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Climate Ride, B Corps, and Collective Impact

For any single company wanting to address the greatest challenges facing our planet—income inequality, climate change, deforestation—the problems may seem too large to tackle. However, organizations can form strategic partnerships to generate impact that’s anything but small—and, if they're B Corps, increase their B Impact Assessment score at the same time. The relationship between B Lab, B Corporations, and the charity Climate Ride is a perfect model of how companies can take part in collective impact events to change the world and foster community amongst their employees at the same time.

Collective Impact on the Rise

Collective impact is a popular term these days. A Google search on ‘collective impact’ yields 148,000,000 results. There are myriad blog posts written about collective impact, books on the topic, and at least a half dozen SlideShare presentations about cross-sector collaboration as a successful approach to solving social and environmental problems.

Realizing you want to change the world is an admirable thing, but in reality very few of us have the resources within our means to do so. Across the globe, corporations, government agencies and NGO’s are pooling resources to solve problems that individual organizations cannot. B Lab and Climate Ride are two such organizations. Together they form a collective one-two punch for solving social and environmental problems.

Climate Ride and Collective Impact

A small charity that organizes endurance events for environmental causes, Climate Ride’s impact is felt far and wide, thanks in part to the strategic partnerships they have forged with their beneficiaries, sponsors, and the passionate support of event participants. The organization:

     - raises money for more than 70+ beneficiaries working toward a sustainable future,
     - supports 400-500 participants per year,
     - educates event participants on various issues related to climate change and sustainability while training them to make a         legislative difference by becoming lobbyists for environmental causes


Climate Ride is adept at taking the seemingly insurmountable challenge of our planet’s future and bringing it to a personal level. They produce four annual events—three 300+ mile bike rides and a 50-mile hike—that transform lives and fund important initiatives critical to a sustainable future. Riders get the personal satisfaction of completing a challenging multi-day endurance event with a community of like-minded individuals who share their passion and raising money for their favorite environmental causes. From supporting conservation efforts in our national parks to protected bike lanes in our nation’s cities, Climate Ride’s impact is felt across many channels.

And this impact is on the rise. In 2013 Climate Ride granted $512,000.00 to beneficiary organizations, a 24.8% increase over 2012. This money was raised through the hard work of every day people who share the vision of a sustainable future and are willing to push their bodies and pocketbooks to the limit in order to do so.

Climate Ride beneficiaries work toward solving many issues under the umbrella of environmentalism and a sustainable future for people and planet, which is how their impact becomes so, well, collective. 

For example,

     - Citizens Climate Lobby empowers 141 lobby teams to affect environmental legislation in Canada, the United States and         Sweden.
     - Alliance for the Great Lakes works with scientists, policymakers, businesses, community groups and everyday citizens to         protect and restore the world's largest surface freshwater resource.
     - San Francisco Bicycle Coalition transforms San Francisco streets and neighborhoods into more livable and safe places by         promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation.

And then, of course, there’s B Lab. As a Climate Ride beneficiary, B Lab’s vision of shared prosperity by using business as a force for good is supported through Climate Ride’s efforts as well. This makes for a great strategic relationship between the two nonprofits and the many B Corps across the globe working to redefine success in business.

B Corps: Collective Improvement

Good B Corps use the B Impact Assessment to continually improve their score and become better companies. Participating in Climate Ride is one great way for B Corps to do this. The B Impact Assessment (BIA) includes at least a half dozen questions (most in the Community section, but some in Governance as well) that directly relate to employee engagement, volunteering, and strategic relationships with nonprofits. 

For a company like Mightybytes—a service-based organization under 25 employees—the results could amount to 2-4 extra points on your assessment score. Companies hovering just under the elusive 80 point certification requirement could use Climate Ride participation to help them achieve B Corp status.

The benefits of B Corps participating in Climate Ride are many:

     - Riders get an education on social and environmental issues in the form of nightly presentations by leading scientists and         other experts.
     - B Corp employees who participate in Climate Ride teams often return more fully-engaged from the experience.
     - Climate Ride can be part of employee wellness initiatives.
     - B Corps can raise money to support B Lab and growth of the global B Corp community.

For more information, here is a presentation I gave at Business4Better that outlines details of how our B Corp Mightybytes, B Lab and Climate Ride were able to achieve collective impact.

Team B the Change

Participants from all corners of the B community can join Team B the Change for one or more of Climate Ride’s events. Each cycling event features 250-300+ miles of excellent cycling through some of the most picturesque areas of the United States

More information in in the links below:

     - Team B the Change on Climate Ride California, May 17 to 20, 2014
        Join Team B the Change in California »

     - Team B the Change on Climate Ride Midwest, September 6 to 9, 2014
        Join Team B the Change in the Midwest »

     - Team B the Change on Climate Ride NYC to DC, September 20 24, 2014
        Join the NYC-DC Team B the Change »

For further information on any of the above teams than is provided by the above links, contact team captains Andy Fyfe (California), Tim Frick (Midwest), or JD Capuano (NYC to DC).

Come get your collective impact on and join Team B the Change on Climate Ride in 2014!

About the Author: Tim Frick is the author of books on digital media and marketing and owner of Mightybytes, a full-service creative firm and certified B Corporation that builds sustainable web solutions for conscious companies. A regular conference presenter, his third book comes out in August 2014. He is also a board member for Climate Ride, a long distance charity bike ride that raises funds for clean energy, bicycle advocacy and sustainability. He can be reached via the Mightybytes website, on Google+, or @timfrick on Twitter.



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