Imagine a world where businesses seek solutions for social and environmental issues. Imagine if all businesses practiced transparency, accountability and performed in an ethical way. Imagine if businesses created equitable jobs while improving the quality of life in their communities. Imagine if all businesses looked past quarterly returns but towards their overall long term impact. What a world that would be! The nonprofit B Lab, is working hard to put this vision into action by creating its own certification for conscious businesses, called a B Corporation (B Corp).
“B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”
In 2012, B Corps released its first list of “Best for the World” Companies; at that time there were roughly 500 B Corps. Today, three years later,there are over 1,300 certified B Corps around the globe, proving there is strong momentum for this movement! Each of these B Corps, which is split up into 60 different industries, share the same goal: to redefine success in business.
In order to receive this certification from B Lab, a company must meet strict standards for social and environmental performance, as well as accountability and transparency. As a third party certification, it can truly make a statement of integrity and purpose to other businesses, employees and consumers alike. The B Lab and certified B Corps are committed to align making a profit and doing good.
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia stated, “I hope that five years from now -ten years from now – we’ll look back and see that B corporations were the start of a revolution.”
B Corps definitely have the potential to change the way that business is done and for the better. While making a profit is still on their agenda, they are also looking at the bigger picture. B Corps value the well being of their employees, their communities and our planet. When making business decisions they look past what is the most profitable to see what will do the most good. However, many think conducting business this way could make the company financially superior to competitors in the long run. According to the New York Times, “B Corps could be as, if not more, profitable as traditional companies that maximize shareholder value.” So, this is something that more companies should consider. Lucky for us, some of our partners at Turning Green have gotten on board. Right now, seven of our partners have been doing this for a while; EO, Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products, Klean Kanteen, Nutiva, Numi Tea, Sustain, and World Centric.
“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” -Henry Ford
This post was written by a guest blogger- Becca Goffe!
Becca is an Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability major at The Ohio State University with a specialization in Sustainability Business. She is very passionate about the environment and believes that she is making a difference through her schoolwork and extra curricular activities.