Best for Rhode Island Launched To Support Socially Responsible Business in RI


GCRI is excited to be a partner in the new Best for Rhode Island initiative launched at the December Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce annual meeting.  Best for Rhode Island initiative is a statewide campaign that equips businesses to assess and improve their positive social impact.

Through a confidential online assessment – the Best for RI Challenge – the business practices of participating entities are evaluated in four key areas – governance, workers, community and the environment. Participants are then able to develop targets for improvement, receive free assistance to help them meet their goals, and are publicly celebrated for their participation and improvement.

“We are thrilled to be launching Best for Rhode Island in collaboration with business and community organizations across the state,” says Britt Page, the program director for Best for Rhode Island. “Social Enterprise Greenhouse believes that every business in Rhode Island, regardless of industry, size, or location, can and should be thinking about ways to enhance its positive social impact. We’re excited to help shed light on the great things our business community is doing already, and to assist participating businesses in reaching their improvement goals.”

Best for Rhode Island is an initiative of Social Enterprise Greenhouse in partnership with GCRI, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and a coalition of business and community organizations across the state. The program and online assessment were developed by B Lab, the nonprofit organization that developed the highly regarded B Corp Certification. B Lab’s “Best for” program is currently being piloted in three other locations in the U.S. – New York City, Philadelphia, and Colorado – and other communities are in the planning stages for launching their own “Best for” programs.

The Best for Rhode Island initiative is made possible through generous support from GCRI member Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI), Virgin Pulse, Worldways Social Marketing, and other corporate and individual sponsors. Each of these sponsors is a leader in the movement to use “business as a force for good,” and is helping to position Rhode Island as a great place to live and work and to launch and grow a socially responsible business.

“At Blue Cross, we take social responsibility very seriously, and strive to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us by investing and participating in the local community, improving the health of Rhode Islanders, valuing and modeling diversity and inclusion, and minimizing our impact on the environment,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director of Community Investment at BCBSRI. “What we find most appealing about Best for Rhode Island is that it will help all businesses – large and small – to positively impact our state in meaningful ways. We’re honored to support this initiative because we believe that good business is good for business and more importantly, good for Rhode Island.”

“Rhode Island has provided a promising business environment for Virgin Pulse, and we want to pay it forward by being a good neighbor, collaborative partner, and strong advocate for social responsibility and community involvement,” said David Osborne, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Pulse. “Virgin Pulse clients and members all over the globe are using our technology to help change lives and businesses for good. We’re thrilled to extend our purpose to include what’s Best for Rhode Island.”

Mark Marosits, Co-Founder of Worldways Social Marketing, comments, “Best for Rhode Island reminds us that every enterprise has the opportunity to be a force for social good, and that Rhode Island can be the epicenter of this global movement.”