Higher Grounds Trading Company
Michigan, United States
Higher Grounds believes that truly sustainable specialty coffee begins with and returns to growers, whose wellbeing is the heart of coffee quality. Through sales of organic, fairly traded coffee; community projects; and origin delegations, Higher Grounds offers coffee drinkers the opportunity to directly benefit producer communities. Exceptional coffee is produced within a circle that begins with and returns to farmers at origin. When coffee professionals focus on the wellbeing of individuals all along the supply chain, the sustainability of the entire cycle is improved. The greatest potential for impact is at coffee origin, where producers face challenges mostly unseen by consumers of their product: poverty, lack of clean water access, severely limited educational opportunities. If the entire specialty coffee industry saw quality through a lens that also illuminated the realities of life as a coffee farmer, those realities could be improved for more of the individuals responsible for our daily cup. When efforts are focused equally on sustainability AND quality, everyone involved benefits.
Overall B Impact Score
Governance evaluates a company's overall mission, engagement around its social/environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect their mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision making through their corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents.
The Governance Impact Area evaluates a company's overall mission, engagement around its social and environmental impact, ethics, and transparency. This section also evaluates the ability of a company to protect their mission and formally consider stakeholders in decision making through their corporate structure (e.g. benefit corporation) or corporate governing documents.
The Workers Impact Area evaluates a company's contributions to its employees' financial security, health and safety, wellness, career development, as well as overall engagement and satisfaction. In addition, this section recognizes business models designed to benefit workers, such as companies that are at least 40% owned by non-executive employees and those that have workforce development programs to support individuals with barriers to employment.
The Community Impact Area evaluates a company's engagement with and impact on the communities in which it operates, hires from, and sources from. Topics include diversity, equity, and inclusion; economic impact; civic engagement; charitable giving; and supply chain management. In addition, this section recognizes business models that are designed to address specific community-oriented problems, such as poverty alleviation through fair trade sourcing or distribution via microenterprises, producer cooperative models, locally focused economic development, and formal charitable giving commitments.
The Environment Impact Area evaluates a company's overall environmental management practices as well as its impact on the air, climate, water, land, and biodiversity. This includes the direct impact of a company's operations and, when applicable, its supply chain and distribution channels. This section also recognizes companies with environmentally innovative production processes and those that sell products or services that have a positive environmental impact. Some examples might include products and services that create renewable energy, reduce consumption or waste, conserve land or wildlife, provide less toxic alternatives to the market, or educate people about environmental problems.
The Customers Impact Area evaluates a company's stewardship of its customers through the quality of its products and services, ethical marketing, data privacy and security, and feedback channels. In addition, this section recognizes products or services that are designed to address a particular social problem for or through its customers, such as health or educational products, arts and media products, serving underserved customers or clients, and services that improve the social impact of other businesses or organizations.
Previous Overall B Impact Scores
Best for the World
Each year, B Lab releases lists honoring the top-performing Certified B Corporations overall as well as within each Impact Area.