October 8, 2010

B-shares: Intersections for community

B-Line’s efforts to reduce our community's impact on the environment is apparent the minute our trikes roll out of the warehouse each morning. Laden with produce, bread, coffee, tea, water, bike parts, and now dry cleaning, our trike trucks consistently send a message to the community that relatively simple solutions exists for some our most daunting societal issues. The link between B-Line and sustainability isn’t hard to imagine and is at the core of our business. It is my belief that a truly sustainable and livable community needs to look to its “intersections” for growth and prosperity. Our physical intersections create communal space-- space for trade and commerce, for play and purpose. Organizations like City Repair lead the way in regaining these public commons. Yet, we also need to look at the intersections of the issues facing our community - in this case transportation and hunger - for opportunities to create a space where all are served.

Three months ago Randy Koch, my operating partner at B-Line, saw a link between B-Line’s core business and Hunger. Considering the fact that our trike trucks are out on route within the cities urban core multiple times a day Randy saw an opportunity to impact hunger by focusing on the reverse logistics of food transportation. By leveraging our existing business model B-Line is now able to gather fresh produce, juice, flowers, bread, and some prepared foods either directly from our wonderful partner’s like Dave’s Killer Bread, R&K Foods, and farmers from the People’s Co-op farmer’s market or from local grocery stores like New Seasons Seven Corners and deliver it directly to organizations dedicated to alleviating hunger and poverty. During a three month pilot period, B-Line has been able to divert almost 3,000 lbs of food from compost or landfill into the kitchen’s of Sisters of the Road Cafe, The Blanchet House, and St. Francis Dining Hall. This equates to over 2300 high quality meals for those in-need. To cover the operating expenses we incur, B-Line has created the B-Share program where the community at-large is invited to participate in our endeavor by purchasing a B-Share through our website. In doing so, you can directly benefit our community partners with high-quality, lower cost, healthy food.

The B-Share program highlights how B-Line is a logistics company with a mission. Our focus on growing a business that is profitable yet unwavering in its commitment to community and sustainability pays off three-fold as we reduce congestion and pollution, alleviate issues around transporting fresh food to those in-need, and create some of the healthiest green collar jobs in the city!

I invite you to join B-Line in our efforts by visiting the B-Share program’s site or by following us on Facebook. This is an exciting time at B-Line and if you haven’t already I’m sure you’ll want to share in the B-Line buzz.

B-line delivers on the promise that business can be a catalyst for social and environmental change.
1140 SE 7th Ave, Ste. 190, Portland, OR 97214
Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
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