times. It was good.
David Nilssen 11:13
Yeah, it sounds like it. I thought as I was sitting here thinking myself, you started Stakeholder Business. And that people may not understand what conscious capital really is and what the difference is between that and Stakeholder Capitalism. And so, do you mind just hitting on that just briefly?
Kent Gregoire 11:35
Yeah, conscious capitalism amazing organization and a movement, I would say there are the four tenants purpose. So you’re looking at your stakeholders, you’re going through, you’re looking at culture, etc. And so when you think about it, it’s a framework, it’s in essence, a framework. And it’s extremely inspirational, where stakeholder capitalism comes in which there’s a lot of room, let’s put it this way. I wouldn’t say there’s a common definition of stakeholder capitalism, there’s a more common definition of conscious capitalism. The stakeholder capitalism is really focusing on the stakeholders who were involved. And the comparison would be where we them. And that’s around shareholder capitalism. So in stakeholder capitalism, we’re looking at ways to optimize the value for each stakeholder, not just one stakeholder group, which has traditionally been shareholders, slash investors, and oftentimes senior-level leaders. So it’s around understanding the value that’s being created, and make sure that it’s being optimized, but not in a way in which it’s very collaborative, and a co-elevated effort. And so we see a lot more innovation. These are the companies that, during COVID, assuming their industry, even if their industry was hit hard, are still here today. That’s because they take a long term approach to understand that building a sustainable business is about making the decisions that are not only going to be healthy for the business but also healthy for society and our environment.
David Nilssen 13:12
Do you think I mean, it’s funny, I remember, call it five to 10 years ago, this sort of conversation was just getting started. And I mean, I know it’s existed for a long time, and it became a little bit more popular and mainstream, from the standpoint of it was part of the conversation, let’s say, in the entrepreneur communities, but today, people actually really are taking it seriously. I get it from the entrepreneur’s perspective, I understand why the people inside the business would appreciate this approach. But how hard is it to get the external stakeholders i.e. the shareholders or boards to adopt this as well?
Kent Gregoire 13:48
Yeah, it always has to start at the top doesn’t mean it has to start at the board. It might be the CEO, for example, with interface carpet, which has been around 50 years, about 30 years ago, Ray Anderson, the founder, had an epiphany, and he was very, very certain that the purpose of their business would be a restorative company. Now, they happen to be the number one example in the world still today. But it takes that kind of person who understands it and is going to carry it forward. It can be very, very exciting. But it takes a while for some people to come on board. I was speaking with a leaders of directly who work right with the CEO of one of the largest companies in the world this morning. They’re an incoming client. And they’ve got the skeptics on their team and their senior leadership team. They’re the skeptics that are still there. They want to see one of our story works. That’s why we’re having conversations to show them a great example of what happens to the interface of the work that was done where people would say it’s impossible. It absolutely could never work. You can’t be a restorative company. You’re a carpet manufacturer one of the dirtiest manufacturing businesses in the world. And yet they’ve done it. And anybody in the world who’s looking at sustainability, one of the names that will come out of their mouth immediately. And they only have good things to say is interface carpet.
David Nilssen 15:15
Yeah. I feel like this is so timely because I’m in the talent business, right. So, about I don’t know, a year ago, I read a report by McKinsey that talked about the new personas that have emerged post-COVID. And two of the three are highly purpose-driven. I think it’s pretty clear that both employees and consumers are looking for deeper meaning, and they’ll call it alignment with their values. So how can a company who historically has done business in the traditional sense, make that shift to becoming more purpose-driven? And I’d love to hear just in your words, what are the benefits of doing that?
Kent Gregoire 15:52
Yeah, well, the benefits are quite significant. There’s good case studies around the benefits, he certainly have written, attracting employees retaining employees, innovation goes way up. One of the things people say when we start looking at when we see these improvements, and we’re talking about optimizing value amongst various stakeholders, where’s this money coming from? Early on in the shift, it doesn’t mean that it costs less money to do this work, it can be a little bit of a hit to earnings. But over time, what we see when we look to the external environment, would be our relationship to marketing, as an example, in public relations. Traditionally, in many companies, we’re spending an awful lot of money to convince people to buy our products. Look at Patagonia take a specific example. We all know that even if Patagonia isn’t available in a market, most people know the story. Patagonia does not spend very much money on marketing. And they don’t need to why? Because their brand has a particular identity with consumers. Even those who do not buy Patagonia identify with a brand, very, very, very loyal base of people. And so when we look at some of the benefits that take place, and there’s many of them, customer loyalty is absolutely one of them. That goes way up. Over time, profits increase. And one of the things that was done in a research project in the book of Firms of Endearment, the co-authors did a bunch of research on some companies, S&P 500. And in that research, it showed that the rate of returns were 14 to one better in purpose-driven companies, I can tell you, there’s lots of statistics, there’s lots of evidence that shows purpose-driven companies do much better. But like anything, it’s a journey. And the journey never ends. I think that’s something that’s really important. It’s always about continuously evolving. And thinking about what is the word, the problem we’re truly trying to solve here, above and beyond just the solution we have for our customers. So that’s a really big piece. And people today want meaning 60% of workers that are under the age of 35, who believe it is want to be working for a company that has a direct correlation between what they’re doing, and the benefits to society or environment. And I want to say that even a higher percentage of workers want to make sure that their company is in fact, solving that real meaningful problem. It’s just become the way if workers are thinking that way, which we’ve discovered consumers are as well, because during the pandemic, people were making a much more conscious choice as to how they were spending their money, even on brands that were more expensive, because they wanted to be able to identify with a brand that they were purchasing. And that’s continued today.
David Nilssen 18:59
Yeah, when you say 14 to one in terms of like the, I think there was the profitability of these S&P companies, how do you know, like, how do you know whether you’re a purpose-driven company or not? Because I would argue that many if not most companies have a purpose, right, that they’ve written, they put it on the wall, but how do you know, like, who’s really purpose-driven versus not?
Kent Gregoire 19:19
Yeah, so there are many different ways that could describe this, but one that I found more recently seems to resonate. It also raises a little bit of hair on some people’s neck and I try not to do that very often. But even when I found out it, raise people’s hair, all of a sudden they told me they get it. Okay. Many of us think that we have purpose in our companies. And the question would then be, is our purpose truly serving something much, much greater than our company? And is it solving a worthy problem? Perhaps in a community gang violence, homelessness? People would say, yeah, but my company has nothing to do that. There’s lots of ways to use a company to actually benefit, and to help see that those problems are solved. So that’s kind of piece one where I want to compare it to and where it does, as I mentioned, raised some questions until generally a much longer conversation, but or organizations who choose to give their money and say that the purpose of the organization, we’re going to give money to this organization and that organization, there’s nothing wrong with giving money, we wouldn’t define that as a purpose-driven company. And interesting, it does not raise the profits. But think it does, but it doesn’t. I had a client. Now, I want to say seven years ago in Atlanta, he was introduced to me by his attorney. And one of the first meetings we had, he said, not only have I been an absent parent, but I’ve made so much money, I feel really embarrassed. And this is why I’ve been giving my money away. And we just give money away all the time. But I realize it’s not making any impact. What can I do? That was the first client that I really dug in and get this work with, by the way, ultimately, I also ran the company for the CEO for a year afterward.
David Nilssen 21:15
Got it? It’s funny that I went to a board training IMD in Switzerland. And one of the things they talked about was the size of the CSR the ESG, that it has to be good for business but also aligned with the business. Right. And the idea is that, if you’re in the, call it, the product manufacturing space, which given the homelessness, it’s hard to connect those two. And I’m just curious if you subscribe to that same belief.
Kent Gregoire 21:46
No, not actually, I think that there are lots of opportunities to do that. But we don’t have to actually link the product that we’re selling, or the service that we’re selling to directly in the problem that we’re trying to solve. An example would be, um, gun violence, you can have gun violence in a community. Understanding why gun violence really exist in understanding the youth, those youth could be literally aimed in a different area and doing amazing work, why not open up something like a beer brewery or open any kind of business at all, or have an existing business because one can be purpose-driven, and actually move their company from a non-purpose driven, non-solving worthy problem to completely purpose-driven, solving worthy problems, there is no right stage to do it, other than to begin doing it. So there doesn’t need to be a direct correlation. service companies are oftentimes an example. They’ll be like, yeah, but all I’m doing is servicing corporations. Yeah, I wonder what leadership would think what are the employees leaning into? What other problems are there? Are there even problems internally within the workforce? Are there hundreds or 1000s of employees in some large companies? How could we be doing a better job? Do we have our own employees who are not prospering in life? Is that where we need to begin? So I like to say it isn’t so much about having to nail the higher purpose from the beginning, it’s beginning to explore it, it’s beginning to stress tested, I have to say, of all the work I could probably talk with you about today, the area I have never seen done well, internally is the purpose, not the purpose I’m talking about. The reason being is that most people don’t actually know what this purpose looks like, how to create it in a way in which you can stress tested it in engages all of your stakeholders, get to engage all of your stakeholders with purpose. Wow, that’s a different company.
David Nilssen 23:51
Well, I’m actually curious if you could take me one step further because I remember the full disclosure to our audience for the first time that I really met Kent. We shared a stage at a conference in, I think it was in Tahoe, and you made the comment that purpose is the most important decision that a CEO makes. And it really like the things you talked about really resonated for me. So why I wanted you to come on and talk about this. But can you explain why it’s the most important thing? And how does a CEO go about aligning that purpose with all the different stakeholders?
Kent Gregoire 24:24
Yeah, so the first thing is the reason I think it’s the most strategic decision that company will ever make, because it is the true news, the true north star, it is the place in which every decision we make needs to move there. In our own company, our number one value is actually return to purpose. That’s our number one value. We have other values that sound a little more traditional, I wouldn’t say they’re traditional values, but that particular one. So when we’re talking about something that we begin to head in a different direction, we always check ourselves are we on mark with purpose. And if we’re not, we need to abandon it and get back on track. And we’ve had to do that we’re a relatively young company, we check ourselves on a regular basis. The notion of purpose, one of the ways to really think about it is when stakeholders say it’s impossible, like going to the moon is impossible. Helping however, for people to see that they are role that they have a distinct role, what they can do to help make it a real possibility. When you can do that you now get alignment with your stakeholders. I mentioned that a little bit earlier, I don’t know that I finished it out. But that larger company that I met with senior level executives this morning, that’s really part of what’s going on some of the executives and it’s, as I said, they’re in many, many countries, it’s a big organizations, some of those executives, they see it as an impossible, they don’t know how to do it. So our job is to show them other companies that have actually done it, not just as the oh, this company did it. But right now are beyond zero film is being screened, it was invited to the Cannes Film Festival. And so it’s being screened there. That is an example that has been followed for over 30 years. And companies need to see that example. So when we look at the North Star, it is one is not only an extremely strategic point, but it’s something that should have such great meaning that our stakeholders want to know our suppliers want to know how we, how they can help us achieve it. But in that conversation, hopefully we’ve asked them first, how can we help you achieve your purpose? Not, can you give me better prices? Can you do this? Can you do that? What can I do to create value for you, it’s all about creating value. And in the value creation, we see more innovation, we see costs go down, we see people making this connection directly to work, I’m going to pull up something because it can circle back in the head write these down. So I’m going to look at my talk, I came across it today. It’s done by research, a great place to work, something that our company follows. And we know some of the folks there. But there are three questions that would predict workplace turnover in their research. And they’re pretty good at doing this. By the way. These are the three questions. Are you proud of where you work? Do you find meaning in your work? And do you have fun at work? If one of those is no, they’re probably going to leave the organization? Just one question is a no, it’s been quite well tested after I got it from another member of my office in one of my co-founders, Megan, I did a little more research on it. And I found out that others have found almost the same exact questions. The other co-founders, Nathan Havey, who’s the writer and director of the film that’s at the Cannes Film Festival right now and fascinating human.
David Nilssen 28:13
Have you seen? So I’m selfishly I want to ask this question. And then I want to get back to something you said a minute ago. But selfishly, I have, between, with my business about 700 employees, and we are a fully remote operation. So I’m curious if you’ve seen companies that do that really well, particularly the fun where it’s harder to build that sense of community and like a connection that you would get through water-cooler talk are lunch tables, and things like that.
Kent Gregoire 28:38
Yeah, companies that traditionally do it well, are companies in which leadership understands that it is a workable solution, when leaders begin to have the old mindset of more hierarchy, more control, it falls apart every time there is a direct correlation. So it has to come from the top, it is a very cultural aspect. Now it is also being aware of the needs of employees. In your case, you’ve got a lot of employees who work remotely, it’s not going to be something that they’re not actually going to grain particular value by working at client sites often. So it’s a little bit easier. Where if somebody’s in retail, of course, we know somebody’s in retail, and they have a physical store. They’ve got to be there. Most organizations that don’t do that really well. Or it’s because of the top they have a notion that the only way it works is the way that it works for them. Instead of paying attention to the broader base of stakeholders. You think about the stakeholder play also, many organizations are missing the opportunity that some of these employees would benefit more by actually having an opportunity now and then to go to another stakeholders office for a purpose. Maybe do some shadowing, maybe do some mentoring, reverse mentoring whatever it may be, but actually connect to help create richer environments. And to create more meaning at work. And by the way, that’s a really good way to create stronger stakeholder relationships, which lead to more value. When I use the word innovation, innovation is a big word, I really mean creating new value that can be delivered to stakeholders can be delivered to customers, either for money, or perhaps to an internal group that’s going to be able to do their job even better. Those would be examples.
David Nilssen 30:36
Yeah, by the way, innovation is something that’s really interesting to me, I went to a class one time at London Business School, and we talked about innovation, and they shared all the different ways that you can innovate. One is by creating something brand new. One is by extracting and others by combining things that you know, like, there’s lots of different ways to innovate. It’s not always by creating something by scratch. Kent, I know we’re getting close to the end of the time. But I want to just a couple quick questions to sort of wrap us up. The first one is you talked a minute ago about people needing to see specific examples. And I wonder if you could share a specific example of where you’ve sort of implemented this Win-Win approach and you’ve seen this, like dramatic impact on value for all the stakeholders involved?
Kent Gregoire 31:17
Yeah, well, so some, we’ve implemented, I actually wanted to talk a little bit one that I think some of your listeners may know, and I wanted to choose it, I was kind of anticipating this question that frequently comes up, and that’s Greyston Bakery, some people know, they’re out of Yonkers, New York, and they think of them as brownies. I know, once a year, I get a gift of brownies from them. They are the most amazing brownies. So people would be thinking about, well, if they’re in the brownie business, the traditional shareholder capitalism model would be, where are we going to get our employees? And how quickly can we train them? Let’s see if we can have less of them. Maybe we don’t want to pay him as much, how can we get our ingredients, less cost and stuff. And they actually don’t pay attention to those things. They look for employees that would have a hard time finding a job elsewhere, they have a line waiting up at their door, literally, sometimes physically, but also proverbial, they have a very, very long line of people who want to work there. Because their culture is so special, they spend a lot of time in investment in the training side. So when people come in the door, and they’re trained, they’re ready for their job. And they’re delivering a real high quality of performance and productivity. So one of the things that this company has been able to do, they don’t hire people to make brownies, they hire people, excuse me, they make brownies to hire more people. That’s the kind of purpose that they have. And I like using examples that are a little bit different, because I think it helps people think outside the box. Another one is Elaine Fisher. Megan, on our team has a strong relationship with Elaine Fisher, that is her name. But it’s also a half-a-billion-dollar brand. It’s women clothing, they do things really, really well in terms of stakeholder engagement. They’re a pioneer in sustainable fashion in the marketplace, and some of the key things that they’ve been able to do would it be their collaborative leadership model, but it’s not just leadership, there’s a very strong two-way communication with all employees, so that employees truly feel valued. They’ve done this in ways that I have heard companies talk, they do it, and then they do this, this is the real deal. It is a real conversation. Every single person in that organization has a voice and their voice is heard. And oftentimes, some of the greatest things that come out of companies like this are actually coming from what I used to call the fringes, I wouldn’t call it that anymore. They’re coming out of other humans that are traditionally more tapped into. They’ve also were the first clothing company be committed to like sustainable clothing. So they had the initiative to go do this, they wanted to make sure that they were much farther a lot like interface which has gone beyond zero in their carbon emissions, that would be an understatement. They wanted to make sure they were doing the right things even beyond sustainable packaging, pioneering regenerative materials, etc. Other values are very, very strong. Elaine even signed, I think what’s called a living wage proclamation. That was to make sure that not only were they paying a with a living wage, but that their suppliers were all paying a living wage that they were paying the amount they needed to for the goods to make sure that their suppliers had the money that was needed. A lot of times I’ll get a lot of pushback on these types of ideas and people say this just isn’t how we’ve done business. This makes no sense to me. This sounds like more cost. Now, we’re only looking at one side, when that happens, the benefits are really extraordinary. It is the longer-term play. But when we talk about creating, and I don’t use the word sustainable in an environmental aspect, when we talk about a sustainable business model environment and society, and how we treat our employees and all our stakeholders are going to be front and center. So there’s a lot of things that could say about Elaine Fisher’s company, but they’ve done a really good job. They are a B Corp. And they do the real work. By the way, there is not one company I know of today, that would hit every single mark on conscious capitalism or stakeholder business, or anything else. It’s a journey. Everybody’s working on it.
David Nilssen 35:47
Yeah. I love that. You know what, we’ll leave it there. We’ve been talking to Kent Gregoire the co-founder of Stakeholder Business can’t where can people learn more about the work that you’re doing?
Kent Gregoire 35:57
Yes, stakeholderbusiness.com would be the best way. Also, Kent Gregoire, my LinkedIn, and Instagram, but stakeholderbusiness.com. Lots of resources out there. And one of the things that we pay particular attention to is we want to make sure that you have the right resources you need. So we put resources out there around B labs, a World Economic Forum, where to get assessment, which assessments to use and when, let us know this isn’t about what we have nonproprietary it’s about helping to expand the game of business to build a world that works for everyone. It takes a lot of us to do this work.
David Nilssen 36:39
Awesome. All right. We’ll get those resources in the show notes. And thanks again for being on the podcast today.
Kent Gregoire 36:45
Thank you very much.
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