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Higher Grounds Coffee Achieves B Corporation Certification

Jennifer Yeatts - HGTC_circle logo_colorDate: February 15, 2016
Contact: Jennifer Yeatts
Phone: (231) 922-9009
Email: jennifer@highergroundstrading.com

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Higher Grounds Coffee Achieves B Corporation Certification
Traverse City coffee company is tenth certified B Corp in Michigan, joining over 1400 organizations dedicated to redefining success in business

Michigan’s only fully organic, fair trade coffee company has joined nine other Michigan organizations as a certified B Corporation, becoming the state’s only B Corp certified coffee roaster. The certification is recognized by consumers around the world as a way to ensure the products they purchase are made by ethically-minded companies. Higher Grounds joins major international brands Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s, Etsy, Seventh Generation, and many others as part of the B Corp community.

To become a Certified B Corporation, Higher Grounds was rigorously evaluated by B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies and supports B Corporations. B Lab determined that Higher Grounds met the standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency to qualify for certification. Now, unlike traditional companies, Higher Grounds is legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment.

Coinciding with the launch of their B Corp status, Higher Grounds is instituting a new program of paid volunteer service hours for its employees, further demonstrating its commitment to socially-responsible, community-minded practices as part of a sustainable business model.

“Higher Grounds was founded in order to support sustainable communities worldwide,” says owner Chris Treter. “We’ve always focused on doing business differently.” Higher Grounds co-founded a nonprofit, On the Ground, which coordinates projects in five countries, building schools in Ethiopia and potable water projects in Mexico, supporting gender equality in the Democratic Republic of Congo and food security in Nicaragua, and facilitating microloans for female entrepreneurs in Palestine.

Higher Grounds invests in the health, financial security, and community engagement of staff with a flexible wellness program, health savings accounts, and retirement plan options. The company delivers coffee by bike locally year-round (12.4 tons of coffee biked over 500 miles in 2015, offsetting a quarter ton of carbon emissions), uses recycled and recyclable products in-house, and composts spent coffee grounds.

In 2015, Higher Grounds’ line of seasonal coffee blends raised funds and awareness for area nonprofits Norte Youth Cycling (elgruponorte.org) and Groundwork Center (groundworkcenter.org), with whom they partnered as a means to contribute to the construction of a more resilient community.

About B Corporations
Certified B Corporations are leaders of a global movement of people using business as a force for good™. They aspire to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are more than 1,400 Certified B Corporations in over 120 industries and 40 countries with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business.

About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for good™. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World®, and as a result, society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity.

About On the Ground
On the Ground’s purpose is to support sustainable community development in farming regions across the world. The organization accomplishes this mission by partnering with other philanthropic agencies, donors, and communities to provide opportunities for indigenous communities around the globe to build lasting infrastructure. In concert with sustainable trading practices by OTG partners, this infrastructure makes it possible for these communities to create real and meaningful prosperity for all their citizens. Learn more about OTG at www.onthegroundglobal.org.

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