In This Update:
- B-Corp Certification and Celebration
- COVID Update: Survey results and Employee Council Feedback
- Vaccine Mandates and Testing
B-Corp Certification and Celebration – I am thrilled to announce we are now officially a certified B-Corporation. We have been working on this for two years now. After multiple audits and continued work by our team and the B-Corp certifying body (B-Labs) we have crossed the finish line. Our plan is to publicly announce this on February 7th on our social channels. I am very proud to work for a B-Corporation, and I hope you are as well. For those who do not know what a B-Corporation is please see a summary below along with the links above.
- Certified B Corporations™ (B Corps™) are for-profit companies that use the power of business to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. They meet the highest verified standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.
- The Certification process uses credible, comprehensive, transparent, and independent standards of social and environmental performance.
- The B Corp assessment process measures a company’s performance in five categories: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment.
- Certified B Corporations amend their governance so that, by law, they can make decisions and implement practices that consider not just shareholder value, but the impact on all stakeholders — employees, customers, society, and the environment.
- The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
- Some examples of other B Corp companies include: Patagonia, Tom’s of Maine, Ben and Jerry’s, All Birds, Bombas, New Belgium Brewery and locally Lakefront Brewery was recently certified.
Our current B-Corp score is 87.4. In order to become a B-Corporation you need a score of 80 points or higher. Along with our ongoing work to improve our score, we will be annually publishing an “Impact Report” that documents the work we are doing to improve our company and our impact on each other and the world. Our 2021 impact report is under development and will be done in March.
COVID Update: Survey results and Employee Council Feedback – As we move toward the two year anniversary of the start of COVID, and our company shut-down, we are still facing some bumps related to COVID. In our latest survey we had 48 people provide feedback about mask mandates and other open ended questions seeking information on how we can best support our employees and teams. I have read each response, and I appreciate the time you took to provide this feedback. Thank you.
Additionally, in this month’s Employee Council meeting I spoke with the team about their perspectives on mask mandates, and our options for how we can move forward in the short term (with the Omnicron variant in full swing) and beyond.
Here is our current plan:
We will not institute mask mandates for our customers at this time. After reviewing the survey and discussing it with the employee council we decided that trying to enforce a mandate was not our best path. However, we will be doing the following to try to protect each other:
- We have updated posters for the cafes encouraging masks to be worn.
- We will be providing KN95 masks in the cafes if you need a high quality mask and are having a hard time finding them.
- We will be testing plexiglass shields that can be attached to the bar as needed.
We do anticipate the Omnicron variant receding fairly quickly later in the month or early February. As we see the numbers of community cases fall, and our employee cases fall, we will work toward a plan to remove masks for vaccinated employees. This is our goal.
Finally, we know that the City of Milwaukee may mandate that all customers wear masks. If this does occur we will follow their guidance in the City of Milwaukee cafes.
Vaccine Mandates and Testing – We continue to wait for the Supreme Court to provide a ruling on the enforcement of the OSHA standards for employers with 100 or more employees regarding vaccine and testing requirements. Once we know what the law requires we will craft our policy related to vaccines, testing and post COVID illness work requirements. We will be relying on whatever laws are in place, CDC guidelines, and our own review of the appropriate scientific data to allow us to build a plan that manages our shared risks while providing as much personal freedom as we can.
Thanks for your time and attention. More to come soon. For now, we’re excited by the progress. We are an employee-owned company that is also now a B-Corporation. I look forward to hosting a B-Corporation celebration party this spring (fingers crossed) where we can share a beer (or wine or some non-alcoholic bubbly) together and take a few minutes to reflect on the work we have done together.
On we go.
Founder, Managing Director