B-Corps: What Are They, and Why Should You Care?

- Lauren Miura

 
 

LATELY…

…we’ve noticed a circular “B” logo on the labels of everything from yogurt to yoga pants. With so many of our favorite socially conscious brands sporting the “Certified B-Corporation” logo -- including Patagonia, Warby Parker and Wanderlust, to name just a few -- many are curious what being a B-Corps means and why we, as consumers, should take notice.

For starters, the B stands for “Benefit” and refers to how the company works to benefit workers, the community and the environment. Companies aren’t legally required to consider much else other than maximizing profits, so becoming a Certified B-Corp is a way for companies to publicly commit to balancing purpose and profit. 

 
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“WHEN…

…you see the B-Corp logo on a product, it means the company has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance,” said Ryan Honeyman, Partner/Worker Owner at LIFT Economy and author of The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good. “It also means that the company has taken the legal steps to show that, in addition to profits, they also consider workers, the community and the environment in their operations.” 

The B-Corp certification has become the gold standard for companies that care. And, Honeyman said, it’s the only assessment that looks at the whole picture of a company’s impact. “There’s organic for lettuce, but it doesn’t tell you if the workers are being paid fairly,” he said.

 
 
 
 

AND…

…for the entrepreneurs out there, becoming a B-Corp can be good for business. You don’t need to be as big as Patagonia -- companies of all sizes and types can apply to become Certified B-Corps through B-Lab, the nonprofit that administers the program. The first step is taking the free B Impact Assessment, which assesses a company’s impact on its workers, community, customers and environment. 

With the number of Certified B-Corps around the world at 2,600 and growing, we bet you’ll be seeing the B-Corps logo on more and more products. By supporting these companies, we can vote with our dollars and support the change we want to make in the world. 

 
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