Why we should all support
Written by Lucinda Flynn, Going Green Solutions
B Corp is a Certification that is gaining traction around the globe yet is still relatively unknown. So, what is it? How does a company get it? And what’s in it for us to support B Corp certified companies?
What Does B Corp Certified Mean
As a business owner who has just finished the process of becoming B Corp Certified, I’m proud and excited to join the ranks and spread the word about what this certification means. A simple description is that a B Corp Certified Business is a ‘Business for Good’.
As described on the B Corp website, B Corp certification measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance and shows that a business ‘meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose’.
To achieve B Corp certification, every part of a business’s operations and business model are assessed. The assessment process involves hundreds of questions around how each aspect of the business impacts workers, community, environment, and customers, and the process from start to finish takes up to a year to complete. To achieve final certification, a business must score a total minimum of 80 (out of 100), from all the different sections in the assessment criteria. To maintain certification, an annual fee must be paid, and the process must be re-done every three years, showing an increase in score.
What Kind Of Kinds Of Questions Are Asked In The Assessment Process?
Questions are contained in some broad categories, including:
What does your company do to -
- Enhance policies and practices pertaining to its mission, ethics, accountability, and transparency? For example, do you have a code of ethics, and does your mission statement include a commitment to social or environmental responsibility?
- Contribute to the economic and social well-being of the communities in which it operates? For example, do you give preference to suppliers from under-represented populations, and do you do your banking with a bank that has a strong social and environmental ethos?
- Improve its overall environmental stewardship? For example, do you monitor and continually reduce your environmental footprint, and do you use/sell product that hold environmental certifications?
- Improve the value that you create for your direct customers and the consumers of your products or services? For example, do any of your products or services address a social or economic problem for your customers?
Declaration Of Interdependence
On becoming certified B Corp, the business must sign the declaration of interdependence, as follows:
THE B CORP DECLARATION OF INTERDEPENDENCE
We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.
This economy is comprised of a new type of corporation - the B Corporation - which is purpose-driven and creates benefits for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.
As B Corporations and leaders of this emerging economy, we believe:
- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
What Kinds Of Business Are B Corp Certified?
You may already be supporting a B Corp certified business, without knowing it.
International B Corp’s you may have heard of are:
- Ben and Jerry’s
A small selection of Australian businesses that hold B Corp certification are:
- Bank Australia
- T2 tea
- Flow Hive
- Onya bags
- Koala mattresses
- 4 Pines brewing company
- Who Gives a Crap
- and, after a full year’s process, Going Green Solutions (disclaimer – my business!)
To view a complete list of Australian B Corp certified businesses, which cover everything from marketing agencies to financial services to coffee roasters and venues, you can look here: https://bcorporation.net/directory
Why We Should All Support B Corp Certified Businesses
A B Corp Certified business has gone through a rigorous and lengthy process to transparently prove that they consider people, society, and the environment in all decisions so that their business does good and not harm. B Corp certified business has done the hard yards to how that they are a leader in the field of ‘businesses for good’ – and if that’s the type of business we want to see more of, we need to recognise how much we appreciate it by choosing to buy from and work with B Corp businesses over others. Check out the directory to see which B Corp businesses you could switch to now!
Why we should all support Why we should all support