What Does It Mean To Be A B Corp?
At Net Zero Co., we care about the future of our planet. One way we are creating our vision for the future is by setting ourselves the goal of becoming B Corp certified by 2025.
But what is a B Corp, you might ask? We will fill you in on the details about this certification and why it is such an important goal for us to work towards and achieve.
What Is a B Corp?
B Corp Certification is a measurement that a business meets high standards in certain areas of sustainability-focused criteria set out by the B Lab. The B Lab is a non-profit organization that created and awards the B Corporation certification. All organizations that obtain this certification share a unifying goal of 'Make Business a Force For Good.'
The criteria for certification include verified performance, accountability, and transparency in specific categories. These categories include workers, customers, community, governance, and the environment.
All B Corps are for-profit organizations that want to use the power of business to build a more sustainable and inclusive economy. B Corps are leaders of businesses that want to be a force for good. Famous B Corps include Patagonia, All Birds, Ben & Jerry's, and Seventh Generation.
The certification process depends on the organization's size and complexity. However, there are a set number of assessments that every business must complete, no matter what size they are. B Corp Certification is highly selective and requires a complex application and assessment process. Businesses must be verified every three years to maintain their certification and must document their continued positive impacts to qualify for renewal.
The Origin of B Corp
The B Corporation movement was founded by three individuals, Andrew Cassoy, Jay Coen Gilbert, and Bart Houlahan. Bart and Jay co-founded a basketball apparel company during the '90s named AND1. It was a socially responsible company in a time when this wasn't common practice. When the company was sold due to stagnated growth in 2005, its culture and commitments to its supply chain were also stopped. This devastated the founders who wanted to use business for good.
In 2006, they joined forces with Andy and launched B Lab, a non-profit organization that serves a global purpose of using business for good. They were inspired by socially and environmentally iconic brands such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerry's. B Lab created a comprehensive set of performance and legal requirements to stand by. They worked hard to build the legal and reporting requirements needed and certified their first 82 B Corps in 2007.
What makes B Corp certification unique is that the best practices of B Corp are instilled into the DNA of the company. This means that the sustainability factors will survive leadership and personnel changes. The Certified B Corp is the first certification to evaluate an entire organization based on the triple bottom line theory. It is also critical for the business to understand its impact on the world and work to improve it continuously.
Why Do B Corps Matter?
B Corp takes the understanding of sustainability to a new level. Typically sustainable businesses focus on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit. 'Normal' businesses, however, only focus on profit. The B Corp certification not only measures the triple bottom line but also provides organizations with a way to showcase their triple bottom line credibly and transparently.
B Corps are often certified for internal reasons, including aligning the organization's core values and company culture. Externally it also has many benefits. These include improving stakeholder relations, increasing the customer base, and attracting the best employees and investors. It also allows businesses to track their sustainable improvements over time and to monitor this growth.
What Are B Corps' Values?
All B Corps believe we must be the change we seek in the world. These organizations also believe that people and place matter and every business's product, practice, and profit should not harm and be a benefit to all. To achieve these goals, we all need to understand that we depend on one another and are responsible for each other and future generations.
B Corps work towards reducing inequality and poverty, creating a healthier environment, creating high-quality and safe jobs, and building stronger communities. These businesses are working towards being green and doing good in the world. These are beliefs that we stand by at Net Zero Co.
Our Goal Of Becoming B Corp Certified by 2025
We have set ourselves the goal of becoming B Corp certified by 2025. We believe that business has the power to do good in the world. Our goal has always been to create an empowering culture and business that assists our customers toward a low-waste lifestyle. We want to inspire change and make a sustainable transition easier for everyone. Our goal is to touch one million homes in North America by 2026. Being B Corp certified will help us to show that we are serious about doing business for good.
We believe that every journey begins with small steps, and we want to help our customers take their first or 15th step into a more environmentally conscious way of life.
We are proud of what we have already achieved and are looking toward the future. This includes our goal of becoming B Corp certified. As well as continued product development, using only bamboo for any wood materials and listing the end-of-life information on our packaging. We are also driven to create educational content that can be shared with K - 12 students regarding reusables and compostables.
We have set ambitious goals for ourselves, and the ever-pressing urgency of the climate crisis is fueling us to continue to evolve and innovate. We believe that businesses can do good for the world, and that is why becoming a certified B Corporation is so important to us.