Local company Malouf underscored a focus on doing good as it announced its status as a benefit corporation last week.
“Sustainability is important to us, and giving back to the community is a key part of our culture,” said Malouf CEO Sam Malouf in a press release. “We care about our customers, we care about the environment, and we care about our community. When considering these values, becoming a benefit corporation was a natural next step for our company—one that will promote substantial growth moving forward.”
A benefit corporation is a status similar to traditional corporations. However, instead of measuring themselves solely with maximizing profits, businesses can be valued by societal and environmental goals — a form of self-imposed social responsibility.
Scott Carr, the marketing director for Malouf, said the status-quo for businesses in the past has been to solely “drive shareholder value,” making the businesses bottom-line profit.
“We are realizing that corporations have a bigger role to play in the community than just making money,” Carr said. “They have an ability to influence their employees, their employees’ families, as well as the communities that they live in.”
Carr said there are two major designations for benefit corporations. The first is to register with the state of Utah as a BLLC — something he said is fairly easy to achieve.
“They do an audit for 10 percent of the companies,” Carr said, explaining that the state’s audits verify the companies are doing what they claim to be doing under the status of a benefit corporation.
The next step is to be certified as a benefit corporation.
“You have to go through a pretty rigorous process,” Carr said.
According to Carr, companies looking to become certified as a benefit corporation have to complete of questionnaire with nearly 300 questions about the company’s practices and policies, which is reviewed by a nonprofit. He said Malouf was scored on their questionnaire responses then went about finding areas where they could make changes to improve their score. Carr said the process took six to eight months.
“This announcement that we just made is that we’re a benefit corporation — so the first designation,” Carr said. “We should be certified in about two weeks (as a certified benefit corporation), and then we would have that second, kind of, higher-tier designation as well.”
Malouf’s environmental efforts include products made from sustainable materials. They also boast a zero-waste footprint, utilization of natural light in their facilities along with rooftop solar panels.
“Our Logan facility is a net-zero facility,” Carr said. “We generate more power through our solar panels than we actually use.”
Additionally, Malouf Foundation is involved in combating child sexual exploitation alongside Operation Underground Railroad. A portion of each product sold — a portion that varies across products — is donated to the foundation. Founders Sam and Kacie Malouf decided to get involved after winning a Utah regional Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2017 and meeting OUR founder Tim Ballard.
“When Sam heard about it he just couldn’t not do anything,” Carr said. “He decided that that would be how Malouf would get involved, and we became heavily involved with OUR.”