B Corps 101: The Next Generation Of Business
Maybe you've seen one when reaching for a pint of ice cream at the grocery store. Or heard about them on social media. But the more you look, the more that B Corporations (B Corps for short) are blazing a new trail in our economy — one that prioritizes creating social value while still operating as a successful business. Let's take a closer look at what B Corps are, what they stand for, and how you can support them.
What exactly is a B Corp?
According to the B Corps website, "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."
Much like a LEED certification, B Corps undergo a third-party evaluation of their business practices. The B Impact Assessment evaluates how a company's operations and business model impact workers, community, the environment, and customers. Because of this unbiased review, you can be more sure that B Corporations efforts to create "social change" are more than just a PR effort — they are measurable actions that are evaluated against a rigorous social standard.
Do I know any B Corps?
Absolutely! With over 3,000 certified companies spanning 71 countries and 151 industries, you're sure to encounter B Corps at your grocery store, when shopping online, or even when looking at services for your own business. Here's a few you might recognize.
Ben and Jerry's. Ben and Jerry's actually spearheaded the B Corps movement when they were sold to Unilever in 2000. Their commitment to living by their values and championing economic and racial justice are the backbone to how the company is operated. Read their B Impact Report here.
Patagonia. I've written a few times about Patagonia on this blog, so it's no surprise that they are one of the highest ranked B Corps. Their commitment to environmental conservation and their shift towards creating long-lasting, repairable products is an example for the entire apparel industry. Read their impact report here.
Seventh Generation. As a leading brand of sustainable household products, Seventh Generation is working to reduce the environmental toll caused by the chemicals in products we use every day. Read their impact report here.
How can I support them?
Making a conscious effort to shop and support B Corps is a great way to support the mission and vision of B Corps. As more businesses see that consumers want and will support businesses that live their values, they'll be incentivized to take steps to bring that kind of impact to their own businesses. Here's a fun quiz from B Corps to see how you can "vote your values" with what you do everyday!
In the movement for socially responsible businesses, B Corps are showing the world that it's possible to operate a successful business while thinking about the long term impact on people + the planet. If you're interested in learning more about how Novel can help you on your company's journey to social responsibility, contact us below!