Hightower Completes Rigorous Process, Earns B Corp Certification
Hightower is pleased to announce that it now holds a B Corp Certification for its in-house brand, Hightower Studio. B Corps are for-profit companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. As a B Corp in the design and furniture manufacturing industries, Hightower is counted among businesses that are leading a global movement for an inclusive, equitable, and regenerative economy.
The process for obtaining B Corp Certification is thorough and requires an in-depth examination of a company’s overall operations. It can take two years or more and varies for each company seeking the coveted standing. “It took a lot of people throughout the organization to get over the finish line,” noted Natalie Hartkopf, Hightower co-founder and CEO. “This is a comprehensive process that examines a lot of different areas of the business. Over about three years we had to review and at times alter policies, practices, and investments, and be purposeful in order to meet this very high bar.”
For Hightower, boosting the environmental attributes of its product, investing in its employees, and creating more inclusive offerings have been primary areas of focus in earning B Corp Certification. “It was helpful having the B Impact Assessment as a framework to show us how to improve. This certification is an ongoing journey and it requires that we continue to evaluate our practices and improve.” Hartkopf said. “For example, we have made great progress with our material health and transparency and we still have a ways to go. I’m extremely proud of the improvements that we’ve made eliminating many of the toxins in our products as we strive to be 100% Red List Free, as well as making products that support healthy indoor air quality. Removing harmful toxins is a baseline that we should all be actively working toward in our industry.”
Another important initiative for the company, which contributes towards its B Corp Certification goals, Hightower contributes 1% of sales from the higher education sector to its team members’ 529 accounts. These are college savings accounts and can be for the team members themselves or their family members. “This is something that we’ve been doing for the last couple of years and I think it’s a really important investment for equitable access to education,” she noted.
On that same note, Hightower has started updating the design and creation of products with more inclusive attributes and design features. This will expand the use of Hightower products as they will be used in a wide range of spaces to meet the various physical and neurodiverse needs of all different individuals. “We want our products to feel welcoming and useful for as many people as possible and product design in this area still has a lot of opportunity for intentionality and innovation,” Hartkopf added.
Holding a B Corp Certification will assist in Hightower’s continued elevation in the contract furnishings market, further illustrating the company’s values as both a manufacturer and an employer. And while the work for initial certification is complete, the B Corp story isn’t over. B Corp Certification is the beginning of a journey toward continuous improvement and collective action. Hightower is now part of a worldwide community of companies going the extra mile to make a difference in how they run their businesses in their respective industries, which affects business on a global scale.
Hightower joins an impressive group of companies that hold B Corp Certifications, including Carnegie Fabrics, Fireclay Tile, Patagonia, Bombas, TOMS, and Ben & Jerry’s.
To learn more about B Corp Certification, visit https://www.bcorporation.net/.
To explore Hightower products and what’s behind the company’s ethos, visit www.hightoweraccess.com.
Since 2003, award-winning, family-founded Hightower has curated a collection of in-house designed and manufactured products, Hightower Studio, while working with a network of international partners including +Halle, Four Design, Ondarreta, and Swedese. Hightower is led by co-owner & CEO, Natalie Hartkopf, honored with a 40 Under 40 business leader award, and named a 2019 Rising Star by American Business Journals. Learn more and book a tour at one of the US-based Hightower showrooms by visiting www.hightoweraccess.com. Hightower inspiration via Instagram or Pinterest @hightowergroup. Career opportunities and company news can be found on LinkedIn @hightower-group. Hightower is a certified Women Owned Business Enterprise and a certified B Corp.