We are living in an era where environmental activism is growing at a rapid rate. People are becoming conscious consumers and are pushing for environmental justice.
Companies will need to adapt to these changing times and become more socially responsible to create a long-term sustainable business, generate a positive brand reputation, and increase profits. Corporations will need to hold themselves accountable through sustainable project investments, preventative actions, and transparency.
So how can a company adapt and make these necessary changes?
One option is becoming a Certified B Corporation.
What is a B Corporation?
In this article, when we refer to B Corp, we are talking about Certified B Corporations. Certified B Corps are businesses that “meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” It emphasizes the “triple bottom line” strategy.
These certified B Corps are for-profit purpose-driven enterprises that are verified by a nonprofit organization called the B Lab. The B Lab certifies companies based on the value they create for stakeholders, the local community, and the environment.
What Does it Mean to be a B Corporation?
The B Corp logo symbolizes a corporation taking the steps necessary to be a force for good. They go beyond corporate social responsibility by taking the community, economy, employees, and environment into consideration for business operations.
Certified businesses make sustainable, long-lasting decisions in their day-to-day operations, whereas most businesses will only look at their immediate profits when making difficult decisions.
B Corp is the only certification that measures a company’s entire social and environmental performance. There are many certifications for individual products, such as FairTrade International or USDA Organic; however, the B Corp Cert is based on the business’s operations as a whole.
Certification proves your business is meeting the highest standards of verified performance. Not only where the company excels now, it commits to considering stakeholder impact for the long term by building it into its legal structure.
B Corps and Preventative Measures
Currently, many corporations wait until they are caught to be held responsible for their actions. For example, Walmart has dumped pollutants into our waters and did not stop until they were caught and fined. Walmart took corrective action only after decades of harm and damage towards the environment.
If we only take corrective actions against polluting corporations, our ecosystems will continue to be damaged until they cease to exist. Thus, B Corps are starting a movement to take preventative measures to save and progress our planet and society.
Instead of looking at the short term and dumping hazardous waste into our waters to save money, B Corps will do one or more of the following:
- Properly dispose of their waste
- Limit the amount of waste they produce
- Find an environmentally friendly alternative so they won’t produce hazardous waste.
By taking preventative measures, B Corps are creating a better tomorrow.
B Corps and Social Responsibility
Not only do b corps positively influence consumers, but they positively influence employees too. They give employees fair wages and a hospitable environment for employees to thrive. Thus, both employees and consumers should push for B Corp through the power of our dollar.
As consumers, we could influence the marketplace with the products we buy. With enough people pressuring corporations to do better with the power of our dollar, corporations will become more socially responsible. However, corporate social responsibility is only the beginning. We must demand more to protect the future for the generations after us and sustain our environment.
For more information about b corporations, check out our other articles in our resource hub.