GoodWell Launches With An Ambitious Agenda

December 2nd 2015

Today GoodWell, a Public Benefit Corporation, has announced its launch along with an ambitious goal of changing the way consumers think about the companies with whom they spend their money.  

“The mission of GoodWell is to provide consumers with an easy way to know they are buying from companies who are good corporate citizens - it’s that simple” says Pete Gombert, the founder of the organization.  

With every decision they make, GoodWell wants companies to deeply consider the six stakeholders they all have.

  1. Investors
  2. Customers

  3. Employees

  4. Suppliers / Vendors

  5. Communities they work and live in

  6. The Environment

The goal is for all companies in the world to attain a basic level of good behavior and in doing so to make capitalism good for all rather than good for a few.  

GoodWell has laid out 15 metrics which companies need to achieve a passing grade on in order to become a GoodWell Certified Organization.  These 15 metrics are universally applicable to all companies large and small and are independently audited annually to ensure the company is in compliance.  These metrics measure the company's intent to be a good corporate citizen along with their actions to back up that intent.  For example one metric a GoodWell company must commit to is:

Average Female Compensation / Average Male Compensation by job function.  In order to achieve a passing grade this metric must be between .9 and 1.1.  This ensures companies are not varying pay for the same role by more than 10% for men vs women.  

A full list of the standards and metrics can be seen here.  Once a company achieves certification they may use the GoodWell logo in their marketing collateral and product packaging in order to promote their achievement and dedication to doing good while doing well, which is the genesis of the GoodWell name.

GoodWell has also announced its Founding Member program today.  This is an ambitious program aimed at recruiting one million founding members over the next 90 days.  This program is critical to the success of GoodWell as the organization is consumer led, consumer funded and relies on consumer participation to recruit companies to become certified.  Founding members take a three part pledge to:

  1. Be a conscious consumer
  2. Spread the word with their friends and family to recruit other new members
  3. Advocate for change within the companies they work for

The Founding Members are the core of the organization and act as an army for good, advocating for these important changes.

GoodWell differs from other certification efforts like B Corp, FairTrade and hundreds of others in a few ways.  First, the standards are universally applicable - any company large or small in any industry can adopt the standards and find relevance and benefit in achieving them.  Second, the metrics must be independently audited on an annual basis.  This ensures there is no greenwashing associated with the certification and provides a high degree of certainty to consumers.  Most importantly GoodWell companies are required to enforce GoodWell standards throughout their supply chain.  This last point ensures companies cannot simply outsource their bad behavior.  Finally, GoodWell is a consumer driven initiative, which makes it both powerful and free market based.  GoodWell is not relying on government regulation to enforce good behavior they are using the free market to give companies a choice; behave well and receive our dollars, behave poorly and you don’t.  

GoodWell is launching at an important time in our global history.  This week World leaders are gathering at COP21 with their eyes set on a historic sustainability agreement. Awareness of corporate responsibility is growing due to the efforts of the B Team and B Lab.  30 U.S. States have passed Benefit Corporation legislation.  Good things are happening, however the pace of change is too slow.  Economic inequality has never been higher.  Corporations continue to betray our trust as evidenced by the recent Volkswagen scandal and the Vale/BHP Billiton dam breach in Brazil.  Women are still grossly underpaid as compared to men.  Discrimination is rampant, child/forced labor is widespread, as are unsafe working conditions.  GoodWell is not intended to make companies perfect or to be held to an unfair standard, rather GoodWell is aimed at making sure 100% of companies get the basics right and in doing so, correct some of the world's most obvious wrongs.  

To learn more visit the GoodWell website at www.goodwellworld.com

Or to become a GoodWell Founding Member visit www.goodwellworld.com/members/

 

Pete GombertComment