Cascade, begun primarily as a plastics molder and now a family of 14 businesses, underwent a rigorous assessment by B Lab to ensure adherence to comprehensive and transparent social and environmental standards to achieve its B Corporation certification. There currently are more than 380 certified B Corporations from more than 50 industries, of which Cascade is the largest and the first in the state of Michigan.
Certified B Corporations are required to consider the potential impact of their decisions on stakeholders, including employees, suppliers and consumers, as well as the broader community and the environment. Consumers and investors then should be better able to distinguish which are "good companies" and support those committed to greater economic and social opportunity and positive environmental outcomes.
Commenting on Cascade's B Company certification, company chairman and founder Fred Keller, said, "While some may view B Corporations as a new kind of company, at Cascade it's who we've been all along—passionate advocates for the positive impact business can make economically, socially, and environmentally."
B-certified companies are able to benchmark and learn from the programs of other certified businesses, and Cascade says it is looking forward to learning about other B Corporations' best practices and sharing ideas of its own. Pennsylvania-based B Lab is pursuing legal recognition for B Corporations at the U.S. state level. In April 2010, Maryland became the first U.S. state to make B Corporations official, and recently registered the first B Corporations in the United States.