Over recent years, you have likely seen the distinctive B Corp logo here and there. From big corporations such as Danone, or Patagonia, to creative start-ups like Allbirds, and even small, local businesses (hint: us!), the B Corp movement is changing the face of social responsibility for everyone.
We were recently recognised as a Best for the World B Corp in 2022! This means that we’re in the top 5% worldwide for our size group for Governance.
So how did we do it? Watch this video where our CEO Caroline explains what kind of things we scored on in the Governance category.
Regardless of industry or sector, any business can become B Corp accredited as long as they undergo a comprehensive and thorough assessment process, sign a ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ and pay an annual fee. There are currently over 5,000 certified B Corps globally, spread across 74 countries and 150 industries!
The B Corp movement was originally started in 2006 by friends Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan after Gilbert had the idea to create a system that would hold organisations publicly ‘accountable for the ways they benefitted workers, communities, the environment and customers.’
The thinking is that ‘society’s most challenging problems cannot be solved by government and non-profits alone’. The B Corp movement’s founders were inspired by entrepreneurs and investors who were working to build better ways of doing business, people who were interested in supporting their stakeholders, not just their shareholders.
To become a fully certified B Corp, organisations need to score above 80 points on the lengthy B Impact Assessment. The online assessment examines a company’s impact on its employees, customers, community, and environment and must be updated every three years to ensure that organisations maintain a high-level of social impact.
The organisation must provide any supporting documents required to validate some of their responses and publicly share their results of their assessment, their ‘B Impact Report’. They must also meet the legal requirements to integrate stakeholder consideration into their governance structure.
Finally, they must sign the ‘Declaration of Interdependence’ promising to ‘be the change we seek in the world’ and to ‘do no harm and benefit all’ in their business actions, and pay the annual fee.
As the B Corporation movement increases in popularity and more big-name brands get on board, the more seriously social responsibility in business is taken worldwide. Thankfully, we have seen a global shift in perspective since Milton Friedman declared in 1970 that the sole purpose of business was to maximise profits but the remnants of this mindset still linger
The flipside of CSR’s rise in popularity is that now everyone wants to be seen as ethical regardless of whether or not they are actually doing the work. It is becoming increasingly difficult to discern the genuinely good from the greenwashers, and consumers are often held responsible for their buying decisions more than companies are held to account for harmful production processes.
The B Corp movement is a guiding light in the mayhem. The rigorous, efficient, and continuously re-evaluated accreditation process means that any time you see a B Corp logo against a product or a service, you can be guaranteed that the organisation is committed to a wider model of social responsibility.
At Social Good Connect, our mission is to build a world where people care and are inspired to make a positive social impact, and so for us, becoming a B Corp was a no-brainer. We are committed to building an ethical, sustainable, and impactful business and we are so delighted to have recognised as one of the Best for the World.
If you want to know more about what it means to be a B Corp, or how we are building a purpose-led business, please get in touch or join our mailing list!
Caroline has made it her life’s work to help people make more meaningful decisions to support their communities and she’s learned some golden nuggets along the way!
So, join Caroline each week for her ‘Thursday Thoughts’ on all things people, planet, philanthropy or purpose all served with sprinkle of fun (but unfortunately no prosecco) to inspire you.