Why Every Business Needs to look at Sustainability
Since March 2020 companies applying to become B Corp certified have risen by 40%. Even though only 500 brands in the UK are B Corp certified brands, they grew 28 times faster than the national economic growth rate of 0.5% in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics.
In the last 12 years the global community of B Corps has grown to over 4,000 with certified B Corps in 75 different countries across 150 different industries, so it’s a diverse group. Worldwide names such as Patagonia, Ben and Jerry’s, and Allbirds are just some famous B Corps. So what does being a B Corp mean? Why should we care?
B Corps are businesses that want to be a Force for Good.
For businesses, this is looking at how they can balance creating a positive social and environmental impact with the need to be profitable.
The easiest way to start the process is to look at how they can implement a sustainability strategy within their own company and values.
One way to do this is to assess and measure their existing impact using an existing framework to see what areas they can focus and work on. This is where B Corps and the B Impact Assessment come in, as a way to identify a businesses impact and areas that can be improved.
Who decides if a Business can become a B Corp?
B Lab is a non-profit organsiation that has created something called the B Impact Assessment to help businesses measure this. It is an online tool that identifies the different areas a business has an impact.
If they meet the performance requirements companies can then apply for B Corp Certification, which shows that a business gives as much consideration to their social and environmental impact as they do to their financial returns.
Businesses that apply for B Corp Certification are showing their employees and their customers that they take sustainability seriously. It acts as a simple way for customers and clients to see the true values of a company.
The process can take months or even years to implement processes and systems in a company to make it a B Corp. Most businesses employ a B Leader, a sustainability and CSR professional who has been trained to guide businesses through B Corp certification by B Lab and help with best practices and guidance in the best way to certify.
How can I support B Corp Businesses?
The B Lab website has a whole directory on all the brands across all sectors that have become B Corp and all B Corps identify themselves with the B Corp Logo. Waitrose has even dedicated a full section of B Corp food and drink brands on its website!
But it’s not just supermarket brands that you have to look out for: B Corp Logo, there are banks, internet providers, clothing companies, creative and marketing agencies (like Reward) and even construction companies that have all become certified B Corps.
When voting with your wallet and trying to buy more ethically, keep an eye out for the B Corp Logo – you will be surprised where it pops up!
And if you have a business that is interested in learning more about B Corps or becoming one, betternostop hosts regular free workshops to help businesses become B Corp Certified or can connect you to a B Leader within its team to help you with the process.