If you’ve never heard of a B Corp™, you’re probably with the majority of the population. In a world where the enormity and complexity of environmental and global issues can leave our heads spinning, it’s no surprise that B Corp™ would be an alien term to most people. So, let me introduce you to the new “A” grade for excellence in sustainable and ethical companies.
A B Corporation™ is essentially a for-profit company that has made a commitment to sound and sustainable business practices to better its employees and communities in addition to producing a beneficial product for its consumers. Founded as recently as 2006 (explore the full B Corp™ history here), B Corps™ undergo voluntary and rigid certification of business practices through the non-profit B Lab. They receive assessments on a B Impact Report in categories such as: governance, community, workers, and environment, and are required to meet a benchmark of sustainable and ethical business practices to ultimately gain certification. It equates to a RESPONSIBLE and ETHICAL business structure. One that puts sustainable and transparent business practices above the bottom line. What a revolution!
A company that strives to hold itself to a standard that most consumers expect, and believe that all companies already do (and quickly find out that they don’t). We live in a world saturated with companies that are designed to maximize profit, regardless of negative consequences, be it consumer, environmental, or ethical damage. With a huge “green movement” happening right now, some companies will tout catch phrases and use savvy marketing to sell certain environmentally friendly aspects of their products, but may not be promoting sustainable practices in other aspects of their business operations. A B Corp™ is certified in ALL aspects of business practices to be a company that serves as a moral compass for corporations. The Declaration of Interdependence summarizes the unifying purpose and mission of these companies.
Ultimately, what this means for the rest of us, is that we can be fully assured the dollars we spend with a B Corp™ are benefitting us (and the world) beyond the product we receive. Our dollars are extended to positively impact our environment and communities and may even impact the kindling of sustainable economic foundations on a global scale. It’s a “peace of mind guarantee” (and who couldn’t use a little peace of mind in today’s world!) that catapults the trustworthy reputation of a company. Most companies will use the B Corp™ Certified symbol to reflect their status and commitment. If you don’t see the symbol or are unsure, you can use the quick search on the B Corp™ website (give it a try and type in Kuli Kuli!)
As people become more aware of the imminent challenges created by growing populations and the devastating human driven impact on natural habitats in the environment, the search continues for solutions to combat the challenges while keeping with technological progression. Consumers begin to look for identifiable symbols and reassurances that they are supporting sustainable businesses and ethical business practices- ways they can play a role in the bigger solution.
It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of such large-scale environmental and social issues, but have no fear! Behold! We each hold the wonderful power of purchasing in the largest consumer market in the world. Investing your purchasing dollar in B Corps™ supports and promotes the missions of each B Corp™ and their collective goal and purpose, as well as rewards you with an ethically sustainable product. There are over 1,000 B Corps™ that offer high quality products, some companies, you may already be purchasing from (use the quick search to find a specific company):
- Ben & Jerry’s: Ice Cream
- Method: Household Products
- Patagonia: Clothing Products
- Warbly Parker: Eye Glasses
- Kuli Kuli: Nutritional Moringa Products
- Seventh Generation: Household Products
- Etsy: Online Marketplace
- Human: Healthy Vending
- Klean Kanteen: Reusable Food and Beverage Containers
- Sea to Table: Sustainably Sourced Seafood
Buying when and where you can from a B Corp™ will continue the positive domino effect these companies have begun, as well as fulfilling your need for a quality product and providing a way for you to “B” part of the change.
“B Corps might turn out to be like civil rights for blacks or voting rights for women – eccentric, unpopular ideas that took hold and changed the world.”
– Esquire Magazine
B Corporation. Bcorporation.net. Web. 21 Aug. 2014. www.bcoporation.net/.