Q-and-A: Jenelle Isaacson on Living Room Realty's B Corp quest
By Andy Giegerich
Digital Managing Editor
Jenelle Isaacson's company Living Room Realty is close to landing B Corp status.
For the past year, Portland-based Living Room Realty has headed down the long, and a bit winding, path toward becoming a “benefit corporation,” or B Corp.
It’s been, at times, an arduous process. But owner Jenelle Isaacson maintains the status is necessary to prove the company’s worth. The designation honors companies that meet social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency standards.
Oregon’s Secretary of State Kate Brown is pushing lawmakers to complete legislation that would create a legal framework for B Corps.
Oregon currently hosts 32 such companies.
Isaacson agreed to an email interview in which she revealed a bit about the process she’s facing as Living Room Realty, which specializes in homes in Portland’s inner-urban neighborhoods, seeks B Corp. status.
Sustainable Business Oregon: What led you to seek B Corp designation?
Jenelle Isaacson: We wanted to seek B Corp status for a few reasons. The rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency that must be met to attain the designation gave us a set of goals and policy to strive towards. There will be a sense of accomplishment as well as recognition for the work and choices we have made to qualify us for B Corp status. It’s also a great way to network with other like-minded businesses.
SBO: What steps were already in place at Living Room Realty when you began the process?
Isaacson: We already had social and environmental policies in place, women in positions of leadership and have been serving the community through outreach and education for women and minorities. Our environmental policies recently helped us achieve Sustainability at Work’s silver certification from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
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