You see the label- Certified B Corporation or B Corp…but what does it mean?
B Corp (benefit corporation) is a rigorous and holistic certification that demonstrates that a business is meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, verified by transparency and accountability. These high standards focus on factors like charitable giving, employee benefits and treatment of staff to supply chains and materials.
They aren’t focused on one issue, and they aren’t just focused on profits. B Corps take a holistic approach to make their businesses a force for good. They do well by doing good, leaving a positive impact on people and the planet.
And, I know what you may be thinking….but B Corp certification isn’t something that companies can just pay for to look good. To receive certification, companies must go through a rigorous assessment of their business, and if they are considered to meet these higher standards of social and environmental performance, legal accountability and public transparency, they can start the journey to becoming a Certified B Corporation. Since the certification takes a deep dive into every aspect of a business, it can take years to achieve depending on the size of the company. Once a company is certified as a Certified B Corporation, companies must demonstrate continuous improvement and recertify every three years to maintain their B Corp certification.
When I started to really dive into sustainability, I was always focused on packaging. Does it have plastic? If it did, then I wouldn’t buy it. But in the last few years, I’ve learned to look at other areas of business. To take that deeper dive, if you will. Take a lip chap for example. You could compare one company that packages it in cardboard but their website has no details on how or where their product is made. Compare that seemingly ‘eco’ lip chap to a company that packages their product in plastic but tells you the ingredients, where it’s made, and how it treats its employees on their website. Sustainability is nuanced, and it isn’t just about the packaging.
With so many companies now marketing with the terms ‘green’, ‘eco’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘natural’ it can be hard to cut through the greenwashing. If I see the B Corp label on something, I can trust that the company is making a commitment to benefit society and the environment.
Some well known B Corps include:
- Poppy Barley
- Body Shop
- Beauty Counter
If you can, choose a B Corp. What we buy really does make a difference for the environment and the people involved in the production of that product. If we buy more products from companies that care, more companies will start to care.
I always love finding B Corp labels! Do you have a favorite B Corp?
Keeping DOing more good,
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