GOODCo Finalists: Three Companies with a Big Net Impact

Keen Footwear, Honest Tea and gDiapers are GOOD Companies—and we'll be meeting them in Portland this week.

At the end of thia week, GOOD Business is traveling to the 2011 Net Impact Conference in Portland, Oregon—a meeting of next-generation business leaders trying to solve the world’s toughest problems. Net Impact is an organization dedicated to making it easier and more effective for people’s careers to be a vehicle for social impact, so we’re expecting to meet a lot of like-minded folks. In advance of the conference, though, we thought we’d spotlight some of the GOOD companies who will be participating in the conference and sharing their best practices for the impact economy.

Keen Footwear

Keen was founded in 2003 to make shoes, bags, and socks, with a focus on outdoor activity; their first product was a sandal with a distinctive rubber toe-protector that quickly found a market among sailors, kayakers and hikers. The company makes social responsibility a major focus of its work, donating its entire marketing budget to relief efforts after the 2004 Asian tsunami and partnering with environmental groups and other NGOs around the world through its HybridLife program. Keen is working to increase the responsibility of its supply chain and has even opened a factory in Portland to make shoes in the United States, a counterintuitive move when its cheaper to manufacture shoes abroad (other Keen products are made in China and North Carolina). James Curleigh, the company’s chief executive, will be speaking at a panel on Friday called “Not Your Grandma's CEO: Innovative Leadership from the Pacific Northwest.

Honest Tea

Honest Tea was the product of a collaboration between entrepreneur Seth Goldman and his business school professor, Barry Nalebuff, after a class discussion about beverage market diversity met Goldman’s personal obsession with juices that were neither overly sweet nor flavorless. In 1998, the two went into business together, concocting the tea and selling it first to Whole Foods Markets. The company is explicitly committed to social responsibility throughout its business practices, from supply chain to hiring. The company’s offerings are all certified organic, and also include an expanding array of Fair Trade Certified options. Natch, their plastic bottles are fully recyclable. Goldman will be speaking on Friday at a panel called “David Takes On Goliath: How Young Companies Challenge Established Brands.


It’s a very straightforward premise: The most eco-friendly diapers available, both cloth and disposable. Diapers are the third-largest contributor to landfills in the world—50 million are thrown out every day, and they take 500 years to biodegrade, making the company’s production of fast-composting and largely reusable diapers an important part of reducing waste and increasing sustainability. The company was founded in Portland in 2005 by Jason and Kim Graham-Nye after their first child brought them face-to-face with the realities of diaper management. After discovering a company that made a flushable diaper in Tasmania, of all places, they brought the discovery to the U.S. and started their own company to produce eco-friendly baby bathrooms. The company believes in keeping children and parents connected, with on-site daycare, flex time and job-sharing to ensure that their employees can do right by their own progeny. Jason Graham-Nye will be speaking on Friday at the “David Takes On Goliath" panel.


These three GOOD Company finalists are making a buck and an impact. We’ll tell you more about how they're doing it this week in our coverage from the Net Impact conference. And if you’re there, don’t forget to check out our panel, “Blue Sky Thinking on the Future of Corporate Responsibility,” on Friday morning.

via Douglas Muth / Flickr

Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Keep Reading Show less

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet