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Certified B Corporations Gain Ground in a Changing Business Environment

Summary

Licensed B Corporations are for-profit businesses which were evaluated by B Laboratory, a nonprofit company, using rigorous social benefit standards. (The “B” stands for Benefit.) The certificate is becoming a competitive edge as customers, workers, and investors seek out companies […]

Licensed B Corporations are for-profit businesses which were evaluated by B Laboratory, a nonprofit company, using rigorous social benefit standards. (The “B” stands for Benefit.) The certificate is becoming a competitive edge as customers, workers, and investors seek out companies that look beyond gains in the way they conduct business.

B Lab measures a firm’s environmental and social performance against the criteria in its”B Impact Assessment.” To receive certification, corporations must attain a minimum score on the B Impact Assessment, which measures a firm’s impact on its employees, clients, community, and environment.

Each B Impact Report is posted on Bcorporation.net. Certified B Companies also amend their legal governing documents to require their board of directors and officers to include in their fiduciary responsibilities the interests of all stakeholders.

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The first B Corporation was certified in 2007, and there are currently 2,933 such firms in 64 nations. B Laboratory periodically re-evaluates companies. Thus, some lose their certificate and others, such as Etsy, willingly give up the certificate. Etsy did so in 2017 to preserve its standing as a C Corporation. In america, 34 states — such as Delaware, where many publicly traded companies are integrated — have passed laws supporting B businesses.

Why a B Corporation?

Expectations of the role of companies in society are changing. Younger consumers (Millennials and Generation Z) evaluate the social responsibility of a new when they make purchase decisions. They also evaluate potential employers based on their commitment to social causes rather than harming the environment.

Millennials will occasionally work for a lower salary if a company is socially responsible. Both politicians and consumers have challenged the dominance of”shareholder primacy” in favor of stakeholder governance. Start-up investment companies are increasingly committed to financing B Corporations. Often companies save money by getting more environmentally conscious.

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Examples

Leesa. This internet mattress vendor gives away one mattress and plants one tree for every 10 mattresses offered. It’s given over 35,000 mattresses to non-profit associations, including homeless shelters and Habitat for Humanity. This statistic is displayed prominently on Leesa’s landing page. Leesa also encourages employees to volunteer with local organizations. The business also enlists consumers to register for its social-impact emails.

Leesa

Bombas. Since 2013, Bombas, which makes and sells all sorts of socks, has contributed close to 25 million pairs of socks to homeless shelters through its”buy one, give one” program. Bombas made a sock for the homeless, such as anti-microbial treatment to prevent odor or germs since the homeless usually don’t have access to washing machines.

Bombas

BeautyCounter. This business’s mission is to stay away from harmful chemicals in its products. It publishes a list of 1,500 substances it never uses. It wants consumers to use safer care products, and it educates on how best to prevent harmful ingredients. BeautyCounter started in 2013 with a direct-to-consumer version (through multiple channels). BeautyCounter’s products are now accessible through over 25,000 independent consultants across North America, in addition to online on its website.

BeautyCounter

Warby Parker revolutionized the buy of eyeglass frames by mailing five of these to clients for a free try-on. Warby Parker then gives away one pair of glasses for every pair sold. Its purchase one, give one application has spread more than 5 million pairs. Additionally, it partners with non-profit organization VisionSpring within an international social entrepreneurship program which makes it possible for low-income people to acquire and make a living by selling cheap eyeglasses.

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Warby Parker

All the Wild Roses. This Australian online apparel vendor was launched by a young Vietnamese girl whose family emigrated to Australia. The business now employs seamstresses in Vietnam who sew artisanal garments. The clothing is made with deadstock and surplus fabrics. Furthermore, with each purchase, at a partnership with Opportunity International Australia, All the Wild Roses supplies micro-loans to women-owned companies in third-world nations.

All the Wild Roses

Tentree. This Canadian lifestyle apparel brand plants 10 trees for each product purchased. It was founded on the assumption that each and every consumer wants to know they are contributing to the well-being of Earth. The business works with many different non-profits, educational classes, and organizations globally to make certain that their planting efforts affect local communities. Up to now, they’ve planted over 25 million trees with a goal of planting 1 billion trees from 2030.

Tentree

Better World Fashion. This Danish company expands sustainable fashion beyond cotton. It’s created the first group of leather coats made of 98% recycled materials using lace, lace, and metal. Jackets are sold (with a buyback guarantee) or leased.

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