In recent years, a new type of company has emerged that seeks to balance profit with social and environmental responsibility. These companies are called B Corps, short for Benefit Corporations. They are a new type of business entity that is legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, customers, communities, and the environment, in addition to their shareholders. In this blog post, we will explore what you need to know about B Corps and why they are important.
- How are B Corps different from traditional companies?
B Corps are different from traditional companies in that they have a legal obligation to consider the interests of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. This means they must balance the needs of employees, customers, communities, and the environment with the goal of creating a positive impact.
- What are the benefits of becoming a B Corp?
Becoming a B Corp can bring a number of benefits, including increased brand reputation and customer loyalty, access to a network of like-minded businesses, and potential tax benefits. B Corps may also attract socially responsible investors and employees.
- How do companies become certified as B Corps?
Companies must meet a set of rigorous standards set by B Lab in order to become certified as a B Corp. These standards include social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability. Companies must complete a B Impact Assessment and adopt a legal framework that requires them to consider the interests of all stakeholders.
- Can any company become a B Corp?
Any for-profit company can become a B Corp, regardless of size or industry. However, the certification process can be challenging, and not all companies may meet the necessary standards.
- Are B Corps non-profits?
No, B Corps are for-profit businesses. However, they are committed to using business as a force for good and creating a positive impact on society and the environment.
Notable B-Corp company examples
B Corp is a rapidly growing movement: the first 19 B Corps were certified in 2007 and there are now over 6,100 Certified B Corporations across more than 87 countries and 159 industries. Some examples of B Corps include:
Patagonia – an outdoor apparel company known for its commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices.
Ben & Jerry’s – a popular ice cream company that is committed to social and environmental responsibility, including using fair trade ingredients and supporting community initiatives.
The Body Shop – is a skincare and beauty company that sources its ingredients ethically and is committed to reducing its environmental impact.
What is required to achieve B Corp Certification?
- Complete the B Impact Assessment (BIA) to measure and verify social and environmental performance
- Work towards achieving over 80 points. It’s rare to achieve this score when taking the assessment for the first time
- Complete the B Corp legal requirement by amending your governing documents
- Submit your application for review.
Why is it important to be a sustainable business?
According to research by Arabesque.com:
- 88% of reviewed sources find that companies with robust sustainability practices demonstrate better operational performance
- 80% of the reviewed studies demonstrate that prudent sustainability practices have a positive influence on investment performance
- 81% of CEOs believe that the sustainability reputation of their company is important in consumers’ purchasing decisions.