A Few of Our Favorite Things: Purpose beyond profit

Making a Difference for People and the Planet

Island Institute
Posted 2021-01-12

As we begin the new year with ambitious goals for our collaboration with Luke’s Lobster, we’re reminded of the value of B Corps, and the other partners in our state, which focus on a purpose that goes beyond profits.

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B Corps are accelerating a global culture shift to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Take a moment to learn more about these Maine companies who are using their work as a force for the common good.



An internet provider with a mission statement and code of conduct? Meet GWI. The company has distinguished itself from other internet service providers and related tech companies by becoming one of Maine’s newest B Corporations. GWI is focused on providing vital infrastructure for communities who depend on high-speed internet for essential services and economic growth. Yes, they work to make a profit. But GWI, like all B Corps, is also focused on having a positive impact in the communities they serve. They are committed to Net Neutrality, open access, and data privacy. We applaud an internet provider that can cite the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact!



ReVision Energy’s mission is to help people and businesses transition away from fossil fuels and switch to clean, renewable, solar power. With over 8,000 installations, including air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, electric vehicle charging, LEDs, and more, the employee-owned company is a leader in its industry—both in New England and nationwide. ReVision Energy was awarded B Corp certification in 2015, and since that time the company has been consistently recognized as the highest in its class among socially responsible businesses in the U.S.

They are the go-to company for many of Maine’s working waterfront rooftop solar installations, including lobster co-ops and community-based renewable energy projects. ReVision Energy promotes solar as an economic opportunity and an environmental solution—creating a wonderful balance of people, profits, and purpose.



Although it’s a nonprofit and not a B Corp, Bigelow Laboratory focuses on innovative approaches to science and research and the study of global health as a way to improve the future for all life on our planet. Creative, cutting-edge science and collaborative exploration enable Bigelow researchers to unlock unique opportunities to exceed the traditional boundaries of their fields.

Bigelow is a trusted partner of the Island Institute, and together we’re working in the waters of Casco Bay to determine how kelp aquaculture can contribute to mussel growth and ocean acidification remediation. The long-term goals of this research will also look at the benefits of kelp farming as a low-cost, low-risk way to improve existing mussel operations and help Maine fishermen add potential income streams.


Interested in learning more about incorporating purpose and profit into your business? To learn how you can refocus your business model to include social, environmental, and organizational impact, join us for Business for Purpose and Profit, a free virtual event taking place on January 21st from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. This panel discussion will highlight the various ways businesses can balance both purpose and profit and use business as a force for the common good. Panelists include Ben Conniff, co-founder and chief innovation officer from Luke’s Lobster, and other leaders focused on creating conscious businesses—here in Maine and beyond. Learn more and register here.