What Are B Corps And Why Should You Look Out For Them?
Dec 09, 2017
If you’re aiming to be a better, more informed consumer, there are a bunch of labels you probably know about.
Fair Trade, for example, tells you that the ingredients in a certain product were ethically sourced. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label tells you that the product you are buying came from sustainably managed forests. There’s also ACO Australian certified organic, USDA Organic, NaTrue, Non GMO Verified, Cruelty Free, and lots and lots of others.
The B Corps label might not be as popular as these, but it’s one that you'll see more and more of as companies shift to more socially and environmentally conscious practices.
The B Corps certification tells you that a company is always striving to do what’s right for people and for the planet. When you support B Corporations, you’re supporting businesses that aren’t all about the bottomline.
What are B Corps?
B Corps are for profit companies that operate as though they were nonprofits. They are certified by B Lab, a nonprofit organisation that aims to redefine success in business. The goal is to transform businesses into sustainable companies that create positive impacts, including a society that enjoys a more sustainable shared prosperity.
There are currently more than 2,000 B Corporations in more than 130 different industries. These are spread out in over 50 countries around the world. B Corps are certified by B Lab to meet strict standards of social and environmental transparency, legal accountability, and performance.
Certified B Corporations are those that scored over 80 in the B Impact Assessment. In this stringent assessment, companies are evaluated on their impact on customers, workers, communities, and the environment.
To become a B Corp, a company must also sign the Declaration of Interdependence, which says that it will consider all stakeholders, not just shareholders, in its business processes. B Lab envisions a future in which all companies compete not just to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.
Why should you support B Corps?
In today’s profit driven world, it can be hard to find companies that don’t use dodgy business practices, disrespect the planet, or exploit their workers. B Corps are rare gems as they’ve got nothing to hide. Instead, these sustainable companies aim to be forces for good.
B Corporations create benefits for their non shareholding stakeholders, including the environment, the local community, and their employees. It’s not all about making the top executives rich. In fact, to become a B Corp, a company must amend its corporate charter to include the interests of all its stakeholders into the fiduciary duties of its board members and officers.
This ensures that B Corps are fundamentally different from traditional profit maximising corporations and that the values of B Corporations are ingrained into the companies’ DNA.
According to the B Corps website, compared to other sustainable companies, B Corporations are:
- 68% more likely to donate at least 10% of their profits to charity
- 55% more likely to cover at least some health insurance costs for their workers
- 47% more likely to use on-site renewable energy
- 45% more likely to give bonuses to non-executive workers
- 28% more likely to employ women and minorities in managerial roles
- 18% more likely to have suppliers from low-income communities
B Corps brands we like
Here at Hello Charlie, we stock and promote products that are good not only for you and your family, but for workers, communities, and for the Earth as well. We stock several B Corps brands, including TOM Organic, one of the founding B Corporations in Australia.