“Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit.” - BCorporation, B Lab
They want to be the solution instead of adding to the overall problem, which includes all the challenges we face, especially with respect to environmental issues and the inequality gap.
The B Corps Movement was launched in 2006 and since then, nearly 4000 companies are labelled as B Corps. They include brands we’d recognise: Ben & Jerry’s, The Body Shop, Patagonia, King Arthur Baking Company.
They span 74 countries and there are even some in Singapore! All are part of a pioneering movement for organisations to stake claim as socially responsible businesses; and being as transparent as they can so consumers know they can trust them.
It means legally they are required to consider the decisions when it comes to the community, environment and their workers, customers and suppliers. When they pass the rigorous testing, it means these companies meet the highest and best standards of verified social and environmental performance.
“The B Impact Assessment looks at everything, from ratio of CEO pay to that of the lowest paid worker to permeable concrete in the parking lots. It gives people an idea of where they are and then this motivation to improve.” said Vincent Stanley, Director of Philosophy at Patagonia, Inc.
“We saw that as an opportunity to write these values into the articles for incorporation and to protect the company’s values in the event of succession over time.”
It’s not just about competing to be the best in the world anymore. Businesses need to strive to be the best for the world.
Isn’t that impressive? But if you think about it, for B Lab to achieve that as a vision, more need to get on board.
“There are many amazing organizations, business leaders, and others who are helping to build that larger movement.” said Andrew Kassoy, CEO and co-founder of B Lab. “That’s a powerful model that we have to offer to the world, and it’s a model we can offer only because of the incredible commitment, the choice that each B Corp makes when they decide to throw in their lot to do together what none can do alone.”
“The next generation of purpose-driven companies need to go a step beyond these models to actually create value for the world — to go beyond a mission-driven, do-no-harm approach to actually creating new value that leaves the world a better place than it found it.” said Anthea Kelsick, Chief Marketing Officer of B Lab.
“My hope is that the B Corp community will continue to be the leading visionaries and examples of what businesses should look like. They will be the center of innovation for the future of business and continue to move the needle and push the boundaries of the role of business in society.
“And I hope that their continued efforts will inspire more companies to behave the same way so that we move closer to a truly inclusive economy.”