With the world facing so many environmental and social threats, more and more companies are stepping up to change the way they do business.
Well-loved brands like Patagonia, Ben & Jerry’s, and Eileen Fisher have been part of a growing movement to both minimize the impact they have on the planet and become a force for positive change. Thousands of environmentally and socially conscious organizations have jumped on the “green” bandwagon. As a result, they are fueling the greater good by treating their employees, customers, and the world around them with great care. Many of them are taking the extra step to get B Corp certified.
B Corp Certification
In 2006, three friends came together with a big idea. They left their business careers behind to form an organization that could help companies driven by a strong moral compass to protect and improve their positive impact on the world. A year later, these friends had developed a list of aspirational certification standards and certified their first company.
To become B Corp certified, companies must undergo a rigorous assessment of their organizational impact on their workers, customers, community, and environment, and pay an annual certification fee. The goal is to minimize inequality, reduce poverty, and create a healthier environment. While certification requires a tremendous commitment, employees of B Corp certified companies take pride in what they do. Similarly, consumers of those brands can feel good about supporting them.
Today, more than 2,788 companies in 64 countries representing 150 industries have become B Corp certified, and those numbers are growing daily. Certified organizations like Kickstarter and Cabot Creamery are driven by a common goal—to make a positive difference in the world—and they have mobilized to redefine what it means to be successful. B Corp even has its own declaration that includes statements like, “be the positive change we want to see in world,” “act responsibly for the benefit of future generations,” and “society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and nonprofits alone.”
Miyoko’s Creamery in Petaluma, CA, makes plant-based cheese and butter in a process that emits up to 98 percent fewer greenhouse gases than making the dairy equivalent from cows.
The company became B Certified in June 2019. “For a company less than five years old, it was an aggressive yet necessary goal given our company’s mission to bring compassion to animals and the planet,” said Susie Picken Burch, the company’s marketing director. But because Miyoko’s products are vegan and made from organic cashews that require no irrigation or fertilizer, rather than dairy cows, they already had a head start. Still, they were committed to taking the extra step toward certification. “We’re really proud of that,” said Picken Burch.
Communities Benefit From Green Companies
While Certified B Corporations meet the highest social and environmental standards, there are plenty of socially conscious organizations making an impact in their own way.
Stonyfield Organic in New Hampshire has been at the forefront of the green movement since it started making yogurt in 1983. It was the first manufacturer in the US to offset all of its greenhouse gases with an energy-efficient facility. Stonyfield was the first to introduce yogurt cups made from plants. In one year, its organic ingredient purchases prevent more than 185,000 pounds of toxic and persistent pesticides from being added to the land, water, and air. The company has advocated for the Earth for 35 years, participating in rallies, lobbying on Capitol Hill, and pushing for change to protect the planet.
KSM-66, producers of the popular adaptogen ashwagandha, is running a school in India where the herb farms are located to educate underprivileged students and support them with scholarships of $500,000 each year. They’ve set up medical centers in areas of need, one of which supports 430 children with free monthly treatments.
Play Your Part, Shop B Corp Smart
While so many organizations are committed to making a difference, we still have a long way to go. Choosing environmentally friendly brands, selecting organic products for your meals, working for B Corp Certified or green companies, minimizing your own carbon footprint by making sustainable choices, and spreading the word to friends and neighbors through social media are good places to start.