LOACOM, a Santa Barbara-based marketing and communications agency, has joined a small but growing global network of 2,200 companies committed to responsible business practices as part of their core business model.

B Corps are a new type of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corp certification is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or what USDA Organic certification is to milk.

“We’re thrilled at joining a movement of companies across the planet that fundamentally value the role of a healthy workplace, community, and environment,” said David Fortson, LOACOM’s CEO.

LOACOM was certified in February as a B Corp by the nonprofit B Lab after meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

The process evaluates how company practices impact employees, the community at large, the environment, and its customers by assessing corporate governance and structure, salary ratios for workers, purchasing practices and supplier profiles, community give-back programs, and employee benefits.

“Even for a small company like ours, certification took nearly one year from start to finish,” said Eric Cardenas, LOACOM’s COO, who oversaw the company’s certification process.

“B Lab is clearly set up to ensure that the companies they approve share an unwavering commitment to B Corp’s unique view of corporate responsibility,” he said.

In addition to becoming one of the newest B Corp members, LOACOM is a five-year member of 1% for the Planet, a global network of businesses and individuals that commit 1 percent of revenues to conservation organizations worldwide.

As a member of 1% for the Planet, LoaCom pledges 1 percent of its own annual gross revenue to organizations tackling today’s most pressing environmental issues.

In achieving its recent B Corp certification, LOACOM becomes one of a select group of companies worldwide who lay claim to both B Corp status and 1% for the Planet membership. There are about 100 such companies,  known as B1’s, worldwide, with a handful of them located on California’s south central coast including Patagonia, Inc., All Good, Sun & Swell Foods, and Cage Free Productions.

“Our corporate vision is ‘a better world with every interaction,’ ” said Cardenas. “We try and be extremely intentional about how we show up in place and time, and are honored to join forces with other businesses who hold values similar to our own in helping build a better world.”

For more information, visit www.loacom.com.

— Eric Cardenas for LOACOM.