2015 Transparency Benefit Report

2015 Transparency Benefit Report

So how did Ingenuity Innovation Center do as a Benefit Company in 2015?

On December 30th, 2015, Ingenuity Innovation Center took the B Impact Assessment through B Lab.  This ever evolving assessment evaluates an organization’s business practices in five (5) areas.  They include governance, workforce, community, consumers and environment.  A total of 200 points is possible.  The full-length evaluation typically takes an organization 90 minutes to complete.  B Lab certifies companies that score 80 points or above in the evaluation after completing and audit of business practices and review of internal documentation to support what the assessment is screening for.   These companies are recognized in the business world as B Corps.

Upon completion of the assessment, Ingenuity Innovation Center scored a total of 104 out of 200 points.  The average for the 536 certified B Corps is 97 out of 200 points.  A copy of this document is available upon request.

“Compared to last year, we are making progress,” stated Kate Wildrick, co-founder of the center.  “We were able to move the mark by a couple of points [from 102].  Most of our time and dedication this year went securing the land and to adding in another greenhouse and officially launching the training center with Murray Hallam.  This was an incredible feat considering that we were having our first child in August.”

Beyond the B Lab Assessment: How Did We Meet Our Goals?

Ingenuity Innovation Center initially established three goals for 2015 that would showcase how we were adding benefit to all.  They included:

GOAL #1: To continue to build sustainable food solutions to the Pacific Northwest.  We have:

  • Built a second 1,500 square foot aquaponic greenhouse to serve as a training facility with Murray Hallam.  Almost all materials sourced were either contributed by sponsors and community supporters.  In all, there was over $15,000 raised.  This expansion helped the center continue to serve as the largest living aquaponic greenhouse in the Portland Metro area that is open to the public to tour and interact with.  
  • Continued to develop classes, affordable kits, open-source aquaponics knowledge and local community of practicing aquaponic enthusiasts.  Ingenuity was invited to take over the Portland Metro Aquaponic Meetup Group (with over 400 members).  
  • Successfully completed a 4-day master class aquaponic seminar with Murray Hallam.  Nearly 40 people from all over the world came to participate in this land mark event.  A total of 5 scholarships were awarded.
  • Received press in Greenhouse Grower Magazine, Oregon Business Journal, and The Chronicle.  
  • Hosted Congresswoman, Suzanne Bonamici, for a tour of the center and to discuss opportunities around this emerging green industry.
  • Invited to participate in the Oregon Aquaculture Task Force Initiative that seeks to bring together public and private voices to build the aquaculture industry.  Ingenuity serves as a voice for the aquaponic industry.

GOAL #2:  To continue showcase other alternative energy solutions. We have:

  • Continue to share alternative energy solutions to showcase what is possible.
  • Brand new off-grid pellet stove is crowd funded for the center.  The stove is capable of heating up to 700 degrees and has a water jacket that serves as a perfect solution for heating water for fish in the event that electricity is lost for a long duration. 

GOAL #3. Getting people involved in developing local solutions.  We have:

  • Hosted several community-building events that help develop connection and skill building including an experimental Adopt A Growbed and Adopt an Easel programs.
  • Invited speakers from a variety of backgrounds and topics to share knowledge and tools to help create local, sustainable solutions.
  • Hosted community dinners and film viewing events to ignite curiosity and facilitate discussion and action.
  • Invited to participate in Thrive Together’s and IC Evo programs that focused on exploring community solutions.
  • Sponsored the first annual Love Summit that took place in Portland at Wieden + Kennedy’s corporate headquarters. John Perkins, founder of Dream Change and author of the Confessions of an Economic Hitman and the New Confessions of an Economic Hitman, launched the debut event to bring awareness to heart centered business and the benefit company and B-Corp movement.

Other facts and figures for 2015 include:

To see just how far we have come since we started in September of 2012, click through the following Prezi.

About Benefit Companies

On January 2nd, 2014, Ingenuity Innovation Center became one of Oregon’s first Benefit Companies.  According to the Secretary of State, “An Oregon benefit company is a type of corporation or limited liability company that wants to consider its impact on society and the environment in the business decision-making process, in addition to earning a profit.” Oregon was the 20th state to adopt legislation that will protect organizations that wish to consider other factors in business choices versus just profit-based decisions.  Traditional corporate structures require that decisions must not adversely impact share / stockholders even if it may harm local economies or the environment.  The establishment of Benefit Companies were instituted in direct response in an effort to show that business can be used for a force for good by creating benefit for all.

Ingenuity was one of 29 companies that participated in the inaugural event.  Oregon’s event had the largest record number of companies to participate in the new legislation.  Becoming a Benefit Company requires organizations to show how they are adding benefit by using an approved Third Party Standard after they register with the State of Oregon.  It is important to note that Oregon Benefit Companies are not required to get a certification through the 3rd Party Standards in order to maintain their status as a Benefit Company.  Ingenuity Innovation Center has chosen to use the B Lab Assessment that certifies companies using a triple-bottom line approach.

“We have always valued transparency,” stated Kate Wildrick.  “After working in the corporate world and seeing just how much information is shared on a ‘need-to-know-basis,’ I never saw how that exactly empowered people to address issues, let alone solve them.  We were absolutely elated when we found out about the whole B-Corp and Benefit Company movement.”