Welcome to Fantastic B Corps, MyCorporation’s salute to the entity that gives back to business and society. Join us biweekly for a glimpse at the entrepreneurs using their small business to “B The Change” in this global movement for good.
Imagine a company where you can experience the ocean as an explorer of the depths while learning how to protect this fragile, important ecosystem. That’s the mission behind Ocean First, where the approach to ocean conservation is that a healthy ocean is a healthy planet. Founded by Graham Casden, Ocean First is a community of ocean enthusiasts passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. Read on to find out more about Casden and his Boulder, CO-based B Corp.
For the love of conserving the ocean: “Our mission is to create and support a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments. I started the business in 2005 after having fallen in love with scuba diving, but having the daunting realization that the industry was doing little to promote science education and ocean conservation. As an industry, we were literally certifying hundreds of thousands of people every year without telling them what they were seeing or why to even care.”
Why we become a B Corp: “We incorporated as an LLC and only last year became a certified B Corp. We did it because we believe firmly in the mantra of using business as a force for good. ”
How our success relates to embracing change: “We keep the Chinese proverb ‘change is the only constant’ close to heart. The most impactful change from an operational standpoint was switching from PADI to SSI, which also lead to the introduction of our swim school. These two events radically changed our business model and opened doors we didn’t even know were closed.”
How Ocean First focuses to “B The Change” daily: “We live it every day. After years of retrofits and improvements, we now consider ‘what would a B Corp do’ anytime we are faced with a challenging situation.”
What you need to know if you want to become a B Corp: “If you decide to start your own business, do something that leaves the world better off than without it. Build a community, protect what you love, and becoming a B Corp will be a natural extension of pursuing your dreams.”
A deeper question for the Benefit Corporation movement: “To me it’s not a question of whether or not businesses will move towards more responsible and sustainable business practices, but more of a matter of when and will it be too late? Let us hope not. Luckily, we have movements like the Benefit Corporation and it’s incredibly exciting to see its tremendous growth and to have opportunities to make a big difference.”
About Graham Casden, Founder of Ocean First
Graham was born in Jackson Hole, WY but moved to California as a child. He soon developed an insatiable love for the ocean and quickly realized his life was intertwined with the sea. In 1995, Graham moved to Boulder to attend the University of Colorado and study marketing and entrepreneurship. His love for traveling and the ocean have led him to dive destinations all over the world. Graham wanted to find a way to continue exploring while also protecting the environment he loves. Over the course of the next 10 years, he’s worked diligently to create a community of ocean enthusiasts who are passionate about experiencing and preserving our marine environments.