Many of you may know about "fair trade" and "ethical" products, but have you heard about "Certified B Corporations"?
What is a Certified B Corporation (B Corp)?
Founded in 2006, B Lab, a non-profit organization from Pennsylvania, created a B Corporation certification for for-profit companies.
This certification is given to companies that value not only their profit, but also social and environmental impacts.
They have a set of rigorous requirements and companies must pass all of them.
The 3 main categories of their requirements are:
Online assessment: take the free assessment and score over 80/200
Legal requirements: modify the company statute to integrate stakeholder consideration (e.g. employee, supply chain, consumer, etc.) into operation
Transparency: make B Impact Assessment public
On top of that, companies need to pay the annual fee and retake the online assessment every 3 years.
For more information on the certification, click here.
Why are B Corps needed?
Social and environmental issues the world is suffering cannot be resolved by just the big entities like government and non-profit organizations.
The B Corporation certification was established to get help from for-profit companies that want to make positive impacts on the society.
The certification redefines what it means to be "successful" as a corporate and facilitates a society that is inclusive and sustainable.
Companies from around the world are coming together to work on social challenges such as reducing inequality, improving the environment, and creating high-quality jobs.
To borrow a phrase, many companies are now competing "to be the best in the world," but their goals is to have companies "compete to be the best FOR the world."
As consumers, we can support members of the B Corps and participate in solving the social and environmental issues.
Where can I get B Corps products?
As of today, there are over 3,500 Certified B Corporations across 70 countries.
You can see the list of companies here.
Some of the leading U.S. companies include Patagonia, Ben & Jerry's, and Dr. Bronner's.
There are a variety of industries from apparel, food, cosmetics, to technology, and you can easily find B Corp products at supermarkets and other shops.
When shopping, look for this certification seal on a package (it's sometimes printed on the back, or in the corner):
I found a few B Corp items at home:
Bottom Right：Yogi Tea tea bags from Whole Foods
It always feels great to buy products from B Corps, knowing that I am contributing to create a better society and environment.
It is much more sustainable than buying products from other companies that may or may not be using exploited labor or destroying the environment.
When you go shopping next time, try to look for this B Corp seal on the package!
Thank you for reading :)