Certified B Corporations (or “B Corps” if you wanna get cutesy) are companies that have been vetted to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental responsibility.
The certification is similar to Fair Trade or USDA Organic labels–in order to achieve the status of being a B Corp, a business must adhere to set standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
The designation serves a symbol to consumers that a particular company aligns with the label’s values, the goal being to distinguish and better connect these businesses with consumers who support their mission. (And, where the consumer goes, business follows.)
The certification process is run by B Lab, a nonprofit organization that aims to redefine success in business. With consumer awareness rising (issues of sourcing, production and labor practices are increasingly news-worthy), B Lab is harnessing the power of the marketplace to drive solutions to social and environmental problems.
Some of the above-and-beyond practices of these companies:
- Use of renewable energy in facilities
- Sustainable sourcing of materials
- Socially responsible supply chains (including sourcing from low-income communities)
- Eco-conscious packaging
- Fair wage and employee health coverage policies
- Paid time off for employees to perform community service
- Donation of a portion of proceeds to charity
A poll by BBMG found that 73% of consumers care about the company, not just the product, when making a purchasing decision.
With that in mind, some notable B Corps you might like to be aware of:
Note: A Certified B Corp is different from a benefit corporation in that it’s simply a designation and has no legal recognition (benefit corporations are a type of incorporation that can be filed in certain states). Some companies are both incorporated as a benefit corporation and certified as a B Corp by B Lab.