Have you ever been curious about whether or not the products you use do good? It’s a weird question, but let me explain. Many things we consume are marketed as better choices for the world in general, but how do we know if that’s true? If only there was some sort of certification companies could get, to verify that they do make decisions with stakeholders in mind. Fortunately, such a thing does exist- B Corp certifications!
B Corp certifications are given to businesses that have been tested on multiple criteria including environmental and social impact. The process begins with a company filing a questionnaire with B Lab, providing documents and answering interview questions. 200 points are possible, though 80 are required for certification. Personally, I like this threshold. It seems like the aim is to encourage businesses to do better, not just fall in step with rigid guidelines. B Corp certifications are subject to renewal every 2 years and random audits are performed to ensure companies are doing the things they claim.
Why does this matter? According to bcorporation.net, B Corps are- 68% more likely to donate at least 10% of profits to charity, 18% more likely to use suppliers from low income communities, 45% more likely to give bonuses to non-executive members and 28% more likely to have women and minorities in management. B Corps are 4 times more likely to give paid professional development opportunities and 2.5 times more likely to provide 20 hours of annual paid time off for community volunteering! These are just a few examples of how B Corps do good things.
Don’t worry about having to make drastic lifestyle changes to buy B Corp certified products. You may find that many of the products you already know and love are produced by B Corp certified companies, like Ben & Jerry’s, King Arthur Flour, Patagonia, Method and Seventh Generation cleaning products, and Fetzer wines. You can find a comprehensive list here. Check it out, and you might find that you are already doing good with some of your consumer choices. You might even want to try replacing an item or 2 from your weekly shopping list with a B Corp certified equivalent. You might find something you really like, and you’ll be able to feel better by helping do good.