Channel Islands Outfitters (CIO), a Santa Barbara and Channel Islands National Park-based paddle sports outfitter and fitness center, became one of the first outfitting companies in the world to join the growing movement of hundreds of companies that have elected to be accountable to pursuing the highest standards in social and environmental responsibility as B Corporations, ranging from Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s to Method and beyond.
Demand continues to soar for companies that make a difference beyond the bottom line. According to a recent study by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), almost 90% of the U.S. population state that it is important for companies to not just be profitable, but to be mindful of their impact on the environment and society. With continued demand for socially- and environmentally-conscious business practices, the B Corporation movement continues to grow with more than 786 certified B Corporations in 27 countries and 60 industries.
According to the founders of B Lab (the non-profit organization behind the B Corporation Certification), “The ability to register as a benefit corporation empowers these entrepreneurs, not only to take their company to scale while maintaining mission, but to clearly identify themselves as purpose-driven companies. By serving a higher purpose and by meeting higher standards of transparency and accountability, these companies build their most important asset — trust. This trust enables them to attract talent, customers, and capital.”
As a B Corporation, CIO is able to operationalize the company’s deep commitment to its mission, and now its actual legal purpose, “To save the oceans and natural places” by fostering an understanding of them through its outdoor adventures, wilderness education, and their innovative “Adventure Co-Op” model. A revolutionary model in the outdoor recreation industry, CIO’s “Adventure Co-Op” is designed to get people out of the gym, off the couch, and out exercising in nature for the same cost as a local gym membership. Rapidly growing numbers of Co-Op members are enjoying convenient and affordable access to kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and surfboards on a daily basis, often on a lunch break or as a social activity with friends and family.
With continued growth in outdoor recreation, CIO is poised to maximize the company’s innovative business model and environmental impact through engaging the increasing numbers of outdoors enthusiasts. In fact, outdoor recreation is a large and varied force in the leisure choices of the American public. Generating more than $400 billion in annual spending, outdoor recreation is shaped by America’s public lands and waters – which cover one-third of the surface of the nation. The CIO model enables both enjoyment and preservation of these special areas through its offerings and now through its very corporate structure.
“We are ocean lovers. The ocean is our office, our playground, and our sanctuary. We want to be a leader in the movement to save the oceans; demonstrating the power of business to drive change, promote conservation, help people live healthier lives, and ultimately, be the solution. Becoming a B Corporation is a natural evolution of our company’s commitment to our customers, communities, and world,” said Garrett Kababik, Co-Founder and CEO of Channel Islands Outfitters.
At CIO, that mission has attracted consistently growing numbers of customers while simultaneously keeping team members engaged, motivated, and focused. CIO employee Bjorn Kallerud says, ”Knowing that the owners of the company are striving for ideals that are more important than a bottom line makes me excited to come to work every day. It makes me feel like I’m partaking in an honest day’s work and promotes a selfless work environment.”
To learn more about CIO’s commitment to becoming a B Corp and how CIO is engaging the local community to help save the oceans, attend their annual town hall meeting at the Paddle Sports Center-Santa Barbara Harbor on October 6th at 1pm.
About B Corporations:
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of June 2013, there are more than 750 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 27 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace.
About Channel Islands Outfitters:
Channel Islands Outfitters (CIO) is a guide-owned and operated for benefit company dedicated to saving the oceans and natural places by fostering an understanding of them through education, adventures and outdoor experiences.
CIO is an authorized kayak, hike, and snorkel guide service for the Channel Islands National Park with a base of operations at Santa Cruz Island, Scorpion Ranch. Additionally the company has launched a wildly successful, innovative Adventure Co-Op model, providing convenient and affordable access to a variety of paddle sports equipment and gear every day of the week, all year long.