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Grand Central Bakery agrees to meet higher standards for environmental and corporate responsibility.

COURTESY: GRAND CENTRAL BAKERY  - To celebrate becoming a certified B Corp., Grand Central Bakery is displaying these special loaves this week at its bakery/cafes. Grand Central Bakery has become a certified B Corporation, agreeing to adhere to verifiably higher standards for social and environmental responsibility.

The Northwest company has 384 employees, who work at seven bakery/cafes in the Portland area and a fourth Seattle bakery/cafe opening soon.

To meet B Corp. certification, Grand Central completed a rigorous assessment of its business practices, corporate governance, environmental and community impacts and company culture.

"Our B Corp certification validates the way we've been doing business for years," stated CEO Claire Randall, a 25-year employee, in a news release. "It also tells us where we can improve; we have so much room to grow, and with B Corp certification, we're held accountable for that work."

The company will need to renew its certification every three years.

The company demonstrated that 59 percent of its ingredients and supplies are purchased from independently owned and local vendors, and half its management positions are held by women. All employees receive eight hours paid community service time annually.

Grand Central becomes the first Northwest bakery to achieve B Corp. certification. It's one of more than 80 Portland-area companies to get certified, and one of about 2,600 worldwide.

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