“Best for the World Gathering” to Celebrate Responsible Business

By Krysten Crawford

Victoria Fiore, MBA 12, was drawn to Berkeley-Haas for its track record of cultivating future business leaders who make a social impact.

Today, she’s become one of those leaders.

As director of brand strategy & marketing at Emeryville, Calif.-based baby and kid’s food maker Plum Organics, Fiore works for a company that is helping to redefine what it means to be a socially responsible business in the 21st century.

Victoria Fiore, MBA 12, at Plum Organics’ Emeryville headquarters.

Plum Organics and other companies that have embedded sustainability into their DNA will be celebrating and mentoring at the first-ever “Best for the World Gathering” at Zellerbach Hall on Sept. 8 from 11 am to 4 pm. Attendence is free to students, faculty, and staff with a Cal ID at the door. An evening awards ceremony, performances, and happy hour will be held 7 pm to 11 pm. Tickets are $20 for all UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff with the promo code gobears.

The event will showcase B Corporations—a designation granted to companies that meet rigid sustainability requirements set by a nonprofit overseer called B Lab.

Organized by the Center for Responsible Business (CRB) at Berkeley-Haas and B the Change Media, the publishing arm of B Lab, the Best for the World event is expected to draw some 1,500 attendees. Featured speakers include Deval Patrick, managing director in impact investment at Bain Capital and the former governor of Massachusetts, as well as CEOs/co-founders of Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, The Honest Company, Revolution Foods, (founded by Kristen Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, both MBA 06), New Belgium Brewing, and many others.

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk, and achieving the status isn’t easy. These companies must meet standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Out of about 40,000 companies which have applied, only about 1,800 have been granted certification.

“A growing number of companies are realizing that if they want to be around in 10 or 20 years sustainability has to be embedded in how they operate,” says Seren Pendleton-Knoll, program manager for the Center for Responsible Business, which was founded in 2003 to redefine business for a sustainable future. “Sustainability must be key from the C-suite on down.”