AMS Fulfillment has recently been granted B-Corporation status, a legal status that mandates considerations other than just profit.
B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab, a nonprofit based in Wayne, Pa., to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. The B stands for beneficial.
There are more than 2,100 Certified B Corps in 50 countries representing more than 130 industries.
To be granted and to preserve certification, companies must receive a minimum score on an online assessment for “social and environmental performance,” satisfy the requirement that the company integrate B Lab commitments to stakeholders into company governing documents, and pay an annual fee.
In spirit, AMS Fulfillment has always operated as a business that considers more than just profit, having established a long record of community service and environmental responsibility, according to CEO Ken Wiseman. “What’s new is that AMS has made a legal commitment to uphold social and environmental goals.”
“B-Corp helps us raise the bar for what we do,” Wiseman said. “Until now, we have tried to maintain a positive balance among our customers, organization, community and ourselves, as outlined in our mission statement. Now we have a platform to compare our accomplishments to those of other like-minded organizations. We have forums to explore ideas, we have B-Corp challenges to sharpen our focus, and we have an appreciation that we are part of a movement that defines a company as great – by the balance it keeps, not just the bottom line that it achieves.”
AMS provides employment for a large number of people, and in this way keeps families within the SCV community thriving. Seeing “job-provider” as an opportunity to serve, management focused on hiring not only individuals who need a job, but also those who are less likely to secure a job due to a number of factors, such as disabilities, homelessness, active or veteran military status, former incarceration, insufficient education or language skills, and young persons needing to avoid at-risk behavior.
In addition to social responsibility in hiring, AMS has partnered with SCV College of the Canyons to offer education and training. Several years ago AMS created and outfitted a classroom in the AMS headquarter facility. This classroom has been used for not-for-credit and non-credit certificate programs, a new logistics apprentice program, and internal job training and mentoring for advancement.
Environmental responsibility has been a top concern from the beginning of AMS, and this is a process that employees proudly participate in, according to Jay Catlin, AMS president.
“While our senior team has always focused on environmentally conscious efforts, B-Corp encourages that these efforts are best achieved through collaboration with all of our employees,” Catlin said. “Our new Green Team, comprised of employees from all departments, has already made some significant improvements in our environmental consciousness, but as importantly, they are much more in tune with our corporate mission. Fulfillment companies are in a great position to make a significant impact on environmental health, and at AMS we view this as a responsibility of ours to do all we can to make a difference.”
Wiseman noted that “AMS knows that community and environmentally minded business owners can achieve their social goals without sacrificing the ability to make a profit. With our choice of doing business as a B-Corporation, we cast our vote for a better future.”