It’s B Corp Month and we want to share what makes us proud to be part of the growing group of companies dedicated to doing “business for good” as a Certified B Corporation. So, what does “business for good” and being a Certified B Corp even mean?
It’s an independent certification, with an official seal like Fair Trade or USDA Organic, based on a third-party assessment and verification of company policies and actions like social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.
Originally founded in 2006, there are now more than 4,000 Certified B Corporations in the world who are part of the growing movement to do business for good. Meow Wolf joined the B Corp community, which includes companies like Patagonia, Ben & Jerrys, Etsy, Method Products, and Kickstarter, with our first Certification in 2017 with a score of 80.2.
Meow Wolf is proud to have completed our recertification with a score of 110.3, a 37% increase.
Meow Wolf’s Senior Director of Social Impact and B Keeper, Danika Padilla gave us the details on what it means to Meow Wolf to be a B Corp, where we’re trying to make a difference, and how we upped our recertification score.
Why is Meow Wolf a B Corp?
Many folks don't know that before Meow Wolf was even a business or an entity, we had that conversation of, "Are we going to be a nonprofit? Are we going to be a business?"
Many nonprofit organizations struggle with funding, and the company [Meow Wolf] didn't want to be beholden to sponsors and kind of the ebbs and flows of nonprofit fundraising. They wanted to have a sustainable revenue stream, so that we can pay artists and pay creatives to continue working on amazing exhibitions. So Meow Wolf is a B Corp because the original folks involved had the foresight to determine that they wanted a different type of company and decided to go with a B Corp.
Why is being a B Corp important for businesses?
Meow Wolf is a social impact art company that fuels a business, and we really believe that all of the folks who come to us want something more out of businesses that they support.
We're currently the only certified B Corp in our industry. We see that as a huge opportunity to show what our art can do for people and what businesses can do to better our workers, community and environment.
What are opportunities for improvement in the future?
Meow Wolf has identified our environmental sustainability portfolio as a huge place for our future investments. That environmental portfolio includes tracking all of our energy, water, and waste, which we're currently doing as an organization, then setting our reduction targets and purchasing verified carbon offsets to become carbon neutral.
The B Corp assessment also helps you understand that it's not just about you and your business. It's also about your supply chain, your vendors, and all the folks that you're working with, and we are interested in strengthening our supply chain to be more socially and environmentally responsible as well.
What are some stories that depict Meow Wolf as a B Corp?
Well, one of the things that I get the pleasure of leading is our community investments and community donations and sponsorships. We have a goal to give 2% of our revenue away to nonprofits located in our communities. The majority of Meow Wolf's funding has gone to support historically marginalized people and historically marginalized communities. In 2021, 75% of our financial donations supported groups who are led by and support underrepresented people. Meow Wolf has donated more than $1.7 million back to nonprofits organizations since 2017.
We have also increased our employee service with monthly volunteer opportunities in all of our locations. Together, Meow Wolf has contributed more than 5,197 hours of volunteer service since 2018 in our local communities.
Does a lot of the funding typically go to art organizations and artists, or is it just kind of all over the board?
We've been working over the past couple of years to narrow our focus. We used to do a lot for everybody, but we're really focused on outcomes in the arts right now. We're currently developing those long term outcomes we want to see through our giving. Again, that's part of the B Corp certification. They're specifically asking not only are you giving back, but what are the benchmarks for success that you see over the next five, ten years?
Currently Meow Wolf prioritizes supporting established non-profit organizations in Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Denver that provide creative and inclusive opportunities for all.
How can organizations and people submit requests?
We do request that everything comes in through our Request Support Form on our website, as we receive thousands of requests annually. Our form helps manage all of those requests, and our team gets back to folks on a rolling basis. We prioritize nonprofit organizations based in the communities we serve - Santa Fe, Las Vegas and Denver - who provide creative and inclusive opportunities for all.
Meow Wolf has increased its score by 37% over the past few years. So what did that look like?
We've been told from the B Lab, which is the nonprofit who certifies you, that it's unheard of for an organization to increase their score by that much.
We focused our efforts on tracking and policy making, primarily in the Workers and Community Areas of the B Impact Assessment. If we say we do something, we created a policy to back it up and created systems for data tracking.
What’s next for Meow Wolf’s B Corp efforts?
The B Corp Certification is an ongoing process, it’s never really done. Meow Wolf will continue to identify and invest in areas that increase our corporate social responsibility for years to come.
The assessment is not about being perfect, it’s about knowing where you are at and setting goals for improvement. We are headed back into goal setting and look forward to communicating more of our long-term goals as we move forward.